Quote of the Week: Amanda Gorman

“We’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace.

In the norms and notions of what just is

isn’t always justice.

And yet, the dawn is ours before we knew it.

Somehow we do it.

Somehow we’ve weathered and witnessed a nation that isn’t broken,

but simply unfinished.”

~ Amanda Gorman

Watching the inauguration this past Wednesday was a breath of fresh air — a spiritual cleansing for the nation.

The previous two Wednesdays featured an insurrection and then an impeachment. It was heartbreaking. While our democracy is still in a very fragile state, it feels good knowing that our current president, unlike the previous one, is not actively seeking to harm our country.

So I will bask in the balm of Amanda Gorman’s words. This amazing young woman, the National Youth Poet Laureate, is helping us move in the right direction.

An Apple Found Poem

apples inspired a found poem

Last weekend, some friends and I went for a walk around Franklin Park. This park is Boston’s largest open space and the crown jewel of Frederick Law Olmsted‘s Emerald Necklace.

It was a beautiful day and October’s colors were in full effect. One of my friend’s co-workers recently bought a home and was surprised to find that she has an apple orchard. Can you imagine? A surprise apple orchard!

Because now she has too many apples, she’s giving them away to everyone she knows. My friend took some and I was lucky enough to leave our walk with dozens of apples. I stewed some with ground cinnamon, ginger and a touch of honey. I still have about a dozen left and not yet sure what I’ll do with them. Maybe make another Dutch baby? An apple crisp?

In any event, these gorgeous beauties inspired me to write a found poem. Back in 2010, on the first iteration of this blog, I discovered found poetry. I’m forever hooked! I love poetry and writing found poetry is easier than starting from scratch. It’s fun too. Like a word game!

To write a found poem, find some text – a book, magazine article, blog post, etc. As you read it, pull out words to create your poem. Ta da! You wrote a poem.

Below is the found poem I wrote using the article 5 Health Benefits of an Apple from EatingWell.

An Apple Found Poem

Doctor away!

Truth.

Apple-licious ways.

Flesh and skin.

Cooked and baked.

Fresh.

2 apples.

8 weeks.

You benefit.

Reduced risk.

Thanks.

You guessed it – apples.

Slices satisfied people.

Applesauce, apple juice.

Granny Smith, McIntosh, Golden Delicious.

Tops among fruits.

Don’t toss the peel.

Found.

She Let Go ~ A Poem

Starting at the end of last year, and even more as I move through 2019, I’m embracing poetry. I’ve always enjoyed a good poem and have written more than a few over the years.

Not long ago on Instagram, I read about a poem called “She Let Go” by Safire Rose.

As an aside, on social media, the quality of your experience is based on who you follow. Does your feed introduce you to poetry, books and creative insight? If that’s what you want and you’re not seeing it, then change who you follow.

So anyway, I love this poem. It’s got to be one of the most liberating things I’ve read in a while. Here’s a taste of it below.

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Wholly and completely, without hesitation or worry, she just let go.

She didn’t ask anyone for advice.

She didn’t read a book on how to let go.

She didn’t search the scriptures.

She just let go.

She let go of all of the memories that held her back.

She let go of all of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward.

She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it just right.

She didn’t promise to let go.

She didn’t journal about it.

She didn’t write the projected date in her Day-Timer.

She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper.

She didn’t check the weather report or read her daily horoscope.

She just let go.

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Happy Sunday to you and have a great week!

Boston Total Solar Eclipse History From 1932

Total eclipse of the sun August, 31, 1932.

Are you excited about the total solar eclipse today? I am! Unfortunately I don’t have glasses, but I’m hoping to enjoy the event anyway.

Also, today I learned that my family has eclipse history. Who knew?

My aunt found a clipping from her aunt’s scrapbook with a portion of a poem called “The Total Eclipse Of The Sun Of Two Centuries Ago.”

I found the full poem online called, “On The Eclipse Of The Sun, April 1715.” It was written by Allan Ramsay, who was born in Scotland in 1686 and died in 1758. With a quick search, I found that the eclipse was on April 22, 1715.

However, with some further digging it seems that because of changes with the calendar that the date of this total solar eclipse, called Halley’s Eclipse, may have actually been on May 3, 1715. Below is portion of the article from The Guardian.

[A] total solar eclipse was visible across a broad band of England. It was the first to be predicted on the basis of the Newtonian theory of universal gravitation, its path mapped clearly and advertised widely in advance. Visible in locations such as London and Cambridge, both astronomical experts and the public were able to see the phenomena and be impressed by the predictive power of the new astronomy.

So this 1715 eclipse was special. It was predicted based on recent scientific developments and the public was ready and waiting to see the spectacular sight. Ramsay, who was about 29 years old at the time, must have been deeply moved by the eclipse, because his poem is quite epic.

Below is a portion, edited for length. See the full poem here.

Now do I press among the learned throng,
To tell a great eclipse in little song.
At me nor scheme nor demonstration ask,
That is our Gregory’s or fam’d Halley’s task;
‘Tis they who are conversant with each star,
We know how planets planets’ rays debar;

When night’s pale queen, in her oft changed way,
Will intercept in direct line his ray,
And make black night usurp the throne of day.
The curious will attend that hour with care,
And wish no clouds may hover in the air,
To dark the medium, and obstruct from sight
The gradual motion and decay of light;
Whilst thoughtless fools will view the water-pail,
To see which of the planets will prevail;
For then they think the sun and moon make war,
Thus nurses’ tales oft-times the judgment mar.
When this strange darkness overshades the plains …

What’s especially fascinating about the clipping of this poem, besides the coffee stains, is that my great aunt wrote on it. She wrote that on August 31,1932, she and two of her sisters stood together on Tremont Street in downtown Boston at St. Paul’s Cathedral across from the Park Street T station to view the eclipse.

I’m assuming that they had glasses, because none of them lost their vision from what I know. This story is new to me and gives me some insight into my great aunts’ lives that I didn’t have before. They were really into the eclipse!

Also, my mother pointed out that the names mentioned did not include my grandmother. So now I wonder. Where was my grandmother? And why wasn’t she with her sisters?

As someone who is very much into the idea of time travel, this also makes me think about how I have an approximate time, date and place to go back to to meet some family members!

An article from Science Magazine says that the 1932 total solar eclipse was a path about 100 miles wide that included New England, so they had the real deal, unlike what we will have here in New England later today.

The picture above is from a short video that I found showing the preparation for and actual video from the 1932 eclipse. Today will be full of wonder and no doubt will be history for those looking back at this someday.

Hope you have a wonderful day and Happy Solar Eclipse!

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Screenshot: YouTube