Friday, December 10, 2010

Happy Birthday, Emily Dickinson

December 10, 1830-May 15, 1886

Emily Dickinson was born in Amherst, Massachusetts at the Homestead on December 10, 1830. Her quiet life was infused with a creative energy that produced almost 1800 poems and a profusion of vibrant letters.
Her lively Childhood and Youth were filled with schooling, reading, explorations of nature, religious activities, significant friendships, and several key encounters with poetry. Her most intense Writing Years consumed the decade of her late 20s and early 30s; during that time she composed almost 1100 poems. She made few attempts to publish her work, choosing instead to share them privately with family and friends. In her Later Years Dickinson increasingly withdrew from public life. Her garden, her family (especially her brother’s family at The Evergreens) and close friends, and health concerns occupied her.
With a few exceptions, her poetry remained virtually unpublished until after she died on May 15, 1886. After her death, her poems and life story were brought to the attention of the wider world through the competing efforts of family members and intimates.

To learn more about this iconic American poet, visit the website of The Emily Dickinson Museum. I live very close to Amherst and stop in to visit the garden in spring and summer every year. Here is a photo I took of the summer garden this year. It is pretty much kept the way Emily once kept it.

As an aside, I once read an article about Emily Dickinson entitled Emily Dickinson:  The Pagan Sphinx and borrowed the name (with credit to the writer which can be found just below the blog header, under Pages About the Pagan Sphinx Blog.) which is my blog and blog moniker.  TPS will be three years old in February and it has never regretted its name.  :-)

Happy Friday,
Pagan Sphinx

Pagan Sphinx Photo 2010 © All Rights Reserved

Monday, December 6, 2010

Pagan Sphinx Entertainment Highlight

Please somebody tell me they like Lina Wertmüller films! If you happen to be a film scholar just keep in mind that I'm not! This, folks, is my usual little ditty. I have the attention span of a mosquito when it comes to long dissertations.  Go easy on me!   All tongue and cheeky, of course! :-)

Anyway, I've seen the film from which this intro was taken - Pasqualino Settebellezze, a.k.a.
Seven Beauties. I've seen it several times over the years but it was only yesterday that I took the time to discover whose voice is performing the sort of spoken word song/poem in the intro. He is Italian singer songwriter, actor and comedian  Enzo Jannacci.  Oh, yeah.

Here is the English dub version. Being a natural speaker of Portuguese, I prefer the Italian version with English subtitles. If you accept the challenge to listen to both, please let me know which you like better.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

At the Beginning and at the End

At the beginning and at the end

In the morning when you wake up, reflect on the day ahead and aspire to use it to keep a wide-open heart and mind. At the end of the day, before you go to sleep,  think over what you've done. If you fulfilled your aspiration, even once, rejoice in that. If you went against your aspiration, rejoice that you are able to see what you did and are no longer living in ignorance. This way you will be inspired to go forward with increasing clarity, confidence, and compassion.
Pema is the resident teacher at Gampo Abbey, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, the first Tibetan monastery for Westerners. She has written several books: "The Wisdom of No Escape", "Start Where You Are", "When Things Fall Apart", "The Places that Scare You", "No Time to Lose" and "Practicing Peace in Times of War"

 A couple of photos I took when we visited Gampo Abbey in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. I hope to return there in 2012 or 13 and stay awhile.

Pagan Sphinx Photo 2009 © All Rights Reserved

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