Heroic Crown of Sonnets

 

Christ Carrying the Cross

It started as a prayer, “wrote itself” during April, 2018, and by the end of the month–tragically–dedication presented itself.

It feels like a devotional to me. It has helped me, and I hope it will help others as well.

Never despair. Never give up your faith. Never let your soul slumber.

Alleluia, heroic crown of sonnets, for Alfie Evans

 

Image: Unidentified artist. Christ Carrying the Cross, c. 1460. Tempera and oil (?) with gold and silver leaf on panel, Overall: 29 3/8 x 51 1/2 in. (74.6 x 130.8 cm). BF396. Public Domain.

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It’s Not about Politics, but…

Never Again, He Remarked Gloomily

  • “The Passive Voice is not a blog about politics.”

It’s not. Still, if you’ve been following TPV for sometime, you’ve noticed that the blog is not entirely apolitical.

As Passive Guy himself admits “the heat of political dialogue in the United States…is almost impossible to avoid.”

  • My blog is about writing.

I started out with an idea that I’d never ever touch the hot topics, such as religion, politics, and the great pumpkin; but I’ve had trouble staying away from them lately.

Writing–like living, feeling, thinking–is inseparable from freedom. And this freedom is under attack.

Faith is under attack.

‘They err who say “the world is turning pagan again.” Would that it were! The truth is that we are falling into a much worse state.’ — C.S. Lewis March, 1953

Our children are not safe.

They are being brainwashed, manipulated.

  • This vicious nonsense is everywhere, including the world of the written word.

So, when I see evil, I’ll post about it. After all, my blog is about writing.

 

Image: William James Glackens. Never Again, He Remarked Gloomily, 1909. Black crayon and white gouache with blue crayon underdrawing on paperboard, Overall: 11 3/8 x 13 5/8 in. (28.9 x 34.6 cm). BF2028. Public Domain.

 

On “Delete” Buttons, November & Daffodils

  • Thinking of deleting your Blogger blog?

Think again. There are at least four reasons why it’s not a good idea.

“The Blogger Help Forum is dotted with people who regret deleting their blogs.”  

Why permanently delete your Blogger blog if there’s a much better alternative?

  • What comes after October?

November Poem-a-Day (PAD) Chapbook Challenge, the annual writing challenge from Writer’s Digest Poetic Asides. Read the guidelines, and get ready.

  • Don’t want to think about autumn?

Think spring instead. And daffodils.

Why Read, Write & Teach Poetry?

Promenade (La Promenade)

“A good poem is a delight to read because it sparks the imagination and elicits a response from the reader–a chuckle, a groan, a sigh, an epiphany. The conciseness of poetry, especially when combined with an engaging rhyme and meter, can make just about any topic memorable.”

Listen to Heidi Roemer–author of many poetry picture books and more than 400 poems published in various children’s magazines–talk about poetry, the importance of reading it, writing it, and teaching it to young children.

Get inspired, and start creating your own “Child’s Garden of Verses.” 

And don’t forget to mix a bit of mystery in. Steer clear of the–often encouraged–“quantifiable process of demystification.”  It’s okay to leave poems unsolved.

Image: Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Promenade (La Promenade), c. 1906. Oil on canvas, Overall: 64 3/4 x 50 15/16 in. (164.5 x 129.4 cm). BF571. Public Domain.

One, Two, Whiteness Is Coming for You

She Gave Her Darter-in-law a Piece of Her Mind

  • Attention, parents of young children!

Is Anastasia Higginbotham visiting your child’s school?

Be advised that she doesn’t travel alone. She brings along a cardboard cutout of Colin Kaepernick — her hero, and a role model–in her opinion–for children.

She kneels beside the cutout while reading her “Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness”, and messing with your child’s brain.

While she’s at it, she might also want to teach your child about divorce, death, and sex — she’s got books on those subjects as well.

Apparently, Anastasia Higginbotham has chosen the lucrative path of a “white woman writing about the toxic inheritance of white supremacy.”

So brave. So original.

  • Want to hear something else brave and original?

“White male entitlement.” Not sure what it means? Just ask Stephen King, a white insanely successful male, and an open mind:

‘If “white male entitlement” was in the dictionary, it could be illustrated by Brett Kavanaugh’s photograph.’

There you go.

Image: William James Glackens. She Gave Her Darter-in-law a Piece of Her Mind, 1909. Brush and ink, charcoal, graphite, black crayon, and white gouache on paperboard, Overall: 10 x 7 3/4 in. (25.4 x 19.7 cm). BF606. Public Domain.

What’s Your Author Persona Mask Like?

Study of Girls' Heads (Étude de têtes de jeunes filles)

Should you wear a mask when in public?

Should you ever discuss the Great Pumpkin?

What’s the biggest benefit of having a public persona?

Even if you don’t (yet) give interviews, or do book signings, or deliver keynote speeches, etc., it’s not too early to think about your public author persona.

If you’re a writer, if you have a blog, if you’re active on social media — your public persona will protect you, and help you find the audience for your writing.

Here’s more on developing your author persona, and brand.

Go for it.

Image: Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Study of Girls’ Heads (Étude de têtes de jeunes filles), c. 1893. Oil on canvas, Overall: 16 1/4 x 12 11/16 in. (41.3 x 32.2 cm). BF474. Public Domain.

On Formal Poetry & Skin Color

In Vaudeville: Two Acrobat-Jugglers

  • Do you write formal poetry?

You might want to start putting together your submission to Measure Review.

Guided by the editorial vision of Ashley Anna McHugh, Measure Review, an online magazine of formal poetry, will advance the legacy of Measure.

So, if you happen to write a sonnet or two, don’t be in a hurry to publish them on your blog — save them until January, 2019. It’ll be here before you know it.

  • What do you write about?

Love? Life? The universe? You might be doing it all wrong. Check your skin color.

If it’s white, you should–according to Ms. Angela Pelster-Wiebe–write about white supremacy. Why? Because “those who benefit from racism (that’s you) should be on the front lines fighting it.”

Ms. Pelster-Wiebe is apparently a successful author, “a white woman writing about the toxic inheritance of white supremacy.”  Hmm..who’s benefiting from racism now?

You might want to follow in Ms. Pelster-Wiebe’s footsteps and start apologizing in writing for being born white — it’s not unlikely that you’ll achieve publication and success.

The alternative is to have respect for yourself and others, and very likely remain unpublished and unknown. (There’s always self-publishing, though.)

“…authors of all types could simply write what they would like to write because they have not contributed to white supremacy and are in no way responsible for the previous bad actions of white people to which they did not contribute.”

Now go write a love poem.

Image: Charles Demuth. In Vaudeville: Two Acrobat-Jugglers, 1916. Watercolor and graphite on wove paper, Overall: 11 3/16 x 8 in. (28.4 x 20.3 cm). BF602. Public Domain.

 

 

On Taboo Words in Literature, & Trains That Glimmer

Supper Time

  • What book are you reading now?

A story I’ve read recently–“The Basement Room”–made me think that it might not be long before Graham Green is added to the growing list of racist authors.

He used the N-word! More than once!

Does it matter that it’s a fictional character that uses the word? Does it matter that it’s important to the story? Does it matter that it’s a slice of history?

Apparently, it today’s world it doesn’t.

So, hurry. Read “The Basement Room” before it’s banned.

It’s a masterful, haunting story. What a great, great writer.

  • Have you penned a story, or two?

Glimmer Train has two contests you can still submit your work to: Very Short, & Fiction OpenDeadline’s tomorrow, August 31. HURRY!

Image: Horace Pippin. Supper Time, c. 1940. Oil on burnt-wood panel, Overall: 12 x 15 1/8 in. (30.5 x 38.4 cm). BF985. Public Domain.

 

 

Poetry: Write It & Get Paid, Read It & Get Enchanted, Analyze It (Or Not)

"A Montrouge"–Rosa La Rouge

  • You cannot make money writing poetry, can you?

Erica Verrillo has compiled a list of “twenty noteworthy publications that pay in the professional range for poetry. Most of these also accept fiction and creative nonfiction, and many are more than happy to nominate accepted poems for prizes.”

  • What’s the point of reading a poem?

The point of reading a poem is not to try to “solve” it. Still, that quantifiable process of demystification is precisely what teachers are encouraged to teach students, often in lieu of curating a powerful experience through literature.’ (Andrew Simmons, The Atlantic, 2014)

Here’s more on how to read poetry: “curious wonder” vs. “critical judgement.”

Image: Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. “A Montrouge”–Rosa La Rouge, 1886–1887. Oil on canvas, Overall: 28 3/8 x 19 1/8 in. (72.1 x 48.6 cm). BF263. Public Domain.