Thursday, December 17, 2009

Friendship Poem

Friendship isn't always easily described. The Eskimos, they say, have a hundred different words for snow. Unfortunately, the English language isn't quite as innovative, though it has vast opportunities to differentiate meaning. Certainly, Love is one of those opportunities. And so, too, is Friendship.

Instead of different words, however, we're stuck with simple adjectives. Close friend. Best friend. Childhood friend. Intimate friend. Trusted friend. Beloved friend. But whether you use adjectives or different words, few could deny the nearly infinite meaning in such a simple word.

Friends are special people. We can't pick our family, and we're sorely limited in the number of them at any rate. Society and mores (and often our own conscience) dictate we select a single mate. But our friends can be as diverse and infinite as the adjectives we choose. Our friends, in a very real sense, reflect the choices we make in life.

Let the countdown begin.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


There is no more lovely,
friendly and charming relationship,
communion or company than a good marriage.
- Martin Luther

The kind of marriage you make depends upon
the kind of person you are. If you are a happy,
well-adjusted person, the chances are your
marriage will be a happy one. If you have made
adjustments so far with more satisfaction than
distress, you are likely to make your marriage
and family adjustments satisfactorily. If you
are discontented and bitter about your lot in
life, you will have to change before you can
expect to live happily ever after.
- Evelyn Duvall and Reuben Hill

The fear of making permanent ommitments can change
the mutual love of husband and wife into two loves
of self-two loves existing side by side,
until they end in separation.
- Quote by Pope John Paul II

Blessings For A Happy Marriage

Blessings For A Happy Marriage

Marriage In The Bible - Verses On Marriage

Chains do not hold a marriage together.
It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads
which sew people together through the years.
- Simone Signoret

Why Marriage?
Romantic Love And Marriage
Readings by Mari Nichols

Marriage Advice
by Jane Wells

The Art Of A Good Marriage
by Wilferd Arlan Peterson

Marriage - The Circle Of Love
Romantic Relationships
by Edmund O'Neill

Marriage is
love personified.
- Phoenix Flame

Never Marry But For Love
Love And Marriage
by William Penn

The Key To Love - Forever Love

The more you invest in a marriage,
the more valuable it becomes.
- Amy Grant

Til Death Do Us Part
Love And Marriage Poems by Carol D. Bos

Foundations Of Marriage
Love And Marriage Readings
by Regina Hill

Marriage Morning
Romantic Love Poems
by Lord Alfred Tennyson

Kahlil Gibran On Marriage

One should believe in marriage as
in the immortality of the soul.
- Honore deBalzac

Quotes About Marriage

Recipes For A Happy Marriage

Given In Marriage Unto Thee
Poems by Emily Dickinson

When you make a sacrifice in marriage,
you’re sacrificing not to each other
but to unity in a relationship.
- Joseph Campbell

To My Dear and Loving Husband
Romantic Love Poems
by Anne Bradstreet

To A Lady On The Death Of Her Husband
Love Poems by Phillis Wheatley

The Anniversary
Poems by John Donne

Marriage Romance - Romantic Love

Wedding Romance - Romantic Love

A Word to Husbands

Robert Lowell

Poet Robert Lowell’s turbulent journey in life is echoed in the more personal of his poetry.

Robert Lowell was born in 1917, the son of the famous Lowells of Boston, a family that already boasted two poets, James Russell Lowell and Amy Lowell. He followed family tradition by enrolling at Harvard, but after two years – and upon the advice of his psychiatrist – transferred to Kenyon College.

At Kenyon, Lowell took up another family tradition – poetry. His studies under poet John Crowe Ransom inspired him, as did his graduate work at Louisiana State University, where his professors included Robert Penn Warren and Cleanth Brooks.

Despite a myriad of personal troubles – manic depressive episodes that resulted in his institutionalization on several occasions, a conversion from the Episcopalian faith to Catholicism, political views that saw him imprisoned for conscientiously objecting to World War II – Lowell wrote accomplished, elegant poetry, and for his efforts was rewarded the Pulitzer Prize at the age of 30 for Lord Weary’s Castle.

Encouraged by psychiatrists to write about personal experiences as therapy, and inspired by the burgeoning Beat movement of the 1950s, Lowell began to abandon the formal, impersonal poetry he’d been known for. From the 1950s onward, Lowell’s poetry was more inward and personal, and as a result, stronger; his poetry collection Life Studies, released in 1959, would come to be known as The Waste Land of its day, a collection that changed the face of modern American poetry. Life Studies received the National Book Award in 1960, and its influence spread, leading to a new genre of American poetry named “confessional” by M.L. Rosenthal.

Life Studies cemented Lowell’s reputation as a poet, and during the 1960s, he began to parlay his newfound celebrity into a platform for his political views, publicly refusing an invitation to the Johnson White House as a statement against the Vietnam War, and participating on the March on the Pentagon in 1967.

Concentrating on plays nearly as much as poems throughout the 1960s and early 1970s, Lowell returned to poetry in the mid 1970s. He won another Pulitzer Prize in 1974 for the collection of poems The Dolphin, and served as Chancellor for the Academy of American Poets from 1962 until 1977 when he died of a sudden heart attack in a New York taxi at the age of 60.

Thomas Moore

Irish balladeer, singer, and poet Thomas Moore gained fame in the first half of the nineteenth century both as a poet and as a society figure whose scandalous behavior may have overshadowed his talents.

Thomas Moore was born in 1779 in Dublin, Ireland, over his father’s grocery business. Moore was one of the first Catholic students allowed entry to Trinity College in London, where he studied law.

Moore’s 1803 appointment to registrar of the Admiralty in Bermuda brought him success in London society. His travels in North America were the inspiration for his first book, and upon his return to England, he married an actress, Elizabeth Dyke. As a frequent guest to London’s society gatherings, Moore gained a reputation for his singing of ballads and recitations of poetry.

Although his writing and his position provided him a good income, Moore’s attempts to live the same lifestyle as his aristocratic friends resulted in his incurring excessive debts. An accusation of embezzlement in his appointment forced him to leave England in 1819. While in Paris, he became friends with George Gordon, Lord Byron, and became Byron’s literary executor upon the poet’s death. Moore’s decision, along with Byron’s family, to destroy the infamous poet’s explicit memoirs, later did damage to Moore’s own literary reputation.

Moore returned to England after his debts were repaid, settling in Wiltshire. His poetry continued to be successful, and Moore also worked as a novelist, biographer, and translator of poetry. He published frequently, both in his own books and in the journals of the day. His reputation grew immensely upon the publication of his collection of Irish ballads, Moore’s Irish Melodies (commonly known as Moore’s Melodies) in 1846 and 1852. It is this collection that brought him renown throughout England as the Irish Bard.

However, Moore’s life after his return was one of tragedy; all five of his children died young, and Moore himself suffered a stroke which left him unable to perform, a talent that had brought him fame throughout England. Moore died in 1852, at the height of his literary fame. Although Moore spent most of his working years abroad, he is considered Ireland’s bard.

Despite his wide-ranging works, Thomas Moore is known to modern audiences primarily as an Irish balladeer. His best-known works are in the ballad genre, and include ballads that are known today as Irish standards.

Edgar Allan Poe

23Edgar Allan Poe is, without a doubt, the most famous poet in the history of American literature. Well-known for both his poetry and his short fiction, Poe’s verses are among the best known in the English language, and have become an indelible part of American culture.

Born in 1809 in Boston, Edgar Allan Poe the son of professional actors, both of who died before he was three. The Allan family of Richmond, Virginia, took Poe in and raised him, sending him to boarding school and to the University of Virginia. Despite Poe’s excellent academic performance, he had to leave school when his foster father refused to pay gambling debts Poe had incurred.

His relationship with Allan in ruins, Poe joined the U.S. Army in 1827. He published two volumes of poems to little success and attempted to attend the U.S. Military Academy, but was unable to afford schooling. He relocated to Balitmore, where he lived with an aunt.

Poe found success selling short stories, and in 1835 took over as editor of the Southern Literary Messenger in Richmond, Virginia. His aunt and young cousin, Virginia Clemm, relocated to Richmond with Poe, and Poe and Virginia – only a teenager – were married in 1836.

Poe spent the next ten years writing short stories and poetry, in addition to holding editorial positions on several journals. It was during this period that Poe wrote and published many of his best short stories and poems, including some of his best-known stories and poems including “The Raven,” “The Fall of the House of Usher,” “The Tell-Tale Heart” and “The Murders in the Rue Morgue.”

After his wife’s death in 1847, Poe struggled with depression and with alcoholism, both of which had troubled him for years. Although he continued writing, he often lived in dire poverty, his health nearly destroyed by alcoholism. In 1849, Poe was found in semi-conscious in Baltimore; he died four days later.

Edgar Allan Poe has been credited with inventing both the horror and detective genres of fiction with his short stories. His poetry, sometimes classified as “romantic” has nevertheless proved to be both timeless and surprisingly modern, appealing as much – or more – to today’s audiences as it did to his nineteenth century readers. Both his poetry and short fiction are part of the curriculum for students at all levels of study, from elementary school to graduate courses. Many of his stories and poems have been adapted for plays, movies, and television programs, making his work among the best known of any poet or author in history.

Alexander Pope

Alexander Pope’s witty and pointed poetic satire brought him infamy during his lifetime. It has also made critical evaluation of Pope in the years since his death more prone to interpretation based on the critic’s personal feelings about such satire than perhaps any other poet in history.

Pope was born the only child of Alexander and Edith Pope in 1688. The senior Pope, a linen-draper, had recently converted to Catholicism, and moved from London to Berkshire to avoid the anti-Catholic sentiment that ran rampant in London at the time.

His family’s Catholic faith kept young Alexander Pope from receiving a formal education, and thus Pope was mostly self-educated, teaching himself literature and languages, including Latin and Greek. Pope’s frail health also thwarted him; at twelve he both composed his earliest known work, “Ode to Solitude” and began suffering from a debilitating bone disease that stunted his growth, made him hunchbacked, and affected his health in general for the rest of his life.

In 1712, Pope published his most famous poem, “The Rape of the Lock,” which made him one of England’s most famous poets. Based on a true incident – a family feud that resulted from a stolen lock of hair – the poem’s hilarious satire won fans throughout the country.

Pope also turned his pen toward translation, beginning an epic translation of The Iliad that he wisely sold by subscription, enabling him income enough to support himself solely by writing.

Throughout his career, Pope’s satirical works, pointed toward other authors, critics, and the general public, often brought him both fame and notoriety, but never more so than upon the publication of Dunciad, a four-volume satire that mocked and lampooned critics and scholars, many well-known, of the day. Pope’s anonymous publication of the book did nothing to dissuade popular opinion that he was the author, and reaction was so hostile from both the targets of the satire and their friends that Pope would not leave home without his pistols.

Pope’s health began a further decline around 1738, and he began to write and publish less. One of his final finished projects was a revised Dunciad, no doubt to the delight of friends and enemies alike. He died at his home in Twickenham in 1744.

Pope’s critical reputation has been surrounded in controversy that did not die down with his death. Spurned by the Romantics during the Victorian period, embraced again in the 20th Century, Alexander Pope is a galvanizing poet whose work may be contentious, but is never less than fascinating – and clever.

Works by Alexander Pope:

From “The Rape of the Lock:”

Oft, when the world imagine women stray,
The Sylphs thro\' mystic mazes guide their way,
Thro\' all the giddy circle they pursue,
And old impertinence expel by new.
What tender maid but must a victim fall
To one man\'s treat, but for another\'s ball?
When Florio speaks what virgin could withstand,
If gentle Damon did not squeeze her hand?
With varying vanities, from ev\'ry part,
They shift the moving Toyshop of their heart;
Where wigs with wigs, with sword-knots sword-knots strive,
Beaux banish beaux, and coaches coaches drive.
This erring mortals Levity may call;
Oh blind to truth! the Sylphs contrive it all.

Of these am I, who thy protection claim,
A watchful sprite, and Ariel is my name.
Late, as I rang\'d the crystal wilds of air,
In the clear Mirror of thy ruling Star
I saw, alas! some dread event impend,
Ere to the main this morning sun descend,
But heav\'n reveals not what, or how, or where:
Warn\'d by the Sylph, oh pious maid, beware!
This to disclose is all thy guardian can:
Beware of all, but most beware of Man!\"

From The Dunciad

P. Shut, shut the door, good John! fatigu\'d, I said,
Tie up the knocker, say I\'m sick, I\'m dead.
The Dog-star rages! nay\'t is past a doubt,
All Bedlam, or Parnassus, is let out:
Fire in each eye, and papers in each hand,
They rave, recite, and madden round the land.

What walls can guard me, or what shade can hide?
They pierce my thickets, thro\' my Grot they glide;
By land, by water, they renew the charge;
They stop the chariot, and they board the barge.
No place is sacred, not the Church is free;
Ev\'n Sunday shines no Sabbath-day to me;
Then from the Mint walks forth the Man of rhyme,
Happy to catch me just at Dinner-time.

Is there a Parson, much bemus\'d in beer,
A maudlin Poetess, a rhyming Peer,
A Clerk, foredoom\'d his father\'s soul to cross,
Who pens a Stanza, when he should engross?
Is there, who, lock\'d from ink and paper, scrawls
With desp\'rate charcoal round his darken\'d walls?
All fly to Twit’nam, and in humble strain
Apply to me, to keep them mad or vain.
Arthur, whose giddy son neglects the Laws,
Imputes to me and my damn\'d works the cause:
Poor Cornus sees his frantic wife elope,
And curses Wit, and Poetry, and Pope.

Friend to my Life! (which did not you prolong,
The world had wanted many an idle song)
What Drop or Nostrum can this plague remove?
Or which must end me, a Fool\'s wrath or love?
A dire dilemma! either way I\'m sped,
If foes, they write, if friends, they read me dead.
Seiz\'d and tied down to judge, how wretched I!
Who can\'t be silent, and who will not lie.
To laugh, were want of goodness and of grace,
And to be grave, exceeds all Pow\'r of face.
I sit with sad civility, I read
With honest anguish, and an aching head;
And drop at last, but in unwilling ears,
This saving counsel, \"Keep your piece nine years.\"

\"Nine years!\" cries he, who high in Drury-lane,
Lull\'d by soft Zephyrs thro\' the broken pane,
Rhymes ere he wakes, and prints before Term ends,
Oblig\'d by hunger, and request of friends:
\"The piece, you think, is incorrect? why, take it,
I\'m all submission, what you\'d have it, make it.\"

Three things another\'s modest wishes bound,
My Friendship, and a Prologue, and ten pound.

Pitholeon sends to me: \"You know his Grace
I want a Patron; ask him for a Place.\"
\"Pitholeon libell\'d me,\"-\"but here\'s a letter
Informs you, Sir, \'t was when he knew no better.
Dare you refuse him? Curll invites to dine,\"
\"He\'ll write a Journal, or he\'ll turn Divine.\"

Bless me! a packet.-\"\'Tis a stranger sues,
A Virgin Tragedy, an Orphan Muse.\"
If I dislike it, \"Furies, death and rage!\"
If I approve, \"Commend it to the Stage.\"
There (thank my stars) my whole Commission ends,
The Play\'rs and I are, luckily, no friends,
Fir\'d that the house reject him, \"\'Sdeath I\'ll print it,
And shame the fools-Your Int\'rest, Sir, with Lintot!\"
Lintot, dull rogue! will think your price too much:
\"Not, Sir, if you revise it, and retouch.\"
All my demurs but double his Attacks;
At last he whispers, \"Do; and we go snacks.\"
Glad of a quarrel, straight I clap the door,
Sir, let me see your works and you no more.

\'Tis sung, when Midas\' Ears began to spring,
(Midas, a sacred person and a king)
His very Minister who spy\'d them first,
(Some say his Queen) was forc\'d to speak, or burst.
And is not mine, my friend, a sorer case,
When ev\'ry coxcomb perks them in my face?

A. Good friend, forbear! you deal in dang\'rous things.
I\'d never name Queens, Ministers, or Kings;
Keep close to Ears, and those let asses prick;
\'Tis nothing-
P. Nothing? if they bite and kick?
Out with it, Dunciad! let the secret pass,
That secret to each fool, that he\'s an Ass:
The truth once told (and wherefore should we lie?)
The Queen of Midas slept, and so may I.