literature

The Browning Version..A Poetry Recital

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It was April 6, 1889, in Victoria’s England. Robert Browning, aged 76, was attending a party hosted by artist Rudolf Lehmann.

 

Colonel Gouraud brought out an Edison Talking Machine. At the company’s behest, Browning began reciting his poem, “How They Brought the Good News From Ghent To Aix”, but his memory lapsed.

 

“I’m sorry,” he stated. “I can’t remember me own verses, but one thing that I shall remember all me life is the astonishing…by your wonderful invention.”

 

He died on December 12 that year at the home of his son . Browning was the first poet whose voice was recorded for posterity.

 

Robert Browning 

 

 

The photo prompt was provided by Roger Bultot.  As always, Rochelle guides us weekly through Friday Fictioneers.

 

 

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The Dead Writers’ Society

mindlovemiseryHarry and Blanche finally found their dream house. Having always been both nature lovers and bookworms, they’d fantasized for years about the perfect combination of their two loves.

 

“You’ll see, sweetheart,” the proud husband gushed. “Once all these trees start blooming, it will be such a beautiful environment.”

 

 

“Yes, Harry,” Blanche intoned. “Until then we can get our books arranged. We’ll start with the Romantic poetry and Regency period novels. Then we can move on to the Victorian novels and poetry.

 

You never know, of course, when Coventry Patmore and Jane Austen might stop by~or the Bronte’s and Browning’s~perhaps even the Shelley’s,” she imagined aloud.

 

“People will claim it can’t be done,” Harry admitted reluctantly. “‘You do understand they’re all currently deceased’, they’ll point out.”

 

 

“Little do folks know,” Blanche continued, “The rapport we’ve always had with the great literary giants of yore. Of course, all anyone needs is a library card and a keen set of eyes and ears. With our new purchase, though, we have even much more of an advantage.”

 

 

Here’s me entry, based upon a photo prompt from Tale Weaver #172

 

 

Symbolism

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 “That’s funny,” Robert Frost told Emily Dickinson. “I was twelve years old when you died. How can we be together now?”

 

That’s true,” she conceded, “but this happens every time our author hears Simon and Garfunkel’s ‘Dangling Conversation.’ “

 

O now I remember,” the former conceded.  “The line: ‘..and you read your Emily Dickinson/and I my Robert Frost’ always has freaked him out.

 

“Language, symbolism in general,” the Belle of Amherst proceeded to explain, “always inspire people. Anyway we only have a short time here. Chuck McCann has recently died so our author will be reminiscing constantly about his childhood.”

 

 

Welcome back yet again to Rochelle’s  weekly Friday Fictioneers, a hundred~word story based upon a photo prompt. This week’s prompt has been supplied by Yardspinnerr

 

 

 

Irrevocable Transformation

Humpty Dumpty’s a metaphor

 

Fallen from the wall

 

Past is gone forevermore

 

No return at all.

 

Adam and Eve’s Apple 

 

Imagined as an egg

 

Pandora’s Box, of course,

 

Works just as well.

 

I’ll see you soon.

 

Between now and then

 

Think of some more.

 

 

It’s time yet again for DVerse Poets Pub

 

Today’s Quadrille #53 is a 44~word poem, written by each of us, including the word “egg”.  Kim is our Fearless Leader.

 

 

 

 

 

The Lost Generation

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“You know, honey,” Basil told Myrtle, “People only remember World War One from Fred Mertz’s “Inky Dinky Parlez Vous” and Snoopy’s adventures as a flying ace.”

“Yes, I know,” his wife complained. “Hitler happened because of Germany’s resentment of the Versailles Treaty. Unexploded bombs from the war will be capable of going off for the next eight centuries.”

“Those two facts are connected,” he reminded her. 

In his backpack he was carrying copies of Remarque’s “All’s Quiet On the Western Front” and Carl Sandburg’s “Grass.”

“Let’s go get some coffee,” she suggested as they continued on their way. 

 

Thank you to Rochelle Wisoff~Fields for guiding us weekly in Friday Fictioneers , and please read the links for all the details. This week’s photo prompt was provided by Sandra Crook.

 

Please also see “All’s Quiet On the Western Front” , and “Grass” for some further insight into the war.

Franz and Franz~What Pegman Saw

hotelimperial“Yes, honey, I understand that the Czech Republic is quite beautiful,” Gracie admitted to George, “but of  all the places we could have visited with our lottery winnings, why come here to Karlovy Vary?!”

“Think of all the history that’s here,” her husband reminded her. Austria Hungary’s Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie were from here.  He’s the only assassinated public figure with both a band and a beer named after him.

“Besides that,” he continued, “Franz Kafka’s from here too. You know how many times I’ve read everything of his, from “The Metamorphosis” to “Amerika.”

“And best of all,” she intoned happily. “Blanche and Harry will be insanely jealous when they see our videos of the Hotel Imperial.”

“With all the beauty this place has going for it,” he sighed, “is that all you can think of?”

“Hey, honey pie, I’m a nudge. Get over it,” she bragged triumphantly.

This is my very first attempt at a story for Pegman.  Visit the Czech Republic’s Karlovy Vary and write a story based upon one of the photographs. Keep it within 150 words.

What Pegman Saw

peggy’s latest daydream

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Margaret (never ever again to be Peggy!) was determined to hop a freight train to some faraway big city where she could become a famous author. Having recently read Flannery O’Connor’s “Wise Blood”, she had found her vocation.

“The station’s just down here, Orville,” she cried out to her dog.

“English has always been my best subject at St. Gabriel’s, so I know I’ll be a good writer. Flannery’s symbol was the peacock,” she told him. “Mine can be dogs.”

“Has she called on her cell phone yet, Harvey?” her mother asked.

“Not yet, Shirley,” her father replied. “Give her time.”

jane eyre meets don quijote

I’ve always thought it would be so nice if Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quijote could meet Charlotte Bronte’s  (Currer Bell’s) Jane Eyre. Bronte’s character was, virtually entirely, a rewritten version of the Cinderella story.  Instead of a wicked stepmother and three wicked ugly stepsisters, she had a wicked aunt-in-law and three wicked ugly cousins.  The unfair treatment she got was by way of the deliberate abuse they chose to heap upon her.  By way of a variety of entirely mundane misadventures and hardships, she eventually married Mr. Edward Rochester, and they lived quite happily ever after.  Cervantes’ Don, however, fell prey to all sorts of delusional fantasies that led to his trouble. That’s in the nature of the picaresque novel  His Dulcinea of El Tobozo, in reality the homely peasant girl Aldonza Lorenzo, was as much of a distortion as everyone and everything else he dealt with.  It’s quite a lopsided tale of courtly love. If the Don and Jane were ever to be properly introuduced, it would lead, I should suppose, to quite a colorful episode. The Don, quite aware of the fact that he is at all times obligated to treat a lady with absolute respect, would make every possible effort to be quite the gentleman in Jane’s company. Although she most certainly isn’t very comely of appearance, he may never notice. It’s quite possible that he may think she’s as lovely as he considered his Dulcinea.  The pair would be driven to distraction because of all the distinctions between Counter-Reformation Spain and Victorian England. There would be significant religious differences. He’s quite the staunchly orthodox Catholic and she’s a demure Quaker lady.  He may give her a bit of a speech pointing out to her all the problems with the errors of the Protestant Reformation. If he gets his hands upon Mrs. Reed and the Reed cousins there could be quiet a lot of big trouble. He’d have to be a bit tactful with Mrs. Reed, Eliza and Georgianna, but he’d really have to put Master John into his place.  Sancho Panza would have to spend a lot of time keeping him in check. In Jane’s mundane world, where propriety is an absolute necessity at all times, the Don simply doesn’t fit in.  She, however, politely accepts all his idiosyncracies, knowing quite well that he’s ultimately a ElQuijote35gentleman. He could tell her all his tall tales and keep her petting Rozinante and Dapple. Jane understands what it’s like to be misunderstood and mistreatedimages (2).  At least hers is quite a practical approach to life. She could give him some pointers about how to deal with things in a more tactful and profitable manner. She would marvel at his and Sancho’s total lack of social skills.  I should suppose that throughout their first meeting, the Rochesters and their new Spaniard friends would be quite taken aback at each other in seemingly insurmountable ways. After a while, however, both sides would be quite capable of accepting the fact that all could ultimately work out.  The Spaniards would add color and excitement to the relationship, and their English friends, Mr. and Mrs. Rochester, could provide the voice of civility and etiquette. Such an extreme lack of compatibility could even be enjoyable.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/pleased-to-meet-you/

https://unbolt.wordpress.com/2014/12/10/a-storyteller/

https://warriorfreya.wordpress.com/2015/01/18/prompt-pages-0012-pleased-to-meet-you/

https://likereadingontrains.wordpress.com/2015/01/18/boys-of-the-graveyard-daily-post-pleased-to-meet-you/

https://albedeklerk.wordpress.com/2015/01/18/good-dayi-like-your-blogpleased-to-meet-you-thank-you/

https://thegadabouttown.wordpress.com/2015/01/18/a-conversation-with-cary-grant-3/

classic narrative poetry

A while ago I read a biography of the fourteenth century English poet Geoffrey Chaucer but until recently I’d somehow never read his “Canterbury Tales”.  Considering what a compulsive bookworm I’ve always been, that’s quite a major shock.  Recently I was looking through the book case downstairs in the den and I noticed that there was a copy of his famous classic  narrative chaucerpoem in standard English so I’ve begun reading it.  So far I’m up to the Reeve’s Tale. Often, while reading for a long time, I become unavoidably distracted and my mind wanders.  While reading the poem, I somehow spontaneously started thinking back to an incident involving my old friend Jimmy, when we were kids in our early teens. One day Jimmy and I had nothing better to do so in order to avoid boredom he started cracking corn. He never asked me to help him but, conveniently, I didn’t care. Often, if I let my guard down while reading, I start humming an old song or two. Last night I couldn’t help humming the Beatles’ classic, “Do You Want to Know A Secret?”  My impatience gets me crazy like that but at least I always keep on trying to apply myself as conscientiously as possible to any task. Once I’ve set my mind to something I’m quite the determined character.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/final-trio/

an unlimited expense account

If I could have only one day during which I could have access to any and all luxuries, I should like to have an exceptionally fine gourmet meal, with all the best of possible liquor. There would be a bottomless pit of food and drink. All would be invited. A compulsive bookworm, I’d also really like to stock up on all my very favorite novels, plays, poems and short stories.  Unfortunately one day would be entirely too short a time to make any significant travel possible, but perhaps I could fly to Europe at least in order to spend a little while there. Having always enjoyed fancy clothes, jewelry and cologne, I could see to it that I make quite an exceptionally enchanting appearance too. During my short trip  I could visit all the best men’s stores in order to get decked out in all the most impressive styles.  Of course my day couldn’t possibly be complete without my extending an invitation to Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, requesting that they serenade me with all their best songs. I’d buy an exceptionally nice guitar so I could join them. I’d want more but no one day could possibly include everything. Those are just the highlights.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/feeling-fancy/

http://unbolt.wordpress.com/2014/12/03/a-morning/

http://dragoneystory.wordpress.com/2014/12/09/dp-prompt-feeling-fancy/

http://tombalistreri.wordpress.com/2014/12/09/what-a-party/

http://thecrookedmind.wordpress.com/2014/12/09/349/

http://parkinkspot.wordpress.com/2014/12/09/the-best-laid-schemes-o-mice-an-men-gang-aft-agley/