July 12th, 2010

at the boardwalk

Thoreau - quoteskimming

Today would have been Henry David Thoreau's birthday. I thought maybe a couple of short quotes to start the day might make for a nice observance. Thoreau spent his two years by Walden Pond living simply, meditating, and writing poetry. Most of his poetry is . . . dated at best. His account of living at Walden is poetic and lovely still, however.

From Walden; or, Life in the Woods:

"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived."

From his poem, "Sic Vita":

I am a parcel of vain strivings tied
By a chance bond together,
Dangling this way and that, their links
Were made so loose and wide,
For milder weather.

"Sic Vita" means "Such Life" - it probably derives from the Latin Sic vita est, "such is life". This is one crazy form he's using, and I confess to having written a poem using it myself: it's a hodgepodge of iambic lines, rhymed ABCACB. (Number of iambic feet per line: 5-3-4-3-1-2.)
I especially love the first few words: "I am a parcel of vain strivings". *swoon*

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Don't you love the word "accepted"?

I've had a poem accepted for inclusion in the forthcoming fantasy/horror anthology MOUNTAIN MAGIC: Spellbinding Tales of Appalachia. Based on the Mountain Magic Twitter account, the Table of Contents will be announced this week, but will include a "coven" of 13 items - 10 short stories and 3 poems. The website for the book will go live sometime soon, but here's the link to Grimoire of the Mountains, the related blog.

My poem, entitled "Margaret Rose", is a retelling of the Appalachian folksong known variously as "Fair Margaret and Sweet William", "Lady Margaret and Sweet William", and "Lady Margaret," with a hint of "Black is the Color of My True Love's Hair" added. The poem does not quote any versions of either song directly, but is my original work.

I'm thrilled!

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