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Showing posts from August, 2013

Seamus Heaney Died Today

Tributes are being paid to the Irish poet Seamus Heaney who died this morning. He was the "keeper of language" and an Irish treasure.

Here is an excerpt from a news report:

President Michael D Higgins said Heaney’s contribution “to the republics of letters, conscience, and humanity was immense”.

“As tributes flow in from around the world, as people recall the extraordinary occasions of the readings and the lectures, we inIreland will once again get a sense of the depth and range of the contribution of Seamus Heaney to our contemporary world, but what those of us who have had the privilege of his friendship and presence will miss is the extraordinary depth and warmth of his personality,” he said.

Mr Higgins, himself a published poet, described Heaney as warm, humourous, caring and courteous.

“A courtesy that enabled him to carry with such wry Northern Irish dignity so many well-deserved honours from all over the world,” he said.

“Generations of Irish people will have been fa…

The October Contest

Each year Students Publish Here! sponsors a writing contest. In past years the contest has been to use a list of random words to compose a poem. This year the contest involves writing an extension to a modern piece of fiction. This is a short short story that tells what happens to the main character(s) after the end of the published work. Write about your favorite characters: the hobbits, the talking horses of Narnia, or Merlin and King Arthur. Here is an example of an extension to the Harry Potter novels.

Three Years Later

By Grace Jacqueline Neff  (Grade 7)

Harry Potter took a deep breath snapping the box closed and slipping it back in to his pocket. It was a lovely autumn day; a light wind blew through his hair as he stood on the beach waiting for Ginny. Harry had taken Ginny on holiday to a small cabin on a peaceful beach in Wales. As Harry waited for Ginny to go for walk down the beach with him, he glanced down at the gold watch the Wesley’s had given him for his seventeenth bir…

Analysis can kill the sense of mystery

When I heard the learn'd astronomer,
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,
When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them,
When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon unaccountable I became tired, and sick,
Till rising and gliding out I wander'd off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look'd up in perfect silence at the stars.

 Walt Whitman, 1865

Jesus and the concrete jungle

The following poem reminds me of Jesus' business in Jerusalem and His lament over than city which welcomed Him at His triumphal entrance on Palm Sunday, and within days, condemned Him to die on a cross.

Go Ye Into the City

Behind me.
over my shoulder,
look upon it,
think upon it,
the moon hangs low,
and seems to scrape the peaks,
of mountains men have built
where there were none,
where once a forest grew,
and beasts roamed
and fed upon the lesser beasts,
where the hunted were the prey,
and hunters had control.
Look upon them,
the lights upon the darkened mountains,
where not much has really changed:
among the manmade mountains
the beasts still roam,
and feed upon the lesser beasts,
and the hunters and the prey are men.
Look at me.
Look in my eyes,
as I take leave to enter destiny,
to walk the path prepared for me,
 to step into the concrete jungle,
to be prey,
to be devoured,
to seem to lose,
to do my father's business,
and in what seems to be defeat
to win,
to enter into the …

Good writing requires reflection

Alice C. Linsley

Much commercial fiction is high on entertainment and low on substance. It is television fiction involving fast-paced action with a minimal drawing of characters and little concern for reflection on matters of importance. This candy tastes sweet, but it leaves you hungry. Many fiction writers make a good living cranking out pulp, but we do well to ask: "Does shallow writing create shallow readers?"
Ben Hecht, American screenwriter and playwright, once admitted, "I’m a Hollywood writer, so I put on a sports jacket and take off my brain." There is a difference between writing that entertains and writing that causes readers to ponder something meaningful.
The creative impulse is like diving into deep waters. A thought or an image calls us to plumb the depths and through exploring what is deep below the surface we find something to write that others want to read.

Often an author’s exploration carries the work beyond the boundaries of common interest a…

Eve's Diary (according to Mark Twain)

Eve's Diary is a comic and poignant story written by Mark Twain.

Eve's Diary

SATURDAY -- I am almost a whole day old, now. I arrived yesterday. That is as it seems to me. And it must be so, for if there was a day-before-yesterday I was not there when it happened, or I should remember it. It could be, of course, that it did happen, and that I was not noticing. Very well; I will be very watchful now, and if any day-before-yesterdays happen I will make a note of it. It will be best to start right and not let the record get confused, for some instinct tells me that these details are going to be important to the historian some day. For I feel like an experiment, I feel exactly like an experiment; it would be impossible for a person to feel more like an experiment than I do, and so I am coming to feel convinced that that is what I AM -- an experiment; just an experiment, and nothing more.

Then if I am an experiment, am I the whole of it? No, I think not; I think the rest of it is …