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September 2011

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All content © 2007-2011 Jama Rattigan. Please do not reproduce in any form without permission. All rights reserved.

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Aug. 29th, 2007

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sweet treat

RONDEAU
by Leigh Hunt




Jenny kissed me when we met,
   Jumping from the chair she sat in;
Time, you thief, who love to get
   Sweets into your list, put that in:

Say I'm weary, say I'm sad,
   Say that health and wealth have missed me,
Say I'm growing old, but add,
Jenny kissed me.

                            (1838)

I've loved this little poem since college. With each reading, it's always fresh and accessible. I marvel at how simple words can freeze a moment in time forever. 

The "Jenny" here is Jane Carlyle, wife of Scottish essayist, satirist, and historian, Thomas Carlyle. Hunt had visited them to announce the publication of one of Carlyle's works. Today I toast all friends, family and significant others of writers everywhere. Thank you for helping us celebrate each small step in the arduous journey.

Aug. 28th, 2007

thinker

thought for the week

"Poetry is imaginative passion. The quickest and sublest test of the possession of its essence is in expression; the variety of things to be expressed shows the amount of its resources; and the continuity of the song completes the evidence of its strength and greatness. He who has thought, feeling, expression, imagination, action, character, and continuity, all in the largest amount and highest degree, is the greatest poet.

Poetry includes whatsoever of painting can be made visible to the mind's eye, and whatsoever of music can be conveyed by sound and proportion without singing or instrumentation. But it far surpasses those divine arts in suggestiveness, range, and intellectual wealth; -- the first, in expression of thought, combination of images, and the triumph over space and time; the second, in all that can be done by speech apart from the tones and modulations of pure sound. Painting and music, however, include all those portions of the gift of poetry that can be expressed and heightened by the visible and melodious. Painting, in a certain apparent manner, is things themselves; music, in a certain audible manner, is their very emotion and grace. Music and painting are proud to be related to poetry, and poetry loves and is proud of them."

                               Leigh Hunt (from "What is Poetry?"), 1884