Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Poetry Tuesday: "A conversation in the stype of Japanese love poems" by Robin Bonneau

A conversation in the style of Japanese love poems

I no longer walk in my garden
for the flowers there remind
me of your beauty –
and increase my sorrow.
I try to think
that it was only yesterday you left-
but the snow on the trees
and my tear-stained sleeves
do not leave room for excuses.

You have forsaken me. 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Poe Week: Poe's Fashion (sort of...)

In case you've never thought about it, here is a short (tongue-in-cheek) guide to the fashions of Edgar Allan Poe's day.  To create the appropriately flouncy, feminine, helpless look of a woman from the Gothic romances of Poe's mind:

accentuate your sloping shoulders

minimize your waist

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Poe Week: That's Poe-posterous! (the internet's best Poe jokes)

And perhaps the only piece of humor Poe ever wrote (he wrote it to pay his tavern bill):

"Fill with mingled cream and amber
I will drain that glass again.
Such hilarious visions clamber
Through the chamber of my brain —
Quaintest thoughts — queerest fancies
Come to life and fade away;
What care I how time advances?
I am drinking ale today."

The Lonely Alchemist

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Poe Week: Word Wednesday

Edgar Allan Poe was fond of what we would consider to be obscure vocabulary.  He was highly educated with an enormous vocabulary (compared to modern writers) and knowledge of many languages.  These are just a few of the words he used that nobody seems to use anymore (alas).  Just for fun, try to use one in conversation today!

abeyance - suspension of activity
abstruse - hard to understand
acrid - sharp and unpleasant in scent or flavor
amatory - relating to expressing sexual love
bagatelle - short piano piece
beldame - old woman
cassock - long cloak worn by clergy
charnel - room or building in which bodies are deposited

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Poe Week: Poetry Tuesday: "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe

The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
`'Tis some visitor,' I muttered, `tapping at my chamber door -
Only this, and nothing more.'

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; - vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow - sorrow for the lost Lenore -
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels named Lenore -
Nameless here for evermore.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Poe Week: Movie Monday

Edgar Allan Poe wrote with a very distinct and elegant brand of horror and suspense, and no one is better qualified to bring his works to screen than the inimitable Vincent Price, with his articulate, subtly sinister villains and flamboyant "heroes."  During his long reign as the king of suspense, Price starred in 7 films directed by the king of B horror movies himself, Roger Corman, that were loosely based on Poe's works.  (The cycle encompassed 8 films, but Price was absent from the cast of The Premature Burial.)  So let's take a look at the "collaborations" between these masters.

House of Usher:  based on The Fall of the House of Usher, this film stars Price as the ill-fated titular character.  While much of the film is true to Poe's story, the writers added a touch of romantic intrigue and turned Price into a conniving possessive villain, rather than the neurotic depressed character of the story to keep the movie audience interested.  The movie is short, barely over an hour, and the acting is as good as can be expected from an early Corman film (so it's moderately good).  Poe would probably have approved of Price's portrayal of Roderick Usher, despite the differences from the story.  Our rating: 3 out of 5 stars.