ColetteB….

not exactly work in progress…


1 Comment

Remembrance

SAM_0330.JPG

In Loving Memory of our wonderful Nans, RIP – I chose this photo from the few I’ve taken so far this morning to accompany my poem posted here today.

 

If rhyming couplets had their day

and free verse won the New World Order

I’d bet the Limericks sure gonna stay

the best remembered by the poetry hoarder.

A sonnet! A sonnet! I hear ye bequeath

but I have to confess I’ve not written one yet

as inherited form it somehow falls beneath

my aspiring limits, still I fear no regret!

Heck who says a haiku’s not poetry! Why?

It’s much more than maths, did you give one a try?

It’s only a literary game – write a motto –

It will soon multiply, makes – vice versa, then ditto…?

A pantoum’s not a pantun unless it’s in French

and a villanelle’s form in binary rhyming to be wrenched

is quite a far cry from the original verses –

the audacities of lit’rary High World, and so, curses!

A ballad is too sing-song? Too remind of native tongue?

Best to say it’s French derived, for all it’s said and done?

And please speak in iambic – don’t be so anapest!

When dactylls bring such terror, poetry sure needs a rest.

You said, ‘pick out a spondee’ – I went looking for a sponge

to set about pot-washing, ‘cos there’s plenty to be done!

Should I spend my days in dribs and drabs some hip-hop to try then scrawl?

Just to please MIssieurs Academia? I beg, I’d sooner crawl –

for that would be pretentious, quite obscene and frankly, lame

to jump on that cool bandwagon claiming all’s Poetry’s fine game!

© Colette Bates, August 2017 All Rights Reserved [usual Fair Use terms apply]

I wrote this poem with four line stanzas and the final stanza of six lines for practise extension freewriting during week 3 of UIowa’s IWP MOOC Power of the Pen (Poetry and Playwriting), unsubmitted and previously unpublished. We were learning about the pantoum in particular for poetry that week. I’d submitted a quite dire pantoum effort  and decided to play with the villanelle form and free forms… sadly I fizzled out and didn’t complete my MOOC work for that course, although I achieved the creative writing unit in July. I’m having dreadful difficulty obtaining my poetry certificates for neuro-burn-outs and failing my third try at ModPo so going with SloPo again and hoping to achieve that NEXT year now! If it even continues that far. Fingers crossed it will!

(NB: Be aware, (an)other person(s) has been gaining access illegally and unauthorised to my home and very recently stolen my current account debit card and recent utitlities documents. For some reason the card stolen from me last year has been actively used by someone else unknown to me (including abroad and in France last Autumn according to my bank and that card should have been cancelled by my bank once I was aware it had actually been stolen from under my bed by an unauthorised trespasser and not simply misplaced and had reported it and it should have been cancelled by my bank!) and this old previously cancelled card has been replaced to my purse in place of my actual debit card and it has been used locally as my own receipts have been removed from my purse after my last essential outing and replaced with another persons’ transactions for prepayment electricity to a nearby household. Either that or I’m having cognitive processing faults and hallucinating visible words and numbers on  personal effects and suffering extreme paranoia. My automatic/direct debit/bank transfer payments should still go through as my bank account so far still functions and I have not moved from my home address nor do I have any plans to. Hounds of hell and their bitches can take a running jump and have as nice a life as they like anywhere else in the world that they please, as they aren’t actually local residents and have their own homes to return to! I happen to live HERE at home! Air B&B should be made illegal and criminals should be prevented from entering our country and from travelling abroad when they stir up such vendettae against innocents. I’d bet 95% of criminal convictions are so circumstantial and SOC instigated that I don’t believe barely a word of most news reporting for a good many years now! And no, masons are not allowed their crimes scotfree nor for all the money in the world! Twots!


3 Comments

Having another go at poetry…

Week 5 ‘Ongoing poetry game’ at #ModPo ~ but not sure i’m unblocked from posting poems there yet – dunno what that’s about, clearly i can’t write a poem to save my life!

constraint: to use the ten prompted key words in this thing called ‘ottiva rima’ – and no i won’t capitalise the term! that’s so unnecessary…

i probably failed for not writing in regular meter (should be spelt metre, but it confuses people with measuring! we don’t learn formal meter in general UK population because language does not work like machine code and we’re meant to develop natural language and our humanity!) So this is my first attempt at the challenge and of this particular form:

[untitled, free verse attempting the ‘ottiva rima’ form]

There’s no time for rhyme in a world gone mad why

reckoning while no king – no patriarchy –

bourgeoisie to decline – resist and deny –

our birds tear at torn skies, creatures all born free

determine red – green – gold-blue star upon nigh

– so – little that’s polite in hierarchy

to remind it’s obscene, when facts show as – farced –

so much that’s not true in the present and past.

© Colette Bates, October 2017 All Rights Reserved [usual Fair Use terms apply]


4 Comments

Taking IT to the cleaners

On the way to readying winter outerwear, I called in for coffee and elevenses and poetry/art elucidation with a wacky artisty friend.

Had she heard…?

Well. No. No, nor me. So that made me feel better then. A bit less ignorant. Good!

Although there might have been a risk of having forgotten to get out of slippers and looking alike somewhere crossed between Michelin Man and Sulley from Monsters Inc in my onesy over half a dirty dozen of underwear layers hiding middle-age spread and bloomers of all things keeping me nice and warm without even a coat on yet, on my way home with shopping I got some snaps away from the yard for a change.

“Ruth Lechlitner” I’d said. She’d launched into stilts and Glastonbury remembrances and we paid no heed of either’s lack of attention for the other’s aside reflections.

Then something dawned. Noted. And forgotten.

On a scrappy coffee-stained notepad page she’d passed me this to bring home and ‘prove IT’ … she can write a ‘N0 Chance Operation’ poem from thin air too.

“yes, of course I can post it as soon as I’m… well, if I forget while passsing, it’s not that far to a post-box, really, is it!”

Do you know it’s still wherever I left it when i arrived through my door. hopelessly…

… and now two days later and hasn’t time flown as if it were only yesterday and I didn’t even put it on SPD for the pair of them! So here’s a poem from an anonymous no-one of some of ours esteem (posted with permission, guaranteed, special delivery, first class)

Repeat after me to write, leaving the left Sleeve in the uptight no fear don\\ ‘ t fight many small prediction can\\ ‘ t right rear sight site courtesy site mercy no mercy Now

I didn’t see who the translating helper was. A Ukranian virtual assistant in another virtual part of our world I believe. I’ve no idea of the poetic presentation but it’s as agreed a single line and in one breath. There may be countless versions of various poetic essences and deliveries in the making anytime durign the next century or three. We’re all such snails and so unconcerned for any rush “even if the whole world depends on IT…” is apparently our next elevenses workshopping writing prompt to prepare and be ready with.

Now did i drop my dry cleaning receipt on my way home? No idea. did I slip through one of them odd angle portals and I’m sure I was still in Nottingham or did I step out in Portsmouth in error? And without even realising…

here I am forgetting to post one of my several ModPo reflective poems from readings last week around Gertrude Stein, Jon Peale Bishop, and Dada, including the amazing and wonderful Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven and her fantastic rebuke “A dozen cocktails – please” (maybe I should’ve capitalised, can’t remember and can’t be bothered to check…

in a hurry then

So far untitled while i’m working on Lechlitner and trying not to be too LOLling around as things to make and do like afternoon tea and fooding for dinner…

a poem (all mine, of course – Modern poetry, aka #ModPo and so:

~~

even Stevens starts again

red w’ther days P’cock tales

back when

~~

w-hoosy-wore the trewzees

Willy win a skirt

wonderful when wars end wi’none of’em gettin’ g’hurt

~~

cure it as y’cuss it

calm it while y’can

can ‘e call a cuppa cold contagion conception

~~

zuccini in a zeppelin?

Zoology in zeal

zany zee-zee-zeeing x-o-phobic de’ts-z’ept’s. Reel.

© Colette Bates, October 2017 All Rights Reserved

(of course free to share! aren’t we all zillybillyGoatsGruff about IT! doesn’t that usually mean for personal and education use only and Fair Use always being applicable?)

I forgot to post a pic! Random grab from my snaps quick then…

Not so random actually… and although I do love my WordPress-iNG…. well, you can sometimes find me #skywatching elsewhere, like my latest post here: coleebeatsabout.blogspot.co.uk

One day IT will all make better sense… (tbc/ to be contd.)


10 Comments

Remembrance

I was deeply saddened this morning while trawling my email notifications to arrive at my copy of a June posting allegedly made by the sister of a respected blogging acquaintance/virtual-neighbour, Paul M********, a US citizen believed to be working and living in or around New York.

While attempting to pick up my lingering blogging habit I’d realised I’d not seen anything from Paul’s blog (www.palfitness.wordpress.com) in quite a while. So I’d dredged back through multitudes of links in my email inbox to find a trace.

Paul was a generous creative spirit and as well as posting on fitness he composed poetry and shared lots of interesting reblogs leading readers to other blogs he admired. The notice apparently posted by his sister informed his followers of the very sad news that Paul had died of undetermined circumstances on 29th May 2017. I have to assume that the poster claiming to be his sister was genuine and that the information is authentic. Unfortunately Paul’s blog has been deleted and perhaps that is in keeping with his wishes.

(Personally I feel it’s outrageous that relatives left behind might choose to delete a person’s online presence and remove their traces from the virtual world. I hope no-one is ever legally allowed to do that to my stuff even if it embarrasses the hell out of them! That’s not meant as a jibe to Paul’s family – nor my own – were they even to be reading, which I doubt.)

I deeply regretted not seeing that notification earlier, nor his more recent  blog posts leading up to that date. Paul had been encountering very difficult circumstances securing employment and navigating the pitfalls of temporary accommodation and some of his posts had eluded to himself and his friends/associates being victims of crimes including theft and violence against them. Quite sometime before Paul had spoken out against an incident of online bullying among/affecting specific members of the international online community and hopefully those individuals engaged in trolling etc had no bearing on the difficulties he encountered nor his sad demise nor the circumstances of his death as reported in that post claiming to be from his sister. Maybe we’ll never know the truth and that’s a sad reality for so very many peoples suffering the intolerable blights of a troubled world.

It’s four months to the day that Paul last posted to his personal blog. That feels such a long time to have passed before realising he was gone. His presence will be sadly missed but fondly remembered by many of those he interacted with online, even though we probably remain ‘strangers’.

How do you remember Paul?

I can’t say I knew Paul closely at all but I’ll remember him for his poetry and his spreading goodwill and positivity and his good sense of humour.

Below is  a screenshot of Paul’s penultimate six-word story found in the backlog of email notifications in my inbox this morning:

Remembrance-PaulMcaleavey-dec29052017~q

 

Yes, he was known to sometimes occasionally have vented emotionally-vexed rants on his personal blog. Many of us using personal blog spaces and/or social media might be likely to write out our rants now and then. We’re all hopefully human, after all. Better out than in, as we might say. Some of Paul’s posts during the last few months had been deeply concerning and it’s awful to not be able to help people when they seem in need. However he always seemed to bounce back and never gave up trying. New York must be an awfully difficult place to sustain everyday living. I don’t know why anyone would ever choose to go there as a tourist given the problems tourism is causing there and elsewhere.

Yes, Paul once quite rightfully called another blogger a ‘bitch!’ as she undoubtedly was. Yes she was getting away with some hideously insulting and outrageous behaviours. Yes he was condemned by some for his ‘outburst’ and refusing to tolerate such social injustices on behalf of another blogger who Paul had chosen to stand up for in their absence and for using such an innocuous regularly used word as ‘bitch’ in response to a deeply insulting remark made against him that was edited before other readers came across the conversation. That bitch hadn’t realised another online reader was present witnessing her attack in the moment of it happening and that it hadn’t been the first occasion but a repeated deviance preying on the vulnerabilities of others. Maybe I shouldn’t dredge it up here. Paul would worry for my own personal safety in alluding to it, given that bitches’ alleged reputation for dangerous trouble-making. She might also happen to be a well-respected and influential member of blogging communities / professional circuits.

And it might all have been hot air blown cold a long time ago. Murky waters under someone else’s shoddy bridge. So it’s time to let sleeping dogs lie then, maybe, cos bitches like that one might never lose a case they can pay through the nose for and can carry on regardless.

Paul, aka Palfitness, apparently gone, but not forgotten. R.I.P. Sincere belated condolences to Paul’s family and friends in light of their sad loss.

 

 

 

 


1 Comment

Doodling for a freewriting…(repost plus)

I still haven’t made any drawing but I doodled this earlier… and might make something of it elsehow and some other way(s) some other time…(NoteToSelf!) The doodle had to get itself out before I got on with a twenty-minute timed freewriting excercise around the question to task:

I write because there is no easy answer – no easy answers – no quick fix. Perhaps no fix it at all. Maybe nothing’s broken. Everything drifts. Sometimes to drift around uncertain shores is fine. Sometimes. Sometimes, to drop anchor, get it down, find my bearings – I should have found them before – but […]

via Another grey area — (my post at sWishingUp, …

…where I’m posting my #EverydayInspiration responses and working through #IntermediateCustomisation tasks.(I changed the theme, to another clunky one I don’t see often these days and I’m keeping it there for the next three weeks at least while I do this writing ‘class’).

I did both these #BloggingU classes in September2015 but was very messy and scatterbrained about it. I need to try and keep or make things neat and tidy…

So, I’ve signed up again, inspired and encouraged by my blogging neighbour, Sarah to Have Fun Learning some more and also to keep Blogging for Fun – (I just love those taglines she chose for her blogs) and as I haven’t found my scrap of paper with ‘pumpkin pie’ on it to submit for Sarah’s challenge, I’m writing an ad hoc new one in the here and now… here goes…

Does it have to be a haiku? I might try Autumn leaves, while Spring’s just round the corner, no signs of winter inbetween. That’s 29 syllables you see, though if I removed the first question, with eight syllables, then I’d only need to drop four more… and in adjusting that sentence… my haiku:

Where went wintertime

while Spring’s around the corner

Autumn leaves remain

Well, autumn leaves are still blowing around the yard and the pavements beyond. We have had some frost. I’ve seen real solid ice formations all of twice and the tiniest sprinkle of very temporary powdery-snow once and crystalised-ice-drops two or maybe three times. Autumn seemed to continue very slowly with the trees hanging on to leaves as long as they could possibly manage and dropping only a few at a time and winter hasn’t really seemed to get here. Although I do have all of two snowdrops in my backyard, as I posted yesterday at theWishingWell in Farewell February, Onward March

How’s the weather doing in your part of the world? and/or How are you doing? (now there’s another phrase I’ve not heard in ages…) 


4 Comments

Another post in/for a Brave New World?

Where is everyone? Busy celebrating inauguration? I was very glad to see there is still somewhere that LOOKS like Washington – and not surprised to see it so quite quiet. Quite surprised to see that an apparent extortionist can actually proceed to such circumstance. Maybe I should be begging forgiveness for my bare English cheek but I wouldn’t waste my breath! That man has no authority whatsoever in my mind’s eye and I shouldn’t waste my breath even giving him a mention! I do try to remember he is just an old man from another place, a father and grandfather. Just a man. Shoddy as any other. And worse besides…

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m just a shoddy woman too! But I’m not a bully like some appear to be – and I won’t put up with it either!

I assume to be as entitled to freedom of speech and creative expression as previously but…

This is what happens when my energy supplier blocks my online account and forces me to trek to the store to get prepaid electricity to feed to my meter. I bought newspapers. Just in case the world collapses overnight and there might never be anymore. And I’ve been using my Facebook as if it’s a blog in the most unwise ways lately – like answering that ‘what’s on your mind?’ question … in bits and pieces and all at odds, with…

In some parts of the world,for many people, their world might have collapsed. Anytime between now and then…

Not so long back, pre-November 2016, online news headlines was suggesting that the British public should NOT be going online, as if there were some great threat and that we should only be receiving our news from our newspapers. How do you get a newspaper if you can’t get out to the shop and WHY would anyone not wish to check the propoganda campaigns against other sources for some measure of reliability? Not long after, and having ignored the ‘stay offline’ suggestion, there was a more sensible headline about hoax news stories. There seemed to be plenty of them. For decades.

I should get about reading blogs more. But everything’s changed at WordPress. A reflection of how the world has changed? How the poor have no equal rights even to an online blogging platform that previously encouraged amateur use, simply as humans, blogging for enjoyment and community and a sense of being human, connecting with other humans.

All of a sudden there’s this ‘premium’ with the ‘best for Freelancers and Entrepreneurs’ slant to it. That’ll get a lot of us Brits in trouble as hobbyist-bloggers, just passing time. When it’s your only way of having ‘social contact’ with the outside world it’s a very precious thing. In some cultures we’re not worthy enough for their sense of elitist privelege and should be weeded out – is how it feels. Maybe that’s why Brits should have been staying offline? Until it’s safe? Or what was there to really be scared about and why should we hide our online natural selves when propoganda instructs us to do so? The real world seems far more dangerous and abuse usually occurs from someone known, rather than from strangers.

Apparently we can ‘build a business website in just 10 days’ and with no offence intended to the Blogging U team, there’s a lot about that notion that flouts English Law and risks devastating deprivation to UK bloggers who might then be assumed to returning £250 weekly income as a minimum. Some of us blog to learn and practise and communicate and would NEVER wish to ‘monetise’ our blogs with advertising revenue. [If that’s what monetising a blog means, because there’s no clear info anywhere.] Some of us are fussy. Monetisation? That’s not BUSINESS!

I’ve not seen any statistics for quite a while, but a couple of years ago something like 94% ‘small businesses’ were failing within their first year in Britain. That’d be for these vague ideas of how easy it is and for inappropriate ‘support’ from Employment Services. Wondering how many made it to their second full year?! No doubt online service providers are getting more than their fair share of the blame for that too – although individuals should always accept responsibility for their own choices and actions. It’s been an oppressive and pressured experience for many tens of thousands of UK welfare claimants to ‘just start a business’ while set up to FAIL and having no viable alternative choice.

It maybe ok in some parts of the world to ask for donations as an individual in need too. But in the UK it’s illegal to beg, or even to give to someone who’s starving, homeless either money or food, or we risk a fine or arrest and a criminal charge. Crazy as that seems. I tend to ignore that law on the rare occasion I get anywhere, but with due care. And aware of the risk for myself and the other person. But I don’t have an active PayPal account and so can’t even buy anyone their coffee online and no way I’d risk that charge! And it’s a bit sickening seeing (local) professionals with a salary asking visitors to their website to donate by PayPal when you were expecting to find a method for giving an item for their art project!

Now it feels like it could be risky even visiting to read some blogs I’d normally visit, for the association with other individuals engaging in what might be entrepreneurial or professional writerly progressions. I’m not knocking them at all and mean no disrespect.

SAM_2477.JPG

My poem inspired after reading Cid Corman in SloPo last week and doodled this alternative presentation of it, just for fun. [I don’t write poetry often. I’m not a writer.]

But my blogs here are my personal creative space. If whenever i were to start self-employment, there’s no way I’d be bringing it into my personal /our community spaces.and it’s gonna take me maybe about five years to regain my health and maybe get my own Empty Plan together somehow in the meantime. There’s a lot of very complex issues to take into account. And I know it might not look like it, but still…once upon a time and every fairytale begins and ends in a nightmare of a tale.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Leave a comment

T.F.I.Friday… As was Tiswas & F-F-S

… anyone remember (Blogger’s World) and ‘Meanings Lost in Time’ … among others…???

(I’m just practising blogging101 and refreshing content here, by the way…)

I spent the day expecting it to be 5th November already, although it may as well have been. Luckily I didn’t miss 4Fawkes-sake-Friday and made this post to grow my to-do list better… and maybe, i’ll be back… soon…

Blogger's World!

Today in England (Britain/Brutain/UK?) is 4Fawkes-sake-Friday! A special evening indeed, the first night following Diwali, whereby fireworks, firelight and even tealight-type celebrations were withheld from all public areas other than those supported by one or few local BBC radio station events (apparently). Not quite tonight being Firework Night (as that’s tomorrow), I’m here while resting in bed taking up a belated challenge while enjoying some recommended listening, hoping those plenty near-off noises are only fireworks and not mortar fire(!) Sparing, our few thoughts for those global neighbours in the vicinity of such atrocities as war and violations of civilian life – and resisting the evil influences of political propogandas whilst we have no way of knowing…

The first Friday of each month we have this thing titled ‘3Quotes’ within our sidebar thing titled ‘Friday Special Feature’ and the weekly features page. @piyushavir these pages are in need of at least…

View original post 479 more words


Leave a comment

Leap Year Guestbook 2016

As I intended this blog for learning about portfolio posts and making a website- eventually – my main blogging is… in the main, all over the place, as most of you know. This reblog links to my primary blog (have now found the admin setting to alter that).

Thank you to all my followers here for encouragement and support along the way. I will continue to post here once a month for the recyled book challenge, with the first post tomorrow… there might be nothing else until the April post challenge, when I’ll be so busy playing April Fool’s that I’ll post on 2nd April instead of 1st…

If you’re joining in the Leapster challenge you can pingback and /or comment on any previous post and links will be rounded up asap, or leap here (your leap, your way) for my latest Leapster challenge announcement post (it’s not limited to just one day – leap your way through the next four years and be a 2020 Leapster too!)

Have a happy Leap into something somewhere and best wishes for Leap Day and the rest of Leap year 2016.

The Wishing Well

Thanks for stopping by 🙂 My blog is born again on 28th February 2016, I hope you like the theme (one day old today!) and it’s a comfortable visit – please speak up if there’s something lacking or anything you need here?tWWlogo280216a2016~

Wishing you all a Happy Leap Day and a Happy Leap year 2016 😀

If you can spare a moment, please ‘sign’ my Leap Year Guestbook 2016

Are you taking or making a Leapster challenge #blogdare?

Please share… pingback or comment to let me know…

View original post


6 Comments

Saturday’s special…with Lunar Tides

kurtquote200216~

Today would have been Kurt Cobain’s 49th birthday. It’s a time to rejoice in his ever having lived at all and for the gift he was to the world. He also apparently said:

“If you die you’re completely happy and your soul somewhere lives on.”

I found the quotes used for this post during today’s research at brainyquote.com, (toward my guestpost here, but not using this quote) then happened across the images used for his post, including to make the picture-quote, during research at pixabay.com (toward my Leap into…pix day 5 post, again, not using these particular images).

rainbow-67902_1920

I almost applied the ‘light’ quote to this image instead, but thought the moon version more appropriate – what do you think?

Anyway, back to the point of ever making this post… another of the quotes (from Brainyquote.com), attributed to Kurt Cobain is: “If there was a Rock Star 101, I would have liked to take it. It might have helped me.”

WordPress / DailyPost / BloggingU team, will you ever be offering a RockStar101? I don’t expect so – and I’m still waiting for further news of Websites101 and Blogging301 (CSS)…

Wouldn’t it have been great if there’d been things like online streaming in the early days of Nirvana? Maybe there was, in smaller circles, and I’ve just been a dinosaur for too long…

Anyway, I’m very grateful for Blogging101 and other 101classes for meeting fantastic peope around the world, like Lydia – many of you might have bumped into her in class and know her as aidyl93.

Lydia’s having a blogging hiatus at the moment, but there’s lots to browse at her blog in the meantime. Last Saturday was #InternetFriendsDay, and I caught up with Lydia at Twitter, just in time for the live streaming announcement for the band she plays with, Lunar Tides.

Sadly, it was the last live gig the band were broadcasting at TwitchTV for a while – but the good news is that they’re busy recording their first CD – I hope I’m near the front of the queue to get mine and that overseas shipping will be do-able.

In the meantime, I’ll be keeping up-to-date with news from Lunar Tides, looking out for vlog announcements and crossing my fingers for that CD heading my way one fine summer’s day 🙂

I’m a glutton for souvenirs, and as I enjoyed being part of the livestream audience, I snapped a couple of screenshots of the gig. Many thanks to Lunar Tides for making music and making their live gigs accessible – and thanks again for permission to use these screenshots in my post.

luntides140216f

luntides140216g

That’s Lucas at the back on drums and vocals (says he’s really a guitarist, but makes a fine vocalist, drummer and front-man from the back of the set), Lydia playing bass guitar and at front-right Randy on guitar and vocals. Lunar Tides write and perform their own music and the couple of times I’ve managed to catch their live stream show I really enjoyed it. It just happened to be their evening time but my early hours of the morning, or I might have turned up every week.

Thanks again Lunar Tides, I may be missing your live-stream, but yet again you just helped make my Saturday special 🙂

[I have to return and update links later!]


6 Comments

Reblog – my guest post at BW, re: Helen keller

my post at BW re Helen keller

There’s no reblog button now to share my post from Blogger’s World, so my screenshot pic will have to do for a preview, full post at http://wp.me/p6Cbfo-34v … the partial photo shows the young Helen Keller (left) with her governess Anne Sullivan, in 1988. 

(This post isn’t repeating text from my BW-feature, it’s me rambling about my process adn focussing on a couple of particular excerpts of Helen Keller’s writing.)

I really enjoyed researching for this weeks #authorstory post. I included some resource links, the ABF Helen Keller archive, articles and recommended some video links too. But I most enjoyed reading some of Helen Keller’s work, so much so, that I made my first public podcasts, reading excerpts from a couple of pieces of her writing. If you can spare a few minutes to have a listen and like to hear attempted readings of poetry and prose, I’d love to receive feedback and criticisms are very welcome 🙂

I also thought that a couple of audio files might be assistive for visually impaired readers, so recorded and uploaded those to my post (part 1 approx 10mins, part 2 approx 5 mins). Then decided that I needed to provide transcripts too, as pages hosted at my other blog, The Wishing WellNote to self:  work still to do at that transcript! As well as sorting out the pre-formatted text formatting in the top section, there’s a paragraph repeated in part ii of the text citing different paragraphs on each. Oh, when I can’t see for looking!!! (and doing things while exhausted makes for many a mistake!) Please, dear reader, if you go there, forgive me – I’ll catch up soon-ish 🙂

I selected some paragraphs of Keller’s 1903 essay, Optimism and really quite like the condensing as an abridged version but also plan to revisit the full texts and study them in more depth, at some point. There are links to the various formats full texts online sources on the transcript for my reading – and it’s wonderful to see digitised versions of the original book pages.

Helen Keller’s intelligence and command of language is absolutely astounding. I think I should read my abridged version every day to strengthen my resolve.

I, too, can work, and because I love to labor with my head and my hands, I am an optimist in spite of all. I used to think I should be thwarted in my desire to do something useful. But I have found out that though the ways in which I can make myself useful are few, yet the work open to me is endless. .. Darwin could work only half an hour at a time; yet in many diligent half-hours he laid anew the foundations of philosophy. … it is my chief duty and joy to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble. [from part ii, para.26]

Here’s another favourite excerpt from that same text:

These things which you see and hear and touch are not the reality of realities, but imperfect manifestations of the Idea, the Principle, the Spiritual; the Idea is the truth, the rest is delusion.

 

I realised when i began to research, that although Helen Keller’s name was familiar to me, I had forgotten any prior learning of who she was. I expect that when we heard small mention of her in school it would have been a very brief introduction, telling us what an incredible person and writer she was, but not actually sharing her work. It was probably one of those 300 words of contextual information and a set of comprehension questions on a workcard. It seems such a shame – and apparently that’s still a common experience, according to replies in the comments to my post at Blogger’s World.

The second piece of Helen Keller’s writing I selected to read from is her magnificent poem, ‘Songs of the Stone Wall’, published in 1910. The transcript is here (and hopefully without  error) and the audio file of my reading from this work is labelled as Part 2 on the BW-feature postThis was one of my favourite moments in the poem:

At the foot of the aged pines the maidens moccasins
Track the sod like the noiseless sandals of Spring.
Out of chinks in the wall delicate grasses wave,
As beauty grew out of the crannies of these hard souls. [from verse 12]

So, I came here not to write another few hundred words, but have enjoyed doing so, it seems.

I’d love to hear from you if you’re familiar with Helen Keller’s work and have any recommendations, or your own favourite moments in her work, or for any other feedback or discussion.

I wont be posting here often, while I work out how and why I am doing whatever next with this blog that I keep mulling over… so for now, and until next time…  I hope you’re having a good day 🙂