Showing posts from October, 2015

Grad School Diary: Hell-Oo Chaucer!

We are, at present, reading Geoffrey Chaucer for class and it feels like a trip of sorts. I am a fan of Chaucer. He is wicked and witty and it is difficult to read him without breaking, often, into obnoxious laughter.  He ridicules our serious experiences, such as love and death, and in so doing makes them and us both irrelevant and endearing. Six years ago I did Chaucer's Canterbury Tales in college and it was one of my best classes. It was a funny and interesting class; my professor was quite hilarious. Just watching him was like watching a play. I have his expressions and manners etched into my mind's eye. I really liked him.  He was very crazy about Chaucer and he took the language very seriously.  He used to read the Canterbury Tales very loudly and dramatize everything with a rather serious look which made the whole thing the more ridiculous. He made it feel as though all that was important in the world was Chaucer. We were made to memorize the first eighteen lines of t…

Poetry: To Melancholy by Charlotte Smith

To Melancholy
by Charlotte Smith

When latest Autumn spreads her evening veil,
   And the grey mists from these dim waves arise,
   I love to listen to the hollow sighs,
Thro' the half-leafless wood that breathes the gale:
For at such hours the shadowy phantom pale,
   Oft seems to fleet before the poet's eyes;
   Strange sounds are heard, and mournful melodies,
As of night-wanderers, who their woes bewail!
Here, by his native stream, at such an hour,
   Pity's own Otway I methinks could meet,
        And hear his deep sighs swell the sadden'd wind!
O Melancholy!––such thy magic power,
   That to the soul these dreams are often sweet,
       And soothe the pensive visionary mind!

Listen to my reading of "To Melancholy" below:

Abstract: Black on White

white under black. -- Jane

Grad School Diary: The Happy Life

My credit card is maxed out, I can barely afford my trips to school and my dearest Mother is very upset with me, but I am most happy. For I am exactly where I need to be and I am doing exactly what I wish to be doing and it is making my life so much richer. What is maturity if not the ability to make one's own life decisions? I wake up now and I think, I am alive, I am here still——this beautiful blessing of life is given me again. And it is meaning more and more, this life that I have been gifted; this time that I have; this immense love that I know not how to comprehend. It is becoming the more beautiful and I think my class is helping me see these things in better light. I have always been interested in going to school to improve my mind rather than to acquire some useless degree. We all have opinions——I have plenty. But I am learning that when it come to our lives, we really have to listen to ourselves. That we cannot please anyone who does not really take pleasure in seeing u…

Poetry: A Dream Within a Dream by Edgar Allan Poe

A Dream Within a Dream
by Edgar Allan Poe

Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow —
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand —
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep — while I weep!
O God! Can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?
Listen to my reading of "A Dream Within a Dream" below:

Abstract Photography: Autumnal

all same all not same -- Jane Odartey

Grad School Diary: Plans

"What will you do after grad school?" We were watching the Super Blood Moon. The shadow of the earth had started to crawl over the surface of the moon and I was seating awkwardly on a black metal fence in Astoria Park. It was a little after 9pm and behind us the East River repeatedly beat against the giant rocks on its shore. In my mind's eye, images of my falling off the fence onto the hard rocks below, rolling screaming into the freezing cold water kept me alert. I cannot swim, I thought, maybe I should get off the fence.  But I remained where I sat. My friend, sitting next to me, was passing me her binoculars. We had joked about it being synonymous to passing weed. We were getting high on a bloody moon. I looked to her left, where her younger sister was sitting. "Apply for an MFA in poetry," I answered, taking the binoculars and directing them to the full moon. Resting the binoculars on my glasses felt odder than pressing them to the viewfinder of my camera…