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The Lipogram Thursday, August 21, 2014 (03:39:00)
Writing a Lipogram

Attention fans of fixed verse forms: Would you like a refreshing break from those sonnets, villanelles, pantoums, sestinas, et al.? Try the little-known but challenging lipogram.

This form originated, according to legend, with a few writers in the dark ages of manual typewriters who, due to poverty, had to work with machines having one or more worn out or broken keys. The result was the composition of poems, stories, and even novels without the use of a full alphabet. Writers began to challenge one another to contests writing works of a prescribed length without the use of an r or an s, for example. Some letters were, of course, harder to do without than others.

The exercise as I learned it is more demanding than the sacrifice of a letter or two: (1) Choose the name of a famous person (historical figure, fictional character, poet, etc.) for the title of your poem and (2) use only the letters contained in the title to write your lipogram. It will help to use the person’s full name and find one with plenty of vowels and a variety of consonants. You may use the letters permitted as many times as you need to in order to complete your poem.

Since your available alphabet will be considerably reduced in size, you will have to make compromises in your choice of words—while still trying to make as much sense as possible. In my own lipogram below, I was referring to Persephone (in Swinburne’s “Garden of Proserpine”) but had to write, “Ceres’ girl,” because I didn’t have the letters for either “Persephone” or “Ceres’ daughter.”

Lipograms can be a real brain strain, but it’s a kick to see what kind of poem emerges. Have fun!

Algernon Charles Swinburne

Ceres' girl, Charon's charge,
Borne along hell's channel,
Wins all rueless souls
Who scorn angelic lies.

No rose will grow
In her ageless, barren lea;
Wan hirelings glean bones.
Her largess is a sallow corn.

Her reign was his song,
Her gall his wine:
No barrow on a lone hill
Conceals such sorrow.
Comments (0)

I want to learn languages Wednesday, August 20, 2014 (03:11:00)
Lately, my interest in anime and Japan led me to start learning Japanese (a dream that I am actively pursuing), and I realize that I really, really want to learn languages. Think I'll just stick with one for now (not to overwhelm myself), but I find languages interesting and beautiful. It's definitely a challenge, but it can also be fun. It excites me knowing how much Japanese I'll know a few years from now or even just next year. I am going to find a way to go to Tokyo, Japan one day, either as a visit or because I live there! I imagine myself on a plane gazing through the windows at the glimmering, futuristic architecture until I finally arrive! Capsule is playing in my headphones. It's a fantastic and refreshing day. And if I don't study Japanese, it's my own fault if my dream doesn't come true, so I am actively pursuing it of course. But, because I already mentioned that I want to learn languages in general, maybe in the future will try to learn an ancient language. But in Japanese, I know Katakana (just started practicing Hiragana), 200+ vocab words, and want to continue rotating through them while learning new ones to become active at writing it. The hearing it part is a bit scary, but there's no way I'm just not going to let my goal flow through the gutter. Razz I will succeed!
Comments (4)

Let Your Personality Walk In First Tuesday, August 19, 2014 (12:39:23)
Despite the way our society has evolved into this "beauty before brains" type of atmosphere - there are still people in this world with the most amazing personality. Some may not be the most attractive people, some may have gotten blessed with the best of both worlds - others have a tendency to shock you as they do not look as though they would be as interesting as they actually are!

Why is this?

Because our society has grown so feeble-minded and vein that we place such a heavy subconscious emphasis on beauty, looks and sex-appeal that sometimes I feel we forget the art of life - good conversation, intellectual thought, an uplifting spirit, positive energy - all of the things that help you grow as a person not just advance as a player in the game!

The next time you are in a crowded room - close your eyes, just listen. Let your attention follow the laughter in the room, pick out the break in the air where you hear one voice talking but can sense other people focused on their words. Then open your eyes - I can almost guarantee you that following personality will lead you to a completely different person in the room than you would have otherwise been attracted to based on looks alone!

Just some food for thought - Let your personality attract the attention your mind deserves! Cool
Comments (3)

Summers ending... Tuesday, August 19, 2014 (09:58:44)
Last couple of weeks of August... soon be autumn.
Comments (0)

Ok, ok.. Monday, August 18, 2014 (19:41:00)
In early January of 2008, I was alone in a small motel room in Yuma, AZ. Work was slow, and I had a dangerous amount of time to think. I jotted this down on hotel stationery in about thirty seconds:


Tell me I’m more
than fissures and breaches,
synapses and sin lapses,
a forfeit between the flashes of glory
and the worst of seasons;

tell me I’m more
than art and chemistry,
pulp and electricity,
the mere sum of the agony of free will
and the curse of reason.

After I got home, I found it in my bag. To this day, it has never been edited.

On January 15, 2008, a Google search led me to GotPoetry, and this little existential piece became the first thing I posted. To my surprise, it received dozens of enthusiastic responses. And though I don’t consider it the best crafted poem in what eventually became an extensive oeuvre, it remains one of my favorites.

GotPoetry, for me, was a launchpad for personal and artistic growth, and eventually became my favorite place on the net. Maybe off the net, too. It has been, simply, one of the few places where I was in my element.

There are real faces behind avatars, real souls woven into verses; I’ve gotten to know a few of them, and feel richer for it. They know who they are. This is an actual community existing in a virtual realm- a big, blustery (albeit dysfunctional) family at a digital table airing its dirty laundry when it is not hard at work creating art of varying degrees of quality. And that is just fine.

I don’t know John Powers personally. I have never had the privilege of meeting him in person. But here is what I know from my dealings with him: He is decent. He is smart. And he is generous. I’d like to thank him for bringing this community to life, for giving me the opportunity to serve it, for all the hours of enjoyment and edification it has afforded me.

John, if you read this..know that I wish you and yours all the best, always. And I will never forget.

A special thanks to Mamta; I’m certain that her inestimable contributions here will be especially appreciated in her absence.

LostInTranslation, I don’t even know your real name. But I applaud your successful effort to keep the lights on, and admire your spirited vision to expand the scope and renown of GP. Please succeed, because I love this place.

As for me..I am here, watching, reflecting, still wondering if I might be more than those things mentioned in my first poem. And I am so glad I asked.
Comments (8)

Heartwings Love Notes 634 The Saving Conundrum Sunday, August 17, 2014 (22:53:39)
Heartwings says, "What can be saved for a time may not be saved forever."

My mother's parents lived in Germany in the thirties. Because they did not leave at the outset, they were caught in Berlin during World War II. Having lived there through the first World War they simply hunkered down and did the best they could. When the tide turned against Germany and news of the Russian invasion of Berlin reached the city they joined others who took their precious household treasures to a bank to be safely hidden in its vaults.

As luck would have it, the bank was bombed, the vaults breached, and people's possessions were plundered. However, because too many had come, my grandparents trunk filled with silver and linens was walled up along with others, in a separate part of that bank. Their goods survived, and a few years later some of them including an assortment of miniature silver survived and came to the States with my grandmother. I was given this collection of beautifully crafted objects and for a few years they sat in a glass cabinet in my bedroom.

I left home to get married at eighteen and never saw them again. Another collection in that cabinet--dolls dressed in the native costumes of many countries also vanished. I was never allowed to play with them; they were "look-ats." I didn't really miss them and never asked what happened to them. Perhaps my father gave them away. Being somewhat spontaneous and a bit capricious in his behavior he was apt to do that sort of thing. I had other things to think about and never really looked back.

Now all these years later I am faced with wanting to save things I have no room for. Unlike the miniature silver, these items are of no special value except to me. They are small mementoes that I treasure from friends and family. One is a pettipoint embroidery covered box that was in Stephen's family. There are ceramics hand painted by an artist in Italy, lovely small ornate boxes given me by dear ones, a silver egg cup I have owned since I was a young child and more. I can't bear to part with any of them and I have nowhere to display them. I am faced with a conundrum that I cannot resolve.

May you find room for all that you treasure that brings you joy.

Blessings and Best Regards, Tasha Halpert

If you wish to subscribe to Heartwings Love Notes, or have any comments, please let me know. To read past issues, go To read a wonderful book of short stories, buy Abracadabra Moonshine by Stephen Halpert on in either the Kindle or the paperback edition. Stephen's funny stories and other entertaining writings can be read on Tasha's poetry can be read at under the avatar of Pujakins.
Comments (0)

Modernization of Open Mic Sunday, August 17, 2014 (14:05:30)
I remember when Open Mic Night was at local coffee shops, cafes and literally underground bars that were occupied by artists, creative minds and real wholesome people. It seems like now they are hosted everywhere and have merged every art form that is willing to gather under one roof. No real appreciation for all art - just who you came to see.

I remember the days I sat sipping my amaretto coffee and starring at my brownie sundae (my usual and worst possible before-performance snack ritual), just listening to the pieces being performed before mine - their tone, their influx, their aura. While I may have heard music in my head accompanying some of those pieces, there was never music actually playing - as there is now! I'm not sure if I like that either.

Poetry and spoken word should be just that - words. Nothing more than your personality and emotions strengthening the power of those words - not music. Poetry is music. Shouldn't that be enough?

Are there any good poetry venues left out there?
Comments (0)

Homecoming Thursday, August 14, 2014 (19:43:00)
This weekend my husband, my sister and I are driving 8 hours north to my cousin's wedding in a tiny out of the way town called Barkerville. I'm sure the wedding will be beautiful and fun, but the real exciting part of this trip is that we're making a short detour to Sheridan Lake on the way up.

Growing up, I spent every summer at this lake, and I haven't been there since I was 16. But Sheridan Lake occupies a huge place in my world. It's where I learned to fish, swim, drive a boat, tie a fly, catch a frog, build a fire, build a fort, shoot a slingshot, and make a whistle out of a willow branch. It's where I got chicken pox and sunstroke, where I read The Chronicles of Narnia for the first time. It's where I became afraid of fireworks, but learned not to fear thunder, or snakes, or fish guts.

Sheridan Lake is one of the central images of my childhood. My poems are littered with references to it: rainbow trout, the goose field, chironomids, sedge flies, the pine forests, and on and on. Most of the fishing references in my poems were born here. And I haven't been there in 17 years.

It's a little out of the way on our drive, but my husband suggested we make the detour, and I couldn't be more excited. And slightly nervous. Will it look the same? Will the general store still be there? Will the boulders at the point still hide schools of minnows? Will the pond at the end of the back road still be there, and will it be alive with frogs? Have the beavers put down roots, or have they been forced out? Will the water by the cable crossing be clear like green glass? Are there still chickadees? Are my initials still carved into the birch tree? Is the big grey A-Frame cottage still called The Dew Drop Inn? Can you still pull a boat through the swamp where the big island is pinched in the middle? Are the flies hatching? Will it feel like home, or will I feel like a stranger?
Comments (6)

Fundraising is Going Strong! Thursday, August 14, 2014 (19:30:00)
Thank you to all members who have been donating to the Saving Got Poetry account! We currently have 15 committed monthly recurring donations and 5 small businesses that are willing to help us keep the site alive and thriving!

I have set up a static page on a few websites explaining the cause and introducing GP to the world - Feel free to pass it around! CLICK HERE for Saving Got Poetry Project
Very Happy Cool Laughing Very Happy Cool Laughing

CLICK HERE to Donate Now
Comments (0)

Thanks Wednesday, August 13, 2014 (17:45:36)
Yesterday's Top
Rank Name
01: TygerTyger
02: sschubert
03: isitpoetry
04: lysander
05: AndreyFisht
Comments (0)

A Perfect World Wednesday, August 13, 2014 (13:43:06)
Despite being a very cranky girl today - I am going to smile and pretend everything is exactly how I wish it to be in my version of a perfect world...I guess that's how you make a perfect world.
Comments (0)

Saving Got Poetry! - Keeping the Site Alive ... Monday, August 11, 2014 (23:37:24)
I wanted to take this opportunity to personally thank John for his idea and courage in creating the GP community and keeping it going all these years. Over the last few weeks, I have watched members of this community showcase their gratitude, appreciation and respect to an individual that has successfully brought writers from around the world together on multiple levels.
Very Happy

In addition to the personal admiration and attachment I have to and for the community, John's effort in keeping the site together is one that I feel strongly about keeping alive! As such, I will be purchasing the site from John, preserving the same community-based operation we have all grown to love and adding a few upgrades and perks to boot!

Over the last week or so, myself and fellow community members have been posting information regarding site changes, ideas and opportunities for any members that would like to join in the effort of keeping the site alive. A donation account has been set up specifically for the purchase and maintenance of the site, however, I am also looking for any member interesting in joining the existing staff in curating the various sections of the site!
Cool Laughing Razz

Feel free to inbox me for details and information!
For Donations towards the Saving Got Poetry Fund Use the Button Below. Let's show the world just how strong of a community we are!
Comments (2)

For My Kittens Monday, August 11, 2014 (18:19:00)
I found you a zither.

Comments (1)

Heartwings Love Notes 633: Finishing a Book Monday, August 11, 2014 (01:54:50)
Heartwings says, "Even the pleasantest experience cannot last indefinitely."

I have finished reading the latest book, Written in My Own Heart's Blood, by one of my favorite authors, Diana Gabaldon, and I am feeling a sense of loss. While I don't normally read 814 page books, hers are very special exception. They are written with a background of accurate information about the 18th century and how it was to live then. The characters are vividly portrayed and their interactions are authentic as well as interesting. Even though the size of her books is somewhat daunting, her stories are compelling to read.

Her characters are extremely interesting. The villainous ones are never gratuitously so, the well behaved ones occasionally misbehave. Moreover, her research into the time period she writes about is very thorough. I have learned facts I otherwise never would have known about the American Revolution together with its participants on both the British and the Colonial side. Because one of her chief characters is a medical professional Ms Gabaldon writes in astounding detail about various medical procedures.

One of the reasons I am sad to be finished with this current book, is that I often thought about the characters while I was doing chores or other activities that did not occupy my whole mind. When I have a really good book to read it functions as a way to keep from worrying or focusing on negative trains of thought, self criticism, or unnecessary observations. I prefer wondering what is going to happen next or why one of the characters is acting in a certain way to being nervous or concerned about what is or is not getting done or happening.

Diana Gabaldon says it takes her four years to write one of her "big books." I am sad to have to wait that long to read the next one--the ninth in the Outlander series. Originally, a dear friend recommended these books to me. At that time there were six. Over a period of nine months, I read them avidly. I was unable to read any other books until I had read them all. Then I waited over a year for this one. If I get too impatient for the next one I can probably reread this one, as it is so rich I have most likely missed parts of it. However I am still so full with this one, I haven't yet chosen another book to occupy my mind.

May you enjoy your choices for reading and find them helpful as well.

Blessings and Best Regards, Tasha Halpert

If you wish to subscribe to Heartwings Love Notes, or have any comments, please let me know. To read past issues, go To read a wonderful book of short stories, buy Abracadabra Moonshine by Stephen Halpert on in either the Kindle or the paperback edition. Stephen's funny stories can be read on Tasha's poetry can be read at under the avatar of Pujakins.
Comments (0)

Wisdom from Semisonic.. Thursday, August 07, 2014 (22:33:16)
Every new beginning comes
from some other beginning's end.
Comments (3)
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