Saturday, December 9, 2017

Love III

Love bade me welcome. Yet my soul drew back
Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning,
If I lacked any thing.

A guest, I answered, worthy to be here:
Love said, You shall be he.
I the unkind, ungrateful? Ah my dear,
I cannot look on thee.
Love took my hand, and smiling did reply,
Who made the eyes but I?

Truth Lord, but I have marred them: let my shame
Go where it doth deserve.
And know you not, says Love, who bore the blame?
My dear, then I will serve.
You must sit down, says Love, and taste my meat:
So I did sit and eat.

    “Love bade me welcome. Yet my soul drew back/ Guilty of dust and sin.” How often do we balk at our own infirmities and unworthiness and draw back from merciful Love in shame. So many saints are quick to assure the Christian faithful that the great and almighty Lord is crazed with passion for even the basest sinner. He runs to rescue the fallen, dejected sheep, the stubborn, headstrong lamb. “But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack/ Drew nearer to me.” He never abandons, and rather, always runs toward the wayward and gently approaches the timid, ever “sweetly”, ever attentive and responsive to the inner workings of the heart of the beloved. “Do you lack any thing?” Is there anything I can give to you, can supply for you, to be more at ease with me?

    Oh, but Love, I am not “worthy to be here”; either leave me for someone more worthy or fix me to be a better man. “Oh, but I indeed shall make you worthy,” replies Love with all tenderness and sweetness. I must turn my gaze away, for could I dare to look at pure brilliance with my soiled sight? But still He takes my hand and tells me that He Himself made mine eyes, so why should I not look at Him?
    Ah, but these eyes are sullied now, no longer so bright and innocent as once they were. “I have marred them.” I’ve accrued a terrible, heavy shame. “Know you not...who bore the blame?” Indeed, I bore the blame for these sins, bore them to purify you anew. “My dear, then I will serve [you]. You must sit down, says Love, and taste my meat.” So now, can we do “sit and eat”, eat freely of Love Himself, drink freely of the wine flowing from His lips, which bestow the kisses of His most lovely mouth into our very beings.

“I am always waiting for [sinners], that I will intently to the beating of their heart… When will it beat for me?” (Faustina's Diary, 1728).

.October 27, 2017.

~It's been a little while, but I've been writing a lot this fall—honing my craft, so to speak—and I want to share some of the beauty I've encountered lately.

Dr. Regis Martin shared this poem in his class on Spirituality this October at the Clearwater School. It's really moved me and I wrote this little reflection on it. I hope it reminds you how very loved you are.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Antigone: A Poem

Ismene and Antigone—two sisters
outside the gates of Thebes,
Ismene with vacillating determinations,
Antigone indomitable to the closing.
Recently returned from a journey lately ceased,
they hear their brothers both are lately deceased.
Strong Eteocles, defending his country
slain by his brother Polyneices, traitorous and greedy
in a tussle for the throne. 
The loss of two brothers once,
turned enemies at the end,
sisters too late to save them,
just in time to hear the decree,
as they heartbrokenly mourn
they hear: Polyneices never shall be borne
into the earth, left above ground. 
Their royal uncle Creon, jealous is he
Jealous of the throne, intent on bending
the population to his will, 
as he honors Eteocles as Hero
censures Polyneices as Renegade
—forbidding his burial—
vultures for the traitor will fit his bill.
Dismayed by this revelation, Antigone mourns,
the sister’s heart inside her bewailing the loss
she suffers by her brothers’ death, 
furthered by disrespect shown Polyneices.
Determined, she declares “I’ll do my best,
to honor both brothers, disobey,
and bury Polyneices.
Will you join me?”
Ismene refuses to accompany
Antigone on her wily
attempt to honor their brother,
“Why risk more woe?”
And so Antigone goes alone
to do what she may to pay respects to the dead.
Antigone lingers, sprinkling dust on Polyneices’ body
weeping, mourning the memory of her brother…
But a wandering countryman finds her handiwork,
rushing to the palace, to inform Creon,
 “Burial rites performed on Polyneices’—
but please it was not me!”
The incensed king orders the witness,
“Find that person or peril on your existence!”
Terrified, the man apprehends Antigone, caught her in the act,
and to the tyrant Creon, brings her back.
Enraged that a citizen, his own niece
disregards his will so totally
he orders her to be imprisoned,
buried alive and left to die.

Despair encompasses Ismene
fearful to live with her sister not
determined to share Antigone’s lot
But the condemned testifies to her innocence
and Creon cares only for the violator, not the sister,
—Ismene left in tears
—Antigone sealed without fears.

Remembering the crimes of her father,
destiny visiting her today for yesterday’s sin,
Antigone knows her fate, ready to
wed personified death, her expiration,
peaceful, glad, in the face of death.
Finding a rope, twists it to a knot, 
“O welcome Death! Now you have me, I am yours!”
these were her last words.

Tiresias, blind prophet, approaches,
warns Creon of his error,
“Your offsprings’s ruin,
your son for the murder of your niece,
punishment for the destruction of budding beauty.”
The gods against him, they be,
incensed by your cheek,
to make yourself into one like them.”
Creon irritated that his decree
be overturned by those holding 
greater power than he, 
he vacillates, unwilling.
“How dare you say
the gods, clear as day,
want the girl released?”
Townspeople cry, “Tiresias never lied to Thebes, 
and all his prophecies ring true,
your grief shall surely come
if you leave the girl to die, you’ll rue.”
Decided, Creon realizes
the petty risks he takes
to uphold himself, why try
if it only brings more misery?
Creon rushes to the tomb,
intent now to free Antigone to save his own.
But alas, too late:
already Antigone has strung and swung her rope,
acquiescent to death, she’s welcomed her grave, wide-armed—
Haëmon is distraught. He came
to rescue her, that they may live together,
free from his father’s limits,
but he found her dead already,
swinging on her rope.
Creon has arrived too late, 
to free her now useless,
as his flesh and blood Haëmon 
turns on him in rage
brandishing a sharp sword
but Creon springs away, does not witness
his son running on the sword in distress.

Sentry reaches royal palace first, 
announces ruin of Haëmon and Antigone,
and Eurydice, lady of the house,
struck by the sudden death 
of son and daughter both, 
whirling emotions, retreating to her chambers with a knife…
Mourning Creon enters his home,
“Oh, what have I done?”
The messenger enters—Haëmon’s suicide—
the prophecy fulfilled,
the weak-willed boy too tormented
to live without the love
his father has destroyed.
Creon anguished further,
turns for consolation,
reaching for Eurydice, a warm embrace,
only to receive more woe—
his wife—a son’s death—despair—and she has pierced herself,
slain herself like Haemon,
devastated by a mother’s grief…

All for a mistake of his proud whims,
no family or relief for him—
with wails and moans,

Creon is left alone.

—I wrote this last month in place of an essay while I studied Sophocles. I particularly like it, so I wanted to share. I am currently working on a prose reworking of The Aeneid, about which I am also excited. I have really enjoyed choosing creative writing projects rather than the dry essays I typically am tasked (at least, I find them dry. I have not quite struck a balance in essays, though I am finding a groove.) Peace.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Shakespeare Using Gloucester and Lear

Prompt: Compare and contrast Gloucester and Lear, focusing on their choices, their adherence to kingly or noble ideals, their relationships with their children, their level of wisdom and humility (at the beginning and end of the story), and/or other parallels you might find interesting. Be sure to integrate quotes from the text to support your comparisons. 

     Through the differences and similarities between Lear and Gloucester, Shakespeare reaches his audience in a relatable way in King Lear. Though Shakespeare wrote King Lear based on several older stories, he added the sub-plot of Gloucester and his children. Because of the addition of Gloucester to the story, it is clear that Shakespeare meant for the correlations and contrasts between Lear and Gloucester to add to the thematic development in King Lear. For example, Gloucester’s physical blindness can be seen in Lear, when he is blind to the truth of his daughters’ love for him; these two instances of sightlessness makes the theme of blindness in King Lear more poignant. 

     Though Lear loses his sanity and Gloucester loses his sight, in some way, each also has the other’s problem. In the beginning for the book when Lear is starting to lose his sanity, he begins to lose sight of the truth, a figurative blindness. When he finally learns the truth of Goneril and Regan, Lear laments, “O, Fool, I shall go mad!” In contrast, after first becoming physically blinded, Gloucester slowly begins to lose hints of his sanity. His state of suffering—emotional and physical—and sightlessness was enough to send him a little over the edge. Causing one to think about one's own sightlessness and loss of reality, these contrasts and similarities between the two men’s encounters with the metaphors of sight and insanity add depth to the reading of King Lear.

     Gloucester and Lear both have opportunities to learn from their decisions and those of their children. When Gloucester discovers that Edmund has been lying to him, Gloucester is beside himself in grief and longs to see Edgar, the son that he has previously written off, saying, “O dear son Edgar…/Might I but live to see thee in my touch.” When Lear learns that his older daughters are deceiving him, Lear becomes angry and upset, but when he finds his youngest daughter Cordelia, his disposition lightens and he turns happier. In these circumstances of their children’s betrayals and reunions with their faithful children, the two fathers have very similar reactions. 

     Gloucester and Lear relate to their children in very different ways. Being wealthy, both Lear and Gloucester have money, property, and titles that their children could inherit. King Lear plans to gift his children with their inheritance; Gloucester’s Edmund devises a plot to use his father’s goodness and steal his brother’s inheritance. Gloucester and Lear approach their children’s love and loyalty for them differently as well. Though both listen to words, not actions, Lear gives each of his daughters a chance to speak for themselves. He goes to all of his daughters, asking whether each loves him. Imploring Cordelia to “mend her speech” when her expression of love is simple, he wants to believe she loves him more greatly than her sisters. Unlike Lear, however, Gloucester only listens to what Edmund has to say; when Edmund goes to his father first, Gloucester does not even attempt to ask Edgar for what he might have to say. Though Lear and Gloucester both take their children at their word, Gloucester is not concerned with talking to both of his sons before reaching a decision about them, as Lear does with his daughters. Lear is desperate for his daughters to love him; Gloucester is ready to believe, without much thought, that Edgar is devising a plot to kill him. 

     In Shakespeare’s play, Gloucester and Lear are similar in many ways. They have similar lessons to learn and they are both affected by their children’s actions. Though in different ways, the themes of insanity, blindness, and family love are all present in both Gloucester and Lear. Not surprisingly, their reactions to and experiences of similar situations have their differences; they are different people. Through the characters of Gloucester and Lear, Shakespeare portrays how two people will respond to similar situations in very different ways. Since people rarely have the exact same circumstances in their life and they rarely respond to them in the same way, it would be hard to relate to a story with characters with identical lives, and this is what makes Shakespeare’s plays universal and beloved by so many.

--This is, obviously, an essay on Shakespeare's play King Lear.  I got a 97 on this paper (though I've already made some of the slight changes my teacher suggested). I want to publish my papers on my blog, but I get so caught up in the actually writing-of-the-papers that I have been forgetting to do that, so, as I think of it when needing a break, I'll try to catch up. 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

John Milton

Name: John Milton
     Birth: December 9, 1608 Place: London
     Death: November 8, 1674 Place: London

Best Known Works: Paradise Lost, Lycidas, Comus, “On the Morning of Christ’s Nativity”, “On Shakespeare”.

Brief Biography
     As inspiration for his writing, Milton drew largely from his own experiences. After each of the deaths of his second wife, two friends, and his sister’s unborn baby, Milton penned poignant poems of grief. Involved with the politics of his day, Milton wrote many pamphlets by order of the Cromwellian government, for which he worked from 1649 until Oliver Cromwell’s death (Luminarium). He also wrote two treatises on divorce after his first wife left him for several years in the beginning of their marriage. Having had the opportunity to meet Galileo earlier in his life, Milton alluded to the genius from Italy many years later in the composition of Paradise Lost . Living during the Renaissance, Milton was exposed to the increased interest in the Renaissance of classical culture. Accordingly, Milton included references in much of his poetry to mythological figures and stories of both Greek and Roman origin. Milton was also influenced by the Protestant Reformation, and he wrote several religious pamphlets along with his political works. Milton’s legacy lives on as a result of the scope and breadth of his work due to its universal and timeless themes as he experienced them in his own life.

Jokinen, Anniina. "Life of John Milton." Luminarium. 21 June 2006. 30 October 2014.
Petri Liukkonen. Pegasos. n.p., 2008. Web. 31 October 2014.
Ruth Rushworth. “Milton’s language”. darkness visible. Christ’s College. n.p., n.d. 30 October, 2014

-Using a format from the textbook, this is an author profile I wrote for my British Literature course. It's only the second time I've used citations, so I'm still working on that. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Brainstorming. With a period.

Guess what? Cool Irish Writer (NOT Irish Girl) inspired me to write part of my Emily! I haven't written (like that) in ages, and it feels so good to have 2 hours simply set aside for writing something! And I also realized the hard part was thinking about stuff like logistics, or whatever you want to call it, of particulars in the story/background line. Well no longer! I wrote part of the middle, one of my favorite scenes in the whole thing, like the whole thing, like my absolute favorite scene and it's not good. At all. Not at all what I want. At all. Like it doesn't have enough... Stuff in the middle of key moments, but it's so good to just be able to write, and write what you want without pressure!  I don't do enough anymore, but I think I will, because it was pretty cool. 

Anyway, to post it, I'd have to write some of the middle. 

What I COULD do is make videos. See Emily started as a bedtime story, so it's been pretty hard to a) recall details and b) articulate stuff that was pretty ambiguous, and just kind of understood. But I could write myself a plot and make videos of myself telling the story, in the voice it's comfortable in, but odd to read, semi passive.  ( It's been a pretty hard trying to voice it in an easy to read way.) 

So anyway, I might try that. Or, on the other hand, I might not. 

OR I could make the videos, then get my little helpers and write it all down. That would be good. Actually, really good. So then I could post a raw, originally intended version, along with a cut, edited, readable version.

So, maybe expect some updates on that. If you see me on a regular basis please hold me accountable to this... and offer to help. Haha. I'm pretty shy in asking for feedback, but I sorely need it. 

Okay then, I think that's it. 



Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Yes, I've been a slacker. A big one.

Happy 2014! It's crazy because it still feels like 2013 is new!! I guess not :)

I've been feeling rather sheepish to post anymore, but I've  read a lot of authors' advice, and decided I'm not up to the task of writing a whole book yet. It's one thing to come up with a story and another to sort through it, and I'm a very particular writer, and it's too hard to try to think of anything the way I want to to actually get it done. So the rest of that story is postponed, for now. 

So, if I ever get any writing assignments again, I'll post them, but right now I haven't been getting any. (Hint hint, mom.) Thank you for your patience. Although I don't know, maybe whoever out there hasn't been patient at all. In that case, well too bad. 

Bookworm Roni

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

This is where it gets weird: Chapter 2

     The door slammed shut behind her. Emily whirled around, yet could see nothing in the blackness, and feeling around awarded no cracks or handles or any clue that the door had been there in the first place. Emily became suddenly afraid. "You were foolish and acted quite rashly", she chastised herself, much in the same way as Alice from Wonderland. Emily became filled with regret as she stood in the dark.

     But not for long. For out of the black came a person. Humanoid, but very distinctly not so. It began speaking very rapidly.

"Bed bea geb, deb bea geb, deb bea geb cade beag?"

     "Excuse me sir, I don't know what you are saying," Emily rather timidly and quizzically replied, wondering if she had been right to call it a sir.

        The FedFaded, for that is what it was, made no reply, looking stunned out of speech.

Emily took this time to asses the situation: she was in her piano, 1-1/2 inches tall with a being that look like a dwarf (or was it a gnome?) spewing gibberish at length. Was it safe for her to speak to this creature?
Emily giggled at the thought. The creature hardly seemes dangerous, with an odd piece of wood looking quite like an instrument strapped to his back.

She began, "My name is Emily Baden. I was playing my piano when-"

"Your piano? YOUR piano?!" the creature exclaimed. "Don't you mean the Piano of FedFad?"

     "FedFad?" Emily repeated. Then she remembered: THOSE were the notes she had played. Her piano's manufacturer was FedFad too...

Emily was in her dreams again. She recalled the first time she had noticed that no one else's piano said FedFad. Everyone else's said Yamaha or Young Chang. Emily asked her parents about it one night.
"Well Emily, that piano has been in your mama's family a long time; nowadays people are buying Yamahas and the like. FedFad just isn't well known anymore," her father has said. Her mother had made no comment.

     But Emily hadn't believed that. She searched the Internet for "Fed Fad". It was a fruitless search. Emily had soon forgotten about the whole thing, yet still felt an odd tingling whenever she saw the piano, like she knew she had forgotten something.

     But now it was rapidly returning to her, and the question still loomed: What is FedFad? And now there was the question: How had she forgotten?

     "How do you know about FedFad?" was the only question Emily asked aloud, and warily at that.

     "How do I know about FedFad?" the man scoffed. "This IS FedFad!" The creature looked quite offended. He began muttering to himself and wringing his hands.

Emily wasn't even paying attention anymore. She exclaimed to herself, "So this is FedFad!"

     The creature stopped dead and nearly shouted, "Egad this is FedFad; what else would it be, ababd?!" slipping unconciously into the language of Gab.

     "Ababd?" Emily repeated.

     The creature stared at her. He had waited so long, waiting, watching, giving up everything life could offer, for this?

     "Girl human", the creature offhandedly replied, "which is what you are of course." Bede fell deep into thought.

     Was this it? Was this is abdgab they had been waiting for? Bede found it hard to believe; they had been waiting for so long, and look what happened to that other one. He needed to get the ababd to Madame Butterfly. "Dabe Fab," he ordered.

     Emily, quizzically, gave up on trying to ask what he was saying and decided she should follow him as he started away. At any rate, she was eager to get away form the spookiness of the doorway, or what used to be the doorway.

     Bede hurried along a passage that seemed to come out of nowhere to their left. Emily followed, trotting to keep up with the short Bede.

     "What are you, if you don't nind my asking?" Emily queried, hoping to learn something before they got to wherever they were going.

     "That, ababd, I cannot say." Bede replied. " 'If a potential abdgab appears, no information may be revealed until he/she has met Madame Butterfly,' " he quoted.

     Emily abruptly stopped. "Do not keep me in the dark any longer," she ordered.

     Bede became confused. He did not understand the nuances of English phrases, and even after 20 years of study, he still found trouble with it.

     "I'm sorry, ababd, but there are no lights on hand, and even it there were, no light is allowed in this chamber."

     Emily was adamant. "No, not light, I want information. Who are you? What are you? What is this place? Where are we going?"

     Bede sighed. He could tell this was a hard one. "Forgive me; I am Bede. And as I told you already, this is FedFad and we are going to see Madame Butterfly."

Emily rolled her eyes. She could tell this was a hard one.