Thursday, April 28, 2011

Wedding Fever

It’s hard to miss the sights and sounds of the forthcoming royal wedding. Images of palaces and spires, the strains of a wedding processional, and I’m back in front of a television set watching first Prince Charles’s wedding to Lady Diana Spencer and then, not so many years later, her funeral. Now that Prince William is about to wed Kate Middleton, the girl who will walk into Westminster Abbey a commoner and come out the world's first YouTube princess, I will occupy my spot in front of that little box again.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Kitchen Daughter

"The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair." --Mary Heaton Vorse

I have the good fortune to be acquainted with and related to people who are writers. Friends are usually fascinated by the process of writing, particularly fiction writing and have one of two reactions. One, they think it must be kind of easy, because you can make it all up and you get to sit at your computer and keep your own schedule. Or two, it is incredibly hard and they can't imagine even thinking about writing a piece of fiction - it is overwhelmingly intimidating.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Just Some Poems: Du Fu in Translation

In translation, even Du Fu’s name is not a constant.  At the time Kenneth Rexroth translated him, the name in English of this Tang Dynasty poet was “Tu Fu.”  Or, as poet Charles Simic put it, “Du Fu, eh?  I knew him when he was Tu Fu.  A swell guy!”

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Water, Water, Everywhere

“…Water, water, every where,

And all the boards did shrink;

Water, water, every where,

Nor any drop to drink…”

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

We could find ourselves echoing the words of the Ancient Mariner if we don't pay close attention to our precious water supply. Unlike seabirds, human bodies lack the ability to desalinate sea water, and most of the water on our planet is in the oceans – a whopping 99 percent of it. Only the remaining 1 percent is usable by humans. And that tiny share is in peril.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Love Thy Neighbor

The following is the tale of a remarkable little boy. Yet it is not really about his story, it is the story around his story. Trey Love (yes, that's his real name) is a 4 year old boy who is fighting terminal cancer. He had been in remission for 2 years, but three weeks ago his neuroblastoma came back. Until March 20th, not many people knew who he was. He had been diagnosed with neuroblastoma in 2008 but most recently was living the typical 4 year old life, playing with friends and rooting for the Philadelphia Phillies baseball team.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Searching For Angola in Florida

On the banks of the Manatee River near Sarasota, Florida, is a site that was once a refuge for as many as 700 runaway slaves (aka Black Seminoles) and Seminole Indians in the early part of the 19th Century.