#ClassicPoetry – #HenryWadsworthLongfellow – #TheChildren’sHour

Thought I’d stop by long enough to share another of my favorite poems from days LONG gone by. With family holidays coming up soon, it seemed appropriate, and I hope you can imagine these images and feel this love as deeply as I always have. Enjoy!


The Children’s Hour

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow – 1807-1882

Between the dark and the daylight,
When the night is beginning to lower,
Comes a pause in the day’s occupations,
That is known as the Children’s Hour.

I hear in the chamber above me
The patter of little feet,
The sound of a door that is opened,
And voices soft and sweet.

From my study I see in the lamplight,
Descending the broad hall stair,
Grave Alice, and laughing Allegra,
And Edith with golden hair.

A whisper, and then a silence:
Yet I know by their merry eyes
They are plotting and planning together
To take me by surprise.

A sudden rush from the stairway,
A sudden raid from the hall!
By three doors left unguarded
They enter my castle wall!

They climb up into my turret
O’er the arms and back of my chair;
If I try to escape, they surround me;
They seem to be everywhere.

They almost devour me with kisses,
Their arms about me entwine,
Till I think of the Bishop of Bingen
In his Mouse-Tower on the Rhine!

Do you think, O blue-eyed banditti,
Because you have scaled the wall,
Such an old mustache as I am
Is not a match for you all!

I have you fast in my fortress,
And will not let you depart,
But put you down into the dungeon
In the round-tower of my heart.

And there will I keep you forever,
Yes, forever and a day,
Till the walls shall crumble to ruin,
And moulder in dust away!


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (February 27, 1807 – March 24, 1882) was an American poet and educator. His original works include Paul Revere’s Ride, The Song of Hiawatha, and Evangeline. He was the first American to completely translate Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy and was one of the Fireside Poets from New England.

Longfellow was born in Portland, Maine, which was then still part of Massachusetts. He graduated from Bowdoin College and became a professor there and, later, at Harvard College after studying in Europe. His first major poetry collections were Voices of the Night (1839) and Ballads and Other Poems (1841). He retired from teaching in 1854 to focus on his writing, and he lived the remainder of his life in the Revolutionary War headquarters of George Washington in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Longfellow died in 1882.

Longfellow wrote many lyric poems known for their musicality and often presenting stories of mythology and legend. He became the most popular American poet of his day and had success overseas.


And there you have another beloved poem from the Days of Yore!
Hope you enjoyed it!

#ThorsDaySmile – #AmLaughing – #Humor – #Thanksgiving

Thor decided that any holiday that falls on ThorsDay every single year is one he fully supports. So, as a lead in to Thanksgiving next week, here are some things that made him chuckle. (In his manly, Vikingly way, of course). Hope they make you chuckle, too, in any fashion you wish. 😁 Enjoy!













And that’s it for Thor’s latest silliness!



Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate this upcoming “feast-ival,”
and a happy weekend ahead to EVERYONE!

#GuestDayTuesday – #JackieLambert – #IsAPictureWorth1000Words?

This is going to be the last guest post for this year, but trust me, it’s a great one with which to wrap up our #GuestDayTuesdays for 2022! It’s time for another of Jackie Lambert’s awesome Writer’s Travelogue posts, today featuring the importance of adding more than just photography to your travel journals. (Told ya it was gonna be great!) 😀

I know you’re gonna enjoy Jackie’s suggestions, so I’m going to turn the floor over to her right now. Jackie, you’re on!


Thanks, Marcia, and Hi, Everyone!

Is A Picture Worth 1000 Words?

Human beings are very visual creatures.

We have one of the largest brains in nature, and science tells us that half of it is devoted to visual processing. No wonder we love a picture! It’s why visual media is so successful – it stops us in our tracks.

Yet remember how the aroma of disinfectant takes you straight back to school. Or the scent of a particular perfume reminds you of a favourite aunt. In evolutionary terms, smell is one of the oldest senses, lodged in one of the most primitive parts of the brain. Even the simplest, single-celled organisms are able to detect chemicals, which is basically what our senses of smell and taste are all about.

Any creative writing course worth its salt will instruct you to write with all five senses, and here I’m going to look at why.

In my last post, I mentioned my trip of a lifetime to Zimbabwe in 1994.

A photo of me at Victoria Falls can’t tell you why locals call it Mosi-oa-Tunya – The Smoke That Thunders – but I can describe to you the deafening roar of 550-million litres of water dropping 300 feet a minute; how the sound shook me to the core of my being, and how cool droplets of spray misted my skin beneath the blistering African sun. Nearly thirty years later, those words in my journal help me recall the sensation in a way that the photo never could.

The real joy of my notes is that they have kept a record of something much more profound than a pretty view, or a group partying in a foreign bar, drinking brightly coloured cocktails filled with umbrellas and foliage.

My journals remind me what I was feeling; the raw fear of being held underwater by one of the most gigantic rapids on the Zambezi River with the guide’s words “You DO NOT want to fall in here…” reverberating around my head; the steam train taste and smell of a cloud that I parachuted through; the unbridled pleasure of swimming with playful sea lions every day in the Galapagos Islands; the desolation of dragging myself away from these wonderful adventures to return to the daily grind of earning a living…

My travel diaries also help me remember conversations, such as the chat with a refugee from life, who I met near her home in paradise, deep in the Costa Rican jungle,

“The crocs ate my ducks and a boa constrictor swallowed my cat. One night, I found a Fer de Lance pit viper in my bed!”

Paradise indeed.

My scribblings transport me to the musical soundtrack of the time; a quote that struck a chord; or recommendations from fellow travellers for a whole new adventure. My husband, Mark, and I planned our honeymoon in Costa Rica around such recommendations. Our second holiday together, whitewater rafting in Colorado, came about because of tips given to us by a Costa Rican rafting guide.   

As authors, we work with language. Our job is to express mood and meaning; to articulate atmosphere and emotion; to distil out the essence, interpret, then verbalise it.

What kind of image does this conjure up?

We went for a walk. It was beautiful! Later, we had dinner overlooking the beach. The sunset was gorgeous – we absolutely love it here!!!!

Did you say “Nothing much”?!

That’s why we need to get creative with our descriptions. Why was the walk beautiful and the sunset gorgeous? Multiple exclamation marks can’t express that, but five senses can;

  • What did you see? – strange colours, views, birds, other people, mountains, waterfalls, reflections, herds of wildebeest sweeping majestically across the plains, something else?
  • What did you hear? – a favourite song, birds, the wind, a brass band, an inane comment, water, a fairground, aeroplanes, silence, something else?
  • What did you touch / feel? – sun on your skin, ice-cold water, dragon scales, a warm puppy. Did you run my fingers through a field of barley, a child’s hair, something else?
  • What did you smell? – fresh grass, pine trees, a fish market, boiled sweets, farmyards, flowers, the sewage works, your auntie’s perfume, the disinfectant that took you straight back to school, something else?
  • What did you taste? – ice cream, a lovely coffee, the worst beer in the world, foie gras, adventure…

I hope it’s obvious that adding this kind of colour to your descriptions will make them much more interesting and evocative.

Have a go at describing your next sunset, meal in a restaurant, or anything else using as many of the senses as you can and see what happens.

To inspire you, I have included photographs of three ‘beautiful’ sunsets from our travels in Albania. They are all one hundred percent natural – I don’t use filters – and all very different. How would you describe them?


My experiences on the Zambezi and in the Galapagos are immortalised in Alyson Sheldrake’s travel anthologies Itchy Feet and Wish You Were Here. If you would like to check and make sure  I wrote using all five senses, both books are available on Amazon!

Three Travel Stories books are also available as part of a Box Set, with 17 (yes SEVENTEEN!) bonus chapters, featuring NYT bestselling and award-winning travel writers. My bonus chapter is A Honeymoon Horror Story about my exploits in Costa Rica with serpents, white water, and cockroaches the size of Tonka trucks.


Author Jackie Lambert

Fans of Jacqueline (Jackie) Lambert’s doggie/travel blog, www.WorldWideWalkies.com said, “You should write a book!” So, she did. In fact, she’s written five…

If you’ve ever considered giving up work to head off into the sunset with surfboards on the roof–or you just like dogs, travel and humour, her Adventure Caravanning With Dogs books are for you.

The first, Fur Babies in France, was described by one reviewer as, “Laugh out funny and a great travel guide”. It tells how she and husband Mark gave up work, accidentally bought their first ever caravan, then decided to rent out the house, sell most of their possessions, and tour Europe full-time with four dogs in tow.

Dog on the Rhine; “An inspirational travelogue” follows this intrepid couple as they get more adventurous, and head into Germany, The Czech Republic, Slovenia, Croatia and Italy. But just to prove that Living the Dream is not all sunshine and rainbows, they return home to a huge Fidose of reality…

Dogs ‘n’ Dracula; “Armchair travel delight” gives the full low down on how Jackie and Mark set off for Spain and Portugal, but decided to turn left…

Pups on Piste is a “Fun and interesting book” about the trials and tribulations of their first ski season in Italy, during which a ski instructor tells them, “Don’t miss the turn, or you’ll go over a cliff.”

In her latest memoir, It Never Rains But It Paws, released on 6th May 2022, Jackie and Mark race against time to leave the UK before Britain leaves the EU. Brexit could mean their four precious pups would be unable to travel. Then, a few months into their trip, the pandemic leaves them trapped in the epicentre of Europe’s No. 1 coronavirus hotspot…

She is currently working on her sixth book, To Hel In A Hound Cart – A Road Trip Through Poland In A Pandemic, which will be published later in 2022.

In her first year as a published author, Jacqueline was delighted to receive multiple five-star reviews, a letter from Prince Charles, an invitation to Bucharest to collect an award for Dogs ‘n’ Dracula, and Amazon No. 1 Bestseller status in the German Travel category for Dog on the Rhine. Some of her travel tales BC (Before Canines) have been featured in travel anthologies, alongside other bestselling and award-winning authors.


You can check out all of Jackie’s books on her Amazon Author Page HERE.

Or grab them one at a time here:

Year 1 – Fur Babies in France
Dog on the Rhine
Dogs n Dracula
It Never Rains but It Paws

And you can reach Jackie on social media here:

Blog: WorldWideWalkies.com
Email: jackielambert07@gmail.com
Facebook
Goodreads
BookBub

#HurricaneUpdate

 

Just taking a moment to let you know that we came through Nicole in pretty good shape. Yes, a THIRD tree (from a neighbor’s yard) DID fall on our property, but this time, it was a small one, and it hit one of our storage sheds instead of the house. (Mark can repair the tin roof. )The storm also blew down the fence again between our house and our next-door neighbor, but it had only been put back temporarily after the last time. It is old and in need of replacement, which will probably happen soon. But today, Mark is out there helping prop it up again in the hopes it will remain vertical until that happens. 

For those who may not have seen the images, while Nicole hit as a Category 1 hurricane and dropped to a tropical storm as soon as it came onshore, there are areas that were severely damaged. Not as widespread or horrific as Ian, but if one of these was your retirement home on Daytona Beach, you’d be pretty unhappy right now.

Having grown up in Florida, one thing I’ve never even considered doing is building a home on a sand dune, though I do feel sad for these folks.  The damage continues much, much farther than what shows in this picture. It was caused by the storm surge breaking down the seawall, then washing away the sand under the homes.  As you can see, these have collapsed, entire patios have been swept away, and empty swimming pools lay tossed all over the place. Truly a terrible sight. 


Our neighborhood has once again held up well. No flooding, though of course, there is some wind damage up and down the block. But nothing that can’t be set right. Speaking of which, it’s back to debris clean-up for me. This will probably take us several more days. I’m doing the easy bits, and doing them at a far slower pace than I’d normally tackle, so my new doctor won’t yell at me when I see him next Thursday.  (So much for getting any writing done this week. 🙄)


Until Next Time, Stay Safe, Everyone!

Here We Go Again! #HurricaneWatch for ALL of Florida – #HurricaneNicole

Just a quick heads up that we have what could be a pretty big hurricane aimed at us here in Florida, yet again. With visions of the horror that was Ian, I’m a wee bit nervous tonight, as you might imagine.

This could impact us directly by late Wednesday afternoon, but I’ll keep you posted, if possible. (You never know if or when power might go with these.)  I’m hoping it ends up veering out into the middle of the Atlantic and disappearing off the face of the earth! If all goes well, I’ll see you on the other side, WITHOUT a tree falling on our house a third time! 


And now, back to your regularly scheduled programming!

#ClassicPoetry – #EmilyDickinson – #ANarrowFellow

 

Another bit of classic poetry for your consideration. I’ve always loved Emily Dickinson’s poetry, and while my choice today might seem like an odd one, if you consider how much I love wildlife–even creatures that many folks do not care for–perhaps you’ll understand why I decided this was the first of her works I wanted to share.  Hope you’ll enjoy it, even if only because she managed to create a beautiful poem about a somewhat unpopular animal.


A Narrow Fellow in the Grass
BY EMILY DICKINSON

A narrow Fellow in the Grass
Occasionally rides –
You may have met him? Did you not
His notice instant is –

The Grass divides as with a Comb,
A spotted Shaft is seen,
And then it closes at your Feet
And opens further on –

He likes a Boggy Acre – 
A Floor too cool for Corn –
But when a Boy and Barefoot
I more than once at Noon

Have passed I thought a Whip Lash
Unbraiding in the Sun
When stooping to secure it
It wrinkled And was gone –

Several of Nature’s People
I know, and they know me
I feel for them a transport
Of Cordiality

But never met this Fellow
Attended or alone
Without a tighter Breathing
And Zero at the Bone.


Poet Emily Dickinson
“The Belle of Amherst”

Emily Elizabeth Dickinson (December 10, 1830 – May 15, 1886) was an American poet. Little-known during her life, she has since been regarded as one of the most important figures in American poetry.

Dickinson was born in Amherst, Massachusetts, into a prominent family with strong ties to its community. After studying at the Amherst Academy for seven years in her youth, she briefly attended the Mount Holyoke Female Seminary before returning to her family’s home in Amherst.

Evidence suggests that Dickinson lived much of her life in isolation. Considered an eccentric by locals, she developed a penchant for white clothing and was known for her reluctance to greet guests or, later in life, to even leave her bedroom. Dickinson never married, and most friendships between her and others depended entirely upon correspondence.

While Dickinson was a prolific writer, her only publications during her lifetime were 10 of her nearly 1,800 poems, and one letter. The poems published then were usually edited significantly to fit conventional poetic rules. Her poems were unique for her era. They contain short lines, typically lack titles, and often use slant rhyme as well as unconventional capitalization and punctuation. Many of her poems deal with themes of death and immortality, two recurring topics in letters to her friends, and also explore aesthetics, society, nature, and spirituality.


And there you have today’s poem from the Days of Yore!
Hope you enjoyed it!