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eNOTHING has a mission: To bring poetry, arts and music to the streets via a growing artistic Twitter community.

eNOTHING Audio Series -- Maya Angelou reads her own "Still I Rise"

We've featured several of Dr. Maya Angelou's inspirational poems in our "Poem of the Day" and "Top 100 or so..." blog posts, with fabulous results.  Angelou's poetry and her legacy has served to raise the awareness of poetry in the 20th century - in fact she is perhaps the most popular poet in recent history.

Her themes are largely based on pride, feminism, and a very positive and inspirational approach to celebrate one's unique self.

Although she is lauded for her poems about race and women, she has served as a powerful role model to all -- don't accept inequality, maintain your pride, and confront your enemies and your battles -- with a smile.

Enjoy her wonderful reading:




"Two Chairs" a poem by Thomas Herr



This is a poem about simplicity.  Simple is beautiful, but stark when void of spirit and love.

This was inspired by a photo sent to me by an angel (my good friend in France), Teklal Nequib, editor of L'Art En Loire and her excellent Poetry Blog Teklal Nequib Art and Poetry.

Two Chairs

By Thomas Herr

Two Chairs
Placed in a no-where (by whom)
Slotted wooden folding emptiness
Grey no-where.

Perhaps we shall
Sit in them together
Spirits holding hands in
Love.

Two Chairs
Side by side in the meadow
Filled with our spring-love
Alive? Someday.

Two Spirits
Two Chairs
Two O'clock
And the Sun is shining on us now.

Readers Poetry Excellence Series - "That Boy" by Leonie Roberts

Today's Readers Poetry series is a tribute to the importance of teachers around the world. Besides a good stable and loving family environment, nothing is more important to youngsters than a good, caring teacher - and nothing could be more damaging than a bad one. I think that after reading this poem, and visiting our poets Facebook page "A Teachers Insight" you'll agree that the world needs more teachers like Leonie Roberts.

Without further adieu:

Leonie Roberts is an English graduate from Liverpool, and is currently a preschool teacher who lives and works in Italy.

She works with wonderful staff and children who give her daily inspiration for her writing.

Last year, Leonie set up a Facebook page entitled, ‘A Teacher’s Insight’, where she posts funny stories and poetry about the joys of teaching young children. Recently, she has published her first collection of poems, which are available on Amazon and for Amazon Kindle.

Leonie is also busy working on some children’s picture book stories, which she hopes to publish in the coming years…watch this space! Coming from Liverpool, Leonie would love nothing more than to return to her home town to promote her work.

To follow Leonie’s Facebook page, please visit https://www.facebook.com/ateachersinsight. Her other work can be found on Authonomy.com, including the stories ‘The Witch Who Wanted To Walk’ and ‘Bianca and the Blue Scooter’. Please note that it is completely free to join this site to review her work and any support would be greatly appreciated.



That boy

By Leonie Roberts

When home time comes I hand him over - he doesn’t want to go
A tear rolls down my cheek because of all the things I know

At night I cannot sleep at all for thinking of that boy
I bet at home he doesn’t own a single book or toy

He comes to school not having ate and never looks his best
I find him breakfast from the kitchen and let him have a rest

He doesn’t want to learn at school, he wants only to be seen
So I try to give him my attention and teach the others in-between

I won’t ask him for his reading book, I know full well it’s lost
He needs a bigger jumper but he can’t afford the cost

Those marks he didn’t do himself, the dirt it never goes
No child should ever have to live, having that boy’s woes

I want to take him home with me to keep him safe from harm
But all I can do is make some calls to try to raise alarm

---Dedicated to all of the teachers out there who always give ‘that boy’ their best.---


POEM OF THE DAY -- "How to Meditate" by Jack Kerouac

Jack Kerouac was born on March 12, 1922.  This post is erected in honor of Jack Kerouac and his contribution to 20th Century cultural change. 

Kerouac was instrumental in opening the youthful mind of the 40's, 50's and 60's; open to "free thinking" and change, literature, music and art - by living the exploratory, inquisitive and open/experimental life himself, then writing about it in his classic novels and poetry.  His own life itself and the "beat" movement he helped to create (which helped make the famous "hippie" movement possible) was quite controversial -- delving into sex, drugs, meditation, Buddhism, homosexuality (for Kerouac, indirectly), left leaning political views, etc.

For me, Kerouac had a writing style which could be easily understood -- words and word-pictures, whimsical free thought streams, humor and irony, surprise and a sense of darkness -- interupted by joyous explosions of light and wonder.  Really inspiring.

The piece below offers all of this.  As one who has never been successful at the art of meditation, perhaps I should listen to his advice, it seems pretty simple.  Entire books have been written, tapes and recordings produced, TV shows and seminars presented about meditiation.  Maybe we should just follow Kerouac's simple poem?

Enjoy.

How to Meditate

By Jack Kerouac
 

-lights out-
fall, hands a-clasped, into instantaneous
ecstasy like a shot of heroin or morphine,
the gland inside of my brain discharging
the good glad fluid (Holy Fluid) as
i hap-down and hold all my body parts
down to a deadstop trance-Healing
all my sicknesses-erasing all-not
even the shred of a 'I-hope-you' or a
Loony Balloon left in it, but the mind
blank, serene, thoughtless. When a thought
comes a-springing from afar with its held-
forth figure of image, you spoof it out,
you spuff it off, you fake it, and
it fades, and thought never comes-and
with joy you realize for the first time
'thinking's just like not thinking-
So I don't have to think
any
more'



Top 100 or so Poems of all time - "Ode: Intimations of Immortality" by William Wordsworth

For this post, I'm really interested in what different opinions our readers have about this great poem.  

This poem is considered one of the most important poems of the English Romantic period - and because this blog has traditionally focused on modern poetry, we've not included this poem in our Top 100 series until now.  Due to the subject matter and structure (Problem, Solution, Joy) - I feel it absolutely necessary to include this poem now.

This is a very spiritual poem, and it means a lot of different things to different people.  To many (myself included), this poem is about pre-existence of life, and offers the soul a peek at "the reason" that we're here, and as a result, offers reassurance that we're likely going "somewhere" when we're done here.

For me personally, one of the most important stanza's in ALL of poetry is included in this poem.  Check out the 5th stanza (beginning with "Our birth...").  For me, it is such a positive, explosive offering of hope and understanding - in some ways opening the door to look back at beauty and maybe God, again.  To me, this stanza is a gift.

You can find a lot of reference and analytical articles about this poem out there.  But I'm REALLY interested to know which verses, or lines, or phrases inspire you -- and why -- I think that would be an interesting addition to the "comment" section.  

PLEASE share with us your thoughts on this one.

Ode: Intimations of Immortality 

by William Wordsworth

There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,
       The earth, and every common sight,
                              To me did seem
                      Apparelled in celestial light,
               The glory and the freshness of a dream.
It is not now as it hath been of yore;—
                      Turn wheresoe'er I may,
                              By night or day.
The things which I have seen I now can see no more.

                      The Rainbow comes and goes,
                      And lovely is the Rose,
                      The Moon doth with delight
       Look round her when the heavens are bare,
                      Waters on a starry night
                      Are beautiful and fair;
       The sunshine is a glorious birth;
       But yet I know, where'er I go,
That there hath past away a glory from the earth.

Now, while the birds thus sing a joyous song,
       And while the young lambs bound
                      As to the tabor's sound,
To me alone there came a thought of grief:
A timely utterance gave that thought relief,
                      And I again am strong:
The cataracts blow their trumpets from the steep;
No more shall grief of mine the season wrong;
I hear the Echoes through the mountains throng,
       The Winds come to me from the fields of sleep,
                      And all the earth is gay;
                              Land and sea
               Give themselves up to jollity,
                      And with the heart of May
               Doth every Beast keep holiday;—
                      Thou Child of Joy,
Shout round me, let me hear thy shouts, thou happy Shepherd-boy.

Ye bless├Ęd creatures, I have heard the call
       Ye to each other make; I see
The heavens laugh with you in your jubilee;
       My heart is at your festival,
               My head hath its coronal,
The fulness of your bliss, I feel—I feel it all.
                      Oh evil day! if I were sullen
                      While Earth herself is adorning,
                              This sweet May-morning,
                      And the Children are culling
                              On every side,
                      In a thousand valleys far and wide,
                      Fresh flowers; while the sun shines warm,
And the Babe leaps up on his Mother's arm:—
                      I hear, I hear, with joy I hear!
                      —But there's a Tree, of many, one,
A single field which I have looked upon,
Both of them speak of something that is gone;
                      The Pansy at my feet
                      Doth the same tale repeat:
Whither is fled the visionary gleam?
Where is it now, the glory and the dream?

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star,
                         Hath had elsewhere its setting,
                              And cometh from afar:
                      Not in entire forgetfulness,
                      And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
                      From God, who is our home:
Heaven lies about us in our infancy!
Shades of the prison-house begin to close
                      Upon the growing Boy,
But he beholds the light, and whence it flows,
                      He sees it in his joy;
The Youth, who daily farther from the east
                      Must travel, still is Nature's Priest,
                      And by the vision splendid
                      Is on his way attended;
At length the Man perceives it die away,
And fade into the light of common day.

Earth fills her lap with pleasures of her own;
Yearnings she hath in her own natural kind,
And, even with something of a Mother's mind,
                      And no unworthy aim,
                      The homely Nurse doth all she can
To make her Foster-child, her Inmate Man,
                      Forget the glories he hath known,
And that imperial palace whence he came.

Behold the Child among his new-born blisses,
A six years' Darling of a pigmy size!
See, where 'mid work of his own hand he lies,
Fretted by sallies of his mother's kisses,
With light upon him from his father's eyes!
See, at his feet, some little plan or chart,
Some fragment from his dream of human life,
Shaped by himself with newly-learn{e}d art
                      A wedding or a festival,
                      A mourning or a funeral;
                              And this hath now his heart,
                      And unto this he frames his song:
                              Then will he fit his tongue
To dialogues of business, love, or strife;
                      But it will not be long
                      Ere this be thrown aside,
                      And with new joy and pride
The little Actor cons another part;
Filling from time to time his "humorous stage"
With all the Persons, down to palsied Age,
That Life brings with her in her equipage;
                      As if his whole vocation
                      Were endless imitation.

Thou, whose exterior semblance doth belie
                      Thy Soul's immensity;
Thou best Philosopher, who yet dost keep
Thy heritage, thou Eye among the blind,
That, deaf and silent, read'st the eternal deep,
Haunted for ever by the eternal mind,—
                      Mighty Prophet! Seer blest!
                      On whom those truths do rest,
Which we are toiling all our lives to find,
In darkness lost, the darkness of the grave;
Thou, over whom thy Immortality
Broods like the Day, a Master o'er a Slave,
A Presence which is not to be put by;
Thou little Child, yet glorious in the might
Of heaven-born freedom on thy being's height,
Why with such earnest pains dost thou provoke
The years to bring the inevitable yoke,
Thus blindly with thy blessedness at strife?
Full soon thy Soul shall have her earthly freight,
And custom lie upon thee with a weight,
Heavy as frost, and deep almost as life!

                      O joy! that in our embers
                      Is something that doth live,
                      That Nature yet remembers
What was so fugitive!
The thought of our past years in me doth breed
Perpetual benediction: not indeed
For that which is most worthy to be blest;
Delight and liberty, the simple creed
Of Childhood, whether busy or at rest,
With new-fledged hope still fluttering in his breast:—
                      Not for these I raise
                      The song of thanks and praise
               But for those obstinate questionings
               Of sense and outward things,
               Fallings from us, vanishings;
               Blank misgivings of a Creature
Moving about in worlds not realised,
High instincts before which our mortal Nature
Did tremble like a guilty thing surprised:
                      But for those first affections,
                      Those shadowy recollections,
               Which, be they what they may
Are yet the fountain-light of all our day,
Are yet a master-light of all our seeing;
               Uphold us, cherish, and have power to make
Our noisy years seem moments in the being
Of the eternal Silence: truths that wake,
               To perish never;
Which neither listlessness, nor mad endeavour,
                      Nor Man nor Boy,
Nor all that is at enmity with joy,
Can utterly abolish or destroy!
               Hence in a season of calm weather
                      Though inland far we be,
Our Souls have sight of that immortal sea
                      Which brought us hither,
               Can in a moment travel thither,
And see the Children sport upon the shore,
And hear the mighty waters rolling evermore.

Then sing, ye Birds, sing, sing a joyous song!
                      And let the young Lambs bound
                      As to the tabor's sound!
We in thought will join your throng,
                      Ye that pipe and ye that play,
                      Ye that through your hearts to-day
                      Feel the gladness of the May!
What though the radiance which was once so bright
Be now for ever taken from my sight,
               Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
                      We will grieve not, rather find
                      Strength in what remains behind;
                      In the primal sympathy
                      Which having been must ever be;
                      In the soothing thoughts that spring
                      Out of human suffering;
                      In the faith that looks through death,
In years that bring the philosophic mind.
And O, ye Fountains, Meadows, Hills, and Groves,
Forebode not any severing of our loves!
Yet in my heart of hearts I feel your might;
I only have relinquished one delight
To live beneath your more habitual sway.
I love the Brooks which down their channels fret,
Even more than when I tripped lightly as they;
The innocent brightness of a new-born Day
                              Is lovely yet;
The Clouds that gather round the setting sun
Do take a sober colouring from an eye
That hath kept watch o'er man's mortality;
Another race hath been, and other palms are won.
Thanks to the human heart by which we live,
Thanks to its tenderness, its joys, and fears,
To me the meanest flower that blows can give
Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.