Archives for posts with tag: illustrations

endymion
endymion
by Senia Hardwick

moonlit
sits up
curved back
crescent body
gibbous eyes
stares back wide
half touches bare skin
bird thin
wrist raises
hand points
reaches
releases
a full murmur
back to night

IMAGE: “The Moon and Endymion” by Bernard Picart (1731).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This poem is from a series/chapbook I am currently working on entitled Ephemera. Each poem is a moment of fleeting beauty paired with ideas and suffering and death. The idea of beautiful suffering is by no means a novel topic, but I have chosen to make it novel by utilizing post-modern ideas about art and poetic structure as well as writing solely on male subjects. The deaths of women have long been portrayed in fetishistic and intentionally tantalizing ways, and this work exists as an intentional rejection of this as an artistic ideal. I drew from Ovid’s Metamorphosis as the stories within it are sensuous and vivid, as well as simply being a nod to the massive and extensive influence of Grecian poetry on Western Europe’s cultural development.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Senia Hardwick is a self-described neo-romantic writer of poetry and short fiction. Senia’s works range in tone and topic, but are mainly concerned with nature, self-exploration, and the world of emotional extremes. She has previously been published in Collective Fallout, Hoax, Tattoosday, TOO MUCH: An Anthology of Excess, Cville Winters, Oddball Mgazine, and is a regular contributor at Riot Grrrl Magazine. Links to her work and book review column can be found at seniahardwick.wordpress.com.

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“Explain Yourself!” Said the Caterpillar Sternly
by Jamie Feldman

Wonder under tumble and down,
Through the glass and under a crown.
Which way are you going?
Which way have you come?
Revise and consider
Where you have come from.

Run through smoke and fog and the sea.
Run from all the things you could be.
A red queen or a knave?
A mome rath outgrabe?
One thing to remember:
To always behave.

Curtsy when one is spoken to.
Never disrupt when you are through.
But where is the wonder?
But where is the dream?
I’ve learned from the flowers
Life’s not what it seems.

Pawns can take kings and queens and rooks.
Dreams do exist outside of books.
But do your thoughts bring joy?
Or Jabberwock fear?
Please drink the potion
And keep your head clear

Cheshire Cat smiles question your time.
Answer in riddle or in rhyme.
Will you ask me through smoke?
Play a game for two?
Down through he rabbit hole,
That’s where you’ll find you.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass have long been my favorite fairytales. Alice is perhaps one of the only female protagonists who doesn’t need a prince to save her, but rather discovers her strength and identity on her own through her wonderland dreams and not from the world above the rabbit hole. The inspiration for the poem is taken from a passage where, upon first meeting the caterpillar, he asks Alice to explain herself and define her identity.

IMAGE: Caterpillar and Alice from Lewis Carroll‘s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865) with illustrations by John Tenniel.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jamie Feldman is a writer/playwright from Halifax, NS, Canada. Her writing has appeared in Baseline Literary, The Big Jewel, and Scissors & Spackle, among others. She is a multiple SLS Literary Merit Fellowship recipient, and her plays have been performed internationally including at The Atlantic Fringe and Short+Sweet: Sydney, AU Festival.

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THE TIGER
by William Blake

Tiger, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder and what art
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand and what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? What dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And water’d heaven with their tears,
Did He smile His work to see?
Did He who made the lamb make thee?

Tiger, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

SOURCE: “The Tyger” appears in William Blake‘s collection Songs of Experience (1794). According to the Cambridge Companion to William Blake, “The Tyger” is the most anthologized poem in the English language.

IMAGE: Plate from Songs of Experience, words and pictures by William Blake (printed in 1794).

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: William Blake (1757-1827) was an English poet, painter, and printmaker. For the most part unrecognized during his lifetime, Blake is now considered one of the greatest poets of all time in any language. As a visual artist, he has been lauded by one art critic as “far and away the greatest artist Britain has ever produced.” (Source: Wikipedia)

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“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.” A.A. MILNEWinnie-the-Pooh

Illustration: E.H. Shepard (illustrator of original Winnie-the-Pooh books, published 1926-1928)

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 ”Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” MARCEL PROUST, author of Remembrance of Things Past

Illustration: Christopher Robin and Winnie-the-Pooh by E.H. Shepard

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THE MANUSCRIPT 

 by J. Robert Lennon

A local poet of considerable national fame completed a new collection of poems that had, due to a painful and scandalous series of personal problems, been delayed in editing and publication for some years. When the revisions were finally finished, the poet typed up a clean copy of the manuscript and got into his car to bring it to the copy shop for reproduction.

 On the way, however, the poet was pulled over for running a red light and was subsequently found to be drunk…Upon regaining sobriety, the poet realized that his poetry manuscript was still in the car and asked the police to return it to him. The police, however, maintained that the contents of the car no longer belonged to him, and refused. Their refusal resulted in a protracted legal battle, during which our beloved poet died, leaving uncertain the fate of the manuscript.

 But the poet’s publisher, eager to issue a posthumous volume, struck a bargain with the police department: if someone at the station would read the finished poems over the phone, an editor would transcribe them and issue them in book form without the manuscript changing hands…The police agreed to this scheme, the phone recitation took place and the book was issued to great acclaim, assuring the poet a place in the literary canon that he had not enjoyed in life.

 Eventually, however, the poet’s estate won its legal battle against the city, and the original manuscript was recovered. We were shocked to learn that it bore little resemblance to the published book.

It was not long before a city policeman confessed to having improvised much of the manuscript during its telephone transcription. His only explanation was that he saw room for improvement and could not resist making a few changes here and there. Almost immediately the policeman was asked to leave the force, and the acclaimed book was completely discredited. The true manuscript was published in its entirety, to tepid reviews.

The policeman has continued to write poetry. Most agree that it is excellent, but few will publish the work of someone known to be so dishonest. 

Illustration (collage drawing) by Tony Fitzpatrick. Visit Tony at his blog and see more of his amazing artwork.

Note: “The Manuscript” is included in J. Robert Lennon‘s collection Pieces for the Left Hand: 100 Anecdotes, available at Amazon.com.

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 “Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” MARCEL PROUST, author of Remembrance of Things Past

Illustration: Christopher Robin and Winnie-the-Pooh by E.H. Shepard

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“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.” A.A. MILNE, Winnie-the-Pooh

Illustration: E.H. Shepard (illustrator of original Winnie-the-Pooh books, published 1926-1928)

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THE MANUSCRIPT 

Story by

J. Robert Lennon

A local poet of considerable national fame completed a new collection of poems that had, due to a painful and scandalous series of personal problems, been delayed in editing and publication for some years. When the revisions were finally finished, the poet typed up a clean copy of the manuscript and got into his car to bring it to the copy shop for reproduction.

 On the way, however, the poet was pulled over for running a red light and was subsequently found to be drunk…Upon regaining sobriety, the poet realized that his poetry manuscript was still in the car and asked the police to return it to him. The police, however, maintained that the contents of the car no longer belonged to him, and refused. Their refusal resulted in a protracted legal battle, during which our beloved poet died, leaving uncertain the fate of the manuscript.

 But the poet’s publisher, eager to issue a posthumous volume, struck a bargain with the police department: if someone at the station would read the finished poems over the phone, an editor would transcribe them and issue them in book form without the manuscript changing hands…The police agreed to this scheme, the phone recitation took place and the book was issued to great acclaim, assuring the poet a place in the literary canon that he had not enjoyed in life.

 Eventually, however, the poet’s estate won its legal battle against the city, and the original manuscript was recovered. We were shocked to learn that it bore little resemblance to the published book.

It was not long before a city policeman confessed to having improvised much of the manuscript during its telephone transcription. His only explanation was that he saw room for improvement and could not resist making a few changes here and there. Almost immediately the policeman was asked to leave the force, and the acclaimed book was completely discredited. The true manuscript was published in its entirety, to tepid reviews.

The policeman has continued to write poetry. Most agree that it is excellent, but few will publish the work of someone known to be so dishonest. 

Illustration (collage drawing) by Tony Fitzpatrick — a brilliant (and renowned) artist from Chicago whose many shows I’ve attended. Visit Tony at his blog and see more of his amazing artwork.

Note: “The Manuscript” is included in J. Robert Lennon‘s collection Pieces for the Left Hand: 100 Anecdotes, available at Amazon.com.

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Some years back, I wrote a children’s novel that featured a girl named Anna, a dog named Otto, and lots of wordplay — as evidenced by the main characters’ names, spelled the same backward and forward. In the book, Anna, an amnesiac, sets out with Otto to learn her identity — and along the way meets a range of unusual characters and encounters a variety of wacky situations.

For a time, I shopped Anna & Otto to publishers in New York and received positive response (but no offers). One editor compared the novel’s emphasis on language to the wordplay found in The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster — a book (shame on me) that I had never read.

That day, I visited my local Border’s (RIP) and purchased a copy of The Phantom Tollbooth, a novel first published in 1961. I went home and read the book in one giant gulp — a huge smile on my face the whole time.

Excerpt from The Phantom Tollbooth: “In this box are all the words I know…Most of them you will never need, some you will use constantly, but with them you may ask all the questions which have never been answered and answer all the questions which have never been asked. All the great books of the past and all the ones yet to come are made with these words. With them there is no obstacle you cannot overcome. All you must learn to do is to use them well and in the right places.” 

The book’s jacket copy advises, “Readers of all ages will find much wit and wisdom in Norton Juster’s beguiling, offbeat fantasy about a boy named Milo…[who] meets some of the most logically illogical characters ever met on this side or that side of reality, including King Azaz the Unabridged, unhappy ruler of Dictionopolis.”

The New York Times gave The Phantom Tollbooth a rave, noting: “Most books advertised for ‘readers of all ages’ fail to keep their promise. But Norton Juster’s amazing fantasy has something wonderful for anybody old enough to relish the allegorical wisdom of Alice in Wonderland and the pointed whimsy of The Wizard of Oz.” 

Now whenever I see a copy of The Phantom Tollbooth in one of my used-book haunts, I snap it up — and pass it  on to someone I know would love this marvel of a book. (I’ll admit that I don’t often find The Phantom Tollbooth at thrift stores — people hang onto their copies of this brilliant novel.) Highly recommended! A Must Read! 

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Illustration: The cover illustration is by Jules Feiffer, whose witty, spot-on drawings fill the 256-page book (Knopf hardcover edition). At left is Feiffer’s drawing of the Terrible Trivium, “…demon of petty tasks and worthless jobs, ogre of wasted effort, and monster of habit.”