Dante and Me

As part of Writing 201: Poetry, we were asked to post our favorite poem.

Being as mine is The Divine Comedy, that would be a bit ambitious, though you can indeed find the full text online.

Now, you could be asking

Why on earth would a guy in his late twenties pick a Late Medieval / Early Renaissance Italian epic known for reflecting medieval Catholic theology as his favorite poem?

Well, I’m glad you asked!

I’ve always liked poetry. I loved learning poems in English class; I was the guy who asked to recite the great Shakespearean soliloquies (and made everyone else hate him for it). Before Dante, my favorite poem was Percy Bysshe Shelley’s Ozymandias:

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shatter'd visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamp'd on these lifeless things,
The hand that mock'd them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains: round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

In college I took a course in Classical and Medieval Lit; what can I say – I wanted to make the most of my liberal arts education. By that time an interest in philosophy and theology and history had taken root. In Dante I found a poet that combined everything I found intriguing. I liked poetry well enough, but Dante made be love it.



Friday’s assignment for Writing 201 was to write an elegy using fog as a metaphor. After two days of quite literally nothing, I finally had some form of inspiration.

I don’t exactly like it, but neither do I hate it. It’s broken, yet fixable.


Time is flying faster now
 although the days seem long. 
Mem'ry isn't what it used to be - 
 they say it's only fog.

I can't recall my favorite foods, 
 no jokes, no tales, no stories,
  while I remember mundane things - 
   they say it's only fog. 

I can't recall our family trips
 or who we took along. 
The games we played are all forgot - 
 they say it's only fog. 

I can't recall my favorite book
 nor yet my favorite song. 
Like Richard's mind my spine is bent - 
 They say it's only fog. 

I can't recall the names of those
 whose pictures grace my walls, 
  while I remember childhood friends - 
   they say it's only fog. 

It matters not the words I've said
 or the places I have gone, 
  for what were once the concrete things
   are now but sand and fog. 

A Random and Arbitrary List of Predicted Oscar Winners 2015

I watch the Oscars even if I haven’t seen most of the films.

Nevertheless, having someone to cheer for makes it more fun/exciting/frustrating/whatever.

So, I assigned each movie a number and then drew those numbers out of a bowl.

Here’s who’ll I’ll be “rooting” for Sunday night:

Best Picture: Boyhood

Actor in a Leading Role: Eddie Redmayne (Theory of Everything)

Actress in a Leading Role: Felicity Jones (Theory of Everything)

Actor in a Supporting Role: Edward Norton (Birdman)

Actress in a Supporting Role: Emma Stone (Birdman)

Animated Feature Film: The Boxtrolls

Cinematography: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Costume Design: Maleficent

Directing: Boyhood

Documentary Feature: CitizenFour

Documentary Short: The Reaper

Film Editing: The Imitation Game

Foreign Language: Leviathan

Makeup / Hairstyling: Guardians of the Galaxy

Original Score: Imitation Game

Original Song: “Everything is Awesome” from The Lego Movie

Production Design: Into the Woods

Animated Short: Feast

Live Action Short: Parvaneh

Sound Editing: The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies

Sound Mixing: Interstellar

Visual Effects: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Writing – Adapted Screenplay: American Sniper

Writing – Original Screenplay: Boyhood

Mightier Than The Sword


Fountain Pen Concrete Poem 5


Blogging U Poetry

A Book By Its Cover


To read is to tread carefully –

LeatherBooksRespectfully – with empathy

Understanding the handling of

Subjects and objects and secrets

Told in a voice clear and bold;


Never once judging merely by trudging

Over lines as if cutting through vines

out of print book stackThreading into and out of the queue;


Acting and reacting; extracting

Personal lessons, private blessings,

Public expressions, common professions,

Eternal truths laid bare to the root,

Amplified ecstasy – the magnified melody

Revealed and concealed on the page;

openbibleAware of the trust bestowed upon us:

Neither being too cruel nor too kind,

Ceding a space on a shelf or bookcase

Every tome has a spot – its true home –

Standing tall – standing proud – on the wall.


Blogging U Poetry

A Song of Ice (No Fire)

Wind and cold combine,

Making water treacherous:

Clear and smooth as glass –

Betraying unwary feet –

Or pointed like an arrow.

Frozen Swan New Bern

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