Two Roads Diverged in a Green Wood

We were on our way to a First Communion Party a week ago and my Daughter- in-Law was driving. When we saw the two branches of road in front of us, The Road Not Taken, the poem by Robert Frost, came to mind. Yes, these woods are a new Spring green, not a yellow wood, but poetic/blogging license?
When I went to find the actual poem I found this interesting Paris Review article by David Orr*.  Here’s a quote from his article, The Most Misread Poem in America (click here )
Go to the article and read about a 2008 New Zealand Ford Co Car Commercial which uses the poem without even giving credit to Robert Frost! If you want to consider the variances in interpretation of Frost’s poem you will find the article enlightening.
“Given the pervasiveness of Frost’s lines, it should come as no surprise that the popularity of “The Road Not Taken” appears to exceed that of every other major twentieth-century American poem, including those often considered more central to the modern (and modernist) era.”   
 Author Orr listed the GOOGLE stats of searches to prove it!  Who knew this particular was so popular?
Parts of verses still stick in my mind and when I saw this scene in the woods, they came right up. When I was in grade school, we had to memorize a poem a week and recite it from memory.
    The Road Not Taken 
                                                   by Robert Frost
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
(By the way, we took the right of the fork)
*from the article
David Orr is the poetry columnist for the New York Times Book Review. He is the winner of the Nona Balakian Prize from the National Book Critics Circle, and his writing has appeared in The New YorkerPoetrySlate, and The Yale Review.
 

McWalker Yarns Hosted a Poetry Reading in Millvale

Thursday evening in Millvale, Amy McCall, owner of McWalker Yarns hosted poets Sheryl St. Germain and her former MFA student at Chatham U, Michael Bennett.

The yarn store was a wonderful backdrop for Sheryl St. Germain’s reading. Surrounded by skeins and skeins of colorful yarn, Sheryl read her powerful essay (from Stitching Resistance:  Women, Creativity and Fiber Arts  edited by Marjorie Agosin). She told of the role crochet has played in her life since childhood, but focusing on how crocheting with yarn helped her cope while parenting a son who was in trouble with alcohol, drugs and the law. She also read poems about her son’s dying of a heroin overdose from her book The Small Door of Your Death.  Her words touched the audience as she described the helplessness and grief, her numbness, as she centered herself every evening after a long day- crocheting an afghan for her son.  The repetition of hook into yarn loops as a meditation, an ease from depression and the stress of hopelessness. A healing.

 

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Pittsburgh native Michael Bennett read his poetry first and opened for Ms. St. Germain.  Michael  has worked for three years with Words Without Walls program, teaching incarcerated Juvenile offenders, teenagers being tried as adults.


Cellist David Bennett and McWalker Yarns supporter introduces the poet and provided delicious desserts  by Millvale Baker Jean-Marc Chatelier


New Orleans native Sheryl St. Germain has published six poetry books, two collections of essays, and co-edited two anthologies. The Small Door of Your Death, a collection of poems about the death of her son from a heroin overdose, appeared in 2018 with Autumn House Press. A forthcoming book, Fifty Miles, is a collection of essays about healing that include a couple of essays about working with yarn. Sheryl directs the MFA program in Creative Writing at Chatham University where she also teaches poetry and creative nonfiction, and is co-founder of the Words Without Walls Program . She was named Louisiana Writer of the year in 2018. Sheryl is an avid and accomplished crocheter, and a much less accomplished knitter. See: www.sheryl-stgermain.com/ for more information.

 

Desserts  created  by  Jean-Marc Chatellier French Bakery

A Tribute to Jimmy Cvetic

Remembering Jimmy Cvetic  (click for article by Rich Lord)

Vietnam Vet, Police Detective, Boxing Coach and Poet.  Poet is how I came to know him over the years, hearing him read at Hemingway’s Café in Oakland where he organized the Summer Poetry Reading Series for decades. He had an incredibly generous spirit. No one will be able to fill his shoes. He wrote the following poetry books:The Secret Society of Dog, Dog Unleashed, Dog is a Love from Hell, Dog Days published by Lascaux Editions.

Jimmy Cvetic   

September 8, 1949- February 15, 2019

Jimmy with Franco Harris on August 17, 2017 Little Italy Days in Bloomfield neighborhood of Pittsburgh PA.  I photographed them after Franco played in a Bocce game on Cedarville Street.

Click here to read Jimmy Cvetic in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette Saturday Poem : Another God Poem

 

The Gift of a Well Chosen Book

The gift of a well chosen book.

When I went to breakfast with my friend R a couple of weeks ago, she presented me with this book. She’s found it in a Wisconsin bookshop, months ago and saved it for my birthday.

Tonight I photographed it with a candlestick and the pair of socks, almost complete- I’m decreasing the toes. You see this poetry book is printed by Candlestick Press! It’s one of their “Instead of a Card” pamphlet series.

There’s even a poem by Emily Dickinson.

You are invited to read the Ten Poems about Knitting poems by a lovely introduction written by Di Slaney (poet and Co-owner of Candlestick Press in Nottingham UK)

https://humag.co/features/di-slaney

Dear R,

Thank you for the perfect poetry book for me and the bookmark’s thoughtful inscription.

I sit and knit. And knit. And knit. And read poems about Knitting.

R

You always ask if there is anything you can do…….

A good friend passed early Wednesday morning. You always ask if there is anything you can do…..

E64A6081-9C28-4E2F-ADC3-AE72009D3B33Cj and her daughter at Thanksgiving a few years ago.

She was a loving mother, a devoted sister,  an excellent teacher, a strong woman, a heartfelt writer and a steadfast partner.   An advocate for so many students in the Pittsburgh Public Schools. Inspiring thousands. A Madwoman writer at Carlow University. 

I  can picture her signing Go Tell it on the Mountain at a Christmas Choir Concert

Reading her poetry at Poe*Art, touching us with her words.

Playing music to motivate the scores of teachers who became students every summer in The Western Pennsylvania Writing Project at the University of Pittsburgh.

Another friend who taught with her for a couple of years remembers her playing Rocky’s Theme to get the students geared up for testing.  The same friend said Cj always made lemonade when life handed her lemons.  So true.

Here is another song she’d play for her students and sign with them.

 

The plea for help with medical expenses is now compounded by the additional need for Funeral/Memorial costs.  If you’ve ever received a bill in the mail after someone has passed you’ll understand why I am getting this request out to the world.  Cj was always supportive of my blog efforts and an avid follower.  

No amount too small to help the family through this difficult time  Click to donate

Thank you.   E64A6081-9C28-4E2F-ADC3-AE72009D3B33

 

By Their Sidewalks You Will Know Them

First posted in February 2010 and again in 2013.  Thanks Timons Esaias Guest Poet

Sidewalk Shoveled

Tim’s Poem Came to Mind as I Admired the Concrete First Time in Two Weeks – Photographed Feb 2010

By Their Sidewalks You Will Know Them

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

is destiny.

-Timons Esaias
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.

This entry was posted on February 19, 2010. It was filed under poetry, Things in the Snow and was tagged with city scene, HIghland Park, photo of the day, photography, Pittsburgh, Poem, poet, poetry, shovel, sidewalk, snow, Timons Esaias, urban scene, winter scene.

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16 responses

Bill

Too deep for me.

February 19, 2010 at 7:07 am Edit

Reply

Toni Kichi

Makes me happy that our sidewalks are clear and clean – thanks to Mike!! I couldn’t handle all those punishments! Seems like an almost normal day today!! Thanks for starting it with something special!!! Did Bill mean the snow was too deep – or the poem??!! Either way, I agree! My mind is mush (like this snow will soon be) — been in the house too long!!!

February 19, 2010 at 8:42 am Edit

Reply

Dorothy

All tis is great Ruth. It is like your photos and words are a diary of living through these snowy days.

Dorothy

February 19, 2010 at 9:12 am Edit

Reply

erica

Too wonderful for … words?? 🙂 Changes my attitude on shoveling, altho I am already somewhat aware that I smile and feel satisfaction when I get to the concrete! A bit anxious now, tho, about the snow still on the bushes, bending branches low over the sidewalk leading to my caravanserai gate ……! 🙂

February 19, 2010 at 9:52 am Edit

Reply

Arlene Weiner

There is a special place in hell

where, frozen in ice, only his rear

exposed to Satan’s teeth, he’ll dwell

whose sidewalk’s untouched while his driveway’s clear.

February 19, 2010 at 10:50 am Edit

Reply

joseph k

that is one great photo

joseph

February 19, 2010 at 4:27 pm Edit

Reply

Bonnie Imhoff

I know the snow is a pain, but it is beautiful. I enjoy the pic very much.

POST NAVIGATION

7 THOUGHTS ON “BY THEIR SIDEWALKS YOU WILL KNOW THEM – GUEST POET TIMONS ESAIAS- ORIGINALLY POSTED 2-19-2010”

This is what democracy looks like!”

Women’s March January 21, 2017img_6608   Bronze statue of former mayor Richard S. Caliguiri looks out onto the Pittsburgh March

“This is what democracy looks like”

“Human rights are nonpartisan”

First- two weeks of preparation, knitting pink Pussyhats designed by Kat Coyle

My friends Ann in Pittsburgh  and Joanne in Florida texted and emailed and we knit and knit and shipped hats to various friends and relatives around the USA

img_2831How many hats can you knit from a big ball of yarn

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And from Colleen from Nova Scotia in Solidarity

Hats by Ann went to Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Colorado and Washington DC

Hats by Joanne went to Florida,Iowa and Texasimg_2764

My friends Eileen and Linda (midwife who delivered my son Mark almost 41 years ago was knitting in Boston Massachusetts for their march to DC

Eileen knitting -Linda in her knitted hat ready for Washington DC

Hats sent to my teacher friend Jenn and her daughter Wylie by hat maker Kit Wojcik

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Thanks Tara

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Sign makers at the City County Building

img_6698Sign by Jen second from the left

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Nia on the left in charge of technology for the event   Ann and Ann on the right

From my blogging friend Stef- on her way to march in  Minnesota-  Her hat is crocheted

Below- March in Colorado contributed by Deb Beozzo and her daughter and son-in-law Michelle and Sean

Here is an excerpt from a poem titled  Knitting Activist my friend Roberta wrote about me

Over under the country unraveling

the old anxiety returning,

she sits and knits

pussy hats for a new generation of women on the march.

A sister, a daughter, some fortunate friends

take this gift handed down from grandmothers

and try to rebind the frayed threads of the republic,

arms linked over under.

Along with these daughters and mothers she has clad,

she rises and knits her way to mindful spirited communion.

Roberta Hatcher

January 2017

img_3025Roberta (in pink hat) sent this image from Washington march

Meet the Man Who Made Copies of the Film Quart Jar Poet

Imagine Audio Media President

Meet Dino Pandolfo who graciously consented to be part of my People at Work Series. He has a full recording studio and can create multiple copies of DVDs and CDs(see below) right here in Ingram a West End neighborhood in Pittsburgh.

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The Quart Jar Poet: Dorothy Holley is a film I made  in 2005. Dorothy was a good friend to me- an encourager. Dorothy Holley-Poet, Friend

 

Dino created the copies to be used as a fundraiser for  Madwomen in the Attic-he was a pleasure to work with and they look wonderful. He even carted the boxes to my car.
The Madwomen Reading series presents the second annual Dorothy Louise Holley Memorial Reading featuring a poetry reading by Diane Gilliam

Saturday, November 12, 2016
Kresge Center, Carlow University
Reading at 7:30 p.m. (book table at 7 p.m.)
Reception and book signing following the reading
Free and open to the public
Free parking

Historic South Side Presbyterian Hosted Poetry Reading

What is so rare as a day in June?

Friday June 10th

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Poets Mike James, Roberta Hatcher and Timons Esaias

IMG_0257Book signing after the reading

Note:  Roberta Hatcher’s book cover of French Lessons is shown in postcard form above- Watch for information about upcoming Book Release Party  Finishing Line Press

Mike James drove up from Chapel Hill to read and he has a new book, Peddler’s Blues forthcoming (August) preorder at Main Street Rag Press

Timons Esaias    2015 Louis Award winner  On Friday, June 24, and Saturday, June 25, from 7:00pm to 10:00pm, get your autographed copy of the book directly from Timons at In Your Write Mind, Seton Hill University, Greensburg, PA. or click his name to buy from Amazon link. Published by Concrete Wolf

IMG_0268Poets  Michael Wurster mentor, poet, teacher, Pittsburgh Poetry Exchange founder,  (front right)

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Michael Wurster and host Pastor Kathy Hamilton-Vargo

 

Screen Shot 2016-06-14 at 10.38.23 PM.pngThe Poetry Reading was Sponsored by The Pittsburgh Poetry Exchange and hosted by South Side Presbyterian Church.

 

The Satisfaction of Sock Knitting

knitsocks

A Handknit Sock

There’s a math to it. The cast on. Count
the multiples of four.
Last year it was hats and cowls.
This year, socks.
I want to try the fish lips kiss heel.

It’s a simple thing. How a sock is knit.
You start with yarn.
Needles as slim as toothpicks.
Terms like toe and gusset and cuff.
My friend says, "it’s too much work."

There’s a rhythm in the repetition.
The making. Clockwise circles.
Some throw, some pick.
Row after row after row.
In time you get length and warmth.

There’s the calm you long for,
around and around and around.
Turn heel for a path to Zen.
You think of those you love.
The grandmother who taught you.

The wet squeezed out,
pairs hang to dry. Later fold
their softness, admire the colors,
ignore imperfections.
Find comfort, hidden in shoes.
My squishy hand knit socks.
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