Friday, July 24, 2015

Summer Lets Down Her Hair

Summer Lets Down Her Hair

by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Here, Earth-born, over the lilt of the water,
Lisping its music and bearing a burden of light,
Bosoming day as a laughing and radiant daughter...
Here we may whisper unheard, unafraid of the night.
Walking alone ... was it splendor, or what, we were bound with?
Deep in the time when summer lets down her hair?
Shadows we loved and the patterns they covered the ground with
Tapestries, mystical, faint in the breathless air.

Summer has let down her hair at my house. July has been a month of pause, like the small delay at the end of a long slow inhale before your breath naturally turns around and rises to the chest. I've taken time in this pause to look back over the last six months and simmer in the juices of intention. Resolution was my one little word for the year. Am I moving toward resolution as I had hoped? I like making this little evaluation before fall whisks me into a swirl of activity. I want a few more slow, easy breaths before I move on. 

Wishing you the lilt of water, radiant dreams, and the chance to be unafraid as you move forward into whatever lies ahead. Take a deep breath and visit Margaret at Reflections on the Teche for today's Roundup. 

Friday, July 10, 2015

Know When A Reader Opens Your E-Mail

It's Poetry Friday and I have mail on the brain this week.

You've submitted a manuscript, recorded it in your log, closed the file on the computer, but somewhere in the back of your brain, that file stays open attached to a hidden stop watch ticking off the days, weeks, months, until it ticks itself out and you finally open the computer file and type in "no response." You sigh and move on. Or maybe you grumble that it sure would be nice if those recipients would at least acknowledge that you exist. 

Fast forward three years. Out of the cloudy blue sky, an email drops in your inbox. Someone stumbled over your manuscript pages. Maybe they fell in the floor when some clerk rushed past on her way to the coffee pot. Who knows what happens in those houses?

Revise? Sure. 

Resubmit? Sure. 

Wait again? 

Hmm. Is there a semi-solution to this not knowing madness?

So it's only a semi-solution, but I'm loving Sidekick by Hubspot. This app does a lot of cool things on your email server. But the one I love the most? It tells me when an email has been opened. AND when an attached file has been opened. I still can't read anyone's mind. I still close the file and turn on the stop watch. 

But, I'm right there with Mr. Auden. For who can bear to feel himself forgotten? 

Night Mail 
by W. H. Auden

This is the Night Mail crossing the border, 
Bringing the cheque and the postal order, 
Letters for the rich, letters for the poor, 
The shop at the corner and the girl next door. 
Pulling up Beattock, a steady climb: 
The gradient's against her, but she's on time. 
Past cotton-grass and moorland boulder 
Shovelling white steam over her shoulder, 
Snorting noisily as she passes 
Silent miles of wind-bent grasses. 

Birds turn their heads as she approaches, 
Stare from the bushes at her blank-faced coaches. 
Sheep-dogs cannot turn her course; 
They slumber on with paws across. 
In the farm she passes no one wakes, 
But a jug in the bedroom gently shakes. 

Dawn freshens, the climb is done. 
Down towards Glasgow she descends 
Towards the steam tugs yelping down the glade of cranes, 
Towards the fields of apparatus, the furnaces 
Set on the dark plain like gigantic chessmen. 
All Scotland waits for her: 
In the dark glens, beside the pale-green sea lochs 
Men long for news. 

Letters of thanks, letters from banks, 
Letters of joy from the girl and the boy, 
Receipted bills and invitations 
To inspect new stock or visit relations, 
And applications for situations 
And timid lovers' declarations 
And gossip, gossip from all the nations, 
News circumstantial, news financial, 
Letters with holiday snaps to enlarge in,
Letters with faces scrawled in the margin, 
Letters from uncles, cousins, and aunts,
Letters to Scotland from the South of France, 
Letters of condolence to Highlands and Lowlands 
Notes from overseas to Hebrides 
Written on paper of every hue, 
The pink, the violet, the white and the blue, 
The chatty, the catty, the boring, adoring, 
The cold and official and the heart's outpouring, 
Clever, stupid, short and long, 
The typed and the printed and the spelt all wrong. 

Thousands are still asleep 
Dreaming of terrifying monsters,
Or of friendly tea beside the band at Cranston's or Crawford's: 
Asleep in working Glasgow, asleep in well-set Edinburgh,
Asleep in granite Aberdeen, 
They continue their dreams, 
And shall wake soon and long for letters, 
And none will hear the postman's knock 
Without a quickening of the heart, 
For who can bear to feel himself forgotten? 

Listen here for an absolutely delightful reading of the poem by Auden himself.

Katie is our Poetry Friday host over at the Logonauts. Stop in for lots more poetry.