Steve said it was Robbie Burns birthday today. Born January 25, 1759.
We missed the fancy fundraiser for the museum last week, the Haggis and men decked out in kilts of their clan.
We missed the “not your grandfather’s ” Robert Burns birthday party in Lawrenceville and the one on the South Side with all kinds of scotch at Piper’s pub.
But we got to pay homage to the Scottish poet, just before dusk. The end of a January gloomy Sunday.
We headed out to Schenley Park to the Robert Burns statue (by Scottish sculptor J. Massey Rhind) and it started to snow.
Right next to Phipps Conservatory.
Mrs. Peacock sounds like a game of clue but here is a snippet of the article in the Mary 3, 1914 Post-Gazette.
For a list of Robert Burns memorials around the world, click here
“The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men,
Gang aft agley.
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
For promis’d joy!
(To A Mouse)”
― Robert Burns, The Works of Robert Burns
My heart’s in the Highlands, my heart is not here;
My heart’s in the Highlands a-chasing the deer;
A-chasing the wild-deer, and following the roe,
My heart’s in the Highlands wherever I go.”
― Robert Burns
from Tam o’Shanter
But pleasures are like poppies spread—
You seize the flow’r, its bloom is shed;
Or like the snow falls in the river—
A moment white—then melts forever.
“And man, whose heav’n-erected face
The smiles of love adorn
Man’s inhumanity to man
Makes countless thousands mourn!”
― Robert Burns
Saturday morning I went to a wonderful poetry reading at Calvary Episcopal Church on Shady Avenue (in Pittsburgh). It was a grand crowd of friends, fellow poets and family. Jan Beatty gave a marvelous introduction and then Liane read poems from her book. They had to get extra chairs! Afterwards there was lots of hot coffee and croissants, raspberries and blueberries and other delicious pastries. Her grandson helped sell the books and make change.
Liane Ellison Norman’s new poetry book is Breathing the West: Great Basin Poems.
On Monday December 3rd, one of her poems will be read by Garrison Keillor on The Writer’s Almanac. How cool is that?
Here’s the link so you can listen to the reading of Tree by Liane Ellison Norman.
Many of you know my next career is filmmaker! And on Monday 11/15 my second film will be screened. The first one was Dorothy Holley: Quart Jar Poet. The doors open at 7. The screening starts at 7:30 and the film is one hour in length. Michael Wurster: The City Books Session. Simmons Hall (which is the basement) Fifth Ave at Shady Avenue. Light Refreshments. Free and open to the public. Filmed and edited by me. A little shameless self-promotion. Michael Wurster was one of the original founders of the Pittsburgh Poetry Exchange and many people have taken classes from him. He taught at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts for 18 years. I filmed it over 4 years ago and am very glad to have completed the film. You will hear him read a few of his poems and be interviewed by me. If you are a former student you might want a copy of the DVD which will be on sale for $10. Michael is bringing copies of his latest book as well. The British Detective. Excellent music brings the film to life. Used with permission from songwriter Christopher Jones from his Heartland Variations CD. Hope you can come.
Christina Murdock was awarded the 2006 Sara Henderson Hay Prize from The Pittsburgh Quarterly Online, and her writing has been published in The 10th Floor Review, Collision, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Voices from the Attic and Pittsburgh CityPaper. She died in April just one week before her 30th birthday and is survived by her husband, Terry, and daughter, Sophia. A tribute reading of her work will be held at 1:00-3:00 p.m. on Sept. 18 at Kresge Theater, Carlow University. Free and open to the public. Sales of her book, Burying the Body,($12.95) will benefit a scholarship fund for her daughter. Sponsored by Madwomen in the Attic, a creative writing group for women @ Carlow University. If you would like to order a book let me know.
Poetry Reading Bottlebrush Gallery Friday night. The gallery has a special function on the Third Fridays. Thirty miles north of Pittsburgh, on the Washington Trail is Harmony PA. Timons Esaias and Ziggy Edwards members of Pittsburgh Poetry Exchange were two of the readers after the music. Platters of fancy cheese, salami & pickles, cranberry bread, Yuengling and Yellow Tail. A full list of artists and craftspeople on the site- blown glass plates and Raku bowls, hanks of handspun /handdyed wool, jewelry , felted items, gorgeous shawls. art dolls. Furniture made from a walnut slab. Hand dipped beeswax candles. Maintain single lane. The Harmony Museum in the white brick after the gallery.
*NOTE to poet(s) not knowing HTML code I am restricted by the format of this blog template and or the limits of Text/Edit from word.doc to Mac? and the poem will not publish in the original format. It is a five stanza poem and the breaks occur after -out. -Way. -human. – eternal. Hence the hyphens for space and breath.
Originally there were eleven Commandments
Moses, perhaps confused by the unfamiliar
snow, ice, and sidewalk,
botched one, and left it out.
But Buddha said that though Life is Pain,
falling on ice is gratuitous pain
and those who cause it, by neglect,
should never escape the Wheel of Rebirth;
and Lao-Tzu agreed, for those who will not
clear the path will never find the Way.
Zoroaster, in the endless war of light
against ice, demanded diligence;
claimed that those who surrender
the public way to the Enemy
have empty souls,
can scarcely be regarded as human.
The Prophet, regarding sidewalks and snow,
is silent; but his sura
Sand Drifting Against the Caravanserai Gate
is thought to apply. The condemnation there
is brutal and eternal.
Plato counted safe sidewalks as fundamental
to the ideal Republic, noting that those remiss
in this clear duty lacked all character;
and his pupil – perceptive, immortal Aristotle-
further declared, famously, that
lack of character
Timons Esaias is a writer and poet living in Pittsburgh. His short stories, ranging from literary to genre, have been published in fourteen languages. He has had over a hundred poems in print, including Spanish, Swedish and Chinese translations, in such markets as 5AM, Bathtub Gin, Main Street Rag, Willard & Maple, Elysian Fields Quarterly: The Literary Journal of Baseball and many others. He has also been a finalist for the British Science Fiction Award, and won the Asimov’s Readers Award. His poetry chapbook, The Influence of Pigeons on Architecture, sold out two editions. He is Adjunct Faculty at Seton Hill University, in the Writing Popular Fiction M.F.A. Program. This poem was originally published in hotmetalpoets.com when it existed.