Category Archives: News

Authentic Edible Gold Leaf

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Edible gold leaf is really a luxury garnish; it could possibly be utilized to pay for confectionery items. Sugar candy may be covered completely in gold, or it may be flecked softly with real gold leaf to boost the appearance as well as to communicate a feeling of luxury.

Genuine gold leaf garnishes do not add or remove from the flavor of this dish whatsoever; they are utilized entirely due to their visual appeal.

Utilizing gold foliage in luxury gourmet trainings

> Luxury confectionery items such as special-occasion desserts and cakes also use edible gold leaf garnishes. The golden leaf used in those requires to be real and unalloyed, unlike that used in jewellery or other decorative, non-edible purposes.

> Edible leaf garnishes are increasingly being utilized by experienced chefs as well as comparative novices at cooking and bakery. As is true with most technical components, this foliage also has to be utilized with some ability and experience.

> Edible gold comprises highly purified gold alloy brought down to the thickness of a few microns across. One careless or confused touch is that it needs to be displaced or have dropped on the user’s skin or adhere to an unintended place on your gourmet dish or confection or candies.

> Edible gold is also available in flake form. However, the sheet shape is more practical when covering larger surface locations. The flake kind can come in more practical when decorating surfaces with pieces and flakes of gold, or to provide an overall shimmer. Special-occasion beverages such as champagne and specialty desserts or wines can be flecked with edible gold flakes.

> Because it is made of real gold alloy, edible leaf preparations are used as garnishes. A garnish is normally the final decorative touch awarded into a dish, until it’s served. This rule works for golden foliage as well, because though it is an inert metal, devices such as microwave ovens may react to its shimmering surface if meals utilizing edible metal foliage is cooked in it.

Ingesting gold foliage

Such leaf is a non-reactive inclusion since gold is an aluminum alloy. However, to be used in raw preparations, it has to be as purified as possible. For this reason, gold of some top carat value is usually utilized in edible foliage preparations. Gold of carat value of 22 to 24 is considered pure enough to be used for edible purposes.

In this case, it is consumed by the body . It can be impossible to recognize genuine gold leaf by simply looking at it. Since touching raw gold or silver leaf is near impossible since it will stick to your fingers, the next best step to take would be to buy it from a trusted source.

If you are catering to an eclectic guest list, then you may choose to make sure that the edible gold leaf you are purchasing is kosher or halal certified as well. You may locate leaf sheet packaged in the form of many sheets inside a leaflet. Sizes may vary, but usually, edible foliage will probably be around or less compared to 0.13 microns in breadth.

If you want to get to know more about edible gold leaf sheets check this link: https://ianschoice.com/edible-gold-leaf/. And for edible gold leaf price check our Amazon Website: https://www.amazon.com/Ians-Choice-Genuine-3-15X3-15-Decorations/dp/B07BN5N4RD

The Cool Kids Want to Be a Snapchat Hacker

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More and more of our lives are becoming dependent upon technology. We use it for everything – banking, help with school, discovering news, even grocery shopping. Social networks help us to stay connected and updated on content we desire most. With so much emphasis on technology it makes sense kids would be drawn toward it, since kids love anything that seems interesting and important, especially when adults also think so. To be cool the ultimate sign of ability is pulling off a successful hack. The ultimate hack might just be to be a Snapchat hacker.

Snapchat is a modern Internet sensation. Not many sites achieve their level of success. Continue reading

The Perfect Birthday Gift for My Sister

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I always have a hard time picking out a gift for my sister. She honestly does not need anything because she loves to shop. If she sees something she wants, she just buys it on the spot rather than put it on a wish list. I hate giving people gift cards for a present, so my sister challenges me. When I saw an advertisement to print your pet on socks, I knew that I had finally found something that she would really enjoy. She has three dogs, and they are the light of her life.

I never buy her anything for the dogs on her birthday because they get their own gifts on their own birthdays. However, giving my sister a pair of socks that has her precious pups on it is definitely something that I knew I could do for her. Continue reading

Queen’s Tree Removal: Playing a Key Role in Keeping Queen County Trees Healthy and Beautiful

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Queen’s County, New York State, homeowners, business owners, commuters and visitors all enjoy the area’s bountiful, green trees, both, for the shade and the recreation they afford the local and visiting citizenry as well ask for the lovely ambiance they provide. Yet, sometimes those same tree-appreciating citizens need Queens Tree Removal Service, because even the loveliest, sturdiest and healthiest of trees can be felled by disease, wind, storm, or other weather damage.

In such a case, Queen’s Tree Removal can provide a thorough onsite inspection, a tree check-up, if you will, done by a dedicated 100% professional arborist that will either give your green friend and shade- provider a clean bill of health, or else assist you in setting up a clean, quick and safe removal of your sick, or damaged tree. Keeping your healthy trees well and looking spiffy is important too. And Queen’s Removal understands the importance of pruning as well as the expertise and artistry needed to do it correctly and efficiently.

Queen’s removal can actually help you keep your entire property looking ship-shape, green and healthy.The company will remove decaying stumps from your yard. They can even go through your property, tree, by tree, and let you know which trees need extra care and which ones may need to go. They can do this because their arborists are thoroughly qualified and certified, honest professionals. Even if you have trees that need to be removed for purely aesthetic purposes, or to ensure the safety of your domicile, or because they’re impeding the progress of a personal, or professional. building project, not to worry. Queen’s Removal service will get the job done correctly, fairly, safely and speedily. For more information, regarding the entire array of services they happily provide to citizens living in and around that Queen’s County, New York area, check out the firm’s website at Queensnytreeservice.com.

Keeping My Parents Safe is a Big Deal

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I found a home security system that is more than just an alarm that goes off when a door opens. It’s actually what I would call home security plus in that you get all the bells and whistles of your standard security system, but you also get a lot more if you want to upgrade the system. I looked into these services because of my elderly parents. They live in a neighborhood that is slowly going over to an unsavory situation and I definitely worried about them getting burglarized or otherwise harmed. Of course they refuse to sell their home.

The next best step was to pay for security. Continue reading

The Best Tree Care Company to Work for

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Nassau County tree pruning is a booming business as of lately. Maybe more people are taking pride in the curb appeal of their homes. I don’t know? But I can tell you this, I have been working for the same tree service company for 21 years and don’t think any of these new competitors can even meet the level of quality that we provide. They have been in business since 1991 and are members of several professional tree service organizations as well as the Better Business Bureau. We pride ourselves on providing the absolute best tree care available in our area.

Our services aren’t limited to just pruning trees even though it is always a huge request from our repeat customers. We also provide stump grinding, insect and disease management, mosquito control, planting trees and tree removal. Our certified arborist provides plant analysis and diagnostics to better help the customer select plants and trees that will thrive in the environment in which they live. Continue reading

Unique Ways to Create Your Own Special Bath Bombs

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Bath bombs are an superb pick for a handmade Christmas present or stocking stuffer. It is a fantastic idea to generate a huge batch at the start of the Christmas period to keep available for celebration gifts or final second office gift exchanges.

There are plenty of innovative ways to decorate your bath bombs to turn them to very unique presents. The regional craft store will probably take many different Christmas colored soap molds which are a fantastic method to generate bath bombs. You could also find a great deal of soap mould choices on the internet.

In the event you do not need to invest the excess cash on vacation molds (or you have procrastinated and it is too late to get them sent!) , there are plenty of alternatives for decorating plain curved ones.

Shea butter makes fantastic “icing.” Soften it from the microwave in a small bowl before it’s the consistency of cream. When it’s too runny just let it sit a few minutes before it thickens up. After the consistency is correct, dip the bath bombs inside around 1/4 of the manner in so only the shirts are coated.

You will have a few moments to operate until the shea butter stinks, so do 4 in a time and then decorate them. Even though the shea butter remains tender, scatter “toppings” to the bath bombs. I like the coloured sugar that you purchase to scatter on biscuits since they provide them a joyous appearance. Alternatives include grated green, dried rose petals and dried spice like a spoonful of cinnamon or nutmeg.

You’re able to earn bath bombs which are modest in size (1 1/4″) and decorate and bundle them to seem like truffles. Purchase the little candies papers in your supermarket and set a little bathroom bomb in every one and set them in a candy box to get a super cute present. Just make sure you tag them rather than edible!

There are tons of alternatives for aromas. Cinnamon and vanilla equally exude festive feelings and so are good to get in the Christmas mood whilst relaxing in the conclusion of the day.

Also remember that if you are giving them to somebody on Christmas afternoon, it may be a fantastic idea to utilize a wonderful relaxing odor such as lavender. A pleasant unwinding bath to recuperate from this Christmas season is really a great present!

This is my beloved Christmas bath bomb recipe. The gingerbread scent constantly sets me in a fantastic mood.

Ingredients
2 tablespoons coconut soda
1 Fragrant uric acid
1 c tapioca starch

2 tablespoons.

Instructions

Blend shea butter and essential oils, then drizzle over dry mix and blend with hands. Spritz with witch hazel necessary to hold mixture together.

To Learn More and Fantastic recipes for making bath bombs, see our website: https://ianschoice.com/bath_bomb_molds_guide/

"Jenny Kissed Me" by Leigh Hunt, A Discussion of the Poem and the Poet

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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.

Leigh Hunt was a 19th century English essayist, critic, poet, and publisher. Hunt was not a renowned poet, though his “Jenny Kissed Me” has been enjoyed and often quoted for nearly two centuries. However, Hunt lived during an age of English Romanticism and was influential in the lives of Percy Bysshe Shelley, Lord Byron, and John Keats. He was also contemporary with Samuel Coleridge, William Wordsworth, and Charles Dickens. Such great company has given Leigh Hunt a distinguished status.

About “Jenny Kissed Me”

In 1835 Leigh Hunt and his large family moved to Chelsea in London and became neighbor to poet and author, Thomas Carlyle, at his suggestion. The two became close friends and Hunt’s home was always open to his circle of friends, of which there were many.

Two stories exist. One story is that Leigh Hunt visited the Carlyles to deliver the news that he was going to publish one of Thomas Carlyle’s poems. When the news was delivered to Carlyle’s wife, Jane, she jumped up and kissed him.

The other story is that during one winter Hunt was sick with influenza and absent for so long that when he finally recovered and went to visit the Carlyles, Jane jumped up and kissed him as soon as he appeared at the door. Two days later one of the Hunt servants delivered a note, addressed, “From Mr. Hunt to Mrs. Carlyle.” It contained the poem, “Jenny Kissed Me.”

The second story is the one most often repeated.

Thankfully, Hunt was a wise editor, because in the original draft Jenny was Nelly and the word “jaundiced” was used instead of “weary” in the fifth line.

Reputedly, Leigh Hunt was a flirtatious man, often in trouble with his wife. Also reputedly, Jane Carlyle was a bit sour and better known for her acid tongue than for impulsive affection.

The poem, “Jenny Kissed Me” has been described variously as whimsical, charming, simple, and unaffected. Many readers encounter it for the first time during their school-age years and remember it all their lives. Numerous girls have been named “Jenny” as a result of the fond memory of the poem.

The first striking structural feature of “Jenny Kissed Me” is the trochaic meter. This is characterized by a foot that contains an accented syllable followed by an unaccented one. This meter is not commonly used in formal English poetry because it can sound singsong.

The trochaic meter is more common in children’s nursery rhymes where a singsong rhythm is welcome. Think of “Twinkle, twinkle little star, How I wonder what you are.”

The singsong effect is offset by the abab rhyme scheme in the poem, as opposed to an aabb rhyme scheme. The former rhyme scheme produces a four line verse as the basic unit of the poem, as in “Jenny Kissed Me.” The latter rhyme scheme produces two line couplets which enhance the singsong effect, as in children’s nursery rhymes.

Trochaic meter can also sound solemn or heavy due to the fact that the trochaic foot has a falling pattern (stressed syllable followed by an unstressed syllable). However, “Jenny Kissed Me” is a lighthearted poem and is supported by the use of feminine rhymes.

Lines that end with a stressed syllable are said to be masculine and lines that end with an unstressed syllable are said to be feminine. In “Jenny Kissed Me” lines 1, 3, 5, and 7 are masculine, but that rhyme pattern is not carried throughout the poem. Lines 2, 4, 6, and 8 are feminine, helping to offset the masculine rhymes and helping to make the poem feel lighter and brighter.

The insightful ending to “Jenny Kissed Me” invariably brings a smile to the reader’s face.

About Leigh Hunt

James Henry Leigh Hunt was born in England in 1784 and died in 1859. Many English poets and writers were contemporaries of Leigh Hunt, including Keats, Shelley, Byron, Coleridge, Wordsworth, Dickens, Carlyle, Jeremy Bentham, and Charles Darwin.

During Hunt’s lifetime England engaged in the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 with America, and the 23 year period of the Napoleonic Wars with France. During Hunt’s lifetime the French Revolution occurred and Napoleon became Emperor of France. Later, steam engines created an industrial revolution, and Darwin sailed to the Galapagos Islands and reported his findings. During a three year period Hunt’s friends and supporters, Keats, Shelley, and Byron all died at young ages.

Leigh Hunt was born into a poor family near London in 1784 and attended school in London at Christ’s Hospital, a school founded 240 years earlier for the education of poor children. Following his schooling, Hunt took a job as a clerk in the war office.

In 1805 Hunt partnered with his older brother, John, a printer, to establish a newspaper called The News. Three years later the brothers abandoned the newspaper and created a political weekly that established their liberal reputation called the Examiner. Among other topics, the Examiner called for many reforms in Parliament, criticized King George III, and called for the abolition of slavery.

The power of journalism came of age during this period of English history with the publishing of numerous critical newspapers which collectively became known as the “radical press.” Consequently, the government became very busy, though mostly unsuccessfully, prosecuting the “radical press” for seditious libel.

In 1812 the Hunts wrote an article in the Examiner that called the Prince Regent, the future King George IV, “a violator of his word, a libertine over head and ears in disgrace, a despiser of domestic ties, the companion of gamblers and demireps.” As a result, John and Leigh Hunt were convicted by a jury of libel and sentenced to two years in prison.

Though he continued to write for the Examiner while in prison, Leigh Hunt’s separation from his family convinced him to turn away from political writing and to focus on literary writing.

Shortly after being released from prison, Leigh Hunt moved into his favorite house in Hampstead where he was able to spend precious time with his wife and three children and with his literary friends. Among those friends who stayed with Hunt for periods of time in his Hampstead house were Percy Bysshe Shelley and John Keats.

Hunt had earlier introduced the world to the writings of Keats and Shelley in the pages of the Examiner. His section on “Young Poets” gave Keats and Shelley access to valuable space where some of their first works were published.

Keats welcomed Hunt’s tutelage for about a year. He broke away from Hunt when a critic labeled Hunt and Keats as members of “The Cockney School of Poetry.”

In 1818 Shelley and his family decided to move to Italy for health and financial reasons. His friend, Lord Byron, was living in Italy at the time and the two corresponded for several years while each lived in different parts of Italy.

In 1821, when Shelley and Byron were both located in Pisa, Shelley envisioned a new magazine called The Liberal, which Shelley, Byron, and friend, Leigh Hunt, would publish in Italy. Shelley sent money and an invitation to Hunt and promised to provide a house and income for Hunt and his large family.

Hunt liked the prospect of joining Shelley and Byron in Italy and took his family to Genoa and then to Leghorn to meet Shelley. After their meeting Hunt and his family went to Pisa to join Byron, and Shelley set sail in his boat, the “Don Juan,” for his home up the coast at Casa Magni.

Shelley’s boat was caught in a thunderstorm and sank. Shelley’s body and his crew washed ashore in Corsica a few days later. Local health laws prohibited the moving of the bodies to Rome or Pisa, so a month later Hunt, Byron, and family members attended a cremation of Shelley’s body. After the cremation Hunt ended up in possession of Shelley’s heart, which he eventually returned to Shelley’s wife, Mary.

Lord Byron was not interested in The Liberal and soon left Italy to take a commanding interest in the civil war unfolding in Greece. Byron died in Greece of respiratory disease in 1823.

Hunt and his family were left in Italy without their friends and without an income. Hunt published a few editions of The Liberal, but it lacked heart and soul and failed. Hunt received an advance for literary works and took his family, which now included seven children, back to England.

Hunt was impoverished most of the rest of his life. Charles Dickens was instrumental in agitating the government for the grant of a pension to be paid to England’s needy authors. In 1847 Hunt began receiving the pension which eased, but did not eliminate, his financial constraints.

Shortly after returning from Italy, Hunt moved to Chelsea, where, as he had done at the Hampstead house, he opened his home to his literary friends.

The publication of Dickens’ novel, Bleak House, considered by some critics to be his finest work, though certainly not his most popular, included a character said to be modeled after Leigh Hunt. The book caused a rift to develop between Dickens and Hunt.

The Bleak House character, Harold Skimpole, was described as “airy, improvident and objectionable.” Skimpole claims to be a child when it comes to finances and manages to have everyone else pay his way through life.

Though Dickens denied that this was a characterization of Hunt and offered apologies, Hunt and his literary friends were offended.

Leigh Hunt died at age 75, well-remembered by his many friends. William Hazlitt, the painter and writer, said that “in conversation he is all life and animation, combining the vivacity of the school-boy with the resources of the wit and the taste of the scholar.”

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‘Begging’ by Siphiwe Ka Ngwenya

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Should we feel compassion or any sense of empathy for beggars? It may often seem as if beggars should be Oscar winning nominees for their acting abilities. They seem to be masters at acting sad and desperate. And what can we do but feel sorry for them? Siphiwe Ka Ngwenya wrote the poem ‘begging’ because he realised the plight of those who were genuine beggars. He saw those who were really suffering in sad circumstances.

The poem is written in free verse. There are no punctuation marks. This gives a sense of desperation. The beggars have made begging their profession. They beg in order to survive another day. Some people work for an institution from nine to five. Others are self-employed. Whatever the case, nobody at work or in the community really cares about how we survive another day. Some go home after work and start drinking. Others flop down in front of the television. And then there are those that go out and socialize or work a second job.

Beggars beg to survive another day. The poet uses a small letter “i” to diminish the status of the narrator. The narrator is witnessing what many of us prefer not to see: the desperation on the streets. He merely tells us what he sees. And who is the narrator? Well, if you’re walking down a crowded street, every unknown person you pass is nobody in particular. In fact, you’re nobody too. The beggars are “nobodies”. Yet, each person that is on the street, for whatever reason, has a facial expression that tells a story. Some expressions are etched deeply and, like graffiti, are not easy to remove. The beggars’ faces show pain. Their faces are somber. They have sores and bruises on their hands and bodies. They are blistered and quiver. Fever? Cold? They suffer anxiety.

When there is no work there is no money, which means there is no food, no shelter, no security, no clothes, no medicine … nothing. When we have nothing, we feel desperate and anxious. When we need things and we have no money, we feel the need to ask someone for help. The extreme case of asking is begging.

But why then do beggars lie? They do this to cover up for their inadequacies; their shortcomings. They can’t find work, and feel useless. They hide behind lies to get something … anything … to survive another day. Their lies are self-serving and cannot hurt those who are being lied to. The lies are harmless. In South African cities there are many different cultures. In each culture and in every language, there is poverty: someone is suffering; someone is asking; someone is begging.

And the poet sees them all … as he walks on by.

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Poetry At Its Roots

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I love good poetry. I can spend hours at a time reading excellent poetry, particularly reading it aloud to taste its musicality and experience the words in three dimensions. Few among us are capable of writing good poetry, though. I know because I’ve also seen my share of bad poetry. As an editor, I occasionally am called upon to edit a series of poems. I approach such an opportunity cautiously, for I have come across few contemporary writers who can actually write good poetry.

Well, maybe I should modify that last sentence: I have found few contemporary writers (except for those already published and/or famous) who have written good poetry. Maybe they could write good poetry if they had a better understanding of how to go about it. Anyone who can communicate through poetry has achieved the ultimate writing craft, so creating a fine poem is a worthy goal.

I’m not a poet. I am a connoisseur of fine poetry. I can help readers fully enjoy a good poem, and I can help aspiring poets dramatically improve their craft, but I don’t claim to be a poet myself. Still, I’ve had enough success with inexperienced poets that I think I have some insight to offer, and that’s the point of this article. If you feel, deep inside, that you could write a really fine poem, you probably can. If you sense an inner need to write effective poetry, then you probably should try. If you have not yet mastered that art, perhaps you simply need some guidance.

Verse is not Necessarily Poetry

Let me first distinguish between poetry and verse, because I believe that is where most people go wrong. Verse, you see, is the musical arrangement of words for a melodious or metrical effect. We all like to play with rhyme and economy of words and imagery. If you take a well-known tune and write new lyrics to celebrate your best friend’s birthday, you’ve written verse, not a poem. If you hit upon a rhythm and a clever theme and then arrange funny or mushy phrases around that rhythm and theme so that they rhyme (or nearly do), you’ve written verse, not poetry. What you read in greeting cards, 99.9% of the time, is verse, not poetry.

That, of course, begs the question: What is poetry? In my opinion, poetry often (but not always) includes all the characteristics of verse, but it has so much more, insight and emotion being the two most critical factors. So, can you take a little piece of verse, inject a bit of insight and a dash of emotion, and end up with a poem? I don’t think so. Maybe that’s why the world is immersed in verse but poetry-poor. Many of us can write verse; I have done it often. Few successfully write a poem, however. The reason for that phenomenon, I believe, is the sacred and mysterious process of birthing a really good poem. While verse can spawn from a scrap of music or a second-rate jingle, poetry is born of things precious and rare.

Insight Born of Experience

A true poem begins with an experience. We all have a thousand experiences a day so, I suppose, each of us comes across the raw material of a thousand poems everyday. Why don’t those poems materialize? Why do a handful of such experiences evolve, a little later, as cute or clever verse, but most just disappear? What transforms an experience into a poem? Consider what the icons of poetry have done with a jar of cold plums, a red wheelbarrow, a stone fence, grass. Truly, it is not the experience itself that ignites the poem. I see stone fences everyday, yet I’ve never written anything to rival “Mending Wall.” Most wheelbarrows I come across are not red, but, even if they were, would I realize how much depends on a wheelbarrow? Have you or I ever seen Chicago as Carl Sandburg saw it, “husky… brawling… city of the big shoulders,” or a snake as Emily Dickinson saw it, “a narrow fellow in the grass”? I’ve heard a fly buzz – I’ve heard many flies buzz – yet I’ve never associated the sound with my own death. Hmmm…

What transforms an experience into the stuff of poetry, I am quite certain, is the insight the experience brings. And here I use that word very literally: to see into the experience. Thousands of people ride ferries everyday, but Edna St. Vincent Millay saw the ferry-riding experience as a metaphor for her crowd’s Roaring Twenties lifestyle: “We were very young, we were very merry/ We rode back and forth all night on the ferry.” And so her experience, offering insight, became the stuff of poetry. Thousands of us, at various points in our lives, look at spiders weaving their webs, but it was Walt Whitman who took insight from “a noiseless, patient spider” as he did from a starry night sky viewed right after a boring lecture on astronomy. A poem begins, very often, with the insight gained from experience, but it is insight so crystal clear that you know it to the depths of your heart and the soles of your feet. Often that insight comes as suddenly as a punch to the jaw; it can even take your breath away.

A Psychic or Emotional Response

Most all mature adults have gained insight from their experiences, yet few of us write poems about those insightful experiences. So what comes next? We generally learn from experience, grow from the insight therewith provided, and evolve as persons, but do we write poetry about it? No, and I’ll bet many of us could! For reasons I will not try to identify, the vast majority of us fail to respond to insightful experiences as poets respond: A poet is immersed in the insight, filled up with the experience, bowled over by the new understanding, consumed by the emotion, inspired by the possibilities. So that, I believe, is the next step: an emotional or psychic response to an insightful experience. Writers of verse probably skip that step.

The highly charged response of the poet does not have to be a lesson learned. It might be the awakening of a new, hitherto unfelt emotion, or a deeper level of pleasure from the same old experience, or a sense of wonder or humor or understanding. The point is that poets stop to fill themselves with the feelings and thoughts – fill themselves up until something has to give. And that takes us to the fourth step in the birth of a poem: the need to express the new insight, emotion, understanding or desire. Only when we are filled up do we have the urgent need to express.

Still, we haven’t yet reached the crux of the poetry issue. Many people are moved by an experience, do take the time to feel the emotions and insights, and do produce some sort of communication directed at the rest of humanity. What is produced is often prose: a letter to the editor (or, on a more personal basis, a letter to a relative or old friend); a screaming, raging email message; a carefully composed essay; a glowing testimonial. All prose. Others now make a stab at poetry, and they produce things made out of words, arranged in stanzas, desperate to communicate, not quite there. All prosaic. What does the successful poet do differently?

Connecting Insight to Image

The poet makes a connection that others fail to make, and that connection gives genesis to the seed of the new poem. In his or her need to communicate this overwhelming experience, the poet seeks and finds an image to which this new insight can be compared – something of the everyday world, an object or event or process the reader will recognize as familiar, understand, and readily grasp. Now we have the birth of figurative language, the metaphor or simile or personification that lies at the heart of the new message. In a sense, this comparison, never before made, is the message. This is the new connection, a deeper level of insight, a creative way of seeing; without this, a would-be poem is merely words. So, when we read that “the fog comes in on little cat feet” we share a unique connection made by a poet who saw fog in a whole new way. Now the poet (in this case Carl Sandburg) has found the vehicle of expression: a unique, creative comparison that instantly brings his experience to our doorstep. We all know something of little cat feet. Sandburg’s connection between the fog and the little cat feet is an act of creative genius.

Musicality Enhances Insight and Image

That creative accomplishment, however, is not yet the making of a poem. Now the other elements of poetry come into play. Economy of words is, of course, the hallmark of poetry, the feature that most differentiates it from prose. And when words are used economically, there is not a word, not a letter, not a sound to spare. Every carefully selected word has a sterling ability to convey the sound and sense of a particular facet of the idea. Next come the musical qualities: rhyme, rhythm and meter, repetition, alliteration. Now, all of these forces can be developed simultaneously, but this is the important thing to keep in mind: the insight comes first, then the image or vehicle, and only then the words and music. Those verbal tools must elucidate the insight and support the image.

Words and music without insight and image produce only verse (or drivel, sometimes). The same is true for cute similes and metaphors embedded into the text for no other reason than poetry’s traditional use of similes and metaphors. Figurative language that is not part and parcel of the message – born of the insight or inherent in the fundamental image – is only window dressing, sure to fade as the seasons change. The same can be said of forced rhyme, lines manipulated all out of proportion to make the ending sounds alike: mere decoration, but not the stuff of poetry. Using onomatopoeia because you can, or personifying an inanimate object because you can – these are techniques of verse, not of poetry. All the verbal and musical components of a good poem serve the central insight and interlock naturally with the central image. That is poetry.

It would now only make sense, I believe, to present to you a poem that I think is outstanding in every one of these ways, and so I shall. I choose “Gold Glade” by Robert Penn Warren, not a popular poem (although a famous author), but one that stirs my heart and my intellect with every reading, so near to the perfect poem it is. I should warn you: it takes several focused readings to gather it all in.

Gold Glade

Wandering, in autumn, the woods of boyhood,

Where cedar, black, thick, rode the ridge,

Heart aimless as rifle, boy-blankness of mood,

I came where ridge broke, and the great ledge,

Limestone, set the toe high as treetop by dark edge

Of a gorge, and water hid, grudging and grumbling,

And I saw, in mind’s eye, foam white on

Wet stone, stone wet-black, white water tumbling,

And so went down, and with some fright on

Slick boulders, crossed over. The gorge-depth drew night on,

But high over high rock and leaf-lacing, sky

Showed yet bright, and declivity wooed

My foot by the quietening stream, and so I

Went on, in quiet, through the beech wood:

There, in gold light, where the glade gave, it stood.

The glade was geometric, circular, gold,

No brush or weed breaking that bright gold of leaf-fall.

In the center it stood, absolute and bold

Beyond any heart-hurt, or eye’s grief-fall.

Gold-massy in air, it stood in gold light-fall,

No breathing of air, no leaf now gold-falling,

No tooth-stitch of squirrel, or any far fox bark,

No woodpecker coding, or late jay calling.

Silence: gray-shagged, the great shagbark

Gave forth gold light. There could be no dark.

But of course dark came, and I can’t recall

What county it was, for the life of me.

Montgomery, Todd, Christian-I know them all.

Was it even Kentucky or Tennessee?

Perhaps just an image that keeps haunting me.

No, no! in no mansion under earth,

Nor imagination’s domain of bright air,

But solid in soil that gave it its birth,

It stands, wherever it is, but somewhere.

I shall set my foot, and go there.

Robert Penn Warren

A Life-changing Experience, not Mere Technique

I had read this beauty at least six times before I ever realized the absolutely perfect rhyme scheme: ababb. Attention is so focused on the discovery of the achingly beautiful tree that the rhyme is barely noticeable. The simile so perfectly complements the feeling and actions of the speaker that it hardly calls attention to itself: “heart aimless as rifle.” The “grudging and grumbling” water is so naturally personified that it does not shout “personification!” The same can be said of this subtle personification: “where cedar, black, thick, rode the ridge.” The metaphors are both brilliant and inherent: “leaf-lacing… bright gold of leaf-fall… heart-hurt… eye’s grief-fall.”

“Gold Glade” is a wonder of musicality, yet those techniques always serve the insight and image. The alliteration (“rode the ridge… boy-blankness… ledge/Limestone… foam white on/Wet stone, stone wet-black, white water tumbling… glade gave) and assonance (“woods of boyhood… grudging and grumbling… mind’s eye… glade gave… far fox bark… late jay”) serve to communicate the wonder of the unparalleled tree-beauty, not to call attention to their own cleverness or to intellectualize a barren line.

Reading this poem is to vicariously experience the speaker’s boyhood discovery of a tree so powerfully lovely that it has haunted him and drawn him back throughout his lifetime. As precisely and musically worded as Robert Penn Warren’s poem is, it is absolutely the recounting of a life-changing experience rather than a display of words or poetic techniques. There can be no doubt this poem was born of the discovery of a serene glade, filled with the golden rays of the setting sun, dominated by an oak tree of breathtaking magnificence. From that experience developed the birth of a superior poem.

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African American Poetry – The Players, The Times, The Themes, The Struggle!

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African American Poetry is a form of literature that is basically an expressive and colorful form of the emotions of the black and enslaved populations of America. Many of the themes of early African American Poetry revolve around issues such as slavery, murder, familial problems, and lifestyle. The tone of most of the literary works of this era entertain an emotional tone rather than reserved philosophical style. This allows the poems to be more personal and engaging. The journey of African Americans in America from the days of slavery until now can be traced through the history of these poems.

This genre found its roots during the 18th and 19th centuries with poets such as Phillis Wheatley and orator Frederick Douglass, reaching an early high point with the Harlem Renaissance. It continues today with well known authors such as Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou and Walter Mosley. Many of issues explored in African American literature are the role of African Americans within the larger American society, African American culture, racism, slavery, and equality.

One of the first most famous African American authors was poet Phillis Wheatley. She was well known for her book Poems on Various Subjects in 1773 which was published three years before American independence. Originally from Africa, Wheatley was captured and sold as a slave at the tender age of seven. She was then brought to America and owned by a Boston merchant.

At first she spoke no English, but by the time she was sixteen she had mastered the language. Her poetry won praises from many great leaders of the American Revolution, including George Washington. Despite this, many white people found it hard to believe that an African American woman could be so intelligent as to write poetry. Thus, Wheatley found herself in court trying to prove that she actually wrote her own poetry. Perhaps Wheatley’s successful defense can be regarded as a true recognition of African American literature.

Jupiter Hammon was another early African American author who was actually considered the first published Black writer in America for his poem “An Evening Thought: Salvation by Christ with Penitential Cries” in early 1761. He was well remembered for his Address to the Negroes of the State of New York in 1786. This speech also planted the idea of a gradual emancipation as a way of ending slavery. According to public records, Hammon remained a slave until his death.

Another great poet was Paul Laurence Dunbar who was known for his poem, “The Poet”. He wrote this a mere three years before his untimely death in 1906 at the age of 34. Dunbar was not only the most famous African American poet, but was also one of the most famous American poets, of his time. He was celebrated for his folk poetry about African Americans which was written in dialect–the “jingle in a broken tongue.”

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The Thematic Analysis of The Poem "Do-Gooders" By Olu Obafemi

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The poem titled DO-GOODERS was written by Olu Obafemi to portray the weaknesses and atrocities of the religionists who instead of being the last hope of a common man are threats to people’s life. He tries to condemn the attitudes of the religionists who are using their position as a man or messenger of God to blindfold the people and exploit them. They use their position to tell people lies and demand exorbitantly from them; they deny them their belongings and turn those wretched (lines 14-17).

The central theme of the poem is CONDEMNATION. Olu Obafemi tries to expose what is happening in our present environment where people dabbled into church, mosque or palm grooves only to save themselves from the escalating unemployment problem. When the people eventually discover these anomalies of the people of God, they tend to be aggressive. This has led to desertion of many churches, many mosques have been damned and some grooves are no more in existence (lines 10-13)

The poet shows his anger or agony when he said that Horror begets horror, to nullify horror, meaning that whenever these type of people are caught, they must be dealt with without an iota of mercy, just as thieves, tied to the stakes, and set on fire (lines 18 and 19). He emphasized that pity should not be allowed to come in because they have destroyed many lives already; many have been turned to wretched beings, with bloated stomach, smelling like the stinking gutters and sucked thin (lines 1-5).

The poet ended it by lamenting saying, Woe be on them, who cheat in the name of God, even an unending woe.

POETIC DEVICES IN THE POEM

Let’s examine jus two (2): Poetic License and the figures of speech used in the poem.

Language used (Poetic License)

Poetic license is the permission given to a poet to use unconventional language i.e. free to use language in whatever way it pleases him in order to achieve his desires. He can violate the grammaticality of language.

They include in this poem the following:

1. Bloated – swollen in an unpleasant way (line 1)

2. Hoot – funny situation of a person/short loud laugh of a person (line 5)

3. Flatulent – sound important in the way that exaggerate truth (line 9)

4. Damnable – bad or annoying (line 12)

5. Stakes – host on which somebody to be burnt is first tie (line 18)

6. Wretched – extremely bad or unpleasant (line 13)

7. Flakes – small pieces of something larger

8. Blazed – mount brightly and strongly

9. Do-gooders: those who do good/believed to be doing good

Figures of Speech

Expressions used to polish any piece of writing and to embellish it in a poetic ornament so as to make it elaborate, vivid, picturesque and interesting (Roy Omoni)

1. Assonance:

Line 1: bloated stomachs

Line 7: horror begets horror

Line 19: blazed in flames and flakes

2. Consonance:

Line 7: horror begets horror

Line 19: blazed in flames and flakes

3. Alliteration:

Line 4: of sprawling skeletons

Line 7: horror begets horror

Line 19: blazed in flames and flakes

4. Repetition:

Line 7 & 8: horror begets horror to nullify horror

5. Rhyme:

Line 18 & 19: must be tied to stakes

blazed in flames and flakes

6. Enjambment:

Line 7 & 8: horror begets horror to nullify horror

Line 3 & 4: the naked ribs of sprawling skeletons

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5 Important Factors To Be Considered While Analyzing A Poem

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Poetry is a great part of the literature and owes acclaim due to its beautiful language with imagery built therein to sprinkle ideas with poetic splendor. It conveys some message to people or reflects the mood of the poet.

Analyzing a poem demands creativity, imagination, sharp eye for details and a latent understanding of the inner layers of meaning in the poem.The following factors are to be considered while analyzing a poem.

Overall texture of the poem

Not just one reading would suffice to understand the meaning of a poem. Several readings are required to understand the message, overall texture and meaning of the poem. It is advisable to read aloud first, give a second glance and then read slowly to get into the meaning of words. Without understanding the overall tone and meaning of the poem, it is hard to understand the message conveyed therein.

Tone and mood

It can be melancholy, happiness, jubilation, solitary musings or regret or repentance-the mood of the speaker or the poet has to be fixed so that the poem can be interpreted on those lines.

Style

patterns make a poem effective for reading. It also helps ease understanding of the poem.

Imagery is the wonderful language that picturesquely describes the poet’s thoughts and brings before us the world he wants to delineate.

Figures of speech like simile, metaphor portrayed in a poem is to be noted down for appreciating the beauty of the poem and the imagination of the poet. At the same time, the symbolic meaning they convey should be interpreted in proper language to give a fine touch to the analysis of the poem.

Theme

Poetry normally doesn’t convey the theme directly and it is very subtle in getting across the theme through words and scenes that are picturesque with hidden meanings. Rarely one finds poems which are direct in their message. Through repeated readings, one can understands the theme of a poem. A search for the cultural background or personnel details of the poet could help a person in fixing the theme with ease.

Getting familiar with many other works of the poet will increase one’s knowledge of the poet’s recurrent themes and preferences. For example, when a student examines a poem by Emily Dickinson, he could analyze her thoughts about death with a better perspective had he known her other poems.

Symbols and repetitive words

Certain words may be repetitive with specific meaning in a context. For example, symbolic words in Robert Frost’s poems are the conveyers of the poet’s philosophy of life as in ‘After Apple Picking’, ‘Road Not Taken ‘or ‘Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening’.

Conclusion

It is an overall understanding of a poem with an innate poetic sensibility that would help a person deciphers the language of the poet in the proper sense and decode his message convincingly. Getting guidelines from teachers and tutors would help students analyze the assigned poems in an effective manner and win fabulous scores.

Online English tutors are a great succor for students in analyzing poems of complex structure. Their adept skills in reading in among lines to pick out the inner meanings of a poem to help students take a right stand in analyzing a poem. It would be great exposure to students if they access online tutoring services for critical analysis of poems in their homework.

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How to Write a Critical Appreciation of a Poem

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Critical appreciation of a poem is defined as the critical reading of a poem. The meaning of its words, its rhyme, scheme, the speaker, figures of speech, the references to other works (intertextuality), the style of language, the general writing style of the poet ( if mentioned), the genre, the context, the tone of the speaker and such other elements make up the critical reading or appreciation. It does not mean criticising the poem. A critical appreciation helps in a better understanding of the verse.

  • Meaning- Read the poem more than once to get a clear idea of what the speaker is trying to say. Look up the meanings of difficult or unusual words in a thesaurus. The title of the poem is a key to the general meaning and summary of the thought presented. A poem might be about lost love, ‘Lucy’ (Wordsworth).
  • Rhyme Scheme- Find the rhyming words. These occur at the end of each line. Rhyming words might be present in the middle of the line also. Mark the rhyme scheme. For example, if rhyming words occur at the end of each line alternatively in a poem of 4 lines, the rhyme scheme will be ‘a b a b’. In the poem, ‘Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening’ by Robert Frost, the second stanza goes like this:

“My little horse must think it queer

To stop without a farmhouse near

Between the woods and frozen lake

The darkest evening of the year… “

In these lines, the rhyme scheme is ‘a a b b’

In several poems, there are no rhymes. Such a poem is called a blank verse.

  • Speaker- Identify the speaker of the poem. It can be a child, an elderly, a shepherd, a swordsman, a student, a milkmaid, a sailor, an animal or even an object like a chair or a place like a house or a mountain. Each Speaker will speak differently.
  • Setting- Every poem has a specific setting. It might be a ship or a modern condominium. The setting is the background of the poem and contributes to its meaning. For example, the setting of a pastoral is very likely to be a grazing ground for a flock of ship. The setting of Eliot’s ‘Preludes’ is a modern city with its people leading a mechanical life. The words also convey the same sense.

“And short square fingers stuffing pies,

And evening newspapers, and eyes,

Assured of certain certainties… “

  • Context- The context gives us the time and location of the poem. It is what prompted the poem. The context might be an event of great political significance like the French Revolution. It prompted P.B. Shelley’s famous, “Ode to the West Wind.” The poem beautifully upholds the spirit of the revolution and heralded the dawn of a new age.
  • Language- The language of a poem is the very vehicle of its thoughts and ideas. Study the language in terms of the use of figures of speech, its tone, use of loan words or archaic words, length of sentences, the rhythm (meters- iambic, Trochaic or any other), number of lines etc. Note the introduction of new ideas and mark the place where it occurs. For example, in the poem, ‘The lamb’ by William Blake, the lamb refers to both the baby sheep, the little boy who is the speaker and the Lamb of God. Here the word, “lamb” is a metaphor.
  • Intertextuality- While writing the critical appreciation of a poem, we notice that another poem is alluded or looked back upon. This is called intertextuality or reference. For example, Chaucer’s ‘Canterbury Tales’ allude to Boccaccio’s ‘Decameron’ in its structure of people narrating stories during a journey.
  • Genre- Genre roughly means the category of the poem. Each genre has set rules and characteristics. For example, a very long narrative poem, running into a several thousands of lines, dealing with divine figures or demi-gods or great generals of the past and describing a terrible war or an incredible journey on which the fate of humanity rests can be termed as epic. For example, the ‘Iliad’ (Homer), ‘Paradise Lost’ (J. Milton) and such poems. A short poem of 14 lines expressing intimate emotions is a ‘sonnet’. For example, ‘Let me not to the marriage of true minds’ (Shakespeare) is a sonnet extolling real love and devotion. There are several genre- satire, mock-epic, ballad, lyric, ode, parody etc.

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The Good Morrow by John Donne – Critical Summary

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The poem “The Good Morrow” is amongst the best of metaphysical love poetry produced by John Donne. The poem begins with a question asked to the two lovers, the poet and his beloved; Donne asks “what thou and I did till we love?” The question is meaningful and needs no answer because the clearly indicates that the life before falling into love was no more than “country pleasures” like that of a child sucking his mother’s breast for survival. The child in sucking the mother’s breast is never aware of the world around him.

The poet goes on to compare himself and his beloved with the use of a conceit, far-fetched metaphor, of “Seven Sleepers’ Den” to express that their entire life was nothing more than unconscious life. Had they enjoyed any sort of pleasures and experienced joys, those were nothing but imagination. The poet opens up his heart in the praise of his beloved as:

“If ever any beauty I did see;

Which I desired, and got, ’twas but a dream of thee.”

The poet says good morrow to the “waking souls” of himself and his beloved because their past life, before they met, was all shadow and darkness of sleep. It is now, after meeting his beloved, that the poet feels his waking soul. The poet believes that a little love can convert even a small room into an entire world.

The poet wishes to ignore the world around him because he wants to be focused on his beloved alone. Therefore the sea discoverers may discover new worlds, maps be spread, but the poet must “possess one world” of the unity of lovers union. Donne creates a lovely equation here i.e. a lover is equal to beloved and the beloved is equal to lover. In other words, Donne’s mathematics would display the result of:

1 lover + 1 beloved = 1 love

Or

1+1= 1

This is the equation which leads to the merger of lovers’ being into oneness:

“My face in thine eye, thine in mine appears”.

The poet even goes on to declare the two lovers as “two better hemispheres”.

John Donne has convinced us of the magical charms of love and the deeds of lovers which have the power to transform normal beings and casual acts into the evergreen stories; here the story is of a lover and beloved that has formed oneness of being through the pure love which is beyond physical.

Read More from this author on: http://www.risenotes.com

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The Clarity Pyramid – Poem to Practice Word Choice Techniques

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The Clarity Pyramid

The Clarity Pyramid is a recently created short poetry form. Like most short forms, the key to success is to choose your words wisely. Because of this, it is a great option for you to practice word choice techniques.

The first line is the keystone of the entire poem. All other lines exist to further support and define this single word. In other words, they clarify this word for the reader.

BRIEF HISTORY

Jerry P. Quinn, a financial strategist and poet, is the architect of the Clarity Pyramid. He constructed the poetry form in 2002.

MUST HAVES

—Three stanzas which are made up of two triplets and a final clarifying line.

—The foundation of the clarity pyramid is the first line, which is a single syllable word.

—The first line must be in capital letters.

—Each successive line is increased in syllabic count by one – except the forth line, which increases by two.

Form Structure:

1 SYLLABLE

2 syllables

3 syllables

5 syllables

6 syllables

7 syllables

“8 syllables”

—There are also criteria in the construction of each line.

Remember, the first line must be a single, one-syllable word and must also be capitalized. This line has the added function of being the title of the poem. Here is what you must keep in mind as you build rest of the lines.

Line two and line three must clarify or be synonyms of the word in the first line. All the lines in the second stanza must describe a life event linked to the word in the first line. The eighth and final line must be in quotations and further describe the first line.

That particular rule bothers me, and would be one of the first rules I would break with my poetry contractor’s license. I don’t like using the quotes unless I am – well, quoting someone or using them in order to show dialogue.

COULD HAVES or What’s The Poet’s Choice In All This?

—You may choose to center align the poem or not. Many poets choose center alignment in order to create a visual pyramid, but it isn’t a requirement.

—The use of rhyme and meter, although I wouldn’t recommend either for this short form.

—What language your first word is in. Actually, what language your entire poem is in, but since I am an English speaking poet – I will speak from this perspective.

NEW VARIATION 1: I love words and thought it would be interesting to take a word in another language for the first word and then use the rest of the poem to “clarify” it in English. (This could also be a good opportunity for non-native English speakers to take an English word and use the rest of the poem to “clarify” it in their native tongue.) Because many languages use a lot of syllables in their words, this might be the time to take the Clarity Pyramid to the next level and create another new variation (See below).

NEW VARIATION 2: Follow the rules set in place, but change the syllabic count to word count.

OF NOTE

Jerry P. Quinn has won several poetry contests and had many of his poems published.

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Safer Than the Pharmaceutical Alternatives

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Locating the website kamagra-sverige.com really helped my erectile dysfunction. That is a condition I acquired recently due to a heart condition, and I quickly learned that trying to find a pharmaceutical solution presented more problems than solutions. I think most people know that people with certain heart conditions cannot use most pharmaceutical remedies for this condition. Such was my fate. What is scary is that my doctor still tried to prescribe something that very well could have resulted in a serious heart problem and possibly death. That experience led me to try and find a natural solution to the problem.

I read a lot of information online and I have to say that a lot of the available information isn’t that good. Much of what I found proved to be contradictory in nature. Some things were supposedly fine to take for someone like me, and then I would run over information on another site that said absolutely do not take this if you suffer from this particular condition. I got to the point where I thought I would never find any answers, but I persisted. I knew there had to be something that would help me get past this condition.

The answer, it turns out, is Kamagra. It’s a jelly from India that promises to reverse the worst aspects of erectile dysfunction, and it does so without the host of side effects you will get from the pharmaceutical pills. I was a bit skeptical until a friend heard I was thinking about taking it and admitted he’d been using it for a few years. Not only did it work for him, he suffered no side effects or any other dangers. That was enough to get me to try it, and my experience has been similar. Try this stuff instead of giving your money to a pharmaceutical company!

Heer Damodar

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Heer Damodar — revived in translation

The love-legend of Heer-Ranjha has been narrated by as many as 42 different poets. No other epic in world literature is known to have achieved this distinction. Among the surviving versions of the story, Damodar’s Heer is probably the oldest.

The gifted poet has left little behind about himself except the repeated chants such as “name Damodar, caste Gulhati” in the mesmerising tale, which has been the subject of numerous movies and stage plays over the decades on either side of the Pakistan-India divide. The storyline, characters, tribes and places have almost been the same in every telling with minor changes. For instance, Waris Shah names Heer’s mother as Malki but Damodar calls her Kundi.

Researchers could barely unearth scant details about the writer of this variant of Heer such as that he was a Sikh named Damodar Das Arora, a resident of Jhang, where Heer’s grave is still venerated as a shrine. His claim that the legend took place during the reign of Emperor Akbar and that he saw it unfold before his own eyes is dismissed by critics as nothing more than poetic fancy. Among other things, they say, the vocabulary he has used reveals he lived sometime in the late 18th century or early 19th century. Damodar and his work were virtually unknown till 1927 when the first of his three manuscripts of Heer was discovered in Jhang.

Though the Waris Shah version of Heer has eclipsed all other narrations, and hence not much read and appreciated, Heer Damodar is distinctly remarkable in certain ways.

“Damodar’s Heer is written like a fast-paced screenplay. There are no pauses or descriptive flights of imagination. The tale moves with great speed. Damodar builds in an immense amount of his knowledge of human nature and of the issues in the society of rural Punjab into the tale and its characters,” says Muzaffar Ghaffar in his preface to the book, which is a link in the Within reach – masterworks of Punjabi poetry series. “He is a master storyteller who always keeps the reader’s interest alive. Indeed his Heer should have become a great favourite of professional storytellers, but… it is virtually unknown in the oral tradition. And yet there appears to be extraneous material in the three manuscripts which are available. Such corruptions usually only occur with much-told, orally transmitted tales. This is another enigma about Heer Damodar.”

When we evaluate Muzaffar Ghaffar’s Within reach series, we really run short of adjectives. Call it fantastic, grand, great, marvelous, monumental, phenomenal, wondrous… none of the word would seem a hyperbole. He has produced Bulleh Shah (two volumes), Baba Fareed Ganjshakar, Baba Nanak, Sachal Sarmast, Sultan Bahu, Khwaja Ghulam Fareed and Shah Husain (three volumes). Even a single volume on Khwaja Ghulam Fareed in Urdu fetched a scholar a Pride of Performance Award during the Musharraf regime. The writer, I withhold his name lest I seem to be slighting his contribution to Punjabi language and literature, really deserved the award. But I firmly believe that each of Muzaffar sahib’s books merits as much recognition. His other works, five English poetry collections; How the governments work; The brain, the body, the soul, the mind; and Unity in diversity – a vision for Pakistan, are also enlightening and highly readable.

What does he have in those books of the Punjabi sufi poetry that is rare? He has taken a vast selection of each of the great masters’ works first in Nastaliq and did its poetic translation in Gurmukhi. As with these books he particularly tries to reach the English-reading lovers of Punjabi classic poetry across the world, he renders it in Romanised script, translates the poetry into English verse (only one line for each line), explains the meanings of difficult words and then has a detailed discussion on those lines in lucid language. To make the reader’s job easier still, he gives an elaborate glossary at the end of each volume. Only a random quote form Heer Damodar may illustrate the point:

“The allure comes now. Heer Syal has grown up. Her beauty and demeanour are both affirmed by telling us that her feet don’t touch the ground. (In this phrase the word zamin is usually pronounced zimin). She skims on the ground with grace and beauty, she is almost in flight. This description may be preparing us for haughtiness in Heer. Such nonchalance of being oblivious to her surroundings is surely the result of an irrefutable self-knowledge that she is beautiful. (And beauty has its own power). The poet masterfully gives a grounding in her deportment by telling us that her feet did not touch the ground. This is so for good reason, not just an innate arrogance….”

Muzaffar’s interest in what is his true labour of love seems to be increasing with his growing age and falling health. His last book Shah Husain was in three volumes. The book under review has four, the whole of Heer Damodar. His next venture, Heer Waris Shah which is being given final touches, will have six volumes. And one may hope that the process will continue and what might become extinct in original text would come alive in his excellent translation.

Considering the high quality production, the cost might be justifiable. But how would common people interested in Punjabi sufi poetry would access and benefit from this book is a question that needs to be addressed.

Heer Damodar: Within Reach (Four volumes)

By Muzaffar A. Ghaffaar

ISBN 978-969-0-02173-1

Ferozsons (Pvt) Ltd

60, Shahrah-i-Quaid-i-Azam Lahore;

277, Peshawar Road, Rawalpindi;

Mehran Heights, Main Clifton Road,

Karachi

Four-volume boxed set Rs3,995

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Making Things Look Nice Makes Me Feel Happy

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I didn’t like the bathrooms in our home when we purchased the house. My husband told me that after purchasing it, we could always update the bathrooms at some point. After a few years of living here, I figured exactly the way I wanted both of these rooms to look like, and so I called a company who does custom glass in Somerset County, NJ to give me a quote. The ideas in my head meshed well with what the employee said he could create for each of the rooms, and the price did as well.

I am motivated by the way things look. If I’m unhappy with the way something looks, it drags me down and holds me back. When I love the way my surroundings love, it motivates and energizes me. Continue reading

Lose the Fat but Keep Your Muscles

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When you finally buckle down and decide to go on a diet, you need to be careful. You need to eat while on a diet. If you starve yourself, your metabolism will switch gears on you and just slow down. Then you might feel worn out. Plus, and this is big, your body will literally eat its own muscles when it thinks you are starving. It will hold onto the fat as a last resort measure to have calories to survive. This is why I looked into things such as unbiased RMedifast review sources. I wanted to change the way I eat and to lose weight. I wanted to reshape my body, and that included hanging onto my muscle mass and actually adding to it.

Muscles burn energy at a higher rate than fat cells. Your muscles will even burn calories while you are at rest. Continue reading