Writing: vernacular forms vs. standard English

ohioboy

Senior Member
Location
Ohio
This is how Emily described herself in an 1862 letter to Thomas Wentworth Higginson, as he asked her for a picture, but she had none.

"I am small, like the Wren, and my Hair is bold, like the Chestnut Bur–and my eyes, like the Sherry in the Glass, that the guest leaves."

In case TWH is unfamiliar to some, he and Mabel Loomis Todd, edited the 1st edition of her poetry in 1890. Her brother, William Austin, was having a lengthy affair with Mabel, the so called "War between the Houses". Both homes knew of it, but Mabel's husband David Peck Todd was an Astronomer at Amherst College where Austin was treasurer, he did not want to risk his job I suppose.

TWH was also a member of John Brown's "Secret Six".

Emily withdrew from society interaction at about age 30. She never lived outside her Father's home except when she had to travel to Boston to see an eye specialist, then she stayed with her Norcross cousins. She feared going blind so she packaged her poems, so many to a fascicle for preservation. Harvard University owns about 1/2 her manuscripts, and the Robert Frost library in Amherst owns about 1/2, with some private hands.

Emily never married, nor did her sister Lavinia. Emily's reclusive nature seems in part, maybe mostly, due to what would be diagnosed today as Panic or Anxiety attacks, unable to cope with the outside world. MLT described her as somewhat of a genius. How else? She died at age 55 from Brights disease. What a historical masterpiece it would have been if her voice had been recorded!

Prior to the great T.H. Johnson edition of her poems, her editors mainly removed the --- (dashes) she used for emphasis/punctuation. She never used titles, that was an editor's mark. What a brilliant mind she possessed.
 

drifter

Well-known Member
@jerry old, It do sound as though you have a book or two inside you somewhere. I've tried for many years. Maybe I'm one of those who would like to have written.
 

ohioboy

Senior Member
Location
Ohio
I wrote this about 20 years ago about life's reflections.

Self Evident

Live and love will flourish.
Hate, your heart dies slow.
The Soul is redeemed by a power Supreme,
Not by the wailing of woe.

Need and you just go on searching.
Want and you cry from within.
Seldom is found a love to expound,
And love minus love can't win.

Be silent, no one can hear you.
Resound or expect to be last.
Make effort to feel for love that is real,
So the wings of evil fly past.

If rich, your friends are abundant.
If homeless they censure your faults.
Excel in love, shower it thereof,
And no man can measure you small.

Loose faith and the Earth will darken.
Repent, heaven will surely abide.
No need for friends when time nears it's end,
For we each have to choose how we die.

For us there's a place in the Heaven's
To welcome the righteous and good.
And one by one with the setting Sun--
We'll be judged on life how we stood.
 

ohioboy

Senior Member
Location
Ohio
Love — is anterior to Life —
Posterior — to Death —
Initial of Creation, and
The Exponent of Earth —

Emily Dickinson
 

jerry old

Texas Crude
"Faith" is a fine invention
When Gentlemen can see
But Microscopes are prudent
In an Emergency

Emily Dickinson is at it again, exhibiting our frailties with a muffled drum.
See how she draws attention to "Faith" as the first word, then shows us sometimes faith is not enough.

(I've been casually searching for this quatrain over two years, finally found it.)
 

ohioboy

Senior Member
Location
Ohio
"Faith" is a fine invention
When Gentlemen can see
But Microscopes are prudent
In an Emergency

Emily Dickinson is at it again, exhibiting our frailties with a muffled drum.
See how she draws attention to "Faith" as the first word, then shows us sometimes faith is not enough.

(I've been casually searching for this quatrain over two years, finally found it.

This poem was included in a letter from Emily to T.W.Higginson in about 1860, plus dialogue.

"You spoke of the East. I have thought about it this winter. Don't you think you and I should be shrewder, to take the Mountain Road? That Bareheaded life under the grass - worries one like a Wasp. This Rose is for Mary".

Emily
 

jerry old

Texas Crude
This poem was included in a letter from Emily to T.W.Higginson in about 1860, plus dialogue.

"You spoke of the East. I have thought about it this winter. Don't you think you and I should be shrewder, to take the Mountain Road? That Bareheaded life under the grass - worries one like a Wasp. This Rose is for Mary".

Emily
The coyness Emily displayed when dealing with Higginson led to her being called, "my partially cracked poetess..."
Poor Higginson, he was so far out of his league it's pitiful.
 

oldiebutgoody

Senior Member
muffled drum



A very proper image, I feel.

Every time Miss Dickinson is presented on stage or in the recent movie A Quiet Passion* she is portrayed as highly demonstrative, vocal, assertive, forthright, and down right passionate about just about anything. Based upon what I've read, my feeling is that she was rather reserved especially among strangers, restrained in speech and action, and far more inclined to retire rather than openly express herself so assertively among strangers as she is portrayed on stage or video. Thus, while being vocal in her poems she was muffled at just about all other times.

Everything about her life bespeaks of being unassertive and highly reserved ~ her self imposed isolation, her dog being her only companion, her black cake and plants being the only other things she created along with her poetry, her shyness in sending so few of her poems to editors in the hope of having them published. Thus, while personally reserved she was able to communicate with the world through her letters and poems. But not through fiery speech as she is portrayed today.

As for my favorite writing of hers, I love this rather humble poem,

The saints forget
Our bashful feet—

My holiday shall be
That they remember me;

My paradise, the fame
That they pronounce my name.






Miss Emily as she is often viewed today:

















* International Trailer (imdb.com)
 

jerry old

Texas Crude
No one knew what actually went on in the Dickinson home.
Emily's bedroom was private, so private.

Her quatrains were private
not for any of us to read

Yet, the push-pull of wanting others
to judge her poems always remained

She never resolved this conflict
the fear of ridicule was too dangerous



The poems we read
are stolen, forbidden reading
we think how wonderful
as ms Emily smolders

That is my blood and soul
you treat so casually
so very casually

(The ten poems she sent to newspapers
in her early years
were an a search for acclaim
that did not arrive-so much for publishing)


I am a solitary person
that is my role, i will do it well
You'll do not understand
You;ll will never understand
 
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jerry old

Texas Crude
A very proper image, I feel.

Every time Miss Dickinson is presented on stage or in the recent movie A Quiet Passion* she is portrayed as highly demonstrative, vocal, assertive, forthright, and down right passionate about just about anything. Based upon what I've read, my feeling is that she was rather reserved especially among strangers, restrained in speech and action, and far more inclined to retire rather than openly express herself so assertively among strangers as she is portrayed on stage or video. Thus, while being vocal in her poems she was muffled at just about all other times.

Everything about her life bespeaks of being unassertive and highly reserved ~ her self imposed isolation, her dog being her only companion, her black cake and plants being the only other things she created along with her poetry, her shyness in sending so few of her poems to editors in the hope of having them published. Thus, while personally reserved she was able to communicate with the world through her letters and poems. But not through fiery speech as she is portrayed today.

As for my favorite writing of hers, I love this rather humble poem,

The saints forget
Our bashful feet—

My holiday shall be
That they remember me;

My paradise, the fame
That they pronounce my name.



















* International Trailer (imdb.com)
 

jerry old

Texas Crude
The Disappeared One
1914 Memoriam

Whisked away at The Marne
Then again

Evaporated at Ypres
Again,
Then Again

Even the shadows twice- Groaned at the Somme,
One, two and Oh!

Who drained our blood at Transylvania?
Icons without miracles at Tannenberg

Drowned at Jutland
Swallowed at Faukland

Do not forget us
Cried the stone eyes at Kut

Scampered into eternity at Gallipoli
Snatched up at Belleau Woods

Then the war to end all wars was done


(This is not a poem, this is only that which must out)
 
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Jennina

Member
I am old, way old. I've lived by myself, or been alone-sometimes my son's 'move in' but there not much company.
I started writing many years ago, primarily due to being lonely. I scribed, scribble... Several years ago, I got serious about
my writing. (Nine years ago I lost my internet access, you just can't write with pen and paper once you've become used to
Microsoft Word.
I'm primarily interested in exchanging ideas, form of writing, topics chosen to write about, basically, all forms of writing.
I consider myself an expert on Emily Dickinson, would love to find others of like interest.


S
You should consider self publishing.
 

oldiebutgoody

Senior Member
I am a solitary person
that is my role, i will do it well
You'll do not understand
You;ll will never understand



Yes, it is true we will not quite fully understand her. And maybe we shouldn't.

But it is very interesting how for over one hundred years she was viewed as the sensitive, solitary, reserved, recluse. Today she is viewed as being so demonstrative by many. Times change, people's viewpoints change. But such is life. And it is not unprecedented.

One of my very favorite examples of this is Father Mapple who opens the classic novel Moby Dick by Herman Melville. Many view this as the greatest novel ever written by an American (indeed, that is my view as well). When it published it almost went into immediate obscurity largely because of Fr Mapple. Since the 1930s he has been presented on movies and tv as a soft spoken white skinned country preacher who speaks in subdued tones. But look carefully at the narrative and you see that he is actually a black man (he is described as having 'large brown hands' and a 'swarthy forehead') who makes a fire and brimstone sermon. The very essence of his sermon is that each of us whether black or white is an equal. This created an outrage back then. Some critics asked, how can someone be so stupid as to think that blacks and whites are equal? Remember that slavery was legal back then. Melville like others in the Transcendentalist movement condemned slavery and attacked it in every way possible. Moby Dick (many words of which were gleaned from the sermons of Frederick Douglass) was a novel about true brotherhood, an example of the Sunday sermon and Bible illustrated. No modern day critics that I know of views it that way. A few historians well versed in Douglass & Melville, however, know it for a fact.

What caused people to change their interpretation of the novel and of this essential character? I do not have the answer. As with our view of Miss Emily, we may never know why this alteration took place.
 

jerry old

Texas Crude
Yes, it is true we will not quite fully understand her. And maybe we shouldn't.

But it is very interesting how for over one hundred years she was viewed as the sensitive, solitary, reserved, recluse. Today she is viewed as being so demonstrative by many. Times change, people's viewpoints change. But such is life. And it is not unprecedented.

Moby Dick by Herman Melville. Many view this as the greatest novel ever written by an American (indeed, that is my view as well). When it published it almost went into immediate obscurity largely because of

What caused people to change their interpretation of the novel and of this essential character? I do not have the answer. As with our view of Miss Emily, we may never know why this alteration took place.

Miss Emily and Moby Dick

I've tried to read Moby Dick several times.
It's 500+ pages often drag.
The witch doctor, Ahab's personal witch doctor did not please me.
I've never found any discussion of the Witch Doctor, perhaps it is explained in the 900+ Moby Dick published in Britain

Melville tried to discuss Moby Dick with Hawthorn, telling Hawthorn 'I've written a very evil book.'
( Hawthorn was 'the man of letters in America.' Melville was basically his flunkie, or that is my interruption of there relationship.)
With all it's thorns and rabbit trails, it remains the best literature produce in America.

Your line on Miss Emily-Yes, it is true we will not quite fully understand her. And maybe we shouldn't.
Immediately sent me to a quote from 'A River Runs Through It.'

Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of those rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs.

I am haunted by waters


Great line Oldie
 

Mango Chutney

New Member
I am not living alone but I do write poetry - nothing wishy-washy or lovey-dovey tho.

I tell "Yarns" in Free Verse and I am writing 50 and I am up to #47 in my Yarnetry Collection. The subjects are diverse and some are old jokes that I retell and others are totally original by me.

Please click on the links to Google Docs.

If you wish to avago then please post, we may be able to exchange ideas. They can be read in any order bur the first one "Yarnetry" is an introduction.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1wsxcO5AYv72gVcNCBAMykveRu6xd68oj9YHg6AhFC1Q/edit?usp=sharing
 

jerry old

Texas Crude
Coffins in the Sky
(Circa 1944)


Jewish ashes
thrust through chimneys,
they rise.

Pink dragons floating above
licking ashes
belching pink candy balls
as the world slumbers

Old Rabbi’s murmur
at the fiery glow,
as an ancient people,
are thrown into the sky.

The guards pace unaware
of the chimney’s groan
as a combusted people,
forever gone
 
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jerry old

Texas Crude
Prose, poetry and song lyrics are all one form-all must bow to content.


Remembering Stranton

Stranton was a solider boy
a devout Catholic solider boy
A married solider boy

His government called, he answered
Stranton was given solider boy clothing
trained to do things
that he did not care for

The army put him on a ship
to a foreign land
two thousand miles from his love
He wrote long letters home


His wife did not want to hug a pillow
She found a man she could hug
She wrote Stranton, asking freedom
from marital ties

She sent him pictures
or herself and her new love
Stranton cried
Soliders don't cry


His friend
who was not his friend
stole the pictures of Stranton’s wife
shared them with the troops

We liked pictures of naked ladies
made spicier by knowing the husband
We did not care about his tears

A war of letter was fought
‘ divorce’
‘No, I am Catholic.’

His friend
who was not his friend
stole the letters
We read the letters for a laugh

Did we respected the privy
content of the letters
‘Hell, we were solider boys.’
a titillation is a titillation

Stranton was a sweet loveable guy
He should have been a chaplain’s assistant
or something like those guys
He did not belong with regular troops

Time swallow Stranton
his presence was recalled with a smirk
‘Hell he was always
crying about his woman
 
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jerry old

Texas Crude
Interlude



It wasn’t love,
it wasn’t nothing
just a way to be
warm.

She was yammy,
ripe and old,
but it was cold and
she had a room

In the morning,
she was grateful
I was glad to be
on my way.

She handed me a dollar
‘for warm, on your way.’
I asked if she
had five?
 

jerry old

Texas Crude
There is the poetry and prose both are made of words;
they are the same.

HORSES

FIVE RED HORSES GREET THE SUN
SNICKERING AT THEIR JOY TO COME
FIRST THE CANTER THEN:

BENDING OUR HEADS TO THE SUN WE BEGIN THE RUN.
IT IS BEYOND PLEASURE, THIS TASK OF RUN.

WE RUN THROUGH A STREAM SENDING RAINBOWS OF SPARKLE.
WE DO NOT PAUSE, WE ARE THE RUN THERE IS NO PHILOSOPHY TO RUN

FLARED NOSTRILS WHISTLE A HYMN SURGING LIFE IN THE LUNGS
LIFE LIVES IN THE HOOVES AND THE RUN
 


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