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I love Dr. Seuss, Mother Goose, and William Blake. I have also mentioned my distaste for Frost and Dickenson. I bet you are wondering who could I possible add to my list of poets I enjoy reading. Wonder no more...the second poet in "My Favorite Poets Series" is none other than the bard himself, William Shakespeare.
Like most of you, I was introduced to Shakespeare via his plays. They were required reading for my English classes in high school, and, with one exception, I read everything I was required to read.
Shakespeare's plays seemed to flow so smoothly. I loved them all but my favorites were his comedies, A Midsummer Night's Dream holding the top spot. All the mayhem caused by the fairies and Pan were delightful! His tragedies and histories were written in the same style. I am sure I am not the only one who memorized the "To be or not to be" soliquy of Macbeth.
Now you may be wondering why I am talking about his plays, since this is a post about poets. Well, the fact is Shakespeare wrote all his plays in the poetic form called blank verse! That is the reason they flowed for me. His style was smooth and eloquent at the same time.
After reading 4 of his plays, I sought out his sonnets, which were his other main format. I found them to be as easy to read and understand as his plays. He wrote on many themes: love, beauty, morality, and jealousy, to name a few.
My favorites are the ones that use the nature herself to express his thoughts.
From Sonnet 18
Sometimes too hot the eye of heaven shines
And often is his gold complexion dimmed;
And every fair from fair sometimes declines,
By chance or nature's changing course untrimmed;
From Sonnet 73
In me thou see'st the twilight of such a day
As after sunset fadeth in the west;
Which by and by black night dot take away,
Death's second selc, that seals up all in rest.
From Sonnet 130
I have seen roses damasked, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
From Sonnet 97
What freezings I have felt, what dark days seen!
What old December's bareness everywhere!
And yet this time remov'd was summer's time,
The teeming autumn, big with rich increase,
Bearing the wanton burden of the prime,
Like widow'd wombs after their lords' decease:
He is eloquent and his verses paint a vivid picture in my mind.
I love reading his sonnets, but, as a poet, I am amazed at the ease with which he writes in this format. Sonnets are a very precise form, which I am unable to use. For me it seems to be too complex to achieve.
So, William Shakespeare is another favorite poet. I loved his blank verse plays as well as his strict sonnet poems.
© Cindy J. Smith
English is a curious, complex, and crazy language. Not least of which are the -nyms.
You may use these in everyday language and not give a second thought unless you’re like me – a wordsmith and amateur etymologist – and such curiosities intrigue you.
Many of us have heard the term ‘Synonym’ – but what does it mean?
A word or phrase that means exactly or nearly the same as another word or phrase in the same language, for example shut is a synonym of close.
Shut / Close*
Far / Distant
Evil / Wicked / Bad / Malevolent
Push / Shove
Jump / Leap
Create / Make
Near / Close*
*See examples below as Close (as in near) and Close (as in close a door) are also Homonyms.
It’s likely you’ve used homonyms regularly but might not have been aware that’s what they were called.
What is a Homonym?
This is more complex – as there are several linguist concepts related to homonyms.
Homographs -words that share the same spelling – regardless of meaning.
Desert (arid region) and desert (to leave)
Bark (the covering on a tree) and bark (the sound a dog makes) * This is also a homonym (as it sounds the same)
Lime (the fruit) and lime (the chemical/material)
Rose (the flower) and rose (to travel upwards)
Tear (to rip) and tear (a drop of moisture from the eye)
Heterophones – words that share the same spelling but are pronounced differently.
Bow (as in bow tie, or violin bow or the weapon) and bow (as in bow of a ship or take a bow) * These are also Heteronyms as they pronounced differently.
Row (as in row a boat or stand in a row) and row (as in argue with one’s spouse) *Also a Heteronym.
Homophones – words that sound the same – regardless of spelling.
Threw (as in threw a ball)/through (to pass through something)
To (the place - go to somewhere)/Two (the number/amount)/Too (also – I want to come too)
Their (Possessive – Their house, their dog etc/There (location – there is the house, there is the dog)/They’re (contract of they are).
For (the ball is for Alex, the knife is for cutting) /Four (the number)/Fore (the front part/golfing term).
Wind (the wind is blowing today)/wind (to wind up a watch) or windy – it is windy today/this road winds around the village.
Antonym - Words with opposite meaning
Add / Subtract
Happy / Sad
Open / Close
Lie / Truth
Contronym (also known as a Janus word) a word having two meanings that contradict one another (also contranym)
– Merrium Webster definition called also antagonym, autoantonym, Janus word
(Janus was the Roman god of doorways and portals – he was the chap with two faces).
Aught – all or nothing,
Cleave – to separate and to join together,
Buckle – to fasten or secure and to bend/warp under pressure,
Dust (verb)– to sprinkle with fine particles (such as dust a cake), or to remove fine particles (to dust a shelf),
Overlook – to fail to see something, or to monitor or inspect,
Fine – excellent or just good enough,
Sanction – to approve or boycott.
For further examples – check HERE
Words that have the same spelling but different meanings if one is capitalized
Polish (from Poland)/polish (to shine something) and Pole (citizen of Poland)/pole (a long piece of wood or metal)
March (the month)/march (walk in step or border territory).
August (the month)/august (respected)
Turkey (the country)/turkey (the bird consumed at Christmas)
Scotch (from Scotland)/scotch (the drink or to scotch a rumour)
Frank (the name)/frank (honesty or to postmark a letter)
Slough (the place)/slough (to shed the skin)
Mass (the religious gathering)/mass (a large object/gathering)
Confused? I’m not surprised.
© A.L. Butcher
Morning routines and habits by P.J. Mann
When stress, crazy timetables, not-so-smart working schedules make us burned out, we all wish we could take a holiday. But we must keep going and waking up in the morning needs something more than just an alarm clock.
However we all have our ways to overcome the tiredness and to kick-start our days. Some people jump out of bed at the first sound of the alarm ready to face the day. Others require an hour long self-persuasion about the great things that are going to happen during that day (which generally is more a self-bribing and often turning into self-blackmailing).
I have always been an early bird, so in the morning it’s a game of who is waking up first. Me, or the alarm clock? Then the real kick-start is when I brew my first morning cup of coffee at the office.
There’s something magic about being the first one to arrive. The silence, the tranquility of having the common spaces for myself, and enjoying my first morning cup in quiet as I read the first emails.
Things are not much different during the weekends or holidays. I am always the first one to wake up in the morning, and nothing wakes me up better than some quality time with my favorite cup of coffee.
Since we are all different and have different routines and habits, I'm curious to find out what’s your way of kick-starting the day.
Singing in the shower?
A cup of tea or coffee?
Quality time having breakfast and reading the news?
Tell me about it!
About scammers by Slate R. Raven
or someOver the evolution of our species there has always been things we call parasites, better known to everyone else as “Scammers!” These loathsome creatures have been among us from the first civilization. Back in those days they came door to door, how horrible that must’ve been for us regular folks. However, as time progressed from snake oils and miracle cures, no wait we still have people trying to sell us that today. . . What I meant to say was as technology got more advanced the easier it was for these infestations to invade our daily lives. It started with the telephone, and that was bad enough. They called at all hours until a regulatory force was placed in charge of them disrupting our natural cycles.
Internet and emails
Next came the internet and a thing called e-mail, that brought new trouble with it. They now had ways to find out information on you to try to make it seem as though they were friends there to bring you aid just when you needed it the most. We put out all our information out in our profiles because it was new it was neat and exciting! At first, we didn’t think to hide or mask ourselves because who out there would want to do us harm? (Enter forehead slap here.)
As a generation we grew more intelligent, at least more aware of what people were trying to do. According to an independent news source, new scams and shams are created at a rate of a single new one every two minutes. What can we as consumers do?
Well lately they hide behind email address blinds, so always check who you’d be replying to, the e-mail may say “Amazon” or “Best Buy” but it’s usually “firstname.lastname@example.org” or some other bogus email.
With phone calls if you don’t recognize the number don’t answer it, if it’s worthwhile a message will be left. Caution Scammers will also leave messages with numbers to call, unless you have a reason to dial that number; don’t! We’re even getting calls from what is supposed to be our banks, with notices of fraud. This is alarming and most people will immediately call back the number given by the recorded message, they “verify their information” now the scammers have access to your bank information. Always call the number on the back of your credit or debit card.
You’ll also probably run into these fantastic deals, free stuff if you only pay shipping and handling. Here’s the rub. As an author I’ve sent books via mail before, so I know the approximate cost. In almost all cases of free books or free items the shipping is at least 5-10 dollars higher than it really costs to ship items. Amazon Prime didn’t bankrupt Amazon when they released it so you can be sure cheaper shipping exists. I’m a patriot so I get a lot of mail from second amendment groups and other groups that are trying to make a difference. Mixed in with that lot is always a jerk telling me how guns will soon be outlawed, and they can show you how to make your own gun with tools you have in your home. Just pay for shipping and handling and their book will be on your doorstep.
If they wanted me to have that book for free, they could have set up a download for a PDF, for free. You’re gonna tell me that your sixty-page book costs $12.95 to ship to me? Please give the general population a break we’re not all idiots, but too many people are. Don’t get me wrong. . . there are some great deals out there if you watch what you are doing. I got a fantastic knife, of outstanding quality, for $4.95 shipping and handling; however, it took seven pages of me saying no to their other offers to finish the transaction. That’s another key, take screen shots of the order page and everything until you’re done. Never leave your credit card number hanging because you don’t want to say no seven or eight times. They can take that as consent to you wanting all those extra items.
Also, you’ll get friend requests from hot girls or hot guys depending on your gender. 98% of these are phony profiles. Within a week or two they’ll ask for what they came for, a lot of men ask for naked pictures. (insert eyeroll) and many women ask you to help them with their phones so they can continue to talk to you. Of course, most of them have fallen madly in love with you within the first week. My personal favorite thing to do if I feel like playing with them, is wait until they ask for money then request, they send me their naked pictures. They become offended at the idea and ask, “how could I make such a horrible question?” I ask if it made them feel cheap and used, they usually say yes. Mainly because they stole these photos and don’t have nude photos to send. I tell them that’s how I feel when tramps I barely know ask me for money. This effectively ends the relationship, which is the main point.
Main thing to remember is to keep your wits about you. If you get a call, find a reason to disconnect and dial a number you know goes to that institution. The same goes with e-mails, chances are if you didn’t enter in a contest to win something, the awarding company isn’t likely legitimate. Always check email addresses, never use the call back numbers you’re given; always use the numbers you know. Your banks and credit card companies don’t mind, they’d rather you’re safe than sorry as well. Until there is a way to find and prosecute these scammers, we’re going to be stuck with them. So keep yourself educated and if it seems too good to be true, chance are it probably is too good to be true.
© Slate R. Raven, June 2021
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