It's November 22nd, which means until December 21st, it's Sagittarius season. Just in time, here are the best picks from Sag authors across different genres.
It looks like this 1830s poet is getting her own modern TV comedy show! Apple has given a straight-to-series order for the Massachusetts poet known as Emily Dickinson.
It will be a half-hour comedy called Dickinson that will star Oscar-nominated actress Hailee Steinfeld (Pitch Perfect 2, True Grit) in her first-ever title role as Emily Dickinson. The show is written and executive-produced by Alena Smith and will be a comedic look into Dickinson’s life. It will explore the limitations of society, family and gender in the 19th century from the view of a poet who doesn’t fit into her own time period.
The comedy is set in the 1800s but with more of a modern sensibility and tone and will follow a coming-of-age story about young woman’s fight to have her voice heard. David Gordon Green (Stronger, Pineapple Express, Vice Principals) is set to direct.
Other shows from Apple include a series produced by Reese Witherspoon based off Curtis Sittenfield’s short story collection, You Think It, I’ll Say It which will star Kristen Wiig and a reboot of Steven Spielberg’s cult sci-fi series Amazing Stories.
There is no release date for Dickinson but hopefully, when the show is released it could possibly shed a new light on the enigmatic and reclusive poet.
Featured Image Via Variety
1. “Spring” by Gerard Manley Hopkins
The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;
The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush
The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush
With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.
Greenish-white dogwood infiltrated the wood,
each petal burned, apparently, by a cigarette-butt;
and the blurred redbud stood
beside it, motionless, but almost more
like movement than any placeable color.
Four deer practiced leaping over your fences.
open all the windows in the houseand unlatch the door to the canary’s cage,
indeed, rip the little door from its jamb,a day when the cool brick paths
and the garden bursting with peoniesseemed so etched in sunlight
Yet still the unresting castles thresh
In fullgrown thickness every May.
Last year is dead, they seem to say,
Begin afresh, afresh, afresh.
From you have I been absent in the spring,
When proud-pied April, dressed in all his trim,
Hath put a spirit of youth in everything,
That heavy Saturn laughed and leaped with him.
The snake and the snail, kissing.
Even the prick of the thistle,
queen of the weeds, revives
your secret belief
in perpetual spring
A glittering star or two–till many trace
The edges of the blackthorn clumps in gold.
And then a little lamb bolts up behind
The hill and wags his tail to meet the yoe
The birds around me hopped and played,
Their thoughts I cannot measure:—
But the least motion which they made
It seemed a thrill of pleasure.
A light exists in spring
Not present on the year
At any other period.
When March is scarcely hereA color stands abroad
On solitary hills
That science cannot overtake,
But human naturefeels.
Blows the thaw-wind pleasantly,
Drips the soaking rain,
By fits looks down the waking sun:
Young grass springs on the plain;
Young leaves clothe early hedgerow trees;
Seeds, and roots, and stones of fruits,
Swollen with sap put forth their shoots;
Curled-headed ferns sprout in the lane;
Birds sing and pair again.
Feature Image Via Unsplash
Emily Dickinson may well be the best writer Americans have. Her popularization of poetic techniques like enjambment and slant rhymes helped pave the way for the free verse that followed. If there was no Dickinson, then 20th century and modern poetry would sound enormously different. It would probably a lot closer to what it sounded like 150 years ago.
In celebration of Dickinson, here are some of my favorite excerpts from her poetry. But don’t stop at the excerpt…read the whole thing! If you don’t get it the first time, read it again and again.
1. The Sweeping up the Heart
And putting Love away
We shall not want to use again
Until Eternity –
2. But were it told to me, Today,
That I might have the Sky
For mine, I tell you that my Heart
Would split, for size of me –
3. This is the Hour of Lead –
Remembered, if outlived,
As Freezing persons, recollect the Snow –
First – Chill – then Stupor – then the letting go –
4. Ruin is formal — Devil’s work
Consecutive and slow —
5. And then a Plank in Reason, broke,
And I dropped down, and down –
And hit a World, at every plunge,
And Finished knowing – then –
6. I dwell in Possibility –
A fairer House than Prose –
More numerous of Windows –
Superior – for Doors –
7. It was not Death, for I stood up,
And all the Dead, lie down –
It was not Night, for all the Bells
Put out their Tongues, for Noon.
8. I would not talk, like Cornets —
I’d rather be the One
Raised softly to the Ceilings —
And out, and easy on —
9. Though I than He – may longer live
He longer must – than I –
For I have but the power to kill,
Without – the power to die –
10. Tell all the truth but tell it slant —
Success in Circuit lies
Too bright for our infirm Delight
The Truth’s superb surprise
As Lightning to the Children eased
With explanation kind
The Truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind —
Feature Image Via the Belcourt Theatre
Greetings bookish folks! I know some of you are down because October has come to a close and Halloween is, once again, a thing of the past. It’s another month and celebration gone. But this is a marathon and you can’t slow down now.
With November here, have you noticed a slight chill in the air? Does the wind brush leaves past your feet when you open the front door? Do you find yourself wearing that one scarf that smells so familiar? I’ve noticed November is the month that starts all the magical buzz for the holiday season. Something is coming and people pick up their pace to grab a hold of it all. I’m seeing all the Christmas commercials beginning with flashes of red and gold and I’m as excited as ever! Who doesn’t want to decorate the tree, enjoy delicious dishes, and spend time laughing with your loved ones? Even winter snow is starting to sound charming; nothing beats a quiet nighttime snowfall.
Now, if you’re feeling a little low on spirit I’ve got something that may help. Below are eight poems and a few of their lines that have given me that old, familiar holiday and winter feeling. The smell of cookies, pine, and icing is really all you’ll need to live for the next few weeks… Well not really, but that and these poems should sure make you feel something magical.
1. “Thanksgiving” by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
If you love sentimentality, these verses will hug you with the warmth of passing memories as the chill sets in.
There’s not a day in all the year
But holds some hidden pleasure,
And looking back, joys oft appear
To brim the past’s wide measure
2. “Holidays” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
This poem makes you realize in moments of quiet solitude that the time we spend with loved ones are the most magical of all.
The happy days unclouded to their close;
The sudden joys that out of darkness start
As flames from ashes; swift desires that dart
Like swallows singing down each wing that blows!
Image Via Unsplash by Kacper Szczechla
3. “Before The Ice Is In The Pools” by Emily Dickinson
Dickinson perfectly captures the chill in the air and the hesitance to let go of the old in order to embrace the new.
Before the fields have finished,
Before the Christmas tree,
Wonder upon wonder
Will arrive to me!
4. “Horses in Snow” by Roberta Hill
Captivating details are laced throughout each line of Hill’s work- she grasps the essence of winter and the mysterious freedom that belongs to each stallion and mare. This is truly one of my favorites.
The colt kicked his hind, loped from the fence.
The mares and a stallion galloped behind,
lifting and leaping, finding each other
in full accord with the earth and their bodies
Image Via Hedweb
5. “Ice” by Gail Mazur
Everyone has their own story amongst the deep blue twilight of December, even a little girl whose only desire is to skate.
A Franklin stove keeps the place so cozy
it’s hard to imagine why anyone would leave,
clumping across the frozen beach to the river.
December’s always the same at Ware’s Cove
6. “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost
Frost’s words are so lovely that the story of a long and brisk trek may actually bring you warmth on even the snowiest of evenings.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year
Image Via Design Trends
7. “Beyond the Red River” by Thomas McGrath
Here, we must let go of warm tides and lazy afternoons to take the hand of snowy drifts and frosted trees that line our path. Listen carefully to what the falling snow has to say.
The birds have flown their summer skies to the south,
And the flower-money is drying in the banks of bent grass
Which the bumble bee has abandoned. We wait for a winter lion,
Body of ice-crystals and sombrero of dead leaves
8. “Mad As The Mist And Snow” by William Butler Yeats
This may raise your wonder to imagine if history’s greatest poets and philosophers, or even any writer, were as mad as the whipping winds of winter, as mad as the mist and snow.
Bolt and bar the shutter,
For the foul winds blow:
Our minds are at their best this night
And I seem to know
That everything outside us is
Mad as the mist and snow
These poems come alive in many forms for every reader. Are they memories of winters past, spent by warm lights and deep nights? A special gathering with people you hold safely inside a memory bank? Perhaps you imagine a place you’ve never even been to, but wish you could go, even just once. It’s funny and bewildering how these poems could capture the whisper of a snowfall on a quiet street or the simple joy of sitting by the twinkling tree with family. Let these simple verses lead you into the charm and chill that only the glimmer of winter could bring.
Image Via Giphy
Feature Image Via Deviant Art