Archive for April, 2012

Thank you for a great review. Will be getting for gifts and myself!

Books of Wonder and Wisdom

Poems can reveal multiple layers of the past in ways that prose often fails to do. The recently publishedI Lay My Stitches Down: Poems of American Slavery illustrates the particular power of the genre to shine a light on myriad aspects of people’s experiences.

Cynthia Grady, a quilter as well as the middle-school librarian at Sidwell Friends in Washington, D.C., has turned her poet’s eye to the past and presents a well-crafted collection of 14 poems for ages 10 and up.

Each poem, ranging from “Log Cabin” to “Basket,” is named for a traditional quilt pattern and employs ten lines of ten syllables, mimicking the square shape of a quilt block. In the process, the poems reflect the “patchwork of circumstances encountered by enslaved people in America,” as Grady notes in her preface. Beneath the poems, she provides brief, interesting notes that weave in relevant references to spirituality, music…

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Artists par excellence

Tamara Natalie Madden

Discover this artist and you will wonder what is her story. Recently, I joined the Black Art in America website.Just a few of Tamara’s painting images  are so rich in color and emotion, you must see more.

This link will tell her story and give a view of her recent work.


Roberto Alborghetti

He is an artist who never fails (more…)

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Thanks for this post. For the days of doubt, I will get this book. What a gift!

What Next?

“A life’s work is always unfinished and requires creativity till the day a person dies.”  

So says Molly Peacock the author of the biography The Paper Gardenwhich tells the story of Mary Delany who at age 72 invented a new art form–mixed media collage and in the next decade created nearly a thousand botanically correct beautifully cut paper flowers. 

Mary who was friends with King George and Queen Charlotte, composer George Frederic Handel, painter William Hogarth and writer Jonathan Swift did not have a happy start to life. Her family in need of finances and political influence arranged a marriage for her at age 17 to a 60-year-old overweight, drunkard with gambling tendencies and health problems.  Her husband died when she was still young and she was able to marry again, this time an Irish clergyman she adored. The two of them designed and tended beautiful gardens at…

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"Great grandchild"
Great Grand Child

Dear Child,

I have been thinking how to tell you about my life. It can be described as a diamond.  It begins at the bottom with a very tiny point. It grows up until it is really fat in the middle. And then it gets smaller, and smaller until there is the top point.

We have no idea about the top point. But we can decide what happens inside the shape. My life stories are inside my diamond-shape. Some may interest you. Some I am still thinking about.

One thing is true. As the diamond-shape of your life fills up, memories fade. I was in a fog until you would think I was really, really old. Even some of the good times cannot be recalled. It is harder to answer the questions you ask:

Who and what shaped who you became?

Why did you decide to make the choices you made?

I would like to credit everyone who said “Hang in there. Things will get better.” Or “Do your best and that is all you can do.”

Who knew?

Fortunately, we do forget painful things. But not everything. I still remember the emotions I felt about injustices, because I feel the same way today. That is true about things that happen to me or anyone.

Little one, fill up your diamond-shaped life. Nearing teenage, you have not reached the widest part of your life. You will forget most of what troubles you now.

Follow your dreams. Have B-I-G dreams. Do the best you can. Hang in there. Things will get better.



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Adding her writing to my to-read list.

Chief Writing Wolf

Carol Ann Duffy is a Scottish-born poet and playwright whose works often focus on gender-based oppression and violence.  In 2009, she was appointed Britain’s Poet Laureate, becoming the first woman and first openly gay or lesbian person to hold that position in its 300-year history.  Even then, however, her male colleagues referred to her as a “poetess,” which I think is akin to a man calling his beloved spouse “wifey.”  Duffy’s writings include Mean Time (1993), which won the Whitbread Poetry Award and the Forward Poetry Prize; The Other Country (1990); Selling Manhattan (1987), winner of a Somerset Maugham Award; and her first collection, Standing Female Nude (1985), for which she received a Scottish Arts Council Award.

Dramatic characters and narratives, voiced with a sharp edge of wit and social critique, characterize Duffy’s early work, while her recent collections have wrestled more directly with dark and tangled themes of love. …

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Reading email before bed

Not such a good idea. Tonight at the top of the list of emails was one from Amazon.com. Usually it is a notice of some very attractive books to spend money on. If the offers include Kindle eBooks it is like getting a coupon savings.

I could sleep comfortably if that was the message. I use any excuse or not to keep from going to bed. But this message was not the usual brain teaser nor savings offer.

When it started off talking about my being a resident of Tennessee and what the State of Tennessee was demanding of them for the privilege of not collecting Tennessee State taxes on internet purchases, I knew it was not going to be fun.

It did not even use a lot of legalese and small print. It just laid it out there.

1.  It is not their fault.

2.  It is as hard on them as it will be on you.

3.  They would prefer not to tell you this but it is theTennessee Law.

4. Therefore…for Amazon to follow the Tennessee Laws, you must be notified that you must pay taxes on purchases from Amazon to the State of Tennessee.

5.  We, Amazon, must tell you what you spent and give you a Tennessee State  link which will tell you how to figure what you owe.

6.  We, Amazon, must tell you exactly what you spent $(withheld due to privacy laws) in the year 2011.

A fine bedtime story (more…)

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