"One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture
and, if possible, speak a few reasonable words." ~Goethe

~ also, if possible, to dwell in "a house where all's accustomed, ceremonious." ~Yeats

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Connectivity

NOT ATTENTION BUT CONNECTION
ACCUSTOMED, CEREMONIOUS

And, guess what?
It's exactly the same for grown - ups as it is for kids.
Thanks to my nephew Dan for sharing this one!


Why strive for connectivity? Because for the most part we still want to believe that people are really good at heart. We still want to value the true, the honest, the lovely -- over the unjust and the impure. At every turn, people are trying to honor their connection to others, to acknowledge the humanity of those with whom they share space on this globe, pandemic or otherwise.

That's why no matter how many centuries or decades have passed, the noble words of Anne Frank and the Apostle Paul are worth remembering, because they set a precedent for us.
Nadia Bolz-Weber describes this kind of previous generational connection in her essay "Unprecedented Hope": "Because for it to be a hope on which I can truly rely, it has to be a hope for which there is indeed a precedent. It has to be a hope that has been worn smooth . . . already established in those who came before me. . . . . Those who have come before us have already lived through pandemics and social upheaval and loss and grief and death and labor pains. Which means we are never alone in our struggles."

Anne Frank: "It's difficult in times like these: ideals, dreams and cherished hopes rise within us, only to be crushed by grim reality. It's a wonder I haven't abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical. Yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart. It's utterly impossible for me to build my life on a foundation of chaos, suffering and death. I see the world being slowly transformed into a wilderness, I hear the approaching thunder that, one day, will destroy us too, I feel the suffering of millions. And yet, when I look up at the sky, I somehow feel that everything will change for the better, that this cruelty too shall end, that peace and tranquility will return once more. In the meantime, I must hold on to my ideals. Perhaps the day will come when I'll be able to realize them!"

St. Paul: " . . . whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." Philippians 4:8, KJV
Whatsoever connections you can make,
make them!


**********

Next Fortnightly Post
Friday, August 14th

Between now and then, read
THE QUOTIDIAN KIT
my shorter, almost daily blog posts
www.dailykitticarriker.blogspot.com

Looking for a good book? Try
KITTI'S LIST
my running list of recent reading
www.kittislist.blogspot.com

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Lament

PRESSED FLOWERS,
NEARLY A CENTURY OLD
ACCUSTOMED, CEREMONIOUS

Funeral Flowers for my Great-Grandmother
Anna Mary Miller Heidemann
(29 December 1862 - 3 January 1923)
Her daughter -- my Grandmother Rovilla Heidemann Lindsey -- has noted who sent each bouquet: "Harry" was my grandmother's brother; "Will Reider" was their first cousin. I don't know about "Miss Ferrell & Post Office Force." Maybe Anna Mary was friends with the P.O. workers, or a volunteer of some kind (?).
We are now living and dying in a season when funerals
must be postponed indefinitely and memorial services
restricted in attendance, yet there are still flowers.
And a friend may always send a poem.

When my mother ~ Rovilla's daughther ~ died last month,
my friend Eve sent this one:
"Here’s one of my favorites from Emily Dickinson.
I read it when my mom died."

76

Exultation is the going

Of an inland soul to sea,
Past the houses — past the headlands —
Into deep Eternity —

Bred as we, among the mountains,
Can the sailor understand
The divine intoxication
Of the first league out from land?



My friend Jan sent
Brooding Grief ~ D. H. Lawrence


A yellow leaf from the darkness
Hops like a frog before me.
Why should I start and stand still?

I was watching the woman that bore me
Stretched in the brindled darkness
Of the sick-room, rigid with will
To die: and the quick leaf tore me
Back to this rainy swill
Of leaves and lamps and traffic mingled before me.


My friend Vickie wrote to say that we are dealing with
"problems in a dark time -- Theodore Roethke, of course":
In a Dark Time
In a dark time, the eye begins to see,
I meet my shadow in the deepening shade;
I hear my echo in the echoing wood —
A lord of nature weeping to a tree.
I live between the heron and the wren,
Beasts of the hill and serpents of the den.

What’s madness but nobility of soul
At odds with circumstance? The day’s on fire!
I know the purity of pure despair,
My shadow pinned against a sweating wall.
That place among the rocks — is it a cave,
Or winding path? The edge is what I have.

A steady storm of correspondences!
A night flowing with birds, a ragged moon,
And in broad day the midnight come again!
A man goes far to find out what he is —
Death of the self in a long, tearless night,
All natural shapes blazing unnatural light.

Dark, dark my light, and darker my desire.
My soul, like some heat-maddened summer fly,
Keeps buzzing at the sill. Which I is I?
A fallen man, I climb out of my fear.
The mind enters itself, and God the mind,
And one is One, free in the tearing wind.

My friend Nancy wrote:
"I love the poem —
Lament ~ Anne Sexton
— especially 'even the trees know it.'
Whenever someone close to me dies, I am always in shock
that people around me go on with their normal life.
How can they? The world has STOPPED!"


Someone is dead.
Even the trees know it . . .
. . . it's done.
It's all used up.
There's no doubt about the trees
spreading their thin feet into the dry grass.
A Canada goose rides up,
spread out like a gray suede shirt,
honking his nose into the March wind.
In the entryway a cat breathes calmly
into her watery blue fur.
The supper dishes are over and the sun
unaccustomed to anything else
goes all the way down.


Ben sent the lyrics to
Photograph ~ Ed Sheeran
Loving can hurt, loving can hurt sometimes
But it's the only thing that I know
When it gets hard, you know it can get hard sometimes
It is the only thing that makes us feel alive

We keep this love in a photograph
We made these memories for ourselves
Where our eyes are never closing
Hearts are never broken
And time's forever frozen, still

So you can keep me inside the pocket of your ripped jeans
Holding me closer 'til our eyes meet
You won't ever be alone, wait for me to come home

Loving can heal, loving can mend your soul
And it's the only thing that I know, know
I swear it will get easier,
Remember that with every piece of you
Hmm, and it's the only thing tp take with us when we die

We keep this love in a photograph
We made these memories for ourselves
Where our eyes are never closing
Our hearts were never broken
And time's forever frozen, still

So you can keep me inside the pocket of your ripped jeans
Holding me closer 'til our eyes meet
You won't ever be alone

And if you hurt me
That's okay baby, only words bleed
Inside these pages you just hold me
And I won't ever let you go
Wait for me to come home
Wait for me to come home
Wait for me to come home
Wait for me to come home

You can fit me inside the necklace
you got when you were sixteen
Next to your heartbeat where I should be
Keep it deep within your soul

And if you hurt me
That's okay baby, only words bleed
Inside these pages you just hold me
And I won't ever let you go

When I'm away, I will remember how you kissed me
Under the lamppost back on Sixth Street
Hearing you whisper through the phone,
Wait for me to come home

And another song from my sister Di:
"I've got the Joy Joy Joy
Down in my heart, down in my heart
I'm so happy, so happy, so very happy . . ."

Nature pics from the last trip Gerry & I took
before the coronavirus travel restrictions.
~ San Luis Obispo, California ~ late February 2020 ~

Next Fortnightly Post
Tuesday, July 28th

Between now and then, read
THE QUOTIDIAN KIT
my shorter, almost daily blog posts
www.dailykitticarriker.blogspot.com

Looking for a good book? Try
KITTI'S LIST
my running list of recent reading
www.kittislist.blogspot.com

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

We Hardly Knew Ye

BLUE SKY, END OF JUNE
ACCUSTOMED, CEREMONIOUS

Goodbye June! We hardly knew ye!
Sometimes all you do is take a photograph . . .

or take an old book off the shelf . . .

I bought this silver anthology for myself in May 1975, with money given to me by my Grandfather Paul J. Lindsey for my 18th birthday and my high school graduation. When my mother ~ Paul's daughter ~ died earlier this month, I turned to this book to find the following selections, not because they are included in its contents, but because I knew that for many years they have been tucked in the pages of the chapter on "Death." That's the beauty of an anthology: you can keep adding to it, to your heart's content.


The first yellowed clipping comes from the American spy novelist, Dorothy Gilman (1923 – 2012), best known for the Mrs. Pollifax series:

"Euripides said,
'Who knows but life be that which men call death,
and death what men call life?'
I like this. I picture myself about to die. I don't want to leave, but my time is up, my span completed. I say good-by, clinging a little to those people I've loved and enjoyed. I fill my eyes for a last time with the incredible colors and beauty around me and, as I brace myself and begin the struggle of letting go, I feel the darkness sweep over me. I'm precipitated through a long, dark tunnel into a bright light that blinds me. Hands roughly handle me. I cry out in protest and hear a voice exclaim, 'It's a girl, Mrs. G! You've just given birth to a healthy baby girl.' And I have entered what we call life." ~ from A New Kind of Country
The second clipping is one that I discovered in the attic of my Grandmother M. Adeline Carriker's house in 1974, shortly after the passing of my Grandfather Willard S. Carriker. It was already old and crumbling then, even more so now. This one comes from Mary Mapes Dodge (1831 - 1905), best known as the author of Hans Brinker, or the Silver Skates (1865):

The Two Mysteries

[Occasionally prefaced thus: “In the middle of the room, in its white coffin, lay the dead child, the nephew of the poet. Near it, in a great chair, sat Walt Whitman, surrounded by little ones, and holding a beautiful little girl on his lap. She looked wonderingly at the spectacle of death, and then inquiringly into the old man’s face. ‘You don’t know what it is, do you, my dear?’ said he, and added, ‘We don’t, either.’”]

We know not what it is, dear, this sleep so deep and still;
The folded hands, the awful calm, the cheek so pale and chill;
The lids that will not lift again, though we may call and call;
The strange white solitude of peace that settles over all.

We know not what it means, dear, this desolate heart-pain;
This dread to take our daily way, and walk in it again;
We know not to what other sphere the loved who leave us go,
Nor why we ’re left to wonder still, nor why we do not know.

But this we know: Our loved and dead, if they should come this day—
Should come and ask us, “What is life?” not one of us could say.
Life is a mystery, as deep as ever death can be;
Yet, O, how dear it is to us, this life we live and see!

Then might they say—these vanished ones—and bless├Ęd is the thought,
“So death is sweet to us, beloved! though we may show you nought;
We may not to the quick reveal the mystery of death—
Ye cannot tell us, if ye would, the mystery of breath.”

The child who enters life comes not with knowledge or intent,
So those who enter death must go as little children sent.
Nothing is known. But I believe that God is overhead;
And as life is to the living, so death is to the dead.


And lastly, from my Grandmother M. Rovilla Lindsey's notebooks:

Death Is Nothing At All

Death is nothing at all.
It does not count.
I have only slipped away into the next room.
Nothing has happened.

Everything remains exactly as it was.
I am I, and you are you,
and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged.
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.

Call me by the old familiar name.
Speak of me in the easy way which you always used.
[Not in a "Sunday voice"]
Put no difference into your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was.
Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it.

Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same as it ever was.
There is absolute and unbroken continuity.
What is this death but a negligible accident?

Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am but waiting for you, for an interval,
somewhere very near,
just round the corner.

All is well.
Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost.
One brief moment and all will be as it was before.
How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!


Henry Scott Holland (1847 – 1918)

Thanks Gene Ziegler:
"Kitti, I love your ability to find beauty in the
rubble of our crumbling world. Bless you, my child."


Kind words, kindly meant:
"You have always had such an ability to understand
how someone is feeling and to find some piece in
literature, a poem or lyric that actually crystallizes
those feeling better than they understood to begin with.
I can remember thinking that from first I knew you."


"Thanks, Kitti!
Keep those lovely posts coming.
I enjoy what I learn and am
frequently inspired by your posts!"

Next Fortnightly Post
Tuesday, July 14th

Between now and then, read
THE QUOTIDIAN KIT
my shorter, almost daily blog posts
www.dailykitticarriker.blogspot.com

Looking for a good book? Try
KITTI'S LIST
my running list of recent reading
www.kittislist.blogspot.com

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Plasticity

YES, EVEN PLASTICS CAN BE
ACCUSTOMED, CEREMONIOUS

Is it Plastic or Ceramic?
Treasured Vessels by Jami Porter Lara
(American artist, b. 1969 in Spokane, Washington;
currently lives in New Mexico)

I learned about the work of Jami Porter Lara when I saw her 2017 solo exhibition -- Border Crossing -- at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Her video presentation includes the following hopeful advice:

leave no trace

do no harm

or go one better

why write ourselves out of the story?

why keep telling ourselves only a narrative of apocalypse?

that makes me bristle as an artist

I want to create something that the earth needs

the things that we make
can / will remake us as a species

there is no line between what is
human nature and what is technological

those lines that we believe divide us
from nature or technology don't exist

Re-conceptualized two-liter plastic bottles

***********************
Coincidentally, reclaimed plastics artist Aurora Robson says that her artwork is all about "intercepting the plastic stream . . . and devolop[ing] more connections around the idea of plastic. pollution being reduced. She makes artwork out of plastic waste, turning "plastic pollution into fantastical dreamscapes."
The Great Indoors:
"a landscape based loosely on
microscopic imagery of the human body"

by Aurora Robson
(Canadian - American artist, b. 1972 in Toronto;
grew up in Hawaii, currently lives in New York)

Speaking of one - use plastics, she says:
"It's nice to give them a second life. . . . I'm trying to subjugate the negative qualities of this global nightmare of plastic pollution. Garbage is inherently chaotic. I try to give it all the opposite qualities . . . groth . . . formal and structual qualities . . . so that hopefully if I do a good enough job, it'll never find its way back into the waste stream. We have this fake sense of hierarchy that we've applied to matter. We say this piece of plastic has not value next to this piece of bronze."
Junk Mail Collage

Additional Plastic Connections

1. Philadelphia Multimedia Artist
Amy Orr

reinventing discarded plastics
like this beach house shower
covered with credit card shingles


2. Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Defined esemplastic as
"the unifying – power of the imagination"

"Like that great Spirit, who with plastic sweep
Mov'd on the darkness of the formless Deep!
"

lines 13–14
from the poem To Bowles [written 1794, 1796]
by Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772 – 1834)


3. Plastic Shoes by Rothy's

4. Plastic bags are not all bad!

Next Fortnightly Post
Sunday, June 28th

Between now and then, read
THE QUOTIDIAN KIT
my shorter, almost daily blog posts
www.dailykitticarriker.blogspot.com

Looking for a good book? Try
KITTI'S LIST
my running list of recent reading
www.kittislist.blogspot.com

Thursday, May 28, 2020

The Essential Sincerity of Falsehood

TRUE ~ FALSE
ACCUSTOMED, CEREMONIOUS

As heaven and earth are not afraid,
and never suffer loss or harm,
Even so, my spirit, be not afraid. . . .

As truth and falsehood have no fear,
nor ever suffer loss or harm,
Even so, my spirit, be not afraid.

~ paintings by Leonard Orr ~
~ poetry from the Atharva Veda * ~


"For there is no lie that contains no part of truth."
Tennessee Williams 1911 – 1983
from "The Summer Belvedere" **

Over the past few years, I have attempted to define modernism (In A Handful of Dust) to sketch a profile of the Heroine of Sensibility, and to trace the concept of human emotion as a constant quantity, perpetually Advancing & Receding -- all by analyzing the primary texts of modern literature. In this post I apply the same strategy to a related theme: the endless tension between truth and falsehood, virtue and vice. Does one advance as the other recedes, or do they always co-exist, two sides of the same moon or the same medal? The following passages -- from fiction, poetry, and prose -- reveal the views of several modern authors:

“I was made to look at the convention that lurks in all truth and on the essential sincerity of falsehood. He appealed to all sides at once — to the side turned perpetually to the light of day, and to that side of us which, like the other hemisphere of the moon, exists stealthily in perpetual darkness, with only a fearful ashy light falling at times on the edge.”
Joseph Conrad (1857 – 1924)
from Lord Jim (emphasis added)


"No themes are so human as those that reflect for us, out of the confusion of life, the close connection of bliss and bale, of the things that help with the things that hurt, so dangling before us forever that bright hard medal, of so strange an alloy, one face of which is somebody's right and ease and the other somebody's pain and wrong."
Henry James (1843 – 1916)
from the "Preface" to What Maisie Knew


"The speaking subject is not, however, identical with the subjectivity of the author as an actual historical person; it corresponds, rather, to a very limited and special aspect of the author's total subjectivity; it is, so to speak, that 'part' of the author which specifies or determines verbal meaning. This distinction is quite apparent in the case of a lie. When I wish to deceive, my secret awareness that I am lying is irrelevant to the verbal meaning of my utterance. The only correct construction of my lie is, paradoxically, to view it as being a true statement, since this is the only correct construction of my 'verbal intention.' Indeed, it is only when my listener has understood my meaning (presented as true) that he can judge it to be a lie. Since I adopted a truth - telling stance, the verbal meaning of my utterance would be precisely the same, whether I was deliberately lying or suffering from the erroneous conviction that my statement was true."
E. D. Hirsh, Jr. (b 1928)
from his essay "Objective Interpretation" (1114 - 1115)

"Nothing is simple.
Every wrong done has a certain justice in it,
and every good deed has dregs of evil."

H. G. Wells (1866 – 1946)
from Tono - Bungay, 226


"There is so much truth in all different sides of things."
Ivy Compton - Burnett (1884 – 1969)
from Manservant and Maidservant (133)


"To Sir Edgar it confirmed his view that in the Divine Order
every vice - even Clun's arrogance - had its virtuous purpose."

Angus Wilson (1913 – 1991)
from Anglo - Saxon Attitudes (324)


"The negative trait that you might dislike in a loved one is
quite probably the flip - side of a positive trait that you admire."

Summarized from the work of Harriet Lerner (b 1944)
see Dance of Anger & Dance of Intimacy

The Essential Stupidity of Courage?
Next Fortnightly Post
Sunday, June 14th

Between now and then, read
THE QUOTIDIAN KIT
my shorter, almost daily blog posts
www.dailykitticarriker.blogspot.com

Looking for a good book? Try
KITTI'S LIST
my running list of recent reading
www.kittislist.blogspot.com


As truth and falsehood have no fear

*A Charm Against Fear

As heaven and earth are not afraid,
and never suffer loss or harm,
Even so, my spirit, be not afraid.

As day and night are not afraid,
nor ever suffer loss or harm,
Even so, my spirit, be not afraid.

As sun and moon are not afraid,
nor ever suffer loss or harm,
Even so my spirit, be not afraid.

As truth and falsehood have no fear,
nor ever suffer loss or harm,
Even so, my spirit, be not afraid.

As what has been and what shall be fear not,
nor ever suffer loss or harm,
Even so, my spirit, be not afraid.


Book 2, Hymn XV, from the Atharva Veda
composed 1200 BC ~ 1000 BC

For there is no lie that contains no part of truth.
**The Summer Belvedere
I

Such icy wounds the city people bear
beneath brown coats enveloping withered members!
I don't want to know of mutilations

nor witness the long-drawn evening debarkation
of warm and liquid cargoes in torn wrappings
the ships of mercy carry back from war.

We live on cliffs above such moaning waters!

Our eyeballs are starred by the vision of burning cities,
our eardrums shattered by cannon.
A blast of the dying,
a thunder of people who cannot catch their breath

is caught in the mortar and molded into the walls.

And I, obsessed with a dread of things corroded,
of rasping faucets, of channels that labor to flow
have no desire to know of morbid tissues,
of cells that begin prodigiously to flower.

There is an hour in which disease will be known
as more than occasion for some dim relative's sorrow.
But still the watcher within my soundless country
assures the pendulum duties of the heart
and asks no reason but keeps a faithful watch

as I keep mine from the height of the belvedere!

And though no eyrie is sacred to wind entirely,
a wall of twigs can build a kind of summer.

II
I asked my kindest friend to guard my sleep.

I said to him, Give me the motionless thicket of summer,
the velvety cul-de-sac, and quiet the drummer.

I said to him, Brush my forehead with a feather,
not with an eagle's feather, nor with a sparrow's,
but with the shadowy feather of an owl.

I said to him, Come to me dressed in a cloak and a cowl,
and bearing a candle whose flame is very still.

Our belvedere looks over a bramble hill.

I said to him, Give me the cool white kernel of summer,
the windless terminal of it, and calm the drummer!

I said to him, Tell the drummer
the rebels have crossed the river and no one is here
but John with the broken drumstick and half-wit Peg
who shot spitballs at the moon from the belvedere.

Tell the feverish drummer no man is here.
But what if he doesn't believe me?
Give him proof!
For there is no lie that contains no part of truth.

And then, with the sort of courage that comes with fever,
the body becoming sticks that blossom with flame,
the flame for a while obscuring what it consumes,
I twisted and craned to peer in the loftier room--

I saw the visitor there, and him I knew
as my waiting ghost.

The belvedere was blue.

III
I said to my kindest friend, The time has come
to hold what is agitated and make it still.

I said to him, Fold your hands upon the drum.

Permit no kind of sudden or sharp disturbance
but move about you constantly, keeping the guard
with fingers whose touch is narcotic, brushing the walls
to quiet the shuddering in them,
drawing your sleeves across the hostile mirrors
and cupping your palms to breathe upon the glass.

After a while anxiety will pass.

The time has come, I said, for purification.

Rub out the lewd inscriptions on the walls,
remove the prisoners' names and maledictions,
for lack of faith has left impurities here,

and whisper faith to the summer belvedere.

Draw back the kites of hysteria from the sky,
those struggling fish draw back from their breathless pool,
and whisper assurances cool
to the watchful corners, and whisper sleep and sleep
along the treads of the stairs, and up the stairwell,

clear to the belvedere, yes, clear up there, where giggling John
stood up in his onionskin of adolescence
to shoot spitballs at the moon from the captain's walk.

And then, at the last, he said, What shall I do?
The sweetest of treasons, I told him. Lean toward my listening ear
and whisper the long word to me,
the longest of all words to me,
the word that divides the sky from the belvedere.


by Tennessee Williams (1911 - 1983)
American Playwright
Twice awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama
Twice awarded the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Window With a Mother's Face

A FEW DAYS EARLY THIS WEEK
IN HONOR OF MOTHER'S DAY
WHERE ALL'S ACCUSTOMED, CEREMONIOUS



Above: Sorting through reams of musty old family papers and keepsakes, I came across this lovely collection of vintage Mother's Day cards, most of which were given to my grandmother from my mom, during the 1940s, 50s, and 60s.

*********************

Below: I also came across pages 4 - 7 of a brittle typed manuscript for a Mother's Day Pantomime, featuring Some Mothers of Today, complete with stage directions for the coming and going of various mothers and a supporting cast for acting out each poem:

"Window with a mother's face.
Have a lattice window where the mother can
leave and come forth to greet her children."

The whereabouts of pages 1 - 3 remain a mystery, but on the back of page 7, my mother has written: "Found in Mama's cherished papers." My best guess is that my mom added this notation in 1966, when my grandmother died. However, it is unclear whether or not my mom knew why my grandmother cherished this manuscript. Was it perhaps part of a school play, church program, or community entertainment in which she participated?

Amidst all the unknowns, one thing seems certain: Mother's Day was indeed a well observed event in my grandmother's day. After admiring her treasure trove of cards, I was able to track down most of the poems and lyrics referred to in the text of her presentation:

On page 4:
The Old Arm - Chair
by Eliza Cook - 1818-1889
"Would ye learn the spell? a mother sat there,
And a sacred thing is that old arm-chair.
In childhood’s hour I linger’d near
The hallow’d seat with list’ning ear . . . "


and:
A Thread of Hair
by Christopher Bannister

"I knew her when her locks were golden.
And here, night afternight,
Over this ol dwork basket,
I saw them change to white . . . "


On page 5:
Revery: An Old Picture
Oliver Marble

"The change and strife of later life,
The years that leave me gray.
Have taken, too, that pictured view;
But cannot take away
The memory so dear to me . . . "


On page 6:
A Mother's Song
by Mary Frances Butts

"Mother, crooning soft and low,
Let not all thy fancies go,
Like swift birds, to the blue skies
Of thy darling's happy eyes . . . "


and:
A Mother’s Love
Caroline Elizabeth Sarah (Sheridan) Norton (1808–1877)

"The mother looketh from her latticed pane—
Her Children’s voices echoing sweet and clear:
With merry leap and bound her side they gain,
Offering their wild field-flow’rets: all are dear . . ."


On page 7:
The Goodest Mother
Anonymous

"But here was a comfort. Children dear,
Think what a comfort you might give
To the very best friend you have here,
The Lady fair in whose house you live . . . "
and:
Old Mothers
Charles S. Ross

"A knowledge in their deep unfaltering eyes
That far out reaches all philosophy,
Time, with caressing touch,about them weaves . . . "

Plus, recommended songs:
When You and I Were Young, Maggie
sung by John McDermott

Silver Threads Among the Gold
sung by Foster & Allen

*********************

I wish I knew more about my grandmother's role in this "Five Mothers Pantomime." Was she coaching the local drama students? Was she the Stage Manager, narrating the production in manner of Our Town? Or was she perhaps the editor, paging through the sentimental favorites of the day? I like to think of her making the connections, choosing each poem with care, and weaving them together into an effective sequence -- for me to read on Mother's Day, a hundred or so years later.

Next Fortnightly Post
Thursday, May 28th

Between now and then, read
THE QUOTIDIAN KIT
my shorter, almost daily blog posts
www.dailykitticarriker.blogspot.com

Looking for a good book? Try
KITTI'S LIST ~ "The Story of a Book"
my running list of recent reading
www.kittislist.blogspot.com