heatherfromthegrove’s poetry spotlight for today: “Forgiveness” by John Greenleaf Whittier

a-music-from-heart1

♦ ♦

As we wrap up poetry week @ heatherfromthegrove, enjoy this last one.

♦ ♦ ♦

Forgiveness

by John Greenleaf Whittier

poemForgiveness

John Greenleaf Whittier born on December 17, 1807, in Haverhill, Massachusetts – dubbed as one of the “Fireside Poets“, this American Quaker was an ardent and vocal advocate for the abolition of slavery.  His first poem was published in 1826, in a publication called the Newburyport Free Press.  The paper’s editor was abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison and it was Garrison who encouraged Whittier to take up the abolitionist cause – which he did on a local, state and national level.  He was involved with the formation of the Republican party and was keenly engaged in politics.  Whittier edited papers in Boston and Hartford (Connecticut) and – from 1857 until his death on September 7, 1892 – he was associated with the magazine, Atlantic Monthly.

Forgiveness although famous for his lengthy poems, the most popular being Snow-Bound: A Winter Idyll, this poem is one of his shortest and is often quoted because of its quiet but clear message of “forgive those who trespass against us.”  Only when we forgive, can we truly heal.  Forgiveness is freeing. And, to quote a line from the Prayer of  St. Francis, “It is in pardoning that we are pardoned.”  

Poem via poemhunter.com.

Image via pimminag.com.

heatherfromthegrove’s poetry spotlight for today: “The Fury of Abandonment” by Anne Sexton

HelpingHand

♦ ♦

POETRY 

@ heatherfromthegrove!

Enjoy!

♦ ♦ ♦

The Fury of Abandonment

by Anne Sexton

poemTheFuryOfAbandonment

Anne Sexton born on November 9,1928, in Newton, Massachusetts – a deeply troubled and brilliant American poet known for her extremely personal, emotional and conversational verse. She battled mental illness for most of her life.  Her first manic episode occurred in 1954, followed by a complete nervous breakdown a year later. Encouraged by her therapist to write poetry, as a means of cathartic therapy, Sexton discovered what was to be her true calling in life. Her poetry covered themes that reflected her own psychological challenges: depression, manic tendencies and suicide and nothing in her personal life was off-limits. She wrote about it all – becoming one of the most honored American poets and earning herself a Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. Sadly, her illness (today, she would have been diagnosed as suffering from bipolar disorder) began to escalate and, on October 4, 1974, she committed suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning. She was forty-six years old.

The Fury of Abandonment “Raw emotion” is what best describes this disturbing poem. One of 15 poems from the “Fury” sequence, later published in a collection titled, “The Death Notebooks.”  Published just after her divorce from her husband, it was the last collection of her poetry to be published before her suicide in the autumn of 1974. The advancement of her mental decline is felt with every unapologetically tortured word. It is as riveting as it is disturbing.

Poem via poemhunters.com.

Image via lydiamagazine.gr.

heatherfromthegrove’s poetry spotlight for today: “Love One Another” by Khalil Gibran

adorable-awesome-couple-hug-Favim.com-336964

♦ ♦

POETRY 

@ heatherfromthegrove!

Enjoy!

♦ ♦ ♦

Love One Another

by Khalil Gibran

poemLoveOneAnother

Khalil Gibran born on January 6, 1883 in Lebanon – renowned Lebanese-American poet, philosopher and artist who emigrated to America with his family in 1895, settling in Boston’s culturally diverse South End.  Although he became popularly known in North America for his compilation of inspirational philosophical essays (written in poetic prose) , The Prophet, he was also a very accomplished artist, schooled (in Paris) in drawing and watercolors.  Favoring symbolism and romanticism over realism, Gibran showcased his work at his first exhibition in 1905 (Boston), where he met Mary Elizabeth Haskell, a respected headmistress.  He and Haskell formed an intimate, lifelong friendship and she played a pivotal role in his life, becoming his editor and confidante. Khalil Gibran, who never became a naturalized American citizen (in deference to his Lebanese roots), died in New York City, on April 10,1931 — at the age of forty-eight.  The cause of his death was a combination of cirrhosis of the liver and tuberculosis.  His request to be buried in his homeland of Lebanon was respected and fulfilled by his devoted friend, Mary Elizabeth.

Love One Another is an extract from his magnum opus, The Prophet. Beginning with the simple commandment of “Love One Another”, he writes philosophically about the sanctity of marital love while also acknowledging the importance of maintaining one’s individual spirit.  He writes poetically about the necessity to let love grow and evolve, just as we do.  If love is rigid and unchanging, the bonds of love will break down. In very eloquent and poetic language, he drives home the point that two people should complement each other, yet maintain and respect their separate identities.

Poem via poemhunter.com.

Image via write-brained.com

heatherfromthegrove’s poetry spotlight for today: “Desertion” by Rupert Brooke

left_alone

♦ ♦

POETRY 

@ heatherfromthegrove!

Enjoy!

♦ ♦ ♦

Desertion 

by Rupert Brooke

poemDesertion

Rupert Brooke  born on August 3, 1887 in England –  extremely handsome English poet famous for his neo-Romantic poems, most notably his war sonnets (the most famous one was “The Soldier”) written during World War One.  The idealistic nature of his poetry was likely a function of his youth. The well-traveled Cambridge graduate, commissioned into the Royal Naval Division, set sail for the Dardanelles in February 1915 – where he contracted septicaemia from a mosquito bite and died a month later (April 23), aboard a hospital ship off the Greek Island of Skyros. He lays buried beneath an olive grove on the Aegean island. He was only twenty-seven when he died.

Desertion I could not find any learned analysis of this poem.  The graceful lyricism of this poem, along with the theme of desertion, betrayal and fractured friendship/relationship, drew me in. The treachery of a friend or loved one who succumbs to gossip, rather than staying faithful to the friendship/relationship – written in such a beautifully, melodic manner  – resonated deeply with me, so much so that I chose to share this poem with you.

Poem via poemhunter.com.

Image via stylelemon.com, Photo credit: Julie de Waroquier.

heatherfromthegrove’s poetry spotlight for today: “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost

forest-trail

POETRY

@  heatherfromthegrove!

Enjoy!

The Road Not Taken

by Robert Frost

frost

Robert Frost born on March 26, 1874 in San Francisco, California – was one of the most popular and critically acclaimed American poets of the twentieth century. During his lifetime, he received a plethora of honors, most notably four Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry, numerous honorary degrees, and, in 1960, a Congressional Gold Medal. Robert Frost’s poetry was most often written with early twentieth century, rural New England as a backdrop, from which he explored intricate philosophical and social questions of human existence. His grasp and usage of down-to-earth, American  colloquial language (mirroring ordinary, everyday speech) resonated with his readership and he became an American literary icon.  His wife and inspiration for much of his poetry, Elinor Miriam White, married him in 1895.  She died from breast cancer in 1938. On January 29, 1963, at the age of eight-eight, Robert Frost died in Boston Massachusetts, of complications from pancreatic surgery.

The Road Not Taken one of Robert Frost’s most popular and yet most misunderstood poems. When he writes about the two roads, he says “Though as for that the passing there/Had worn them really about the same/And that morning equally lay/in leaves no step had trodden back”  – meaning that neither of the two roads are less traveled and therefore one is faced with the dilemma of choice: which of the two identical forks in the road do I take? Our route is determined by the fusion of both choice and chance (or fate). There is no right path, just the chosen path and the other one that was not chosen. The poem is about the moment of decision, not the actual decision itself. By making a choice, the traveler is aware that only sometime in the future, will he realize whether or not he took the road less traveled by. The poem encapsulates the agony of decision, stemming from  the very human (and common) fear of remorse/regret.

Poem via poemhhunter.com.

Image via spiritualdrift.com.

heatherfromthegrove’s poetry spotlight for today: “Alone” by Edgar Allan Poe

j0255382

POETRY

heatherfromthegrove!

Enjoy!

Alone

by Edgar Allan Poe

7-6-2013 12-37-18 PM

Edgar Allan Poe – born on January 19, 1809 in Boston, Massachusetts – was an American short-story writer, poet, critic, and editor.  Renowned for his tales of mystery and horror, he was dubbed  as “Father of the Detective Story.”  He married his cousin, Virginia, in 1836. She became his literary muse.  Her death in 1847 caused the grief-stricken Poe to begin a downward spiral into financial ruin and poor health. He died on October 7, 1849, in a Baltimore (Maryland) hospital. The exact cause of his death remains a mystery. Although a very troubled and haunted man, Poe’s brilliant imagination has left a compelling legacy in the literary world.  His poems and tales still have the power to shock and to move his readers.   

Alone originally written in 1829, when the author was only 20 years old, the 22-line poem was only published and titled posthumously.  Written at the time of his foster mother’s (Frances Allan) death, the poem reflects the haunting sense of isolation that he felt throughout his childhood.  

Poem via poemhunter.com

Image via faithfulhomeschool.com.