Masks

By Shel Silverstein

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The Fancy Ball

The Fancy Ball

As Morning you’d have me rise

On that shining world of art;

You forget: I have too much dark in my eyes –

And too much dark in my heart.

“Then go as the Night – in June:

Pass, dreamily, by the corwd,

With jewels to mock the stars and the moon,

And shadowy robes like cloud.

“Or as Spring, with a spray in your hair

Of blossoms as yet unblown;

It will suit you well, for our youth should wear

The bloom in the bud alone.

“Or drift from the outer gloom

With the soft white silence of Snow.”

I should melt myself with the warm, close room –

Or my own life’s burning. No.

“Then fly through the glitter and mirth

As a bird of Paradise;”

Nay, the waters I drink have touch’d the earth:

I breathe no summer spice.

“Then -” Hush: if I go at all,

(It will make them stare and shrink,

It will look so strange at a Fancy Ball,)

I will go as – Myself, I think!

-By Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt

While in my last semester in college I took an English class titled American Women Writers.  I had seen this class for some time over the years and wanted to take it really, really badly but it always was filled before I could try and sign up, so luckily I grabbed it right at the end.  The class covered nineteenth century female writers and three modern writers.  One writer, Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt stuck with me.  Piatt wrote a poem (posted above) called The Fancy Ball and I just fell in love with it.  I guess you could call me a feminist because I am always speaking for women’s rights and growth.  Of course really all equality but in this course specifically I sounded like a man hater, I am not but I digress.

The Fancy Ball has two speakers.  One I know for sure is a female, the other speaker which uses the quotations, I believe, to be a male if not male ideals.  Each capitalized word: Morning,  Night, Spring, Snow, Paradise symbolize some form of “femininity” that society portrays upon females.  Morning symbolizes young and fresh.  Night is the risky, sexual side.  Spring is a more maternal symbol like fertility and motherhood.  Snow is purity, the most controversial nowadays.  And lastly Paradise is the exotic, unreachable, untamed idea that women are.

Now, in my class, I wrote a paper using The Fancy Ball as a basis for most ideals or characteristics and their achievement toward female self-expression in Romance novels, specifically the male’s view. LOVE TOPICS LIKE THIS!

I would like to elaborate that female self-expression is an interesting topic.  So much so that it is hard to tell if female self-expression is fully female oriented.  Meaning is it possible for female self-expression to occur without a male counterpoint?  Because in most Romance novels, specifically modern Romance novels, and to be honest some older works like The Awakening by Chopin, focus on female self-expression through romantic emotion or sexual encounters that incorporate some form of freeing and emotional/physical gratification.

With that being said, I have a question for my small followers or any other person who reads this.  Do you agree that male influence has created the female characteristics in society as well as in Romance novels?  Do you believe that female self-expression is obtained/can be obtained without a male influence?  What do these characteristics do to female writers as they write Romance novels/works? What are your opinions?

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Egghead

Not too long ago I picked up Bo Burnham’s book of poetry titled Egghead, Or You Can’t Survive On Ideas Alone and let me tell…it is amazing!

  

I briefly mentioned him in the past, in one post that you can find here>  https://carolinebylinebookblog.wordpress.com/2014/01/21/bo/

Originally a stand up comic Bo has brought amazing knowledge to his comedy and his literature work, such as poetry, is amazing he is literally a word genius.  If you have not then you definitely should go and grab his poetry book.  He is new fresh, modern, clever, and down right funny.  From alliteration through the entirety of poetic techniques all the way to simplistic rhyme sprinkled with some truth Bo does it all!

Here is a small glimpse as to what you will find:

raincity-windycity:</p>
<p>If you’re looking for a book that can make you laugh while also slapping you in the face with some truth-talk, you should check out Egghead: Or, You Can’t Survive on Ideas Alone.<br />
It’s a book of poems and illustrations that really make you realize how not fucked up your life is compared to others, and also is just randomly hilarious.<br />
Bo Burnham is so brilliant.<br />

For more info on Bo:    http://boburnham.com/

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He and I

Patterson Maker

I love this short poem because of its significant truth.  I believe every word  of it.  There is nothing more wonderful than finding someone who is just happy being with you.  Using that word “we” is special and should be the main focus between two people.  Love is sacred.  It simple yet complex.  It is on the surface for us to see but deep within and intimate within our hearts.  Remember to love one another.

For more from the author:  @langleav    and    http://langleav.com/

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Tyler Knott Gregson

image

Tyler Knott Gregson is the bee’s knees when it comes to poetry or anything that is just beautifully written.  I stumbled upon him on pintrest and have been beating myself that I have not found him sooner. 

If you have the opportunity look him up.   All of his works are amazing and so full of thought and emotion that you find his words representing what you can not say.  So simple yet complex his words flow across the page.  You could easily never stop reading his work.

JUST AWESOME!

You can find him on twitter: @tylerknott and his page: tylerknott.com

Dr. Maya Angelou WHO?

This past year I had the privilege of listening to Dr. Maya Angelou speak at my university.  I was in fan girl heaven.  Now I have known of Angelou for years but never really fell in love with her work until Tyler Perry’s  “Madea’s Family Reunion.”  It was her poem “In and Out of Time” that pushed me over the edge into Angelou love.

Her speech was nothing more than her sitting on stage just talking to us about her life.  I could have not been more enthralled or focused.  She was so carefree and full of life to be 85 years old.  Though she has seen so much in her lifetime and her accounts of movements and her achievements are grand I found myself waiting impatiently for her to speak her poetry to the audience.  Her voice so gravely and aged danced through the words and brought them to life.  Sadly she did not recite “In and Out of Time” but each work was a part of her that filled the room.  Any writer would hope to accomplish what she has in her literary lifetime.

Please enjoy one of my favorite works by her…

“In and Out of Time”

The sun has come.
The mist has gone.
We see in the distance…
our long way home.
I was always yours to have.
You were always mine.
We have loved each other in and out of time.
When the first stone looked up at the blazing sun
and the first tree struggled up from the forest floor
I had always loved you more.
You freed your braids…
gave your hair to the breeze.
It hummed like a hive of honey bees.
I reached in the mass for the sweet honey comb there….
Mmmm…God how I love your hair.
You saw me bludgeoned by circumstance.
Lost, injured, hurt by chance.
I screamed to the heavens….loudly screamed….
Trying to change our nightmares to dreams…
The sun has come.
The mist has gone.
We see in the distance our long way home.
I was always yours to have.
You were always mine.
We have loved each other in and out
in and out
in and out
of time.

I am lucky to have witnessed her speak in my lifetime and it is a memory I will never forget.