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Posts Tagged ‘Robert Frost’

A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness.
  —  Robert Frost
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On This Day In:
2018 Land Of My Birth – Executive Order Notwithstanding
Keeping It Real…
2017 Use A Bigger Can
2016 Vote Tomorrow – 8 November 2016
2015 Old Bond
2014 Preferences
2013 Prudence
2012 Reason Against Reasons
2011 The 1% Rule Of Large Groups
2010 Going, Going, On…
Expect Mike
Wasted Again?
You Did?
Reflecting Plenty
Old Math
Mental Images
Here’s Lookin’ At You, Kid
Learn
Nothing Feared Today
I Had Other Plans
Ratings…
Really?
Encourage Greatness

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In three words I can sum up everything that I have learned about life.  It goes on.
  —  Robert Frost
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On This Day In:
2018 Gratitude And Warmth
Remembering Loss, Sacrifice And Service
Making Little Ones Out Of Bigger Ones
2017 Never Forget
2016 It’s All Greek To Me (Well, Latin Actually)
2015 Truism
2014 Thank You
2013 Really
2012 Ordinary Five Minutes Longer
2011 The Wealth Of Sons (And Daughters)

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Show Willing

The world is full of willing people; some willing to work, the rest willing to let them.
   —  Robert Frost
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On This Day In:
2015 If He Only Knew…
2014 Dared To Love
2013 Strong Kung-Fu
2012 Two Tribes
2011 Made Any Assumptions Lately?

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They say you die twice.  One time when you stop breathing and a second time, a bit later on, when somebody says your name for the last time.
   —   Banksy
[With apologies to Robert Frost (see here)…  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2014 Turning Pages
2013 We Are All Accountable
2012 American Sign Language
2011 Happy Disproof
2010 Book Review – Managing Your Government Career

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My Objection To Being Stepped On

At the end of the row
I stepped on the toe
Of an unemployed hoe.
It rose in offense
And struck me a blow
In the seat of my sense.
It wasn’t to blame
But I called it a name.
And I must say it dealt
Me a blow that I felt
Like a malice prepense.
You may call me a fool,
But was there a rule
The weapon should be
Turned into a tool?
And what do we see?
The first tool I step on
Turned into a weapon.
  —  Written by: Robert Frost
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On This Day In:
2014 Likes And Dislikes
2013 Pillars Of Learning
2012 Another JCoM Review
Move It
2011 Expected Value

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The best way out of a difficulty is through it.
  —  Robert Frost
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On This Day In:
2012 Live Or Die
2011 On Secession
2010 A Rocky Weekend

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I would have written of me on my stone:  “I had a lover’s quarrel with the world.
  —  Robert Frost
[And a happy birthday to me!  —  KMAB]
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Today I finished reading “The Runner And The Path“, by Dean Ottati (2002).  This is another of the $2 books I’ve picked up at Half-Price Books on the outside rack.  I bought it on the strength of 1) it’s about running; 2) the author/runner lives locally (in Walnut Creek); and, 3) from the inside the cover notes the book came across as quasi-philosophical.  The book is all three and more.
The author is an account manager (an “executive”) in a technology company.  Feeling a bit out of shape, he takes up running as a hobby and discovers that over time, it shows him an entirely new side of himself which he never made time to observe before.  The author learns (between running and talking with his running friends) to listen to his own heart.  Not the the physical heart beating away in his chest, but the heart beating away in his soul.
The book is a mild indictment of corporate America, because the author ultimately decides (after his review,) that he doesn’t always want to be fighting on the corporate ladder and that there is more to life than “just” more – more money, more authority, more stuff.  The author does admit he has been lucky and he’s fortunate enough to be in a position to back off of the rat race so his conclusions “ring” true, however, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of hope for the non-executives (regular workers) or those who can’t step off the ladder.
Other than those minor comments, I found the book to be very enjoyable – like talking with a new acquaintance whom you discover you have a lot in common with.  The authors writing style, even when he lapses into philosophy, is conversational and therefore a quick read.  And he does have a way with words, which means you’ll be seeing quotes from this book from time to time.
All in all, I recommend the book for those who have never really looked up from their “path” to see where it is actually taking them.
Finally, I must admit I kept waiting for a reference to Frost’s “The Road Not Taken“, but it never came.  An opportunity missed by the author…
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Better put a strong fence around the top of the cliff
Than an ambulance down in the valley.
  —  Joseph Malins
[Apologies to Robert Frost for the title, but an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of medicine.  —  KMAB]
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My brother Sean and Frank (the older brother of my best friend in grammar and high school) are big song posters on Facebook.  Mostly old-school, but sometimes more recent stuff as well.  To be honest, I prefer the old school.  I guess the things you grew up with have had the time to make the most emotional attachments in your life.  A while back they started doing a rally of old r&b tunes and I heard an old Impressions song I enjoyed.  I don’t think their back and forth was meant to be competitive, but it was (is) pleasant to see technology being used to reinforce the beauty which already exists if we just take / make time to remember it.  Of course I did what you’re supposed to do when this happens, I wiki’ed the song, group, writer, etc.  Along the path, I bumped into “People Get Ready“.  I then made a mental note to myself to include the lyrics on my Poems page, but then never got around to it.
What happens to a page deferred?  Does it dry up in the sun, overcome by the flow of other life events?  Or, does it come back – repeatedly by other artists – to remind you again and again of unfinished tasks in life?  (Apologies to Langston Hughes and his “A Dream Deferred“.)  In this case, the latter – resistance is futile.  The lyrics I’ve provided are from one of the many versions available on YouTube.  This version was Curtis Mayfield playing with a house band.  In any case, I had to choose between the original by the Impressions, one of many by Curtis without the Impressions, or one of the many covers.  The hardest choice was the one I remember best: The Chambers Brothers.  Normally, I would go with the one I remembered best, but in this instance I chose Curtis because his voice is more “haunting” to me.
The two poems I remember most from my early teens were Robert Frost’s “Fire And Ice” and Langston Hughes “A Dream Deferred“. Probably because they were both short yet still able to express a tremendous range of emotion (“suffice” and “explode”). “Fire And Ice” has been posted for some time. “A Dream Deferred” was added today. If you haven’t read them lately, take two minutes. That’s about how long it will take to read them both. Enjoy. Highly recommended!
Thanks to all of my spirit brothers and sisters…
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Last Thursday was Thanksgiving.  We collected Mom and drove down to have dinner with my sister’s family.  I got to talking about the different jobs I’ve had with my nephew (Patrice, who’s attending Harvard Law) and it got me thinking back about options, choices, paths not taken and fading memories.  Later, I heard an old favorite song of mine by Garth Brooks titled: “Every Now And Then“.
If Robert Frost is correct and the paths we choose to take make all the difference in the world (see “A Road Not Taken“), then I imagine lost loves make up a big part of the difference.  I’ve added the link to the lyrics to my poems page.  As usual, read the lyrics and then go find the song – the words, the imagery, the music – are haunting.
On a lighter note, as usual, after eating, we sat around and played team Jeopardy.  Neither team did very well.  Art’s team (Bec and Sarah) won, but mostly because they had a whole category they killed on – nicknames for musicians.  We fared about even on most of the other categories.  Playing Jeopardy always reminds me how uneven my own education is.  I know very little about the Arts – literature, art/paintings, music, etc.  I always tell myself I’ll spend more time on broadening my education, but I’m afraid I’m very much a creature of habit – in reading as much as in everything else.  Well, some time ago, I bought “An Incomplete Education“.   It’s a book dedicated to teaching / reminding / exposing its readers to a broad range of liberal education.  The topics include US history, world history, Art, Literature, Economics, Psychology, Science, Religion, and Philosophy – pretty much all the stuff I should have learned about from Grammar school through University (but never did).  The book is only 700 odd pages, so it obviously can’t get too deep into any single topic, but I’m hoping it will whet my appetite to go back to school to gain more depth.
Today I read the first 70 pages – mostly about US history – poets, literature, political parties and historic scandals, and, finally, important Supreme Court decisions.  To tell the truth,  other than the political parties and Supreme Court cases, it was a dreadful bore.  Even the few paragraphs on Frost were not particularly interesting.  I’m surprised because I like his poems, but didn’t find Frost himself interesting.
I guess when I’m done with the book I’ll have to re-evaluate the plan.  Reading the Percy Jackson (Greek mythology) series was vastly more interesting.  At least that series prompted me to Wiki some of the characters and stories to learn more about the real Greek myths.   The funny thing is, it’s not really the writing style of the authors, which is, in turn, straight-forward, sarcastic, ironic, humorous, pithy, and seems well organized.  I’m just not finding the ideas from the people they are covering to be particularly of interest.  Quite discouraging actually!  Still, I’ll plod through, gleaning what I can…
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In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life.  It goes on.
  —  Robert Frost
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Today’s additions are two more song lyrics from musicals from my childhood and another poem by Robert Frost.
The first, Camelot, I think of fondly from a thoroughly biased view of history.
In the early 60’s, America in general, and Washington, D.C in particular seemed to me to be a magical place where even a Catholic could grow up to be President.  The majesty of the era has faded with the tragedy of assassination, the reality of adultery and the cynicism of politics before civil rights – but, for “a brief shining moment…”
The second, “The Impossible Dream“, is from the play (and movie): “The Man From LaMancha” which is based on the story of “Don Quixote” by Miguel de Cervantes.
I must admit to have fancied that I’ve lived my life learning the hard way most of the time and to have constantly sought to tilt against windmills.
The funny thing is…  I’m not entirely sure that many people would say either of those things about me.  Some would describe me as “travelled”, but not I think  as “Quixotic”.
In any case, Frost’s poem is (of course): “The Road Not Taken“.
Perhaps, for me, the windmills have been more personal and/or perceived than real.
Still, less travelled.  …And that has made all the difference.
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Today I’ve added four poems.  Three of them are mine and one is (a second poem) by Robert Frost.
My three are titled: “Lost And Found“, “Julie’s Poem” and “This I Hold As True“.  The Frost poem is titled: “Mending Wall“.
My poem, “This I Hold As True” was my response (meager as it is) to Frost.  I do think we each have walls and I’m not sure his poem does much (if anything) to explain or reduce the walls.  But then, I’m not sure that was Frost’s intent either.  My own feeling is that he was pointing them (walls) out and (mildly) mocking them.
“Julie” was a young lady I knew from high school days.  She heard I wrote poetry and asked me to write her something – so I did.  Showing that it really is a small world, Julie went to school and became a registered nurse.  Five years ago, when I had my heart problem and went to the ER, she was the triage nurse – and in a way – helped save my life!
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Today I’ve added a bunch of lyrics and two poems.  One of the poems, “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” was actually a poem before it was converted to a song.  The other poem (“Fire And Ice“)  is another of the one’s I learned while a child.  I memorized it because it was meaningful – but mostly because it was short.

 

Next, I’ve added two more patriotic lyrics: “America, The Beautiful” and “The Star-Spangled Banner“.  My favorite line from America is “crown thy good, in brotherhood, thy liberty, in law”.

 

The next two are martial (as well as nationalistic), but they represent a very strong side of my personality: “The Ballad of the Green Berets” and “The Marine’s Hymn“.  I always thought I’d grow up to be a Marine, but then I found out they were actually part of the Navy and were mostly based on ships.  Since I didn’t know how to swim and was terrified of the water for most of my life – that was out!  My poor vision kept me out of consideration for a lot of occupations in my life.  I definitely would have considered being Airborne, Ranger and Special Forces.  I guess God had other plans…

 

The final two additions today are both about thinking back.  The first is by Billy Joel, who – for a brief period – was one of my favorite pop stars: “Keeping the Faith“.  The second, is another by Jim Croce: “Operator“.  Sometimes you want sooo bad to make that call — then, never mind!

 

 

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