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The history of Valentines day

Valentine’s Day

 

Modern Valentine’s Day symbols include the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the winged Cupid. Since the 19th century, handwritten valentines have given way to mass-produced greeting cardsSaint Valentine’s Day, commonly shortened to Valentine’s Day, is an annual commemoration held on February 14 celebrating love and affection between intimate companions. The day is named after one or more early Christian martyrsnamed Saint Valentine, and was established by Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD. It was deleted from the General Roman Calendarof saints in 1969 by Pope Paul VI. It is traditionally a day on which lovers express their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as “valentines“). The day first became associated withromantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished.

Saint Valentine

Historical facts

Numerous early Christian martyrs were named Valentine. The Valentines honored on February 14 are Valentine of Rome (Valentinus presb. m. Romae) and Valentine of Terni (Valentinus ep. Interamnensis m. Romae).  Valentine of Rome was a priest in Rome who was martyred about AD 269 and was buried on the Via Flaminia. His relics are at the Church of Saint Praxed in Rome, and at Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church in Dublin, Ireland.

Valentine of Terni became bishop of Interamna (modern Terni) about AD 197 and is said to have been martyred during the persecution under Emperor Aurelian. He is also buried on the Via Flaminia, but in a different location than Valentine of Rome. His relics are at the Basilica of Saint Valentine in Terni (Basilica di San Valentino).

The Catholic Encyclopedia also speaks of a third saint named Valentine who was mentioned in early martyrologies under date of February 14. He was martyred in Africa with a number of companions, but nothing more is known about him.

No romantic elements are present in the original early medieval biographies of either of these martyrs. By the time a Saint Valentine became linked to romance in the 14th century, distinctions between Valentine of Rome and Valentine of Terni were utterly lost.

In the 1969 revision of the Roman Catholic Calendar of Saints, the feast day of Saint Valentine on February 14 was removed from the General Roman Calendar and relegated to particular (local or even national) calendars for the following reason: “Though the memorial of Saint Valentine is ancient, it is left to particular calendars, since, apart from his name, nothing is known of Saint Valentine except that he was buried on the Via Flaminia on February 14.” The feast day is still celebrated in Balzan (Malta) where relics of the saint are claimed to be found, and also throughout the world by Traditionalist Catholics who follow the older, pre-Second Vatican Council calendar. February 14 is also celebrated as St Valentine’s Day in other Christian denominations; it has, for example, the rank of ‘commemoration’ in the calendar of the Church of England and other parts of the Anglican Communion.

Legends

Saint Valentine of Terni and his disciples.

The Early Medieval acta of either Saint Valentine were expounded briefly in Legenda Aurea. According to that version, St Valentine was persecuted as a Christian and interrogated by Roman Emperor Claudius II in person. Claudius was impressed by Valentine and had a discussion with him, attempting to get him to convert to Roman paganism in order to save his life. Valentine refused and tried to convert Claudius to Christianity instead. Because of this, he was executed. Before his execution, he is reported to have performed a miracle by healing the blind daughter of his jailer.

Since Legenda Aurea still provided no connections whatsoever with sentimental love, appropriate lore has been embroidered in modern times to portray Valentine as a priest who refused an unattested law attributed to Roman Emperor Claudius II, allegedly ordering that young men remain single. The Emperor supposedly did this to grow his army, believing that married men did not make for good soldiers. The priest Valentine, however, secretly performed marriage ceremonies for young men. When Claudius found out about this, he had Valentine arrested and thrown in jail.

There is an additional modern embellishment to The Golden Legend, provided by American Greetings to History.com, and widely repeated despite having no historical basis whatsoever. On the evening before Valentine was to be executed, he would have written the first “valentine” card himself, addressed to a young girl variously identified as his beloved, as the jailer’s daughter whom he had befriended and healed,  or both. It was a note that read “From your Valentine.

Attested traditions

Lupercalia

Main article: Lupercalia

Though popular modern sources link unspecified Greco-Roman February holidays alleged to be devoted to fertility and love to St. Valentine’s Day, Professor Jack Oruch of the University of Kansas argued that prior to Chaucer, no links between the Saints named Valentinus and romantic love existed. Earlier links as described above were focused on sacrifice rather than romantic love. In the ancient Athenian calendar the period between mid-January and mid-February was the month of Gamelion, dedicated to the sacred marriage of Zeus and Hera.

In Ancient RomeLupercalia, observed February 13–15, was an archaic rite connected to fertility. Lupercalia was a festival local to the city of Rome. The more general Festival of Juno Februa, meaning “Juno the purifier “or “the chaste Juno”, was celebrated on February 13–14. Pope Gelasius I (492–496) abolished Lupercalia.

Chaucer’s love birds

The first recorded association of Valentine’s Day with romantic love is in Parlement of Foules (1382) by Geoffrey Chaucer Chaucer wrote:

For this was on seynt Volantynys day
Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make.

[“For this was Saint Valentine’s Day, when every bird cometh there to choose his mate.”]

This poem was written to honor the first anniversary of the engagement of King Richard II of England to Anne of Bohemia. A treaty providing for a marriage was signed on May 2, 1381.  (When they were married eight months later, they were each only 15 years old).

Readers have uncritically assumed that Chaucer was referring to February 14 as Valentine’s Day; however, mid-February is an unlikely time for birds to be mating in England. Henry Ansgar Kelly has pointed out  that in the liturgical calendar, May 2 is the saints’ day for Valentine of Genoa. This St. Valentine was an early bishop of Genoawho died around AD 307.

Chaucer’s Parliament of Foules is set in a fictional context of an old tradition, but in fact there was no such tradition before Chaucer. The speculative explanation of sentimental customs, posing as historical fact, had their origins among 18th-century antiquaries, notably Alban Butler, the author of Butler’s Lives of Saints, and have been perpetuated even by respectable modern scholars. Most notably, “the idea that Valentine’s Day customs perpetuated those of the Roman Lupercalia has been accepted uncritically and repeated, in various forms, up to the present”.

Medieval period and the English Renaissance

Using the language of the law courts for the rituals of courtly love, a “High Court of Love” was established in Paris on Valentine’s Day in 1400. The court dealt with love contracts, betrayals, and violence against women. Judges were selected by women on the basis of a poetry reading. The earliest surviving valentine is a 15th-centuryrondeau written by Charles, Duke of Orléans to his wife, which commences.

Je suis desja d’amour tanné
Ma tres doulce Valentinée…
—Charles d’Orléans, Rondeau VI, lines 1–2

At the time, the duke was being held in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt, 1415.

Valentine’s Day is mentioned ruefully by Ophelia in Hamlet (1600–1601):

To-morrow is Saint Valentine’s day,
All in the morning betime,
And I a maid at your window,
To be your Valentine.
Then up he rose, and donn’d his clothes,
And dupp’d the chamber-door;
Let in the maid, that out a maid
Never departed more.
—William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act IV, Scene 5

John Donne used the legend of the marriage of the birds as the starting point for his Epithalamion celebrating the marriage of Elizabeth, daughter of James I of England, andFrederick V, Elector Palatine on Valentine’s Day:

Hayle Bishop Valentine whose day this is
All the Ayre is thy Diocese
And all the chirping Queristers
And other birds ar thy parishioners
Thou marryest every yeare
The Lyrick Lark, and the graue whispering Doue,
The Sparrow that neglects his life for loue,
The houshold bird with the redd stomacher
Thou makst the Blackbird speede as soone,
As doth the Goldfinch, or the Halcyon
The Husband Cock lookes out and soone is spedd
And meets his wife, which brings her feather-bed.
This day more cheerfully than ever shine
This day which might inflame thy selfe old Valentine.
—John Donne, Epithalamion Vpon Frederick Count Palatine and the Lady Elizabeth marryed on St. Valentines day

The verse Roses are red echoes conventions traceable as far back as Edmund Spenser‘s epic The Faerie Queene (1590):

She bath’d with roses red, and violets blew,
And all the sweetest flowres, that in the forrest grew.

The modern cliché Valentine’s Day poem can be found in the collection of English nursery rhymes Gammer Gurton’s Garland (1784):

The rose is red, the violet’s blue
The honey’s sweet, and so are you
Thou are my love and I am thine
I drew thee to my Valentine
The lot was cast and then I drew
And Fortune said it shou’d be you.

Valentine’s Day postcard, circa 1910

Modern times

In 1797, a British publisher issued The Young Man’s Valentine Writer, which contained scores of suggested sentimental verses for the young lover unable to compose his own. Printers had already begun producing a limited number of cards with verses and sketches, called “mechanical valentines,” and a reduction in postal rates in the next century ushered in the less personal but easier practice of mailing Valentines. That, in turn, made it possible for the first time to exchange cards anonymously, which is taken as the reason for the sudden appearance of racy verse in an era otherwise prudishly Victorian.

Paper Valentines became so popular in England in the early 19th century that they were assembled in factories. Fancy Valentines were made with real lace and ribbons, with paper lace introduced in the mid-19th century. In the UK, just under half of the population spend money on their Valentines and around 1.3 billion pounds are spent yearly on cards, flowers, chocolates and other gifts, with an estimated 25 million cards being sent.  The reinvention of Saint Valentine’s Day in the 1840s has been traced by Leigh Eric Schmidt.  As a writer in Graham’s American Monthly observed in 1849, “Saint Valentine’s Day… is becoming, nay it has become, a national holyday. In the United States, the first mass-produced valentines of embossed paper lace were produced and sold shortly after 1847 by Esther Howland (1828–1904) of Worcester, Massachusetts.

Child dressed in Valentine’s Day-themed clothing.

Her father operated a large book and stationery store, but Howland took her inspiration from an English Valentine she had received from a business associate of her father. Intrigued with the idea of making similar Valentines, Howland began her business by importing paper lace and floral decorations from England. The English practice of sending Valentine’s cards was established enough to feature as a plot device in Elizabeth Gaskell‘s Mr. Harrison’s Confessions (1851): “I burst in with my explanations: ‘”The valentine I know nothing about.” ‘”It is in your handwriting”, said he coldly. ince 2001, the Greeting Card Association has been giving an annual “Esther Howland Award for a Greeting Card Visionary.

Since the 19th century, handwritten notes have given way to mass-produced greeting cards.  The mid-19th century Valentine’s Day trade was a harbinger of further commercialized holidays in the United States to follow.

In the second half of the 20th century, the practice of exchanging cards was extended to all manner of gifts in the United States. Such gifts typically include roses and chocolates packed in a red satin, heart-shaped box. In the 1980s, the diamond industry began to promote Valentine’s Day as an occasion for giving jewelry.

The U.S. Greeting Card Association estimates that approximately 190 million valentines are sent each year in the US. Half of those valentines are given to family members other than husband or wife, usually to children. When you include the valentine-exchange cards made in school activities the figure goes up to 1 billion, and teachers become the people receiving the most valentines. In some North American elementary schools, children decorate classrooms, exchange cards, and are given sweets. The greeting cards of these students sometimes mention what they appreciate about each other.

The rise of Internet popularity at the turn of the millennium is creating new traditions. Millions of people use, every year, digital means of creating and sending Valentine’s Day greeting messages such as e-cardslove coupons or printable greeting cards. An estimated 15 million e-valentines were sent in 2010.[

Antique and vintage Valentines, 1850–1950

Valentines of the mid-19th and early 20th centuries

  • Esther Howland Valentine, circa 1850: “Weddings now are all the go, Will you marry me or no”?

  • Handwritten poem, “To Susanna” dated Valentine’s Day, 1850 (Cork, Ireland)

  • Comic Valentine, mid-19th century: “R stands for rod, which can give a smart crack, And ought to be used For a day on your back.”

  • Valentine card, 1862: “My dearest Miss, I send thee a kiss” addressed to Miss Jenny Lane of Crostwight Hall, Smallburgh, Norfolk.

  • Folk art Valentine and envelope dated 1875 addressed to Clara Dunn of Newfield, New Jersey

  • Whitney Valentine, 1887; Howland sold her New England Valentine Company to the George C. Whitney Company in 1881

  • Seascape Valentine, date unknown

  • Vinegar Valentine, circa 1900

Postcards, “pop-ups”, and mechanical Valentines, circa 1900–1930

  • Buster Brown Valentine postcard by Richard Felton Outcault, early years of 20th century

  • Advertisement for Prang’s greeting cards, 1883

  • Postcard by Nister, circa 1906

  • Valentine postcard, circa 1900–1910

  • A tiny 2-inch pop-up Valentine, circa 1920

  • Football-playing Disney-like rat and bulldog are set in motion by the pull-tab on the right, circa 1920

  • A grommet affixed to the center of the card permits the dog’s eyes to glance side-to-side when the blue bow is moved

  • Rocking horse and rider, circa 1920–1930

Children’s Valentines

  • Children’s Valentine, 1940–1950

TEN THINGS TO DO THIS EASTER WEEKEND

 

1 Paint eggs. Armed with a colouring set, box of eggs, and newspaper spread over the kitchen table, you can keep kids quiet for hours. House of Fraser stocks an egg slicer (£5) with a handy “spike” to help at the hollowing-out stage.

2 Learn about chocolate. The eggheads at London’s Natural History Museum are giving a fun, free talk on everyone’s favourite Easter treat tomorrow. Cromwell Road, London SW7, 020 7942 5792, 

3 Go to a Punch and Judy show. The 30-minute shows run from today to Easter Monday at the Pleasure Gardens at Blenheim Palace (Woodstock, Oxfordshire. 

4 Throw a doll’s tea party. Serve tiny food – mini eggs will be popular – in a doll’s tea service, sandwiches cut into shapes with cookie cutters, and you’ll keep a roomful of little girls happy.

5 Build an indoor den. Blankets draped over furniture will do for younger children. Older ones might prefer to convert the cupboard under the stairs.

6 Introduce them to karaoke. Give kids a microphone and tell them to rehearse their favourite songs for a Eurovision-style performance. Retreat out of earshot. For those with a games console, invest in SingStar, which comes with two microphones and various tracks (£49.99 from music stores nationwide).

7 Play party games. There’s no reason why musical statues, musical chairs and blind man’s bluff should only be trotted out at children’s parties.

8 Do experiments. Kitchen-table science is educational as well as entertaining. Baking soda, vinegar and food colouring are the key ingredients to create a foaming lava from a worktop volcano. 

9 Put on an Easter play. Assign roles, invite your oldest to oversee action sequences, and leave room for the others to improvise.

10 Get cooking. Children love spending quality time in the kitchen. Teach them – or learn yourself – how to make hot cross buns. 

Father’s Day Traditions

Father’s Day is an important day world wide. It is a fine opportunity to honor the Dad’s or Father’s of the world.

In Australia, Father’s Day is celebrated on the First Sunday in September.

Father’s Day in Canada, is celebrated on the third Sunday in June.

In the U.K. Father’s Day is celebrated on the third Sunday in June.

In the United States it is celebrated on the third Sunday in June.

Many Catholics call St. Joseph’s Day, on March 19th, Father’s Day because Joseph was the father of Jesus.

Another tradition of Father’s Day is that of the Flowers, Red roses are worn on Father’s Day to signify that one’s father is living. White roses mean one’s father has died.



Saint Patrick’s day


 

A little leprechaun sat pondering

Saint Patrick’s Day was fast approaching

For he wanted to learn to sing

But his voice needed coaching

So he went to see his friend Mick

Who’s voice was so sweet and true

I want to sing like an angel

Would you tell me what to do?

Let me hear you sing said Mick

His voice brought Mick to tears

The sound of his voice was so terrible

Mick stood with his hands over his ears

Mick was not put off by his voice

Placing the leprechaun inside a fairy ring

Did a jig of magical mystery

To enable the leprechaun to sing

Then the leprechaun was happy

Thanking Mick, he went on his way

For now, he had a beautiful voice

For him to sing on Saint Patrick’s Day

Malcolm G Bradshaw

HAPPY ST DAVID’S DAY

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CHECK OUT THE POWER OF LOVE

BURNS NIGHT FEAST

Haggis | How to cook Haggis

 

Haggis Recipe

Haggis in Scotland was once considered a poor-man’s dish made from leftovers, but is now a regular feature on tables across the country. For advice on how to cook haggis look no further.


Ingredients

First find a good, spicy haggis, either from your local butcher, deli, supermarket or nearest Scottish store if you live overseas. Contrary to what we tell overseas visitors, you cannot hunt one down at the top of Scottish mountain peaks, hills, glens, moors or shooting estates. There are many award-winning haggis makers with various ingredients from traditional beef and lamb to vegetarian, pork, smoked venison or even kosher.

Haggis travels well and therefore can be ordered over the internet to be delivered by post, although there are import restrictions in countries such as America and Canada. It will keep up to one month in the fridge and from six months to a year in the freezer. If the haggis is to be a main course, the average portion should be around 6-8 oz (150-200 g) per person and 4 oz (100 g) if served as a starter.

Turnips and potatoes are also essential accompaniments, available from farmers’ markets, delis, market gardens, vegetable stores, supermarkets or your own back garden.

Step-by-Step Cooking Instructions:

The haggis is already cooked and just needs some careful re-heating until it is piping hot. It may seem obvious, but it is essential to defrost before cooking if the haggis hasn’t been bought fresh.

Pan method
1. Bring a pan of water to the boil.
2. Place the haggis in the pan and turn the heat down immediately. The water should only simmer, not boil as this may burst the case…resulting in a culinary disaster and a ‘murdert haggis’. Some haggis come in a ‘cook-in bag’ to avoid this problem – otherwise wrapping it in foil would help to protect the contents. The length of time it should be gently poached depends on the size of your haggis. As a guide, a 1kg haggis takes around 75 mins.

Oven
1. Remove outer plastic bag and wrap in aluminium foil.
2. Place in a casserole dish with a little water and cook in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees C (Gas Mark 6) for around an hour, depending on the size of your haggis. To be on the safe side, test with a cooking thermometer to a minimum of 63 degrees Centigrade.

Microwave
1. Remove outer bag and skin.
2. Cut into evenly-sized slices and heat on medium for around eight minutes – or as instructed on the haggis.
3. Halfway through cooking, mash with a fork to ensure an even temperature throughout.

Neeps

1. Peel and quarter the turnip and boil for 25 mins or until soft.
2. Drain and mash with a little butter. Add a teaspoon of caster sugar and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Tatties
1. Peel and quarter the potatoes and boil for 20 mins or until soft.
2. Drain and mash with a little butter and milk to get a smooth, creamy consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

5 Overused New Year’s Resolution

5 Overused New Year’s Resolution

Soul in Surreal

It’s a new year! Some of us are excited about what 2016 will offer. Some of us are fidgety about what may happen next year. While some of us, perhaps, do not care. Today is the last day of this year and the coming year might be a roller coaster, a bike ride, or perhaps a hoverboard ride, smooth and sailing (only if you know how to do it, which I do not know by the way). That is why people love to have new year’s resolution to reboot the past year and start a new life somehow. Funny, it may seem, but, the world is full of cliched new year’s resolution. I have listed five of them:

View original post 592 more words

TWO MINUTES SILENCE

The Inquisitive Child – a Remembrance Day poem

 

 

poppyxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Why are they selling poppies, Mummy? Selling poppies in town today.
The poppies, child, are flowers of love. For the men who marched away.
But why have they chosen a poppy, Mummy? Why not a beautiful rose?
Because my child, men fought and died in the fields where the poppies grow.
But why are the poppies so red, Mummy? Why are the poppies so red?
Red is the colour of blood, my child. The blood that our soldiers shed.
The heart of the poppy is black, Mummy. Why does it have to be black?
Black, my child, is the symbol of grief. For the men who never came back.
But why, Mummy are you crying so? Your tears are giving you pain.
My tears are my fears for you my child. For the world is forgetting again.

Author unknown

War Child

 

child cryingxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

I wake up in the morning to the cries of hurt and anger
I wished I’d wake up to cries of joy and laughter
I wake up every morning hoping it will all be gone
But the fighting the war has only just begun
I’d play out in my mind that I could beg for them to stop just for a while
But no! What do they care I’m just a war child

I’d go to sleep every night with the fear of not being able to last another day
Oh please please help this child many would say
But deep down I know those peoples urgent call
Will be returned with bombs shooting or nothing at all
The shock that they turn to shooting even if you smile
Is abhorrent but what do they care I’m just a war child

I’d hope for a place to truly call home
But how can it be with all the peace and harmony gone
It hurts and pains to know the people doing this have neither regret nor remorse
But instead curfews and more undeserved punishment is what they’ve enforced
Enemies upon us our country reviled 
But what do they care I’m just a war child

I’d cry puddles full of tears day to day
Hoping someone my mummy or even my daddy come by say its ok
But no one will ever care I’m just a war child.

© Lamzii

Light the Blue Touchpaper

 

ffffffffffffffffff

Carefully Guy carried the taper

and placed it against the pyre.
Ample amounts of petrol vapour

rapidly ignited the fire.

“Grand Commander Thrrp”, said the underling
avoiding its superior’s stare,
“They’ve lit another beacon. This time an intriguing
place they call Weston-Super-Mare.”
“They must be aimed at us. I see no other design.”
was the Grand Commander’s view.
“Our primary goal is first contact. This is a sign
it’s important to these creatures too.”
“Fire up the translator. Initialise the empathy device.
Dress yourself in Earthling wear.
Ask the computer to determine appropriate technology advice.
Then land us in Weston-Super-Mare.”

Guy stood, reigniting the taper.

The evening was on track.
With care he lit the blue touch paper

and then he stood well back

“They’re firing upon us!” the underling exclaimed.
“Report,” ordered his superior.
“Multiple miniscule missiles. Not particularly well aimed
but a few have hit the exterior.”
“Take evasive manouvres and get us out of here.
I want bombing altitude yesterday.”
The underling pressed a few buttons, trembling in fear,
knowing how the Earthlings would pay.
But he finally said, looking at the planet soon to be no more,
“It may only be the leaders that are errant.”
“Nonsense,” said the commander, “We’ve seen their sort before.
They should have forced a change of government.”
©Adam Rulli-Gibbs 2002 – 2006

A doggy message for keeping safe

Halloween Poetry: the best Dark, Eerie, Haunting and Scary poems …

Some of the best poems of all time are dark, eerie, haunting, scary poemsthe perfect poems for Halloween! Here you will find the great medieval ballad about madness, “Tom O’Bedlam,” Alfred Noyes’s bleakly romantic ghost story “The Highwayman,” Ernest Dowson’s haunting “A Last Word,” Walter De La Mare’s enigmatic “The Listeners,” and a terrifying poem about the specter of hell terrorizing Christian children, Robert Frost’s magnificent “Directive.” I chose the first two poems to complement the ghoulish picture above. (In fact, I wrote the first poem specifically to go with the picture.) The poems that follow include some of the very best dark, haunting poems in the English language, by masters of horror and the supernatural like William Shakespeare, Edgar Allan Poe, John Keats and Edward Arlington Robinson.

Thin Kin
by Michael R. Burch

Skeleton!
Tell us what you lack …
the ability to love,
your flesh so slack?

Will we frighten you,
equally pale & unsound …
when we also haunt
the unhallowed ground?

The Skeleton’s Defense of Carnality
by Jack Foley

Truly I have lost weight, I have lost weight,
grown lean in love’s defense,
in love’s defense grown grave.
It was concupiscence that brought me to the state:
all bone and a bit of skin
to keep the bone within.
Flesh is no heavy burden for one possessed of little
and accustomed to its loss.
I lean to love, which leaves me lean, till lean turn into lack.
A wanton bone, I sing my song
and travel where the bone is blown
and extricate true love from lust
as any man of wisdom must.
Then wherefore should I rage
against this pilgrimage
from gravel unto gravel?
Circuitous I travel
from love to lack / and lack to lack,
from lean to lack
and back.

A Last Word
by Ernest Dowson

Let us go hence: the night is now at hand;
The day is overworn, the birds all flown;
And we have reaped the crops the gods have sown;
Despair and death; deep darkness o’er the land,
Broods like an owl; we cannot understand
Laughter or tears, for we have only known
Surpassing vanity: vain things alone
Have driven our perverse and aimless band.
Let us go hence, somewhither strange and cold,
To Hollow Lands where just men and unjust
Find end of labour, where’s rest for the old,
Freedom to all from love and fear and lust.
Twine our torn hands! O pray the earth enfold
Our life-sick hearts and turn them into dust.

Ulalume [an excerpt]
by Edgar Allan Poe

The skies they were ashen and sober;
The leaves they were crisped and sere—
The leaves they were withering and sere;
It was night in the lonesome October
Of my most immemorial year:
It was hard by the dim lake of Auber,
In the misty mid region of Weir—
It was down by the dank tarn of Auber,
In the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir …

Ghost
by Michael R. Burch

White in the shadows
I see your face,
unbidden. Go, tell

Love it is commonplace;
tell Regret it is not so rare.

Our love is not here
though you smile,
full of sedulous grace.

Lost in darkness, I fear
the past is our resting place.

Luke Havergal
by Edward Arlington Robinson

Go to the western gate, Luke Havergal,
There where the vines cling crimson on the wall,
And in the twilight wait for what will come.
The leaves will whisper there of her, and some,
Like flying words, will strike you as they fall;
But go, and if you listen, she will call.
Go to the western gate, Luke Havergal—
Luke Havergal.

No, there is not a dawn in eastern skies
To rift the fiery night that’s in your eyes;
But there, where western glooms are gathering
The dark will end the dark, if anything:
God slays Himself with every leaf that flies,
And hell is more than half of paradise.
No, there is not a dawn in eastern skies—
In eastern skies.

Out of a grave I come to tell you this,
Out of a grave I come to quench the kiss
That flames upon your forehead with a glow
That blinds you to the way that you must go.
Yes, there is yet one way to where she is,
Bitter, but one that faith may never miss.
Out of a grave I come to tell you this—
To tell you this.

There is the western gate, Luke Havergal,
There are the crimson leaves upon the wall,
Go, for the winds are tearing them away,—
Nor think to riddle the dead words they say,
Nor any more to feel them as they fall;
But go, and if you trust her she will call.
There is the western gate, Luke Havergal—
Luke Havergal.

Sea Fevers
by Agnes Wathall

No ancient mariner I,
  Hawker of public crosses,
Snaring the passersby
  With my necklace of albatrosses.

I blink no glittering eye
  Between tufts of gray sea mosses
Nor in the high road ply
  My trade of guilts and glosses.

But a dark and inward sky
   Tracks the flotsam of my losses.
No more becalmed to lie,
  The skeleton ship tosses.

The Listeners
by Walter De La Mare

‘Is there anybody there?’ said the Traveller,
Knocking on the moonlit door;
And his horse in the silence champed the grasses
Of the forest’s ferny floor:
And a bird flew up out of the turret,
Above the Traveller’s head
And he smote upon the door again a second time;
‘Is there anybody there?’ he said.
But no one descended to the Traveller;
No head from the leaf-fringed sill
Leaned over and looked into his grey eyes,
Where he stood perplexed and still.
But only a host of phantom listeners
That dwelt in the lone house then
Stood listening in the quiet of the moonlight
To that voice from the world of men:
Stood thronging the faint moonbeams on the dark stair,
That goes down to the empty hall,
Hearkening in an air stirred and shaken
By the lonely Traveller’s call.
And he felt in his heart their strangeness,
Their stillness answering his cry,
While his horse moved, cropping the dark turf,
‘Neath the starred and leafy sky;
For he suddenly smote on the door, even
Louder, and lifted his head:—
‘Tell them I came, and no one answered,
That I kept my word,’ he said.
Never the least stir made the listeners,
Though every word he spake
Fell echoing through the shadowiness of the still house
From the one man left awake:
Ay, they heard his foot upon the stirrup,
And the sound of iron on stone,
And how the silence surged softly backward,
When the plunging hoofs were gone.

Macbeth, Act IV, Scene I
by William Shakespeare

Three witches, casting a spell …

Round about the cauldron go;
In the poison’d entrails throw.
Toad, that under cold stone
Days and nights hast thirty one
Swelter’d venom sleeping got,
Boil thou first i’ the charmed pot.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the cauldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg, and howlet’s wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

YOUR FAVOURITE POEM  WHAT’S YOUR’S

WHY NOT SEND YOUR POETRY IN AND CELEBRATE  HALLOWEEN

WHO’S KNOCKING AT YOUR DOOR THIS HALLOWEEN

” GET INVOLVED”

Go Ahead And Put It Off

We can always find excuses for sitting back and letting the world pass us by. “I work too hard and need to relax”, “I don’t have time to get involved”, “It won’t do any good anyway”, and a host of others provide substantial validation to those looking for it. If our founding fathers had been as anxious to get involved,

I ought to love my wife today,

and spend some time, do things her way.

And pull my share, I really should,

but TV’s just too good.

I ought to spend time with my son,

teach right from wrong, and have some fun.

Quality time, I think I could,

but TV’s just too good.

I ought to see my minister,

and ask him now to administer

A prayer for hope, I really would,

but TV’s just too good.

I ought to write my congressman,

and let him know how fed up I am.

And speak my peace, I really should,

but TV’s just too good.

I ought to scream my thoughts out loud,

let others hear, create a crowd..

And do something, I really could,

but TV’s just too good.

I ought to hate my complacency,

getting late, for you and me.

Losing my rights, and you are too,

TV’s just no damn good!

Big business rules our world today,

could care less, who’s in the way.

Minimum wage, almost all they pay,

Repo’d TV away.

I got no way to fight or run,

lost my car, they took my gun.

I‘m just a slave, long as I live,

Got nothing left to give.

Why’d I stall, it makes no sense,

couldn’t start, come off the fence.

Procrastinate, thought it could wait,

But now it’s just too late.

 

A Quick Note…

No, the world isn’t going to end tomorrow. “Rome wasn’t built-in a day” and we won’t take care of our nation’s weak spots overnight!

However, what’s wrong with getting involved and starting the wheels turning? We’ve got a great country, but as with anything, it’s got to be maintained properly to run smoothly. There’s a lot of gunk clogging its injectors right now. It just needs some maintenance!

How about setting a two term maximum for both the Senate and the House of Representatives? There’s way too many lifelong favors and relationships built with industrial and special interest lobbies. How can we be represented when there are others ahead of us in line with different agendas?

The exceptionally wealthy have made politics a rich man’s game starting with the multi-million dollar campaigns. Instead of grass-roots politics, it has become “Silver Spoon” politics. Do you really think they have your best interests in mind?

Slowly we are becoming cattle. Business has coined the concept of “Political Correctness” to eliminate freedom of choice. Why should we be forced to give respect to someone who has not earned it? Are basic manners, that come with proper upbringing, so far gone that now laws replace them? If we don’t follow this concept for whatever reason, we are guilty of a crime and either terminated or prosecuted. Freedom of speech is also in danger in this concept! If the wrong person thinks you’ve said something that you haven’t, there is such a fear factor running loose for fear of lawsuit, that once again, you will be terminated or worse! If this doesn’t create a society of cattle, afraid to act, afraid to speak, afraid to express..”What Does?”

You can instigate change! But, you’re not going to do it watching reality television.

GET INVOLVED!

#Dambusters 70th anniversary of the May 1943 raid – an annotated graphic

GREAT VPOST

Engineering & Technology magazine

The legend of the Dambusters – the 19 Lancaster bombers of the RAF’s 617 Squadron – was enshrined in war-time history 70 years ago, when the planes flew to Germany on the night of 16/17 May to drop their Barnes Wallis-designed bouncing bombs on the Mohne, Eder and Sorpe dams in the industrial heartland of the Ruhr region.

Codenamed Operation Chastise, 56 of the airmen who set out on the mission did not return. Eight bombers were shot down, 53 men were killed and three men were captured. Today’s infographic salutes the incredible bravery of all those who dared to fly that night.

For the full story of the secret mission, check out the dedicated Dambusters website. The Telegraph also has a nice graphic and a timeline detailing the events of that night in May 1943.

Click on the graphic for an expanded view.

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617 Sqd… A lot more than just “Dambusters”…

A Voice In the Crowd

200px-617sqn-600

For those of you who the 617 Sqd name does not ring a bell, 617 was formed at RAF Scampton on 21 March 1943, and was allocated the unit identification code MZ for the period April to September 1939, (even though, the unit didn’t technically exist at the time.) and was the squadron that would go on to bomb the Ruhr valleys dams in Germany, later known as “The Dambusters”.

Handpicked By Wng. Cmdr. Guy Gibson (whom was awarded a Victoria Cross for his part in the raid), it included amongst its ranks contingents of the Royal Canadian Air Force, Royal Australian Air Force and Royal New Zealand Air Force and was formed for the specific task of attacking three major dams in Germany: the Möhne, Eder and Sorpe. The plan was given the codename Operation Chastise and was carried out on 17 May 1943.

largeWng Cmdr…

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