mdlbear: (crowdfunding)

Ysabetwordsmith's Poetry Fishbowl is Open!

Go feed the fish!

mdlbear: (g15-meters)

... in [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith's Poetry Fishbowl! The theme is "Mad Science".

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

From the Crowdfunding Creative Jam.

We called it Grand Central Starport.
It was our home for almost four decades --
We had parties, concerts, children, friends,
Laughter and tears, love and music.

We added a bedroom for each of our daughters,
And a ramp when Colleen lost her mobility.
There were more computers than people, 
Most of the time. We lined the walls with books.

I thought we would grow old and retire there.

It's up for sale now.

You can find it at 343LeighAve.com.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

Ysabetwordsmith's Poetry Fishbowl is open!. I posted a prompt there.

mdlbear: (nike)

Two signals to boost tonight:

The first is my sister-of-choice [personal profile] pocketnaomi, who posts Roommate wanted: Shoreline, WA. The room is just as delightful as she describes it.

The second is [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith, whose Poetry Fishbowl is Open on the theme of "influential women."

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

A pretty good day, including a nearly 2-mile walk, and a full day of work on technical reports. Not just writing them; I'm also maintaining the group's document repository and web page. Kind of mindless, but fun.

Bears are easily amused.

On the way home I stopped at Whole Paycheck for dinner, and made coho salmon (baked with butter and lemon), mixed veggies (carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower, stir-fried in butter with garlic and crushed red pepper, then left to steam with a little white wine). Tasty. Then I fried up the salmon skin for a snack, and we had fried bananas for dessert.

And I left a prompt on ysabetwordsmith's Poetry Fishbowl, which ended up as one of the inputs to "A Song for the Road". I like it a lot -- go read.

Lots of links.

raw notes )
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

So... a pretty good day. Ok, a good day -- it doesn't need the qualifier. It started with a Hawaiian word: 'ohana, which means "family in an extended sense of the term including blood-related, adoptive or intentional." I like it. Thanks, Callie!

I took a walk, going West on McClellan for a change, which quickly took me into the quiet residential area of Monta Vista. It's quiet enough that I'll be able to make phone calls (if I can ever get back into that habit).

I work with cool people. $BOSS sent me a link in email with the subject "best WolframAlpha answer ever".

And best of all, I put in this prompt on [livejournal.com profile] ysabetwordsmith's poetry fishbowl, and got the poem "Afterlove". Ame liked it, too. I think that's my first-ever poetry prompt (unless I'm just being a forgetful old bear), so it's kinda special.

A few other links in the

raw notes )
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
raw notes )

A good day. A walk, a couple of good insights, new meds for Colleen, music, conversation about poetry, music, and growing old... yeah. Good day.

I've already posted about the insight.

Naomi suggested that a lot of my free-floating anxiety (also see the Wikipedia article) may be due to the fact that I'm getting old, and starting to deal with a transition as unfamiliar and scary as becoming an adult in the first place. Yeah, there are probably some songs about growing old in my near future. They're my way of coming to terms with reality.

For today's link sausage we have Siegfried Sassoon -- a selection of his poems can be found here. He started out as one of the WWI poets, and later wrote about growing old. Detect a theme here?

Also, 97 Things Every Programmer Should Know - it will eventually become a book; right now it's a wiki, with the list of edited contributions here.

mdlbear: (sparkly rose)

The last few days I've been working on an arrangement for Yeats's poem "The Collar-Bone of a Hare"; it's finally coming together, I think. Might actually post some audio later this week. Odd; it insisted on intruding itself into the middle of a song I was writing, taking over some of the melodic ideas and a lot of the mindspace. The connection was waltz time and dancing.

This afternoon, though, one poem led to another and I found myself thinking of "He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven". The two of them used to be among my favorites back in college when I was young, lonely, and depressed. Some day it may acquire music.

Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,   
Enwrought with golden and silver light,  
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths         
Of night and light and the half light,   
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;  
I have spread my dreams under your feet;         
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams. 

Somewhere in the house I have a necklace of blue and white beads, where each blue bead represents a letter of that poem. It was given to me by the young lady who took my virginity, one magical night in the summer of 1970. It wasn't love, but seemed something stranger and more mystical to me. Might have been simple pity on her part, though I think not. I think she was a little surprised to have been my first.

If I had found the necklace, I would have been very torn over which of my friends to send it to, to give to their lover. Perhaps it's just as well. Is there someone you need to give this poem to? Don't wait.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

For some reason I'm feeling absolutely exhausted. It's also possible -- likely, even -- that I've had a little too much coffee. The fact that my current cup of it has a little Frangelico in it may help, but probably not enough.

Meanwhile the song I've been working on is threatening to become a rhymed sestina, and to turn from a song into poetry of the most intimate sort. I shall probably be forced to fork it. The form intrigues me greatly, though; the Wikipedia article points to a wonderful example[pdf] that expounds on its underlying group theory. (Aside: go check out today's xkcd. Not as far off-topic as one might think.)

My mind seems to make a fairly strong distinction between song lyrics and poems. Some poems can be set to music -- I've done it -- but they tend to remain recognizably poems.

Meanwhile, I'm about 2/3 of the way through The Dream of Scipio by Iain Pears, a book which presents its own fascinating difficulties for me. You see, it's historical fiction. In science fiction and fantasy, the genres that I'm comfortably familiar with, you can generally count on the author to give you all the information you need to make sense of the book. You are, after all, a guest in the author's private world: it's the author's job to make you feel at home there, at least by the time you get to the end.

The problem with historical fiction is that you're not in the author's private world: you're in this world's past. And history has been a subject I've mostly avoided, in my past. So there's always the question, when I run across a character or an incident in the book, of just how much is history and how much is fiction. And there's always the question of whether I'm missing something important by not knowing. As a result, I find myself spending a good deal more time in Wikipedia than I do with most of the novels I've read. Fascinating in its own right, if somewhat dangerous.

Moon Song

Oct. 20th, 2007 04:14 pm
mdlbear: (pirate tux)

For as long as I've known her, the [livejournal.com profile] flower_cat has been fond of quoting a couple of lines from a poem she heard as a child. It finally occurred to me to type one of the more distinctive lines into Google, which of course yielded the complete poem both by itself and in a blog post (which mentions that it appeared in The Golden Book of Poetry published in 1949), along with a discussion thread on The Mudcat Cafe. Apparently it has also been set to music at least once, and sung in a number of variously mangled versions.

Moon Song

Zoon, zoon, cuddle and croon--
  Over the crinkling sea,
The moon man flings him a silvered net
  Fashioned of moonbeams three.

And some folk say when the net lies long
  And the midnight hour is ripe;
The moon man fishes for some old song
  That fell from a sailor's pipe.

And some folk say that he fishes the bars
  Down where the dead ships lie,
Looking for lost little baby stars
  That slid from the slippery sky.

And the waves roll out and the waves roll in
  And the nodding night wind blows,
But why the moon man fishes the sea
  Only the moon man knows.

Zoon, zoon, net of the moon
  Rides on the wrinkling sea;
Bright is the fret and shining wet,
  Fashioned of moonbeams three.

And some folk say when the great net gleams
  And the waves are dusky blue,
The moon man fishes for two little dreams
  He lost when the world was new.

And some folk say in the late night hours,
  While the long fin-shadows slide,
The moon man fishes for cold sea flowers
  Under the tumbling tide.

And the waves roll out and the waves roll in
  And the gray gulls dip and doze,
But why the moon man fishes the sea
  Only the moon man knows.

Zoon, zoon, cuddle and croon--
  Over the crinkling sea,
The moon man flings him a silvered net
  Fashioned of moonbeams three.

And some folk say that he follows the flecks
  Down where the last light flows,
Fishing for two round gold-rimmed "specs"
  That blew from his button-like nose.

And some folk say while the salt sea foams
  And the silver net lines snare,
The moon man fishes for carven combs
  That float from the mermaids' hair.

And the waves roll out and the waves roll in
  And the nodding night wind blows,
But why the moon man fishes the sea
  Only the moon man knows.

                Mildred Plew Meigs, 1923 
Note on copyright status )
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

From [livejournal.com profile] patoadam, we get a link to this Guide to Verse Forms by Bob Newman. It's remarkable both in its completeness and the fact that Bob wrote all the examples himself to avoid copyright problems.

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