Sir Walter Scott’s Journey to Fame

February 25, 2009 at 1:41 am (Uncategorized)

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In 1802 Sir Walter Scott’s first poem, Minstrelsy Of the Scottish Boarder, became recognized and  widley respected. As a poet Scott rose into fame with the publication of The Lay of the Last Minstrelin 1805. This famous poem is about an old border country legend. He had burned its original version when his friends had shown harsh criticism towards it. Scott returned to the poem in 1807, after a horse had kicked him and he was bed ridden for several days. The Lay of the Last Minstrel became  widley loved and made him the most popular author of his time. It was followed by Marmion, The Lady in the Lake, and Rokeby. Scott’s final major poem, The Lord of the Isles,was published in 1815. The designation of this poem emerged from a series of hybrid Viking/Gaelic, who wielded sea-power with fleets of galleys.

   

 

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  Hunter’s Song
 
 
  The toils are pitched, and the stakes are set,
Ever sing merrily, merrily;
The bows they bend, and the knives they whet,
Hunters live so cheerily.

It was a stag, a stag of ten,
Bearing its branches sturdily;
He came silently down the glen,
Ever sing hardily, hardily.

It was there he met with a wounded doe,
She was bleeding deathfully;
She warned him of the toils below,
O so faithfully, faithfully!

He had an eye, and he could heed,
Ever sing so warily, warily;
He had a foot, and he could speed–
Hunters watch so narrowly.

Sir Walter Scott

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The Mysterious Death Of Edgar Allan Poe

February 23, 2009 at 3:50 am (Uncategorized)

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Edgar Allan Poe was discovered lying unconscious on October 3rd 1849  on a wooden plank outside Ryan’s saloon on Lombard St. in Baltimore. His hospitalization records indicate that at first he was delirious with tremors and hallucinations. He then fell into a coma but soon emerged from it. He was calm and seemed normal, but then became delirious and combative once again,  forcing them to put Poe in restraints . He died on his fourth day of hospitalization. It was said that the cause of death was “congestion of the brain.”  There are also whispers that Poe died from a combination of drinking and opium abuse. He disappeared for five days when he left his home to visit friends and family in Philadelphia. He was seen drunk and babbling through the streets.  Long term use of opiates caused serious neurological damage to his brain. He also had epilepsy and infections. Dr. John J.Moran cared for Poe in his final days. He wrote that in the final stages of rabies,  people have symptoms of confusion that may come and go. In addition with swings in pulse rate, such as respiration and temperature. Poe had all of these side-effects. The  amount of time that a person can live in the final stages of  rabies is four days, which is the exact amount of time that Poe lived from the time he was found. He took care of several animals so many believe he was bitten by one of his cats.

Poe was announced dead on October 7, 1849. His last words were “Lord help my poor soul.” Edgar Allan Poe’s death will always remain somewhat of a mystery. It is completly believable that he abused himself physically and mentally throughout his entire life. And it comes as no surprise that he would die from rabies in the end.634

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A Look into the Life of Gwendolyn MacEwen

February 9, 2009 at 1:47 pm (Uncategorized)

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This land like a mirror turns you inward
And you become a forest in furtive lake;
The dark pines of your mind reach downward,
You dream in the green of your time,
Your memory is a row of sinking pines.

Explorer, you tell yourself this is not what you came for
Although it is good here, and green;
You had meant to move with a kind of largeness,
You had planned a heavy grace, an anguished dream.

But the dark pines of your mind dip deeper
And you are sinking, sinking, sleeper
In an elementary world;
There is something down there and you want it told.

-Gwendolyn MacEwen

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               Growing up with an emotionally unstable mother and alcoholic father, Gwendolyn MacEwen suffered from enormous insecurity. Her mother was institutionalized and as a result, her father slipped farther and farther into despare. She taught herself several different languages and was fascinated with Jewish mysticism and general mythology. Her themes consisted of myth, magic, and dream. She was never really famous beyond a certain distance, but won many Canadian awards for her brilliant literature. MacEwen married twice. Once to a Greek musician that made her happy for a short period of time.  But because of her heavy drinking, they eventually drifted apart. I cant help but think that she ruined her close relationships because she thought she didnt deserve to be happy.  She was selfdestructive. She was dark and sorrowfull with eyes lined with kohl as if her appearance portrayed how she really felt inside. MacEwen believed that poetry “was a form of magic that could change lives.”

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The Secluded Life of Emily Dickinson

February 9, 2009 at 3:57 am (Uncategorized)

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Emily Elizabeth Dickinson had particular interests that she maintained in her life. In her twenties her days may have consisted of coffee house chats with her close friend and critic Terence Higginson. “I was never with anyone who drained my nerve power so much.” (Higginson). Dickinson was painfully shy and uncomfortable around most people that were not closely related to her. Her seclusion gradually occurred in her late twenties. Even though in Emily’s younger years she didn’t seem as irritated around company as she did in her twenties, she eventually physically secluded herself from the outside world. I think that in her secluded years, she found the happiness and comfort that she needed to write her greatest poetry. It does seem as if she was depressed most of her life but there are times where she had recorded moments of great happiness. She still maintained her love for music, literature, and children. Dickinson ranged from sneaking around corners so she could listen to an admiring pianist, to lowing a basket of baked sweets and poems out her window to little children in her neighborhood. After her death, her sister was instructed to burn her remaining letters. Fortunately she ignored this request and found a box of Emily’s full of 1,700 poems. The places that Dickinson’s mind had taken her when she left society drove her to create the originality in her poetry.

My life closed twice before its close.
It yet remains to see
If immortality unveil
A third event to me,

So huge, so hopeless to conceive
As these that twice befell,
Parting is all we know of heaven,
And all we need of hell.

               
                  Emily Dickinson

 

 

 

 

emily_dickinsonm79possibility-emily-dickinson-post1 We can concur that Emily did in fact have a secret lover. She was not only secretive about it, but did not mention his name in her love letters and poetry. Scholors discovered a mysterious letter sent out by Dickinson in 1850. The letter invited someone to “meet me at sunrise, or sunset, or the new moon.”  Scholars were fairly certain that this mysterious lover was George Gould. But I’m not so sure. Emily was already so secretive about her life. There is no way of knowing who it was for sure. Not to mention she wasn’t always the type to play by the rules. I can see her as a hippie of her generation. She was generally uninterested in politics, she found happiness, love, and beauty through nature, and loved music and fine art. Emily was free spirited because she did what she wanted to do to feel comfortable in the world. It is said that when Mabel Loomis Todd, the talented wife of Amherst College astronomer David Todd, was invited to play the piano for Dickinson and her younger sister in 1882, she was warned by their sister-in-law, Susan Dickinson. She implied that the Dickinson sisters “have not, either of them, any idea of morality.” Sue went on to say, “I went in there one day, and in the drawing room I found Emily reclining in the arms of a man.”

That I did always love

That I did always love, 
I bring thee proof: 
That till I loved 
I did not love enough. 
  
That I shall love alway,       
I offer thee 
That love is life, 
And life hath immortality. 
  
This, dost thou doubt, sweet? 
Then have I         
Nothing to show 
But Calvary.

-Dickenson

 

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