Posts Tagged ‘Arts’

April 14 is national Poem in Your Pocket DayPoem In Your Pocket Day

Celebrate national Poem In Your Pocket Day on Thursday, April 14, 2011!

The idea is simple: select a poem you love during National Poetry Month then carry it with you to share with co-workers, family, and friends.

Poems from pockets will be unfolded throughout the day with events in parks, libraries, schools, workplaces, and bookstoresCreate your own Poem In Your Pocket Day event using ideas below or let us know how your plans, projects, and suggestions for Poem In Your Pocket Day by emailing npm@poets.org.

Along with your library, bookstore, or shelf at home, you can find the perfect poem for your pocket bybrowsing Poets.org, or by signing up to receive a poem from new spring poetry titles each day during April.

Download pocket-sized Poem PDFs to print and share:

Poem In Your Pocket Day has been celebrated each April in New York City since 2004. Each year, city parks, bookstores, workplaces, and other venues burst with open readings of poems from pockets. Even the Mayor gets in on the festivities, reading a poem on the radio. For more information on New York City’s celebration, visit nyc.gov/poem.Highlights from past Poem In Your Pocket Day events.

Poems have been stowed in pockets in a variety of ways, from the commonplace books of the Renaissance to the pocket-sized publications for Army soldiers in World War II. Have a story about the marriage of the poem and the pocket? Send them to npm@poets.org.

I hope you have fun picking out a poem and sharing it with others throughout your day!



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two spools

laden with fibers

of the same weight



may actually

be tainted with deception

lying the threads

side by side

on a contrasting background

in the light of a golden

autumns’ afternoon

those threads can fool and shame

even the most discriminating eye

even the eye that belongs to the hands

that wishes to marry these two threads

to conceive something

so beautiful

it might be cherished

for generations to come

upon thorough inspection

the threads are confidently joined

to make a beautiful garment

holy sacrament





feverishly producing

woven threads

in a moment

truth speaks what

cannot be denied

deception has clearly


bold and brazen

there is not one color

named ecru

there is no time

for discussion


pulling apart


soon these hands were plunging

this most lovely handiwork

into a pot of warm black tea

woven in time

with love

steeped to hide

two colors named ecru

to cover the disparity

to rid the shame

of what should have been and

isn’t and

will never be

Kimberley Formosa © 2011

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Excerpts taken from An Apology For Poetry

Sir Philip Sydney (1554-1586)

Century Reading For A Course In English Literature

Copyright, 1910, 1918 by The Century Co.

But since I have run so long a career in this matter, methinks, before I give my pen a full stop, it shall be but a little more lost time to inquire, why England, the mother of excellent minds, should be grown so hard a step-mother to poets, who certainly in wit ought to pass all others, since all only proceeds from their wit, being, indeed, makers of themselves, not takers of others. How can I but exclaim,

Musa, mihi causas memora, quo numine laeso?

[Muse, bring to my mind the reasons: for the injury of what divinity?]





Sweet poesy! that hath anciently had kings, emperors, senators, great captains, such as besides a thousand others, David, Adrian, Sophocles, Germanicus, not only to favor poets, but to be poets; and of our nearer times can present for her patrons, a Robert, King of Sicily; the great King Francis of France; King James of Scotland; such cardinals as Bembus and Bibiena; such famous preachers and teachers as Beza and Melancthon; so learned philosophers as Fracastorius and Scaliger; so great orators as Pontanus and Muretus; so piercing wits as George Buchanan; so grave councilors as, besides many, but before all, that Hospital of France, than whom, I think that realm never brought forth a more accomplished judgment, more firmly builded upon virtue, I say these, with numbers of others, not only to read others’ poesies, but to poetize for others’ reading: that poesy, thus embraced in all other places, should only find in our time a hard welcome in England, I think the very earth laments it, and therefore decks our soil with fewer laurels than it was accustomed.

But I that, before ever I durst aspire unto the dignity, am admitted into the company of the paper-blurrers, do find the very true cause of our wanting estimation is want of desert, taking upon us to be poets in despite of Pallas. Now wherein we want desert, were a thank-worthy labor to express. But if I knew, I should have mended my self; but as I never desired the title, so have I neglected the means to come by it; only overmastered by some thoughts, I yielded an inky tribute into them. Marry, they that delight in poesy itself, should seek to know what they do, and how they do, and, especially, look themselves in an unflattering glass of reason, if they be inclinable unto it.

For poesy must not be drawn by the ears, it must be gently led, or rather it must lead; which was partly the cause that made the ancient learned affirm it was a divine gift, and no human skill, since all other knowledges lie ready for any that have strength of wit, a poet no industry can make, if his own genius be not carried into it. And therefore is it an old proverb, Orator fit, poeta nascitur [The orator is made, the poet born].

For there being two principal parts, matter to be expressed by words, and words to express the matter, in neither we use art or imitation rightly. Our matter is quodlibet [what you will], indeed, although wrongly, performing Ovid’s verse,

Quicquid conabor dicere, versus erit;

[Whatever I shall try to say will be verse]

never marshaling it into any assured rank, that almost the readers cannot tell where to find themselves.

Chaucer, undoubtedly, did excellently in his Troilus and Criseyde; of whom, truly, I know not whether to marvel more, either that he in that misty time could see so clearly, or that we in this clear age go so stumblingly after him. Yet had he great wants, fit to be forgiven in so reverend antiquity. I account the Mirror for Magistrates meetly furnished of beautiful parts. And in the Earl of Surrey’s lyrics, many things tasting of a noble birth, and worthy of a noble mind. The Shepherd’s Calendar hath much poetry in it’s eclogues, indeed, worthy the reading, if I be not deceived. That same framing of its style to an old rustic language, I dare not allow; since neither Theocritus in Greek, Virgil in Latin, nor Sannazaro in Italian, did affect it. Besides these, I do not remember to have seen but few (to speak boldly) printed that have poetical sinews in them. For proof whereof, let but most of the verses be put in prose, and then ask the meaning, and it will be found that one verse did but beget another, without ordering at the first what should be at the last; which becomes a confused mass of words, with a tinkling sound of rime, barely accompanied with reason.

But our comedians think there is no delight without laughter, which is very wrong; for though laughter may come with delight, yet cometh it not of delight, as though delight should be the cause of laughter; but well may one thing breed both together. Nay, in themselves, they have, as it were, a kind of contrariety. For delight, we scarcely do, but in things that have a conveniency to ourselves, or to the general nature. Laughter almost ever cometh of things most disproportioned to ourselves and nature: delight hath a joy in it, either permanent or present; laughter hath only a scornful tickling. For example: we are ravished with delight to see a fair woman, and yet are far from being moved to laughter; we laugh at deformed creatures, wherein certainly we cannot delight; we delight in good chances; we laugh at mischances; we delight to hear the happiness of our friends or country, at which he were worthy to be laughed at that would laugh: we shall, contrarily, laugh sometimes to find a matter quite mistaken, and go down the hill against the bias, in the mouth of some such men, as for the respect of them, one shall be heartily sorry, yet he cannot choose but laugh, and so is rather pained than delighted with laughter. Yet deny I not, but  that they may go well together; for, as in Alexander’s picture well set out, we delight without laughter, and in twenty mad antics we laugh without delight: so in Hercules, painted with his great beard and furious countenance, in a woman’s attire, spinning at Omphale’s commandment, it breedeth both delight and laughter; for the representing of so strange a power in love procures delight, and the scornfulness of the action stirreth laughter.

But I speak to this purpose, that all the end of the comical part be not upon such scornful matters as stir laughter only, but mix with it that delightful teaching which is in the end of poesy. And the great fault, even in that point of laughter, and the forbidden plainly by Aristotle, is, that they stir laughter in sinful things, which are rather execrable than ridiculous; or in the miserable, which are rather to be pitied than scorned. For what is it to make folks gape at a wretched beggar, and a beggarly clown; or against the law of hospitality, to jest at strangers, because they speak not English so well as we do? what do we learn? since it is certain,

"Blessed is the man who walks not in the council of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper." - Psalm 1:1-3

Nil havet infelix paupertas durius in se,

Quam quid riciulos, homines facit.

[Of all the griefs that harass the distrest,

Sure the most bitter is a scornful jest].

Other sorts of poetry, almost have we none, but that lyrical kind of songs and sonnets, which, if the Lord gave us so good minds, how well it might be employed, and with how heavenly fruits, both private and public in singing the praises of the immortal beauty, the immortal goodness of that God, who giveth as hands to write, and wits to conceive; of which we might well want words, but never matter; of which we could turn our eyes to nothing, but we should ever have new budding occasions. But, truly, many of such writings as come under the banner of irresistible love, if I were a mistress, would never persuade me they were in love; so coldly they apply fiery speeches, as men that had rather read lovers’ writings, and so caught up certain swelling phrases, which hang together — like a man which once told me, ‘the wind was at northwest and by south,’ because he would be sure to name winds enough — than that, in truth, they feel those passions, which easily, as I think, may be bewrayed by the same forcibleness, or energia (as the Greeks call it), of the writer. But let this be a sufficient, though short note, that we miss the right use of the material point of poesy.

Now for the outside of it, which is words, or, as I may term it, diction, it is even well worse; so is that honey-flowing matron Eloquence, appareled, or rather disguised, in a courtesan-like painted affectation. One time with so far-fetched words, that may seem monsters, but must seem strangers to any poor Englishman: another time with coursing of a letter, as if they were bound to follow the method of a dictionary: another time with figures and flowers, extremely winter-starved.

But I would this fault were only peculiar to versifiers, and had not as large possession among prose printers: and, which is to be marveled, among many scholars, and, which is to be pitied, among some preachers. Truly, I could wish (if at least I might be so bold to wish, in a thing beyond the reach of my capacity) the diligent imitators of Tully and Demosthenes, most worthy to be imitated, did not so much keep Nizolian paper-books of their figures and phrases, as by attentive translation, as it were, devour them whose, and make them wholly theirs. For now they cast sugar and spice upon every dish that is served to the table: like those Indians, not content to wear earrings at the fit and natural place of the ears, but they will thrust jewels through their nose and lips, because they will be sure to be fine. Tully, when he was to drive out Catiline, as it were with a thunderbolt of eloquence, often used the figure of repetition.

So that since the ever praiseworthy poesy is full of virtue-breeding delightfulness, and void of no gift that ought to be in the noble name of learning; since the blames laid against it are either false or feeble; since the cause why it is not esteemed in England is the fault of poet-apes, not poets; since, lastly, our tongue is most fit to honor poesy, and to be honored by poesy; I conjure you all that have had the evil luck to read this inkwasting toy of mine, even in the name of the Nine Muses, no more to scorn the sacred mysteries of poesy; not more to laugh at the name of poets, as though they were next inheritors to fools; no more to jest at the reverend title of a rimer; but to believe, with Aristotle, that they were the ancient treasurers of the Grecians’ divinity; to believe, with Bembus, that they were the first bringers in of all civility; to believe, with Clauserus, the translator of Cornutus, that it pleased the heavenly deity by Hesiod and Homer, under the veil of fables, to give us all knowledge, logic, rhetoric, philosophy natural and moral, and Quid non? [Why not] to believe, with me, that there are many mysteries contained in poetry, which of purpose were written darkly, lest by profane wits it should be abused; to believe, with Landin, that they are so beloved of the gods that whatsoever they write proceeds of a divine fury. Lastly, to believe themselves, when they tell you they will make you immortal by their verses.

Thus doing, your names shall flourish in the printers’ shops: thus doing, you shall be of kin to many a poetical preface: thus doing, you shall be most fair, most rich, most wise, most all: you shall dwell upon superlatives; thus doing, though you  be Libertino patre natus [Born of a freedman father], you shall suddenly grow Herculea proles [Descendant of Hercules],

Si quid mea Carmina possunt:

[If my poems are good for anything]

Thus doing, your soul shall be placed with Dante’s Beatrice, or Virgil’s Anchises.

But if (fie of such a but!) you be born so near the dull-making cataract of Nilus, that you cannot hear the planet-like music of poetry; if you have so earth-creeping a mind, that it cannot lift itself up to look to the sky of poetry, or rather, by a certain rustical disdain, will become such a Mome, as to be a Momus of poetry; then, though I will not wish unto you the ass’s ears of Midas, nor to be driven by a poet’s verses, as Bubonax was, to hang himself; nor to be rimed to death, as is said to be down in Ireland; yet thus much curse I must send you in the behalf of all poets; that while you live, you live in love, and never get favor, for lacking skill of a sonnet; and when you die, your memory die from the earth for want of an epitaph.

Kimberley Formosa © 2011

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By making us stop for a moment, poetry gives us an opportunity to think about ourselves as human beings on this planet and what we mean to each other. ~Rita Dove

Dear Reader,

I am pleased to announce that the members of the Allegheny Valley Poets have published our first book of poetry!
Allow me to introduce you to the poets:
Brian Bell was born in Crabtree, Pennsylvania. He was the 1997 valedictorian of Duquesne University‘s McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts. He lives in Chruchill, Pa with his wife Sheila, six-year-old son Parker, and two-year-old daughter Selina. Brian writes with frankness and truth. He can take a memory or an experience and chisel it out on the page so that as you read his work, you might also touch it.
Julie Cecchini lives in Penn Hills, PA. She is a member of Allegheny Valley Poets, Monroeville Poets and Penn Hills Writers Workshop. Her poems have appeared in various journals. Julie always finds a way through her words to make us smile and laugh.
Arthur Erbe, who lives in Oakmont, teaches literature at the University of Pittsburgh. He enjoys classical music, playing the piano, reading books on his Kindle and attending creative writing workshops. Arthur is the leader of our poetry group, Allegheny Valley Poets, and rallies us all together to learn and share through different venues such as workshops and public readings.
Charles Erdeljac lives in Oakmont, Pennsylvania and has worked in education for thirty-eight years. He and his wife Susan enjoy their four children and three grandchildren. Chuck is a writer who through any experience can portray the power of emotion to draw the reader in and to contemplate that which has been said.
Kimberley Formosa (me 😉 )is the mother of six children and has one granddaughter. She is a Registered Nurse and enjoys volunteering in the community of Oakmont. In her free time she enjoys dwelling upon the written word penned by others or from the ink that pours from the pen in hand.
Michael Frachioni lives with his wife Christie in Penn Hills, where they revel in their children Maggie, Charlie,  and Peter. Michael is a great man with the strength to portray his poetry with gentleness.
Elaine Morris is an artist working and exhibiting in many forms of media. The Permanent Collection of Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Museum of Art includes her works. Her life in small towns along the Ohio and Allegheny Rivers is an ongoing theme in her poetry. She lives in Oakmont. Elaine also provided the original and beautiful cover design for our book.
Amber Savka, a former English teacher now full-time mother of three, lives in Penn Hills where she spends her days caring for and teaching her children. In those rare quiet moments, she writes and plays the piano. Amber has the talent to take a moment and present it to the reader in an intimate setting. As though she were writing for you, and you alone.
Writing on Water can be purchased several places in Oakmont, Pennsylvania: Cafe Vita , Mystery Lover’s Bookshop, Hippie House Coffee, as well as the Oakmont Carnegie Library. There are also books of poetry that can be purchased at the University of Pittsburgh Bookstore.  If you are interested in receiving a book via USPS, just contact me and I will take care of you!
All proceeds will benefit the Oakmont Carnegie Library.
I would like to thank all who have been involved in the writing, designing, editing, publishing, and marketing of Writing On Water. A very special thank you to Paul Bolam for his generous contribution for the printing.
Thank you dear reader for all of your love and support!

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The Church at Auvers-sur-Oise

Image via Wikipedia

Dear Reader,

This post today, this 3rd day of October, 2010, is my 100th post. I am in gratitude to you and your encouragement through your comments and in our conversations. I have been writing creatively for most of my life. Several of my dearest friends inspired me throughout the years to pursue something more than treasuring my thoughts in journals and on scraps of paper.

My 100th post seems almost surreal. I can hardly believe that I could accomplish such a feat and to present my writings creatively and artistically along with different forms of visual art.

To all of my subscribers I wish to express a heart of thanksgiving for your faithfulness to me. To all of my viewers, thank you for visiting and I truly hope that you are encouraged to notice the little details in life, to see the motives in another, and to realize that He who has created you loves you incredibly.

While I am sitting here writing this letter to you, my spirit trembles with excitement as well as some sadness. I think it would be appropriate to say ‘bittersweet’ thoughts are grasping my attention. I love writing poetry. That is who I am. I am a poet. Yet I have always had a desire to write something even more substantial. About a month ago now, I received a most exciting idea for a novel. I have always wanted to write a novel but never had any idea of what I would write about. Now I have characters full of emotion and desires and scenes aching to be penned. The plot needs to unravel and I am the one that must heed the direction from within.

I really have no idea what to expect since I have never done anything like this before but I will still write and post as often as I can. I am just expecting that it may not be as frequent as it has been. I promise to remain faithful to you and share the thoughts, inspirations, and musings of my life, which leads me to an observation that truly needed my consideration and realization.

Have you desired your entire life, thus far, to accomplish something that you find day after day to be unattainable? The knowledge of failure in a certain area can become frustrating, overwhelming, and at times even haunting to the point of disturbing your sleep and your dreams.

Well, as stated above, I have finally accepted my inability to be a strikingly beautiful artist of pencil, pastel, ink, watercolor, and oil; but I also realize that when my imagination beholds something beautiful, I must be faithful to endeavor towards the challenge to reveal what has inhabited the interior. Though there may be imperfections of an untrained and rustic artist, my hope would be that the portrait of the artist would reveal the beauty of the spirit.

Praying for symmetry~

Yours truly,


Kimberley Formosa © 2010

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