And then the sky turned red and the people stood in awe. There was peace throughout the land. Finally it was over.
Manual of English Grammar and Composition
J. C. Nesfield, M.A. Macmillan and co., Limited, St Martins Street, London (1913)
Dialects of Old English:
North of the river Humber and up to the Scottish Highlands. Represented by Northumberland and lowland Scotch. Less perfectly used by Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. Imported by Angels.
Between the Humber and Thames, the great ancestor of modern English. Closely allied to the dialect of Saxons than Angles and Danes.
South of the Thames, imported by Saxons. Named in the 16th Century as being Anglo-Saxon however it was never referred to as this at that time.
Back to Basics: The Education You Wish You’d Had
Caroline Taggart. Michael O’Mara Books Limited. Tremadoc Road, London (2012)
Helen of Troy
She was actually the wife of Menelaus, King of Sparta. She only ended up in Troy due to running away (possibly abducted by) with Trojan Prince, Paris. Thus resulting in a war.
He was a demigod, the son of Zeus and a mortal woman. He went on to have to complete 12 near impossible labours, hence the modern expression ‘a herculean task’.
Poems and Prose
Edgar Allan Poe, Everyman’s Library Pocket Poets, Vauxhall Bridge Road, London (1995)
Spirits of the Dead
Thy soul shall find itself alone
‘Mid dark thoughts of the gray tomb-stone –
Not one, of all the crowd, to pry
Into thine hour of secrecy:
Be silent in that solitude,
Which is no loneliness – for them
The spirits of the dead who stood
In life before thee are again
In death around thee – and their will
Shall overshadow thee: Be still.
The night – tho’ clear – shall frown –
And the stars shall look not down,
From their high thrones in the heaven,
With light like Hope to mortals given –
But their red orbs, without beam,
To thy weariness shall seem
As a burning and a fever
Which would cling to thee for ever.
Now are thoughts thou shalt not banish –
Now are visions ne’er to vanish –
From thy spirit shall they pass
No more – like dew-drop from the grass.
The breeze – the breath of God – is still –
And the mist upon the hill
Shadowy – shadowy – yet unbroken,
Is a symbol and a token –
How it hangs upon the trees,
A mystery of mysteries! –
Born in South Carolina in 1965, raised in Rhode Island.
Viola is married and has a daughter.
Viola studied at Juilliard.
Viola has a theatre degree, achieved in 1988.
( http://www.violadavis.net )
In what has become my favourite scene in How to Get Away with Murder, Viola as Annalise Keating, takes off her wig and make-up. My first uncensored thought when I saw this scene was, ‘Wow, she is beautiful.’
I have always been a woman who loved other women and their natural beauty. I have never been a person who wears make-up and I often see people who are terrified to go without it but who look astonishing bare faced. My view did not change when I saw this clip ( Make-up scene ).
“I’m claiming it. I’m a woman. I like to see women on TV. I like to see real women on TV. That for me is what’s inspiring and that for me is exciting. When I see an archetype of womanhood on TV, it depresses me.”
( http://ew.com/article/2015/02/02/viola-davis-essence-interview/ )
( http://scottholleran.com/movies/movie-review-fences/ )
August Wilson born in 1945, was a child accused of plagiarism due to racist teachers not believing that a child of colour could produce work of such good quality. His life shines through within his work.
For someone who is new to August Wilson, it is easy to see how his work is influenced by his life.
Denzel and Viola give such amazing performances, becoming the characters of Troy and Rose Maxson completely.
Being a huge fan of Viola, my opinion may be slightly biased. My opinion being that as with all her roles, she puts 100% in to it.
The language, the poverty, the racism and the idea of family and marriage.
“…Don’t you try and go through life worrying about if somebody like you or not…” – Troy Maxson.
“…I been right here with you, Troy. I got a life too. I gave eighteen years of my life to stand in the same spot with you. Don’t you think I ever wanted other things? Don’t you think I had dreams and hopes? What about my life? What about me. Don’t you think it ever crossed my mind to want to know other men? That I wanted to lay up somewhere and forget about my responsibilities? That I wanted someone to make me laugh so I could feel good? You not the only one that’s got wants and needs. But I held on to you, Troy. I took all my feelings, my wants and needs, my dreams… and I buried them inside you. I planted a seed and waited and prayed over it. I planted myself inside you and waited to bloom, and it didn’t take me no eighteen years to find out the soil was hard and rocky and it wasn’t never gonna bloom. But I held on to you, Troy. I held you tighter. You was my husband. I owed you everything I had. Every part of myself I could find to give you. And upstairs in that room… with the darkness falling in on me… I gave everything I had to try and erase the doubt that you weren’t the finest man in the world, and where ever you was going… I wanted to be there with you. Cause you was my husband. Cause that’s the only way I was gonna survive as your wife. You always talking about what you give…and what you don’t have to give. But you take too. You take… and don’t even know nobodies giving.” – Rose Maxson
When tomorrow starts without me
And I’m not here to see
If the sun should rise and find your eyes
All filled with tears for me
I wish you wouldn’t cry
The Way you did today
While thinking of the many things
We did not get to say
I know how much you love me
As much as I love you
Each time that you think of me
I know you will miss me too
When tomorrow starts with out me
Please try to understand
That an angel came and called my name
And took me by the hand
The angel said my place was ready
In heaven far above
And That I would have to leave behind
All those I Dearly Love
But When I walked through Heaven’s Gates
I felt so much at home
When GOD looked down and smiled at me
From his golden throne
He said This Is Eternity
And All I promised you
Today for life on earth is done
But Here it starts a new
I promise no tomorrow
For today will always last
And Since each day’s the exact same way
There is no longing for the past
So When Tomorrow starts without me
Do not think we’re apart
For every time you think of me
Remember I’m right here in your heart
By David M Romano
Malika Booker, Sharon Olds and Warsan Shire (2011). Modern Poets 3: Your Family, Your Body. Great Britain: Clays ltd, St Ives plc.
She does not talk about that time.
She has buried it deep in the earth
where you bury shit.
Buried it with no wake,
no funeral, no coffin, no fanfare,
buried it whilst it was raw, stink and bitter.
It was early September. The phone ring.
Per out of sleep. Fumble. The red sky
of pre-dawn through my bare window.
My cousin’s guyanese tones, low,
whispering, voice broken. She sobs,
till I, too, begin to cry.
She stutters, stops, starts, tells me
about an advert, a plane ride.
They promised her work and a US visa.
I am a prisoner somewhere
in the South; they take my passport,
work us long hours, deduct our pay
for food and board, then give us a trickle.
I made more back home. We pick fruit all day.
She left her girl child home in her mother’s care,
now can’t send them no money.
I can’t see me way… help me, she sobs.
I make phone calls to older aunts in New York,
not new to this, who tell me they will take care of it.
A month later they call to say, we have her.
How? I ask. But they have buried it, too.
We do not talk about them things.
There are dark places drunk with grief where water
drizzles. There are wilted flowers and dried wreaths.
There is your grave hidden back there, behind
God’s back. There are clusters of Charles
buried here, neighbours in this family plot.
Two lone wooden stumps mark the grave
where you wait for that marble headstone
etched with your name. There is wild bush
and the broken fence where your nephew
crashed that rented car at your funeral,
when his vision blurred with tears. There are
the marks we leave and those that will be made.
Poem of thanks
Years later, long single,
I want to turn to his departed back,
and say, What gifts we had of each other!
What pleasure — confiding, open-eyed,
fainting with what we were allowed to stay up
late doing. And you couldn’t say,
could you, that the touch you had from me
was other than the touch of one
who could love for life — whether we were suited
or not — for life, like a sentence. And now that I
consider, the touch that I had from you
became not the touch of the long view, but like the
tolerant willingness of one
who is passing through. Colleague of sand
by moonlight — and by beach noonlight, once,
and of straw, salt bale in a barn, and mulch
inside a garden, between the rows — once-
partner of up against the wall in that tiny
bathroom with the lock that fluttered like a chrome
butterfly beside us, hip-height, the familiar
of our innocence, which was the ignorance
of what would be asked, what was required,
thank you for every hour. And I
accept your thanks, as if it were
a gift of yours, to give them — let’s part
equals, as we were in every bed, pure
equals of the earth.
Her Blue Body Full of Light
Can you believe I have cancer? Yosra asks,
a mug of tea between her hands,
almost laughing, hair cut close to her scalp.
I imagine the cancer auditioning
inside her body, tiny translucent slivers
of light weaving in and out and of her abdomen
and uterus, travelling up and through her throat,
needlepoints of light, fireworks glimmering down, the body
burning into itself, deep sea blue inside
her body, her ribcage an aquarium,
the cancer spreading and spreading, deep space,
her throat a lava lamp, sparklers beneath breastbone—
a lightshow, a million tiny jellyfish, orchestral womb,
kaleidoscopic ovaries, disco ball heart,
her skin glowing and glowing,
lit from the inside.
I think I brought the war with me
on my skin, a shroud
circling my skull, matter under my nails.
It sits at my feet while I watch TV.
I hear its damp breath in the background
of every phone call. I feel it sleeping
between us in the bed. It lathers
my back in the shower. It presses
itself against me at the bathroom sink.
At night, it passes me the pills, it holds
my hand, I never meet its gaze.
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with the juicy bone.
Silence the pianos and, with muffled drum,
Bring out the coffin. Let the mourners come.
Let aeroplanes circle the moaning overhead
Scribbling in the sky the message: “He is dead!”
Put the crepe bows around the white necks of the public doves.
Let the traffic policeman wear black cotton gloves.
He was my north, my south, my east and west,
My working week and Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song.
I thought that love would last forever; I was wrong.
The stars are not wanted now; put out every one.
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun.
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can come to any good.
Sometimes I ain’t so sho who’s got ere a right to say when a man is crazy and when he ain’t. Sometimes I think it ain’t none of us pure crazy and ain’t none of us pure sane until the balance of us talks him that-a-way. It’s like it ain’t so much what a fellow does, but it’s the way the majority of folks is looking at him when he does it.
Yesterday I was clever and tried to change the world. Today I am wise and try to change myself.
Your soul is attracted to people the same way flowers are attracted to the sun, surround yourself only with those who want to see you grow.
I hope to arrive to my death, late, in love, and a little drunk.
I always thought the words, and then, were a prelude to something wonderful. Like seeing a ship come in or finding a note in your letterbox, when you weren’t expecting one. That swift, surprising transition from nothing to everything.
Two little words that hold a world of promise, and then, the light pierced through the dark, forbidding sky, and the rain stopped falling.
And then I met you.
Keep away from the people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.
If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
or cool one pain,
or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.
Oh me! Oh Life! of the questions of these recurring,
of the endless trains of the faithless,
of cities fill’d with the foolish,
Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?)
Of eyes that vainly crave the light, of the objects mean, of the struggle ever renew’d,
Of the poor results of all, of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me
Of the empty and useless years of the rest, with the rest me intertwined,
The question, O me! so sad, recurring – what good amid these, O me, O life?
That you are here – that life exists and identity
That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.
And softness came from the starlight and filled me full to the bone
W. B. Yeats
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind;
In the primal sympathy
Which having been must ever be.
Unless you love someone, nothing else makes sense.
E. E. Cummings
There’s rage and terror and there’s sickness here
I fight because I have to
I fight for us to know the truth
There’s not enough tape to shut this mouth
The stones you throw can make me bleed
But I won’t stop until we’re free
Wild hearts can’t be broken
There is a reason I came out here.
A reason, why now.
This day, this time.
A memory of you.
A physical reminder.
This gentleman wearing a cap.
The people we meet are for a reason.
The air noticeably cools now I am sitting here alone.
It was hot a few moments ago,
The sun’s rays burning through my jeans.
Perhaps this too, is a sign.
A sign that this was enough.
A sign to say, ‘It is time now. You can go.’
It’s like they were the sun,
and I’m afraid of the dark
It is difficult to see you as anything less than a positive light,
Even when you aren’t feeling quite right,
Everything is temporary,
You just gotta get through it.
By W.H. Auden
( https://allpoetry.com/Funeral-Blues )