A List of Words with Meaning


1. John Donne – “A Valediction Forbidding Mourning.” Lines 12-24. 

Why I love it? I love this poetry quote and the entire poem because I think the poem speaks about the kind of love we should strive to have with our other-halves. Not the love of “[dull] sublunary lovers” which is only a physical connection that “[abscence] doth remove[s] / [those] things which elements it.” But love where, “two souls . . . are one” and when one lover dies the relationship does not end. Instead, the relationship is such as “gold to airy thinness beat,” not a “breach” but an “expansion” of love.

Dull sublunary lovers’ love

   (Whose soul is sense) cannot admit

Absence, because it doth remove

   Those things which elemented it.
But we by a love so much refined,

   That our selves know not what it is,

Inter-assured of the mind,

   Care less, eyes, lips, and hands to miss.
Our two souls therefore, which are one,

   Though I must go, endure not yet

A breach, but an expansion,

   Like gold to airy thinness beat.

2. John Milton – Paradise Lost: Book 9  – The Fall of Mankind – Eve eating the Forbidden Fruit.

Why I love this quote? Adam and Eve live perfect lives in the Garden of Eden. But Eve is tempted by Satan in the guise of a snake who tells Eve she would be powerful and all knowing like God if she ate the forbidden fruit, even though God said that was the only thing that Adam and Eve cannot do. Many people will say, the Fall of mankind was Eve’s fault because she ate the fruit first and later, gave it to Adam. The thing was Eve was created from Adam’s rib, and he was supposed to love, protect her, and watch out for her. So, even when Eve takes that first bite, Adam has sinned to. And he does it again when he eats the fruit himself. This quote to me is savage and lustful: “Greedily, she ingorg’d without restraint / And knew not eating death.” Imagine this brilliant sexy vivacious woman who has been tricked by the devil, and done herself and her husband in. Immediately, she loses self-restraint and does not realize upon eating the fruit, she was ensuring that she would die, as would every member of the human race one day because we all relate back to Adam and Eve.

So saying, her rash hand in evil hour

Forth reaching to the Fruit, she pluck’d, she eat:

Earth felt the wound, and Nature from her seat

Sighing through all her Works gave signs of woe,

That all was lost. Back to the Thicket slunk

The guiltie Serpent, and well might, for Eve

Intent now wholly on her taste, naught else

Regarded, such delight till then, as seemd,

In Fruit she never tasted, whether true

Or fansied so, through expectation high

Of knowledg, nor was God-head from her thought.

Greedily she ingorg’d without restraint,

And knew not eating Death: Satiate at length,

And hight’nd as with Wine, jocond and boon,

Thus to her self she pleasingly began.

3. Emily Dickinson – ” A Bird Came Down the Walk.” Lines 14-20.

Why I like this quote?  The poetry in these lines is extremely beautiful. The wording is lush and descriptive. It creates this wonderful image. I didn’t quote the entire poem though maybe I should have. But a bird comes down the walk and eats an angle worm raw. This shows the savagery and realness of nature. The bird looks around weary of predators with his beady bird eyes. He is acting as birds do. But there is beauty in the flight of the bird taking off “unroll[ing] his feathers” and “row[ing]” a “softer Home.” The last verse is magnificent and I still barely can wrap my mind around it. Flying like  “oars divid[ing] the Ocean / [too] silver for a seam.” And then a comparison of birds to butterflies who fly like they are swimming “plashless” or splashless in the sky. Just gorgeous wording you can feel and experience from Dickinson.

And he unrolled his feathers, 

And rowed him softer Home –

 

Than Oars divide the Ocean,

Too silver for a seam,

Or Butterflies, off Banks of Noon,

Leap, plashless as they swim.

4. Robert Browning – “Porphyries Lover.” Lines 28-43.

Why I like this quote? In this poem I like the horror of what Porphyria’s lover does. He thinks she has another lover and when he decides she doesn’t, he decides the only way to keep her his, is to strangle her with her own hair. Clearly, this guy is crazy but Browning writes so eloquently in his poem that the deed of murdering Porphyria is all the more terrible. In his messed up mine the lover thinks, “Porphyria worship[s]” him. To hold that moment in time because Porphyria is at last his, “[perfectly] pure and good,” the lover wraps Porphyria’s hair ” three times her little throat around / [and] strangle[s] her.” Crazy, but Browning does a fantastic job of conveying an obsessive lover.

       Happy and proud; at last I knew

Porphyria worshipped me; surprise

       Made my heart swell, and still it grew

       While I debated what to do.

That moment she was mine, mine, fair,

       Perfectly pure and good: I found

A thing to do, and all her hair

       In one long yellow string I wound

       Three times her little throat around,

And strangled her. No pain felt she;

       I am quite sure she felt no pain.

As a shut bud that holds a bee,

       I warily oped her lids: again

       Laughed the blue eyes without a stain.

And I untightened next the tress

5. Robert Frost – “Mending Wall.” Lines 27-24.

Why I like this quote? Well, I think this an important poem because it talks about how to be good neighbours. I think Donald Trump should read this poem before he builds a wall to keep out Mexico and Canada. The speaker in this story is picking up the rocks from his stone fence and placing them back on the wall. His neighbour does the same thing on the otherside of the fence. The speaker does not understand why each year, him and his neighbour do this. His neighbour believes ” ‘ [good] fences make good neighbours.'” But the speaker wonders ” ‘ [why] do [fences] make good neighbours?'” He would like to know what “he is walling in or walling out.” The speaker “doesn’t love a wall” and he thinks it is unnecessary. But he would like his neighbour to understand why they shouldn’t be putting up walls for himself, but the neighbour will not change his ways. “He will not go behind his father’s saying.” This poem makes me think we too need to be careful what we wall out or wall in, in our lives. We need to be with other people to share and build friendships. We can’t wall each other out because of tradition or things we’ve done. We need to accept people in, and open our doors to be good neighbours.

He only says, “Good fences make good neighbours.”

Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder

If I could put a notion in his head:

“Why do they make good neighbours? Isn’t it

Where there are cows? But here there are no cows.

Before I built a wall I’d ask to know

What I was walling in or walling out,

And to whom I was like to give offence.

Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,

That wants it down.” I could say “Elves” to him,

But it’s not elves exactly, and I’d rather

He said it for himself. I see him there

Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top

In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.

He moves in darkness as it seems to me,

Not of woods only and the shade of trees.

He will not go behind his father’s saying,

And he likes having thought of it so well

He says again, “Good fences make good neighbours.”

Please see The Poetry Foundation for the  complete works of poetry and other poems.

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Thanks to La Duchesse D’erat and Rosema for this weeks list prompt of important words.

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©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved. 

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Sunday Photo Fiction: A Sordid Affair


Apology: I’m sorry, this is way too long for Flashfiction but the story just developed and formed. I tried to cut it down and it’s still too long 😦

——

I am sitting by a government building and admiring its interesting architectural elements. I am waiting for my contact to arrive. 

It’s fall and I can feel the nip in the air as winter approaches. It’s why I have chosen to wear my new coat. It’s long, hits me mid-calf, and is made of a silk-lined pink-wool with black buttons.  My makeup is flawless down to the lipstick that matches my coat and my hair is curled artfully. I’m anxious, but I need to appear in control. 

My contact ‘Winston’arrives. He is dressed impeccably in a tailored suit and expensive shoes. He could be any government businessman. Winston looks at me and  I can tell from his calm expressionless demeaner he knows about ‘intrigue’ well.

“Do you have it?” I ask him curtly “you’ve had plenty of time.” He looks at me sternly, “time is money” Winston says and I hand him a small bag filled with twenty-thousand dollars. 

I stare up at Winston and hold out my gloved hand. He places a small memory stick in the leather of my palm and passes me a hard copy in an envelope. “It’s pretty obvious” Winston murmers matter-of-factly, ” Senator Smith’s wife is cheating on him. She has been for seven years. Two years after he found out, he began his own affair.”

“And before?” I  question.

 “He was faithful for the five years they dated. Since the day he meant her, he never slept with another woman until five years ago. Before Ashley, um you…  he was miserable. He channeled his energy into his work and became a young Senator.” I shook Winston’s hand,”anytime, Ms. Taylor.”

I stare at the memory stick with the evidence of Linda’s affair. I knew about the affair of course. Jamie’s wife Linda was the one who first cheated. He had loved her deeply. She had wounded him and he hadn’t recovered until he meant me. But Jamie was still married to Linda. A piece of his heart hung onto her, even though she was always with Daniel (Jamie’s cousin) and hardly spoke to Jamie. 

Slowly, I walked away from the ornate government building, walked down the street past some trendy shops, and into a restaurant called Linguini, where I met Daniel, Linda’s boyfriend. 

“She gets a divorce or she disappears,” I tell Daniel. Daniel’s face turns pale when I present him with the envelope Winston gave me.”Why does she string Jamie along Daniel? You and I could both be free to be with who we love, if only Linda would sign the divorce papers.”

Daniel sighs, “she won’t sign the papers because she gets almost nothing. Just a million for twelve years of her life.”

“But she cheated first and she hates him now. Jamie didn’t start seeing me until two years after Linda first cheated. She had her chance.”

“It makes me angry too, Ashley. I have lots of money, but she gets hysterical when I ask her about signing the divorce papers.”

“If she doesn’t the media will know what a whore she was. How she ripped apart her marriage with the senator, cheating with you. If that’s not enough I’ll have her sent away. She’ll never see you again Daniel.”

A growl comes from Daniel, ” I’ll get her to sign the papers. I wish you would have came to me and we could have worked out a better situation for both our lives, Ashley. You didn’t have to play dirty.”

Daniel left the restaurant quickly and I sipped my Mascoto deep in thought. Jamie arrived soon after, his eyes sparkling at me  serenely.” I have missed you so much,” he tells me kissing me softly and then deeply as we get lost in each other. 

Jamie sits down beside me and puts his arm around me while we order food and drinks. “I have something to tell you,” I start talking nervously. I tell Jamie the whole story of me highering Winston to dig up proof of Linda’s indescretions. When I’m done talking a tear escapes my eye and Jamie wipes it away with his thumb. 

“Ash, I wish you’d told me sooner. We both would have felt better if I knew what you were doing.”

“Are you mad?” I manage.

“No, not mad at all. This proves to me what I know; you love me and are faithful to me. You’re also a smart and savvy woman. I told myself I’d never be fooled by a woman like Linda again. That’s why I sent her the divorce papers and that’s why she’ll go to trial and get the death penalty if she doesn’t sign the divorce papers.” I gasp. 

Jamie’s face has gone rigid and I can tell it is difficult for him to say the next words:”We did have a child once. A little girl named Amber. She was sweet and only two when Linda strangled her for crying loudly when they were home alone one night. Linda said the noise was driving her crazy. . .” I huddled into Jamie stunned. With a vacant look in his eyes Jamie whispers,”she was my wife. I kept her secret. I thought she was depressed. Then I found out she was cheating.” 

“That’s terrible Jamie. I can’t believe you’ve been keeping this inside you all these years.” I whisper. 

He smiles at me, “two years later I met you and you made me feel whole again. I promised myself I would cut ties with Linda. She wants more money but I won’t give her a cent. She killed my innocent daughter, and I have all the evidence necessary to put her in jail on death row.”

The food arrived and Jamie and I ate hungrily keeping us from saying more about the situation. Although, I wanted Linda gone, apart of me wondered whether she had struggled with postpartum depression; maybe she was still dealing with a mental illness untreated. She did seem volatile.

One instant I was eating and the next I heard a commotion in the restaurant. Linda was standing at our table screaming at Jamie. Daniel was close behind her trying to calm her down. I guessed his discussion with her based on my threats hadn’t gone well. 

Linda threw the divorce papers on our table and shouted, “I want more money! If you don’t give me more, I’ll shoot the skank.” A handgun was pointed at my chest. Daniel and Jamie were carefully, attempting to settle Linda down and obtain the gun when Linda cracked and pulled the trigger. People screamed as the shot rang out. 

I felt a burning in my chest, then extreme pain. I saw the blood on my hands as I tried to stop the steady oozing with my thick wool coat. Everything was happening quickly. Then Linda held the gun to her own head and despite pleading from Daniel, and the sounds of horror others were making in the restaurant, the gun went off. I briefly thought about how many people at Linguini would be traumatized by this shooting;  not only Daniel, Jamie, and I. 

I shrieked, surprised I still had a voice. My head was cloudy and I ached in pain as Jamie was trying to stop the flow of blood on my chest and call 911. Daniel was a mess as he cried over Linda’s body. There was blood everywhere and I registered the noise and panic of the people around us from a distance. 

I slept fretfully for ages. I dreamt awful scenarios and I almost woke up before tumbling back into a nightmare. When I finally awake, I’m at a hospital and I can see out a window to the government building below. My memory is pricked but Jamie is asleep beside me, his head on the bed. I adjust my position on the bed as carefully as I can without hurting myself and waking Jamie. 

The funeral for Linda was weeks ago. Daniel was devastated, especially when Jamie told him about his past with Linda. He felt Daniel had a right to know the truth. 

I had been in the hospital a month in semi-consciousness. I almost died and Jamie had spent most of his time waiting for me, (while taking a leave of his senate responsibilities)to wake up and live the life we wanted together. “We’re free Jamie,” I tell him when I am allowed to leave the hospital. He grins and my pulse increases.

 “I thought I’d lost you Ashley. The doctors told me it was a long shot you’d recover. ” I held Jamie’s hand in solidarity. I was done with intrigue and blackmailing people, for now…

  
Thanks to Alistair Forbes for the prompt picture.