Tuesday, July 31, 2018
Percy Bysshe Shelley, 1792 - 1822
I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert . . . Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”
In antiquity, Ozymandias (Ὀσυμανδύας) was a Greek name for the Egyptian pharaoh Ramesses II. Shelley began writing his poem in 1817, soon after the announcement of the British Museum's acquisition of a large fragment of a statue of Ramesses II from the thirteenth century BC, leading some scholars to believe that Shelley was inspired by this. The 7.25-ton fragment of the statue's head and torso had been removed in 1816 from the mortuary temple of Ramesses at Thebes by Italian adventurer Giovanni Battista Belzoni. It was expected to arrive in London in 1818, but did not arrive until 1821. Shelley wrote the poem in friendly competition with his friend and fellow poet Horace Smith (1779–1849), who also wrote a sonnet on the same topic with the same title. Smith's poem was published in The Examiner a few weeks after Shelley's sonnet. Both poems explore the fate of history and the ravages of time: even the greatest men and the empires they forge are impermanent, their legacies fated to decay into oblivion.
Horace Smith, 1779-1849
In Egypt's sandy silence, all alone,
Stands a gigantic Leg, which far off throws
The only shadow that the Desart knows:-
'I am great OZYMANDIAS,' saith the stone,
'The King of Kings; this mighty City shows
'The wonders of my hand.'- The City's gone,-
Nought but the Leg remaining to disclose
The site of this forgotten Babylon.
We wonder,-and some Hunter may express
Wonder like ours, when thro' the wilderness
Where London stood, holding the Wolf in chace,
He meets some fragment huge, and stops to guess
What powerful but unrecorded race
Once dwelt in that annihilated place.
A central theme of "Ozymandias" is the inevitable decline of leaders of empires and their pretensions to greatness. The name "Ozymandias" represents a rendering in Greek of a part of Ramesses' throne name, User-maat-re Setep-en-re. The sonnet paraphrases the inscription on the base of the statue, given by Diodorus Siculus in his Bibliotheca historica as "King of Kings am I, Ozymandias. If anyone would know how great I am and where I lie, let him surpass one of my works."
Monday, July 30, 2018
Sunday, July 29, 2018
In our excitement, we try to push people to do things we want them to do. We cheer, goad, and even manipulate them into taking action or performing better. Despite our great efforts, they may not move an inch. It is in these times, it's most important to love and value that person, especially if they do not take action in the way we want them to. It's more meaningful to love them with an unfailing love. Are you showing unfailing love to those you are persuading to joining you?
Saturday, July 28, 2018
Friday, July 27, 2018
Also, thanks for all the well wishes with the new job.
Thursday, July 26, 2018
Wednesday, July 25, 2018
Tuesday, July 24, 2018
A Utilitarian View of the Monitors Fight.
By Herman Melville
Plain be the phrase, yet apt the verse,
More ponderous than nimble;
For since grimed War here laid aside
His Orient pomp, 'twould ill befit
Overmuch to ply
The Rhyme's barbaric cymbal.
Hail to victory without the gaud
Of glory; zeal that needs no fans
Of banners; plain mechanic power
Plied cogently in War now placed --
Where War belongs --
Among the trades and artisans.
Yet this was battle, and intense --
Beyond the strife of fleets heroic;
Deadlier, closer, calm 'mid storm;
No passion; all went on by crank,
Pivot, and screw,
And calculations of caloric.
Needless to dwell; the story's known.
the ringing of those plates on plates
Still ringeth round the world --
The clangor of that blacksmith's fray.
Resounds this message from the Fates:
War shall yet be, and to the end;
But war-paint shows the streaks of weather;
War yet shall be, but warriors
Are now but operatives; War's made
Less grand than Peace,
And a singe runs through lace and feather.
Monday, July 23, 2018
Sunday, July 22, 2018
With so much going on in today's world, we take on more stress and anxiety than ever before. While we should always perform our best and make a difference where we can, there are many areas where we don't have control. Instead, leave those worries to God and put all of your trust in Him. Make a choice today to trust God with all your might and He will answer with peace and love that you can pass on to your family.
Saturday, July 21, 2018
Friday, July 20, 2018
Thursday, July 19, 2018
Well, here’s some slightly good political news during what is proving to be an otherwise very bleak week in American politics…
After a tough primary followed by an even tougher runoff, a former U.S. Marine and openly gay man running for a House seat in Alabama’s 54th district has just won his party’s nomination.
Neil Rafferty announced his bid for a seat in the Alabama House back in February of this year.
The seat is being vacated by Democrat Patricia Todd, the state’s first gay legislator, who announced in January that she would not be seeking reelection.
Yesterday, Rafferty won the Democratic runoff election, receiving 2,531 votes, or 67.12 percent, of the vote. His opponent Jacqueline Gray Miller, an environmentalist and marketer, trailed behind him at 32.88 percent.
So how did he celebrate his runoff victory, you wonder?
By going to a bar, of course!
After the results came in yesterday evening, Rafferty, who works as the director of research and development at Birmingham AIDS Outreach, took to Facebook to invite his friends and supporters to celebrate with him at Crestwood Tavern, a local dive bar.
But today it’s back to work for Rafferty. He needs to prepare for the general election in November, where he will face off against Independent Joseph Baker.
Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Tuesday, July 17, 2018
A Tempest in a Teacup
by A. Van Jordan
Assume, just for a moment,
I am denied a job
in the factory of my dreams
under the fluorescent lights
of a porcelain white foreman.
It’s orderly and neat.
I feed my family.
No one questions my face.
I raised my son in my likeness,
so he would never go unseen,
bobbing on a wave of expectation,
I set in motion with my back
put into my work, praying
for my country, blessed
with more of me, never worrying
about those who might die,
or those who did, trying
to stir a storm, trying
to stand where I’m standing.
About This Poem
“This poem is part of a series of poems in which characters from The Tempest become composite characters who wrestle with the tensions around how we talk about race today, particularly when that talk is gendered. Prospero represents the older, straight white male who fears the cultural shift in America, without seeing the benefits of that shift both for America and even for himself.”
—A. Van Jordan
A. Van Jordan is the author of four poetry collections, including The Cineaste (W. W. Norton, 2013). A professor of English and literature at the University of Mich
Monday, July 16, 2018
Sunday, July 15, 2018
It's easier to tell someone what to do than it is to lead by example. Modeling our beliefs is much more impactful and makes the value ingrained deeper in all who see our example. Telling others what and how to react takes the choice away from them. God will speak to them and show them the error of their ways through your behavior alone. Set the example and let all you do be a reflection of Him.
Saturday, July 14, 2018
Friday, July 13, 2018
Thursday, July 12, 2018
Wednesday, July 11, 2018
Tuesday, July 10, 2018
by Yone Noguchi
Out of the deep and the dark,
A sparkling mystery, a shape,
Comes like the stir of the day:
One whose breath is an odour,
Whose eyes show the road to stars,
The breeze in his face,
The glory of Heaven on his back.
He steps like a vision hung in air,
Diffusing the passion of Eternity;
His abode is the sunlight of morn,
The music of eve his speech:
In his sight,
One shall turn from the dust of the grave,
And move upward to the woodland.
About This Poem
“The Poet” was published in Selected Poems of Yone Noguchi (The Four Seas Company, 1921).
Yone Noguchi, the first Japanese-born writer to publish poetry in English, was born in 1875 in Tsushima. His first book of poetry in English was Seen and Unseen, or Monologues of a Homeless Snail (Gelett Burgess & Porter Garnett, 1896). He died in Toyooka-mura on July 13, 1947.