poem

Review: Green Eggs and Ham

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Green Eggs and Ham Book Review
4 of 5 stars to Green Eggs and Ham, a picture book written by Dr. Seuss in 1960. Another delightful children’s book full of wonderful images and fantastic rhymes. These are amazing books to use as tools that engages young kids in reading at a very early age. The topic in this one… Sam-I-Am and all the places to eat green eggs and ham! On some levels, the things they eat and the places they go are not appropriate for kids, but it’s meant as humor and fun… so I let those things go. Another book to read with a child… not hand off and hope (s)he figures it out. And Dr. Seuss has a world of characters children love and want to hear and see all the time. I’d definitely recommend this one as a starter book for your kids… even with some of the items to be careful over, when it comes to being funny versus truthful… and not giving off incorrect perceptions:

I loved it as a child
And I simply love it now
But don’t get too crazy or wild
Nor caught up in the how

Enjoy our famous friend
The wonderful Dr. Seuss
He likes to our ears just bend
A fun and dandy ruse

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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Review: The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock and Other Poems

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The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock and Other PoemsReview
3 of 5 stars to the poetry of T.S. Eliot, specifically, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock and Other Poems.

In “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”, a man confronts his physical sexuality during an elite social gathering. The man, J. Alfred Prufrock, breathes in his surroundings and then uses them to define his own appearance as the antithesis of what he sees. The man has no self-esteem and therefore constantly dwells on his negative attributes and less-than-perfect features. In the poem, Prufrock recites a long monologue that is characteristic of almost every other human being. T. S. Eliot uses Prufrock as a symbol, for humanity in general, to show how all persons are doubtful at times of their attractiveness.

Prufrock is a man of uncertain age. (Spender 31) Therefore, he can be portrayed as a teenager, a middle-aged man, or a person of any other age very easily. If one looks at Prufrock through the eyes of a teenager, he can easily be seen as a seventeen-year-old. While Prufrock is “like a patient etherized upon a table” (line 3), teenagers roam the halls at school like puppy dogs with their mouths open, dazed and lost in space. Both are in love with some beautiful woman and wander the paths practically drooling. While Prufrock is busy finding time “for a hundred indecisions, and a hundred visions and revision” (lines 32-33), teenagers are occupied thinking of ways to approach the person they want. Both seem to put facades on to make themselves sound better so that they will get the person they want to get. While Prufrock is worrying “with a bald spot in the middle of his hair – (How they will say his hair is growing thin!)” (lines 41-42), teenagers constantly, in vain, check their own hair in the mirror to see if it is just perfect! There are several similarities between young people like teenagers and Prufrock. However, not only does Prufrock resemble teenagers, but he also resembles middle-aged men who are hitting a mid-life crisis. They worry about their hair balding or becoming gray and whether they are attractive enough. They go out and try to reinvent themselves as different people just as Prufrock does with his revisions, decisions, and visions. Prufrock has characteristics of several different people of all ages. Eliot is showing that all men (women included) have doubts and occasional low self-esteem. Whether you are 17, 37, or 57, you are capable of having no confidence occasionally. This is Eliot’s generalization of all men.

Prufrock’s worries concerning his sexuality and appearance not only show his resemblance to all men, but they also stop him from continuing on with his life as a happy, caring, and normal man. “He is Eliot’s archetype of the great refusal, the man who fears to dare and so misses life… …Prufrock initiates Eliot’s obsession with the lost opportunity and the missed life.” (Mayer 127) Prufrock is so busy concentrating on his less-than-perfect features and supposed negative attributes that he lets life pass him by. “I grow old… I grow old… I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.” (Line 120-121) Prufrock loses the future by concentrating on the present. His inhibitions about the opposite sex hold him back. “‘Prufrock’ is built around the arid, timid, conventional persona of a man sexual enough to admit desire, but insufficiently sexual to do anything about it.” (Raffel 24) In every person’s life they feel like this occasionally. They love someone, but they hold themselves back because of some fear, etc. Eliot uses Prufrock as a symbol for all men again.

“Prufrock is inhibited, self-conscious, obsessed with image, self-possessed, and afraid… Fear is in the way – the fear to dare, to live honestly, to tell all, to be the Fool. The mermaids will not sing to Prufrock because he will not sing to anyone. His “love song” to himself is a cry of anguish…” (Mayer 128-129) While Prufrock sings to himself, men everywhere are busy talking outlook to the stars, the sky, and the moon about how much they wish they could get the girl they loved or be more handsome, more intelligent, or more loved. Some of these men will cry out in anguish and they will not tell anyone how they feel because of inhibitions. The mermaids (women) therefore will not sing to him if he will not sing to them! All men are afraid to tell a woman how they feel about them often in reality. They will stutter and beat around the bush. Besides the mermaids, there are several other minor characters who can support this theory. Prufrock talks about Prince Hamlet, Lazarus, the Footman, and an attendant lord. He has characteristics of all these men. He attends to others and never pleases himself like the attendant lord. “Hamlet embodies Prufrock’s aspirations to live – that is, to be or not to be”. (Mayer 117) All men have asked themselves that question; Should I do it or shouldn’t I? (Referring to asking someone out) All of these people have traits in common with Prufrock, moreover with every other man. Once again, Prufrock is shown to be a symbol for all men.

In the middle of the poem, Prufrock talks of other men and the effect of the yellow smoke that curled around the windows. “…And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows.” (lines 71-72) Prufrock obviously identifies with the lonely men (despite their shirt-sleeves), and perhaps sees their leaning out of the windows as symbolic of his own desire for contact with the world. (Spurr 7) Since Prufrock identifies with the lonely men, therefore, that is proof that others have felt this way. Prufrock, like all others often in their lives, back away from pursuing love from a paralyzing fear that results in the ultimate loss of the object he desires. “Prufrock watches his possible moment of greatness flicker because of his anxiety over his looks.” (Spurr 56) All men seem to follow in his footsteps.

If one looks at a few words specifically in the poem, like “let us go then, you and I” (line 1), one can see why Prufrock really is a symbol for all men in general. “The “you” and “I” of the first line present greater difficulties. Critics have commonly interpreted them as referring to two parts of Prufrock, carrying on a conversation with himself.” (Headings 24) Many times Prufrock seems to be having a conversation with someone else, perhaps another man, or even his object of love. However, the poem is really one long monologue. Prufrock is speaking to himself. Men in reality will often do the same when trying to make a decision. They will ask themselves whether they really love the woman, or want to marry her, or want to kiss her, etc. Talking to oneself is a common practice to make a decision.

J. Alfred Prufrock is a man who is in love with a certain woman, but he is somehow held back from approaching her. He feels unworthy of her, he feels unattractive, and for some reason he is sexually inhibited. At one time in their life, whether it be as a teenager, a middle-aged man, or an older person, men have felt like Prufrock. They have doubts, fears, and inhibitions. Prufrock is truly a symbol for all of humanity in general.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

View all my reviews

Review: The Works of Anne Bradstreet

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The Works of Anne Bradstreet Review
4 of 5 stars to The Works of Anne Bradstreet by poet, Anne Bradstreet. Perhaps my favorite poet, I want to focus on one poem specifically, which she wrote in the 1670s… though it has the usual classical feel, the message is beautiful.

The use of language in the poem “The Flesh and the Spirit”, by Anne Bradstreet, a devout Puritan, is what gives the work meaning. Through imagery and symbolism, two sisters, named Flesh and Spirit, defend their beliefs on what really is the beauty and greatness of life. The most inspiring meaning that a reader can obtain from the work is whether or not man is occasionally allowed to have temptations of something that isn’t exactly following in the footsteps of God.

In “The Flesh and the Spirit”, Flesh represents “life on Earth of a mortal man”, which is sinful by nature, greedy at times, and materialistic. Her sister, Spirit, represents the “soul of a mortal man”, which is pious in nature, holy at all times, and moralistic. They both are beautiful, but Flesh is flawed in that she is depraved and is only mortal. They have the same mother, but Flesh was begotten by Adam, who created sin. Yet, Spirit, is the true daughter of God. She follows in his footsteps both in word and beauty. Flesh, as all mere men are made of, concentrates on the reaps that one can sow from life. When she says “Earth hath more silver, pearls and gold than eyes can see or hands can hold” (lines 31-32) she is trying to convince her sister, Spirit, that life on Earth is better than the spiritual and moral life she is already leading. Later, Flesh asks her sister “what liv’st thou on-nothing but meditation?” (lines 9-10). Anne Bradstreet uses specific language to convey the thoughts of Flesh and Spirit. The way that Flesh keeps asking questions to Spirit can be taken satirically. Throughout her words to her sister, Flesh criticizes and ridicules Spirit and the way she leads her life. Spirit absorbs Flesh’s words and fights back with her own feelings. “How do I live thou need’st not scoff, for I have meat thou know’st not of; The hidden manna I do eat, the word of life it is my meat” (lines 65-69). Spirit also says, “My crown not diamonds, pearls, and gold, but such as angels’ heads infold.” (Lines 83-84). Spirit is a part of God, differently than mere man is, and she has already been chosen. She tells Flesh, “This City pure is not for thee, for things unclean there shall not be. If I of heaven may have my fill, take thou the world, and all that will.” (Lines 105-109). The language in the poem flows very smoothly because Anne Bradstreet makes the poem rhythmic. By including rhymes at the end of all the lines, the poem is more beautiful and symbolic.

Bradstreet uses symbolism and imagery so brilliantly that it makes the sisters both jump off the page at you. The words within the lines of the poem create various images of angels, glory, God, the pearly gates of Heaven, beauty, etc. Even though imagery is fairly important, symbolism plays the key role in uncovering the meaning of the poem. Flesh is a symbol for men who are materialistic and Spirit is a symbol for those people who are always pious. The perfect example of Spirit would be the author of the poem herself, Anne Bradstreet. Anne Bradstreet was a devout Puritan follower who embarked on the passage of life with great piety and the traditional beliefs of Puritans in predestination, depravity, and the Protestant work-ethic. In Puritan life, there is no room or time for fun and pleasure. Therefore, Anne Bradstreet is directly related to Spirit and all the men around her can be seen as Flesh. Anne Bradstreet creates tension between the two sisters by picking a common rivalry. One is the good sister and the other is the bad sister. Bradstreet includes several phrases in her poem to make the sisters have “parents” that decide who is right and wrong. Examples are shown in the early parts of the poem when Flesh says to Spirit, “Doth Contemplation feed thee, so regardlessly to let earth go? Can speculation satisfy notion (knowledge) without reality?… Come, come, I’ll show unto thy sense, Industry hath its recompense.” (lines 11-14… lines 21-22). Tension plays a key role when Flesh is trying to tempt her sister, Spirit, by showing that no mere mortal man is omniscient enough to say what the best kind of life is. Spirit answers her by saying, “Be still thy unregenerate part; Disturb no more my settled heart, for I have vowed (and so will do) thee as a foe, still to pursue, and combat with thee will and must until I see thee laid in th’ dust.” (Lines 37-42). Spirit obviously has doubts about her beliefs, but quickly dismisses them although they will lay in the back of her head for the time being. The “parents” here could be God himself, the reader, or even Spirit herself; Since Spirit represents Anne Bradstreet herself, she must have doubts about her holy Puritan ways. By having doubts, Spirit judges for herself which one of the two is correct. Anne Bradstreet also had to decide which was correct. As we all know, Anne Bradstreet remained the pious woman she was and ignored the temptations just as Spirit did. Even though Anne Bradstreet and Spirit decided not to succumb to temptations, does that mean it is the right thing? Should all men reach the same conclusion?

According the Anne Bradstreet’s poem, even the most reverent of people can have temptations of all kinds. However, what they do with them is another story. Anne Bradstreet lets the reader feel comfortable with their beliefs and questions through her extraordinary talent and use for language. She is a marvel of wisdom and intelligence in her use of symbolism and imagery when she shows people the light. All (wo)men have temptations, but only the greatest like Anne Bradstreet can show you the way to reject them… {yeah, right!}

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

View all my reviews

Review: Where the Sidewalk Ends

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Where the Sidewalk EndsBook Review
4+ of 5 stars to Where the Sidewalk Ends, a collection of poetry published in 1974 by Shel Silverstein. What a wonderful book to read with children at any age; that is, both any age for the reader and the children! I first read this book when I was about 10-years-old, and then again in college. From the brilliant characters to the alliteration and rhyme, to the memorable lines and funny situations, it’s one of those books where you will find something new each time you read it.

I cannot imagine being this creative. I can dream up stories about real people and situations and have written several, but to have an imagination where animals and things can talk, have emotions, interact in peculiar ways… to find the words to compare and contrast… to describe and draw precious creations… is true talent. I admire Silverstein’s massive fantasy world of freedom. He was so unconstrained in his ability to develop a world with just enough charm and beauty to win us all over. It’s a book all about perception, but without taking the didactic and pedantic approach.

Children see things differently than adults. Adults have limits. Children have experiences. But what happens on the other side… where something is too far to see, or too close to imagine? Who lives in the crack between cement blocks? The world of freedom does… and that’s where Silverstein wants us to go, where we are all equal, without preconceived notions… to be able to explore as if we are seeing something for the first time… and connecting with everyone around us. That’s how to motivate readers with this book… children learning to see more than what they actually see.

I could go on and on… but I’ll stop. It’s just a wonderful way to learn.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

View all my reviews

Review: Annabel Lee

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Anabel LeeBook Review
Edgar Allan Poe is one of my three favorite poets and short story writers. In this poem, Annabel Lee, Poe pontificates on the love between two people, which suffers upon the death of one. Love is powerful. Love can also be dark. All that you’d expect from the mysterious suspense is firmly planted in this poem, but under a romantic guise; it’s different than his other works, but you can still tell it was written by him. Published in the 1849, it may be his most haunting poem; it was also released just around his death. He passed away at 40 years old, young even for 175 years ago. Many think the poem is about his relationship with his own young wife. I couldn’t say. All I know is that rhyme and the staccato temperament in both the words and the timing is top notch. Roll the words off your lips, feel the energy, and absorb the pain. It’s how to best understand Mr. Poe. My rating: 3 of 5 stars

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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Review: The Raven

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The Raven
The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First… you must read the introductory stanza from Edgar Allan Poe‘s famous poem, The Raven. And then I’ll provide a short review:

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—
Only this and nothing more.”

And this is what will happen to you once you read it:

Yeah, I probably should have told you that part first, huh? But that’s the thing about Mr. Poe. He enjoyed the fact that his writing drove him crazy. And all of us. That tapping… non-stop… reminds you of his other work, The Tell-Tale Heart.

This raven and its real or imaginary appearance is such a powerful image. And here’s the thing about this poem… you need to have a professional read this poem aloud, perhaps with a little music in the background. Just a little bit, as the words in the poem… the rhymes, the images… it’s ghastly. And if the speaker is as brilliant as Poe, (s)he will alter their voice as each line erupts, enticing the rhythm and the beat. And when it happens, the fear will surround you. The words will penetrate you as your eyes ears lay still, absorbing the melody and the lyrics.

It may sound funny, but find a recording of it. Listen to it in a semi-dark room. And just let the poem attack your mind and body. I believe it’s what inspired the boat ride in the Willy Wonka movie… only much darker. You will love it!

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.


View all my reviews

365 Challenge: Day 26 – Poetic

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Poetic: having an imaginative or sensitively emotional style of expression

Its original source, Latin, generally meant “things created,” as in words or writing. As humankind evolved, it took on a more lyrical definition for shorter works for fiction, sometimes filled with rhyme. We’re all familiar with famous poets, which I won’t note here, as there are too many to remember and too many to include. For the record, Emily Dickinson is my favorite poet, but Anne Bradstreet’s “The Flesh and the Spirit” is my favorite poem. I’ve provided a link below for you to read it when you have time, if it’s of interest. For me, the poem shows the two parts inside of me, as I’ve always felt like two different people. No, not as in split personalities… but as in two distinct driving forces, styles, needs, vibes, personas… co-existing in a single body, representing to the outside world 1 distinct person. I am Flesh. I am Spirit. How can one choose?

https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/the-flesh-and-the-spirit/

I’ve never liked the word “poetic.” It’s been used as a negative word all too often throughout history. Students often struggle with learning the art of poetry, whether writing their own verses or interpreting the poet’s words. It’s such a basic word and can be a simple example of creative writing. It can also be a treasure trove of lyrical beauty and infinite metaphors. But what does it really mean, really imply… when you take it for what it is: a set of words crafted with an intention, short enough to be interpreted in so many different ways.

For me, poetic has always been the way someone thinks about the words they choose. And given that I’m also a writer, as much as a reader and a blogger, it’s important that my prose be poetic, that is, in the beauty of the letters and language being used. A poem can be an expression of a moment’s thought, or it can be a year’s worth of emotional impact. Being poetic to me is about creating a sentiment I’m feeling or thinking about during those moments, and successfully sharing it with the reader at the same time.

It doesn’t mean the author of the poem is the subject in the words, or even has any connection at all — other than it being an expression in their mind of a situation. I stumbled across some poems I wrote a few years ago and spent fifteen minutes reciting them again this morning. I thought to myself on a few… “wow, these are a little awkward…” but soon found a few where I said, “oh, you do have some talent for pairing words and feelings in short verses.”

And since the 365 Daily Challenge is about discovery and expression, I’ve decided to link 6 of the poems to this post. Feel free to comment with how awful or brilliant they are!

By sharing them, I’m putting myself out there with some poems I’ve written several years ago. What I hope to gain from this is an ability to push myself back into dabbling in a little poetry again. Some of these need a little refreshment. Some need an overhaul. Some are good as they are. Perhaps this challenge will push me forward as I focus on my creativity and my pragmatic nature.

And if nothing else, it’s a quiet reminder of a time in my life where I focused diligently on creating and developing expressions of things going on in my life. From pain comes beauty. Whether it’s a break-up, a lost dream or a failure, words can help you maneuver through the situation until you heal. And while these poems were based on some experiences, they also came from pure imagination. Thanks for checking them out.