I was just at a High School Volleyball game meeting a friend (she’s the coach) and they had one of the students signing the National Anthem when I was walking in. I hadn’t hear it in a long time and I forgot the raw emotion that it strikes you with when you hear it. There is something so beautiful in the poetry of those worlds that is indescribable. I have posted a video below of another person singing it that sounds similar to the way I remember it form that gym. Follow along with the lyrics and feel the power, it is something to behold.

O! say can you see by the dawn’s early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
O! say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
‘Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: ‘In God is our trust.’
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!


In honor of Halloween I thought it would be appropriate to share this beautiful card with you that features Poe’s mug and of course his famous poem The Raven. I think this is the kind of stuff that people should celebrate on Halloween, not stupid horror movies, but really good writing that sends a real chill down your spine.

Halloween … Edgar Allen Poe’s Poem, “The Raven” by Jerktees
Shop for another card online with zazzle

For decades, scientists and art critics alike have spent time try to figure out what it is about Mona Lisa’s smile that can look all together happy and sad all at once. Everyone has a different theory all with a bit of truth in them. But the real truth is that we shouldn’t be spending out time analyzing her smile and breaking it down into cold science. The Mona Lisa painting is meant to be felt not analyzed. Good art is supposed to create a emotional reaction and great art makes you unsure of what your emotional reaction is. That is what is so perfect about the Mona Lisa, it is able to create a wealth of different and sometimes opposing emotions in the viewer. So I say we put down the micrometers and optical bar graphs and just look at the painting. Let the reality of art wash over you without the art killing science destroy your emotions.

I don’t always read PoetryDaily.com but when I do I am reminded why I should strive to read it every day. They have such wonderful poems that they pose on a daily basis that help those that struggle to find new and exciting works as well as expand the poetry knowledge of those that are stuck in their passion for one genre or another. This is the poem from today that struck a particular cord with me so I though it was worth reposting.


You made me want blood then
handed me the blade, now

I have only dragging
steel over everything or fitting

my knees in my mouth, where
I go when I want something

pure or approximately so.
A long blank space will do

or a remnant of blood.
The light arrives

in honeycombs and the wind
through funnels follows

and we are not here
speaking, just crammed.

This can’t equal the music
I heard—the interface only

allows a wind of blades
glitched out and aimed

at everything skin. I can’t
get near a bloody Mary, its

lewdness, its red forecast
of vomit, though there’s solace

in the marketer’s
commitment to the many

pills he shills. I feel I haven’t
really lost the blood

from my stomach so long
as I can see it on the deck.

The whales are below,
about to unleash

a net of bubbles that will
drive tons of panicky

mackerel to the surface
and to their deaths.

Hunger made us, they’d say,
that’s all, as it does you.

The lewdness of the great inflated
bellows of their mouths

is mitigated by the fish, explosions
of blades cutting the foam

with their dying, the gulls
screaming into the blades.

The lewdness
of the pen in my bag,

impaling the banana I got
on the flight from Denver,

the lewdness.
The body is a foe.

Mark Bibbins

It is nice to see that street poetry is not just vibrant in the US, but around the world. I think it is an important part of an artist’s life to struggle with street poetry to pay dues as they work themselves up the ladder. Here’s some poetry downunder.

Why I love the train

October 17, 2009

My usual conveyance to and from work is the train. This is not because it is faster (in fact it is slower than driving) or because I care about trees it is because I love to read. When I take the train to work I am able to use that extra hour of train time engrossed in a world that is far from my own and enjoying every minute of it. Sure if I drove I would be home 30 minutes sooner, but I would be more stressed and of course I would have much more reading to do đŸ˜‰ That is why I encourage people to take the train, read more, relax more.

Cool Walt Whitman T-Shirt

October 14, 2009

Walt Whitman has to be one of the most celebrated poets of this country and of all the world. I just love the design of this t-shirt because it is fun and expressive of the life that Whitman had. Also I just love wearing t-shirts that only people that are well read enough would understand.

Walt Whitman shirt
Walt Whitman by David_E_Smith
Tee shirts from zazzle

I think that the US needs to have something like the UK’s National Poetry Day. It is so important to encourage and promote the arts to children of all ages (and even adults) if we want to have any chance of creating balanced citizens with well rounded understanding of the world. Let’s start the movement. Let’s be the rabble rousers to get poetry going in the US once again.

Dead Horses Poem

October 6, 2009

This is a great reading that uses the audience perfectly. Big Poppa E knows that everything is all about the emotion. That is what I love about this guy is because he tells what everyone is thinking when those people that read poetry that may have a story but isn’t really that good. I mean we all have experiences but not everyone is a good poet.

Always with writing, one must look at the works and not the politics. Despite his very conservative politics and almost zealot support for Israel, William Safire was at heart a great American writer. We wrote many books and a column in the NY Times about words and politics. He was a staunch supporter of understanding the English language and what meaning everyday phrases we used. I can’t say I always agreed with him but I respect his writing and know that the world will miss his voice.