Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Brothers long gone,
We will wait out this storm
We will always march on.

This wind, this rain
nothing can move us
nothing can be as bad as your pain

The weather will pass,
and the skies will clear.
But your memories are always going to last.

The Ironic Storm

The Ironic Storm 

The echoing halls that were once riddled with people,

People of races, gender and prospects meet
And share a brief meaningless second, a limbo of society.
There stories repelling like a singular pole of a magnet.
Creating a canyon of separation:
A canyon that is unbridgeable.

Today there is no repulsion; there is no opportunity for that,
The society that once rejected each other.
Each share fear of a lady’s name..
There is only one story today.
What will Sandy do next?

A Perfect Storm


A Perfect Storm  

 Hurricane Sandy
Chaos striking the east coast
    Returned to nothing

PHOTO: A parking lot full of yellow cabs is flooded as a result of superstorm Sandy, Oct. 30, 2012 in Hoboken, NJ.




I awoke to sand covering my floors,
Waves up against my house,
So I rushed outside, through the door 
To try and find out, through the shouts,
the true extent of this disaster.
But no one seemed to be about
So I waded, faster and faster
Until the water got so deep
That all I could see was bleak.
                                -Andrew S. Fazekash

Sunken Subway

Sunken in the Depths 

How wondrous Nature is, and how deadly
These things we adore become.
Yes, a rose has thorns,
But this destruction, it knows no bounds.

Water creates life, it allows for prosperity,
Yet we forget the harm it can bring,
For our busy lives hide from us
The reality, the brutality, of nature.

Places where I once tread
Are now sunken in the depths.
I walked through there yesterday,
But I swim through today.

And as I wade through the streets
I look at the darkness around,
For the city that never sleeps,
Has just been put to bed.

City View,r:17,s:38,i:315&tx=142&ty=65

Hurricane Sandy Reflection

Not All's Lost
The wind has died down,
I'm standing in the wreckage.
All's gone? I think not.
There She Stands
She calmly awaits
the arrival of Sandy
guarding our country.


to blanketed ears
seen by eyes intent elsewhere
is known in hindsight,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&fp=bbd75ef5879dbd65&bpcl=36601534&biw=1248&bih=665


I want to be free-
Up with the birds in the sky,
flying leisurely.

Living on the Edge

The Edge
Live life on the edge
peek in the canyon below
careful not to fall.

The Path.

Spirits chase fearless cause,
A mountain, prairie or gorge,
The hunt: death awaits.

Tea Leaves

Small brittle tea leaves
lie on my white porcelain plate.
I dare not move it.


Winter at the pond
Ice hangs from a frozen tree
Where did the duck go?

the day is now done
no more triumphs and actions
but great friends dont die


Boys soccer

Strike the bell once more
For a season in the sun
Which they shan't forget

The Blueberry Muffin Man.

I like blueberries.
Do you know the Muffin Man?
No one really does. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Unavoidable Truth

The sweet smell of leaves
Takes hold of my every sense;
Paralyzed by fear.
-Andrew S. Fazekash                               


Water hits the roof
falling from heaven above
drenching everything

Raindrops Keep Falling

The Haiku Contest is upon us!

For the contest, Haiku's are due this Sunday - email to Mr. Peterson.

See your homework below.

Here are some helpful links:

Here are some examples:

wrapping dumplings in
bamboo leaves, with one finger
she tidies her hair
(Bash ō 1644 - 1694)

waiting for the words
the depth of me in haiku
tell you who I am

For Homework for Wednesday, please post your haiku with an image (or two).
Consider juxtaposition of two images or ideas.  
Cool site for images:

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Abe's poetry

To Rosa
You are young, and I am older;
You are hopeful, I am not -
Enjoy life, ere it grow colder -
Pluck the roses ere they rot.

Teach your beau to heed the lay -
That sunshine soon is lost in shade -
That now's as good as any day -
To take thee, Rosa, ere she fade.
Abraham Lincoln

This spoke to me first and foremost because it was written by Abraham Lincoln. This style of poetry is easily read and understand. This come from the point of view of an older man giving advice to a young female telling here to take life by the reigns. “To Rosa” by Abraham Lincoln also carries with it a warning. “Pluck the roses ere they rot” is a metaphor saying that you should enjoy life while you are young and capable instead of old and gloomy. We all know Carpe Diem means “seize  the day”” but in all the other poems I read nothing addressed the possibility of consequence. They listed that you would miss out on opportunity but never said that you could have the same prize, but it would “rot” or be less valuable to you. This poem sheds both a positive and negative light on Carpe Diem
Abraham Lincoln (1809 ~1865) was the sixteenth President of the United States during the war between the states which fought  preserve the Union and those that sought to succeed from it. He created peace only to be assassinated as the war was coming to an end. The first Republican elected to the office of President of the United States, Lincoln had been a lawyer, an Illinois state legislator, a member of the United States House of Representatives. The Department of English, University of Toronto web site, "Lincoln wrote the verses in the autograph album of Rosa Haggard, daughter of the proprietor of the hotel at Winchester, Illinois, where he stayed when speaking at that place on the same date." He actually intended this to be a song. Written for baritones and following the same musical structure. He wrote this in a tried stage of his presidency when he realized that life couldn't hold the same beauty it once did, therefore he urged a youth to find this beauty.

You, Archibald MacLeish

Archibald MacLeish
You, Andrew Marvell  
And here face down beneath the sun   
And here upon earth’s noonward height   
To feel the always coming on
The always rising of the night:

To feel creep up the curving east   
The earthy chill of dusk and slow   
Upon those under lands the vast   
And ever climbing shadow grow

And strange at Ecbatan the trees   
Take leaf by leaf the evening strange   
The flooding dark about their knees   
The mountains over Persia change
And now at Kermanshah the gate   
Dark empty and the withered grass   
And through the twilight now the late   
Few travelers in the westward pass

And Baghdad darken and the bridge   
Across the silent river gone
And through Arabia the edge
Of evening widen and steal on

And deepen on Palmyra’s street
The wheel rut in the ruined stone   
And Lebanon fade out and Crete
High through the clouds and overblown

And over Sicily the air
Still flashing with the landward gulls   
And loom and slowly disappear   
The sails above the shadowy hulls

And Spain go under and the shore   
Of Africa the gilded sand
And evening vanish and no more   
The low pale light across that land

Nor now the long light on the sea:

And here face downward in the sun   
To feel how swift how secretly
The shadow of the night comes on ...   

                  Archibald MacLeish's poem title You, Andrew Marvell refers to Andrew Marvell, seventeenth century poet, one of whose best-known poems is a carpe diem lyric entitled To His Coy Mistress, which contain a memorable line "But at my back I always hear/ Time's winged chariot hurrying near". In his poem, Marvell reminds his audience of life's brevity and the prospect of inevitable, impending death, as he urges his audience to seize the day and make the most of every seconds.

                  On the literal level of the poem You, Andrew Marvell describes, with geographical exactitude, the uninterrupted, unhurried, silent progress of the night fall, or in his own words, " the always rising of the night." And the symbolism plays a major part in this poem. The oncoming of the night associates with the inevitability of  death conventionally, and " Earth's noonward height" refers to the peak of manhood.  His selection of the city and country and even the oceanic names recalls the history of mankind rather than just a progress of the night fall that invites us to contemplate the meaning of time and life. Carpe diem. 

Combing Through Rough Patches

Since Death Brushed Past Me
By Sara Teasdale

Since Death brushed past me once more to-day,
Let me say quickly what I must say:

Take without shame the love I give you,

Take it before I am hurried away.

You are intrepid, noble, kind,

My heart goes to you with my mind,

The plummet of your thought is long
Sunk in deep water, cold with song.
You are all I asked my dear -
My words are said, my way is clear.

       When looking through the book for the perfect poem, I found Teasdale's reoccurring theme of ending poems in melancholy ways. I resulted to looking at the Table of Contents to see if a title could help me and then realized that her poems form stories, by their content and their titles. Since I assumed that Carpe Diem statements are usually at the end, I flipped to one of the last pages to find "Since Death Brushed Past Me". When reading it, I felt as if the poem was both a confession and a lesson. The persona of the poet says that during her life-threatening experience, she had realized that love is an important thing that one must accept with open arms and not take for granted. She describes her partner as a strong-minded person who does not accept affection easily, so in her poem she tells him to accept her love before it's no longer available. It reached out to me because it reminded me of Joe Blanda. He's a walking Carpe Diem example, telling us to do everything that we can before it slips away. 

      Sara Teasdale is known for being an American lyrical poet. At a young age, she fell ill and only started life at the age of fourteen. I think she wrote this poem with the intention of trying to disguise her unhappiness with life. This poem, at the end of Collected Poems of Sara Teasdale, is optimistic compared to most of her other poems, ending in tragedy and despair. This last poem, to me, seemed like it was Teasdale’s last reasonable thought before making a fatal decision. Unfortunately, her life ended due to suicide by over-dosing on sleeping pills, slowing slipping away from reality and reason. 

Fate is Kismet

Time Marches On 

You ask me, brothers, why I flinch. 
Well, I will tell you, inch by inch. 
Is it not proper cause for fright 
That what is day will soon be night? 
Evenings I flinch the selfsame way, 
For what is night will soon be day. 
At five o'clock it chills my gore 
Simply to know it isn't four. 
How Sunday into Monday melts! 
And every month is something else. 
If summer on the ladder lingers, 
Autumn tramples upon her fingers, 
Fleeing before the jostling train 
Of Winter, and Spring, and Summer again. 
Year swallows year and licks its lips, 
Then down the gullet of next year slips. 
We chip at Time with clocks and watches, 
We flee him in love and double scotches; 
Even as we scatter in alarm 
He marches with us, arm in arm, 
Though while we sleep, he forward rides, 
Yet when we wake, he's at our sides. 
Let men walk straight or let them err, 
He never leaves them as they were. 
While ladies draw their stockings on 
The ladies they were are up and gone. 
I pen my lines, I finish, I scan them, 
I'm not the poet who began them. 
Each moment Time, the lord of changers, 
Stuffs our skin with ephemeral strangers. 
Good heavens, how remote of me 
The billion people I used to be! 
Flinch with me, brothers, why not flinch, 
Shirts caught in the eternal winch? 
Come, let us flinch till Time stands still; 
Although I do not think he will. 
Hark brothers, to the dismal proof: 
The seconds spattering on the roof! 

- Ogden Nash page  228 The Best of Ogden Nash

Fate is Kismet 

     Ogden Nash is known primarily as a poet of great humor. On the contrary, Nash actually has in depth views over life and how it should be spent. “Time Marches On” is a poem that he uses personification of time in several different forms to alleviate his ill feelings toward the passing of time. Nash shows himself in this poem physically “flinching” at seasons changing as days “melt” into one another; “summer on the ladder lingers,/Autumn tramples upon her fingers,/Fleeing before the jostling train/Of Winter”(Nash 11-14). Most people “flee him (time), in love and double scotches”(Nash 18), but he infers that this is not the right thing to do. To elaborate on Nash’s sense of how valuable time is, and how one should not waste it in any way, “Look for the Silver Lining” must be mentioned. This is a poem where Nash states “Fate is kismet”; one makes his own destiny. Nash believes that time passes much too quickly, and so he urges people to “flinch” with him; to accomplish everything they desire in life before it comes to its unavoidable abrupt close. Ogden Nash urges people to not “repent” for the past, but rather to realize the value of each second of every day; to make use of these moments by doing what brings happiness in life and to make one’s own fate. 

     Ogden Nash lived a lifestyle full of work, obligations and changing environments, but he always managed to do what brought him joy. Nash grew up in an unstable family; they moved often in his childhood and he was forced to acclimate to various different schools over a short period of time. Nash was accepted into Harvard, only to drop out a short year later because he was not enjoying his experience in higher academia. He also refused to apply himself as a bond salesman because he, clearly, had an utter distaste for the position. Nash only managed to sell one bond in his entire stint as a bond salesman. In short, if Nash wasn’t a fan of something, he either quit or ignored it; this is the sort of ‘no regrets’ frame of mind he refers to in “Reminiscent Reflection”. This short limerick goes “When I consider how my life is spent,/ I hardly ever repent”. Rather than sulking in regret over past decisions, possibly over leaving Harvard or his first job, Nash looks at these decisions as having saved valuable time. Nash’s “Time Marches On” shows how Nash feels about time passing too quickly, and although some may say life is a game, Nash played by his own rules because “fate is kismet”. Ogden Nash lived his own life attempting to savor every moment, spending time only on the things he loved most in life, especially writing – his most prominent passion which prevailed through years of trial and error with other endeavors. 

Prevent the Collapse

The Future

That was the future I came back from
vomiting the taste of the sulfur of my lowest
intestine on my tongue the taste of active
not theoretical not imagined despair.

It wasn't only the deserts impinging
encroaching devouring nor the fevers
charring the last damp from the rivers
the last lick of sap from the withering wheat.

Nor only the ruins of cities spilled out
on highways like coal like kindling the men
groin to groin bound in their rage and despair
like Siamese twins Siamese hordes.

It wasn't the women cowled like turbines
howling like turbines and the children
sentried on cliffs with nothing to nourish
their genius but shrapnels of scrub.

It was grasping rather that their desires
were like mine without limit like mine
checked only by vile chance not rational
supply and demand as I'd been taught.

That their fear was so fierce they wanted
to no longer be endowed with matter
so when houses were built they were razed
when food was grown it was despoiled.

We were locusts we were scorpions
husks hooked on thorns seeds without soil
wombs of a world without portal
flesh and dream we breathed and we slept.

C. K. Williams

Kevin M. Hoover

        “The Future”, written by C.K. Williams, invokes a sense of carpe diem for me because it warns against the future we’re heading towards. It begs the reader to make a change in the world because if we continue doing what we’re doing, there won’t be a world to save. Not in the sense that we all need to gather around the campfire and sing Kumbaya, rather that we must fix the flaws in our society. It tells the reader that there are cracks and tears in the fabric of our government and our economy which need to be sewn up before they collapse upon themselves. Williams begs his reader to seize the day and save us from the future which we are barreling towards.
        I do not know what CK Williams’ inspiration to write the “The Future” was, but I would assume that he intended to inspire his readers to make a change for the better. In my mind, the only alternative motive for the poem was to tell a story about another world, but I do not believe that to be true. CK Williams paints a picture of the future that would disgust any man. I believe that this was done on purpose so that anyone who read would see that there are flaws in the way we conduct ourselves that need to be fixed.

Today's Thoughts on "Yesterday" by W.S Merwin

W.S Merwin was born in New York City in 1927. Known for his unique style of unpunctuated poems during the 1960's antiwar movement. His poetry was influenced based on his interest in Buddhist philosophy and deep ecology. He has won many different awards such as the Tanning Prize, one of the highest honors given by the Academy of American Poets. "Today, Merwin lives a quiet life on a former pineapple plantation built atop a dormant volcano on the northeast coast of Maui."

        I chose this poem because it really speaks to the 'carpe diem' theme. Even though the poem comes off as confusing, it makes you realize not to take family for granted because you never know what day will be their last. The friend in the poem is trying to make the writer feel better by telling him his bad relationship with his father saying that he was not a 'good son' and reflects on the last time he saw him. He told his father he couldn't stay because he had other things to do but really there was nowhere he had to go and nothing he had to do. The 'carpe diem' of the poem is to love everybody close to you like its the last time you will ever get to see them because you just never know how quickly things can change.

My friend says I was not a good son                                             
you understand
I say yes I understand

he says I did not go
to see my parents very often you know
and I say yes I know

even when I was living in the same city he says
maybe I would go there once
a month or maybe even less
I say oh yes

he says the last time I went to see my father
I say the last time I saw my father

he says the last time I saw my father
he was asking me about my life
how I was making out and he
went into the next room
to get something to give me

oh I say
feeling again the cold
of my fathers hand the last time
he says and my father turned
in the doorway and saw me
look at my wristwatch and he
said you know I would like you to stay
and talk with me

oh yes I say

but if you are busy he said
I don't want you to feel that you
have to
just because I'm here

I say nothing

he says my father
said maybe
you have important work you are doing
or maybe you should be seeing
somebody I dont want to keep you

I look out the window
my friend is older than I am
he says and I told my father it was so
and I got up and left him then
you know

though there was nowhere I had to go
and nothing I had to do
W. S. Merwin

You're Losing Entropy, so Make it Worth Your While

Ode to Entropy – by John Updike

Some day – can it be believed? -
the year 1070 or so,
single electrons and positrons will orbit
one another to form atoms bonded
across regions of space
greater than the present observable universe.
‘Heat death’ will prevail.
The stars long since will have burnt their hydrogen
and turned to iron.
Even the black holes will have decayed.
thou seal on extinction,
thou curse on Creation.
All change distributes energy,
spills what cannot be gathered again.
Each meal, each smile,
Each foot-race to the well by Jack and Jill
scatters treasure, lets fall
gold straws once woven from the resurgent dust.
The night sky blazes with Byzantine waste.
The bird’s throbbling is expenditure,
and the tide’s soughing,
and the tungsten filament illumining my hand.

A ramp has been built into probability
the universe cannot re-ascend.
For our small span,
the sun has fuel, the moon lifts the lulling sea,
the highway shudders with stolen hydrocarbons.
How measure these inequalities
so massive and luminous
in which one’s self is secreted
like a jewel mislaid in mountains of garbage?
Or like that bright infant Prince William,
with his whorled nostrils and blank blue eyes,
to whom empire and all its estates are already assigned.
Does its final diffusion
deny a miracle?
The future voids are scrims of the mind,
pedagogic as blackboards.

Did you know
that four-fifths of the body’s intake goes merely
to maintain our temperature of 98.6°?

Or that Karl Barth, addressing prisoners, said
the prayer for stronger faith is the one prayer
that has never been denied?
Death exists nowhere in nature, not
in the minds of birds or the consciousness of flowers,
not even in the numb brain of the wildebeest calf
gone under to the grinning crocodile, nowhere
in the mesh of woods or tons of sea, only
in our forebodings, our formulae.
There is still enough energy in one overlooked star
to power all the heavens madmen have ever proposed.

How is this "Carpe Diem"?

John Updike’s poem “Ode to Entropy” may not have specifically delivered a message about seizing the day, but rather it inflicted me with a natural response that I should. I will admit that the first time I read the poem, I took it scientifically and read it through my analytical eyes, which, of course, didn’t lead me to thinking about the poem’s true meaning. However, the second time I read the poem, I got over the memories of sophomore physics when my brain was bombarded with information about entropy, and the poem took on a new meaning for me. I read the same words but this time it brought me to a realization. Entropy, the constant loss of energy, suddenly made me think about how every action we take actually costs us something valuable. It costs energy, life itself. “Entropy!/thou seal on extinction,/thou curse on Creation/All change distributes energy,/spills what cannot be gathered again.”. These words immediately invoke a depressing reaction, since we think about how everything we do actually creates a loss that cannot be recovered, but after the initial shock, I began to take a more uplifting view on the poem. Updike reminded me that every action comes with this penalty of the permanent loss of energy. Everything I do, causes me to lose something more valuable, so why not do something to make it worth it? If I am going to lose energy doing anything, then I’m going to make it worth my while. This is the message that I ended up receiving by reading his poem, a message akin to “Carpe Diem”. Even though the poem was depressing and dark; my outlook ended up on the other end of the spectrum.

Who was Updike, and why did he write this poem?

John Updike is an American novelist and poet. He is very famous for his series of novels called “Harry ‘Rabbit’ Angstrom”. He was born and raised in a small town in Pennsylvania. He earned his degree in English (graduating summa cum laude) at Harvard, after receiving a full scholarship there. He wrote for many different businesses such as The New Yorker, and The New York Review of Books. He also received the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, twice. I could not find anything that would tell me why Updike wrote his poem, but using what I found out about him, I can come to a reasonable conclusion. Updike was most certainly not thinking about seizing the day when he wrote his “Ode to Entropy”. The focus of his seven odes was not to take a figurative meaning from the biological world, but to actually appreciate the world for what it is. For example he talks about how a scab is a “beautiful thing” in his “Ode to Healing” because it acts like a bunch of little engineers, working together to weave platelets and fibrin together. This makes sense because Updike had a large interest and appreciation for the sciences. So, in the same sort of manner as in the “Ode to Healing”, he talks about entropy. He looks at how the world is slowly disintegrating around him, bit by bit, and was inspired to add this topic to his odes of natural processes. He wrote about entropy in this manner, because, as he was quite the intellectual, he was very interested in the world around him and how beautiful and complex it all is; which is why he takes the physical, straightforward approach.