Claire V. Bogdanos

POEMS….THOUGHTS…..MEMORIES

DATELINE: Hoboken, NJ USA “NIGHTINGALES” ( 2013 ) 2013/07/07


In 1945, I stumbled upon a poem, “Transcience” by a poet, Sarojini Naidu.  I was unaware that she was a woman or that she was so very special.  However, my hungry mind gravitated to her incredible thoughts and words.  In my effort to commit them to memory, I devised a plan by using the first 4 words of each of 3 stanzas and it worked.  “Nay, do not grieve, Nay do not pine, Nay, do not weep,”  now here we are almost 70 years later and with this single device I am able to recall that piece without hesitation.  I find that time has not diminished its value or the consolation it carried in its rhythmic style to alleviate the almost unbearable tragedy of that era and its world impact !  This reminds me of another man of note and pathos, Siegfried Sassoon of World War I, still one more voice in the “wilderness “along with a cadre of others.  Oddly enough both of these poets shared similarities, born late 1800’s , died after WWII concluded,educated in England and rooted in Indian culture with a passion for peace.  Both deserve your attention and respect !  Please allow me to close with the last 4 lines of my personal favorite:

“Nay, do not weep; new hopes,new dreams,new faces,

The unspent joy of all the unborn years,

Will prove your heart a traitor to its sorrow,

And make your eyes unfaithful to their tears.”

by Sarojini Naidu

And so again, we find another facet of magic words in the hands of “word warriors” not to be ignored.  I find myself compelled to think of one greater, the Preacher,Solomon, have you read him lately?  That’s Ecclesiastes !

Sincerely,

Claire B.

 

DATELINE: HOBOKEN, NJ, USA (2013) “AULD LANG SYNE” 2013/06/24

Filed under: POEMS.....THOUGHTS.....MEMORIES — bogdanosclaire @ 5:25 pm
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Who is the BAD BOY of poetry?  I’d opt for my special love, Robbie Burns, remember to roll the R !  He began writing rhyme and chasing girls according to his own words in his 15th year.  Remarkable!  Born 25 January 1759, first of 7 children, one of a kind, handsome roue and charmer of words died 21 July 1796.  Wow! I’m not sure if anyone has written more verses than he, like an onion one just keeps peeling away layer after layer, you laugh and you cry and you learn !  No fantasy there, simply magic.  My personal favorite ” To A Louse “, yes it’s about head lice BUT it’s about a girl he met in church who refuses to acknowledge him and shakes her long curls as she turns away,

 Oh Jenny, do not toss your head,

And set your beauties all abroad !

The light shining through the stained glass window above the pew illuminates the path of her “cooties” and evokes this stunning conclusion:

Oh, wad some power the giftie gie us

To see oursel’s as others see us!

It wad frae monie a blunder free us

And foolish notion:

What airs in dress an’ gait wad lea’e us,

And ev’n devotion !

Just another one of my magic prods, 7 words, ” to see ourselves as others see us”.  Can’t beat it right?  By the way, the best biography of Burns that I know is by William Ernest Henley ( 1897 ).  Sound familiar?  Between the bible and the bards, if I had another 100 years, it wouldn’t be enough time to absorb and digest the thoughts and words and ideals to fill my need !  Not so bad for a public high school grad with one semester NYU night school and one year at a NY Art School, what do you think?

 

DATELINE: HOBOKEN, NJ, USA (2013) “BREATHLESS” 2013/06/18

Filed under: POEMS.....THOUGHTS.....MEMORIES — bogdanosclaire @ 3:18 pm
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Shall we speak of another poet of whom I know little or nothing about, only the words?  R.L. Sharpe, c. 1809, and the poem, ” A Bag of Tools “, beginning with the line, ” Isn’t it strange that princes and kings and clowns that caper in sawdust rings and common folk like you and me are builders for eternity? ”  Powerful thoughts and words, ” Each is a given bag of tools, a shapeless mass, a book of rules and each must make ere life is flown a stumbling block or a stepping stone”.  Will you know which choice you have made when you approach your final destination?  But of course by then, it is too late for correction, isn’t it?  Life is about choices, ” The lady or the tiger “!  However, another poet of small fame could be Adelaide Crapsey who observed ” On seeing weather beaten trees”, in eighteen simple words, an entire philosophy, ” Is it as plainly in our living shown, By slant and twist, which way the wind hath blown? ”  Just the thought leaves me breathless, how about you?

Sincerely,

Claire B.

 

DATELINE: Hoboken, NJ, USA ” THE FORERUNNER ” (2013) 2013/06/13

Filed under: POEMS.....THOUGHTS.....MEMORIES — bogdanosclaire @ 8:21 pm
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And who is that?  One George Herbert, 1593 – 1633, another English clergyman, who wrote “The Temple”,  a seemingly endless collection of homilies in rhyme!  However, no subject remains unnoticed.  One needs to ” tip-toe ” gently through the many pages of Olde English sextets, but trust me, that could be an incredible task.  My personal favorites appear about halfway, beginning with :

Scorn no mans love, though of a mean degree;
( Love is a present for a mightie king )
Much lesse make any one thine enemie.
As gunnes destroy, so may a little sling.
The cunning workman never doth refuse
The meanest tool, that he may chance to use.

A lifetime of wisdom in six short sentences with not a word to spare.  Well worth the effort !  Consider a foray into the unknown, do you dare? 

 

Sincerely,

Claire B.

 

 
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