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Weekly poetry thread.
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Aunt Dora Baggins
Half-elven


Nov 8 2012, 1:33pm

Post #1 of 38 (317 views)
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Weekly poetry thread. Can't Post

Time to pick one of your favorite poems again and post it here.

This week I'm going with John Ciardi. I grew up with his book "You Read to Me, I'll Read to You". I have most of the poems in there memorized. A couple of weeks ago several people posted some rather dream-like poems, and many of his are like that. It's hard to choose just one, but here's one that's always haunted me a bit. I'm typing from memory.

My Horse Jack
by John Ciardi

My horse Jack ran off to sea.
In ten years he came back to me
With a smell of salt and a smell of tar
And three little sea-horses swimming in a jar.

And he ate my oats, and he ate my hay,
And he did no work, and all he'd say
Was, "I met my love when the sea was blue.
I loved her, and she loved me true.

I lost my love when the sea was black.
She swam away and she never swam back.
So I tucked my babies into a jar,
And here I am, and here they are."

And he ate my oats, and he ate my hay,
And he did no work, and that's all he'd say.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"For DORA BAGGINS in memory of a LONG correspondence, with love from Bilbo; on a large wastebasket. Dora was Drogo's sister, and the eldest surviving female relative of Bilbo and Frodo; she was ninety-nine, and had written reams of good advice for more than half a century."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"A Chance Meeting at Rivendell" and other stories

leleni at hotmail dot com
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



batik
Tol Eressea


Nov 8 2012, 4:00pm

Post #2 of 38 (190 views)
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Frost [In reply to] Can't Post

Another from the long ago...Robert Frost's Nothing Gold Can Stay.
I came across this in 1977/1978 while reading S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders. A part of me recalls the feeling of ...discovery (?? -- an inhale/exhale feeling, anyway) and I am certain this is the time when I really got into poetry--reading and writing (yeah, the young teen angsty stuff! )

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf,
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day
Nothing gold can stay.


(This post was edited by batik on Nov 8 2012, 4:01pm)


Ciars
Rohan


Nov 8 2012, 6:44pm

Post #3 of 38 (203 views)
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not strictly a poem.... [In reply to] Can't Post

more lyrics to a song, still counts as poetry to me though!
When I was a student I worked at a summer camp and one campfire song really touched me, I've always remembered it. I think it's an appropriate song probably for most Tornadoes,
after all, it's the magic of Tolkien's writing that has brought the tornsibs together!

Magic

When I was young I thought that stars were made for wishing on
And every hole within a tree must hide a leprechaun
Old houses all had secret rooms if you could find the key
All these things were magical to me

Magic is the sun that makes a rainbow out of rain
And magic keeps the dream alive to try and try again
Magic is the love that stays when good friends have to leave
I do believe in magic,I believe

When I grew up, the grownups said, I'd wake one day and find
That magic was a childish game I'd have to leave behind
Like clothing that no longer fit and toys that I'd ignore
I'd not believe in magic anymore

But now that I have grown I've found, much to my surprise
That magic did not fade away, it took a new disguise
A child, a friend, a smile, a song, the courage to stand tall
And love's the greatest magic of them all


(This post was edited by Ciars on Nov 8 2012, 6:45pm)


Ciars
Rohan


Nov 8 2012, 7:01pm

Post #4 of 38 (180 views)
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An interesting poem! [In reply to] Can't Post

My horse Jack
For some reason I can't reply directly to the main post in the thread!

"And he ate my oats, and he ate my hay,
And he did no work, and that's all he'd say."


A sinister layer runs through the poem, I really liked the undercurrent!


Kimi
Forum Admin / Moderator


Nov 8 2012, 8:00pm

Post #5 of 38 (214 views)
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Country School [In reply to] Can't Post

by Allen Curnow (a Kiwi poet)

Country School

You know the school; you call it old —
Scrub-worn floors and paint all peeled
On barge-board, weatherboard and gibbet belfry.

Pinus betrays, with rank tufts topping
The roof-ridge, scattering bravely
Nor'west gale as a reef its waves
While the small girls squeal at skipping
And magpies hoot from the eaves.

For scantling Pinus stands mature
In less than the life of a man;
The rusty saplings, the school, and you
Together your lives began.

O sweet antiquity! Look, the stone
That skinned your knees. How small
Are the terrible doors; how sad the dunny
And the things you drew on the wall.

--
"My Horse Jack" is wonderfully unsettling, ADB! Such an evocation of sadness, but the reader is made uneasy as well as sad.


The Passing of Mistress Rose
My historical novels

Do we find happiness so often that we should turn it off the box when it happens to sit there?

- A Room With a View


Aunt Dora Baggins
Half-elven


Nov 8 2012, 8:25pm

Post #6 of 38 (154 views)
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What a great word-picture! [In reply to] Can't Post

You feel like you're really standing there. And yes, those old places sure seem smaller now.

John Ciardi's poems are often slightly unsettling. It's magnified by the fact that Edward Gorey illustrated the book :-)


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"For DORA BAGGINS in memory of a LONG correspondence, with love from Bilbo; on a large wastebasket. Dora was Drogo's sister, and the eldest surviving female relative of Bilbo and Frodo; she was ninety-nine, and had written reams of good advice for more than half a century."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"A Chance Meeting at Rivendell" and other stories

leleni at hotmail dot com
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Aunt Dora Baggins
Half-elven


Nov 8 2012, 8:28pm

Post #7 of 38 (154 views)
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I like that a lot! [In reply to] Can't Post

It reminds me a bit of the Shel Silverstein poem "Magic":

Sandra's seen a leprechaun,
Eddie touched a troll,
Laurie danced with witches once,
Charlie found some goblins' gold.
Donald heard a mermaid sing,
Susy spied an elf,
But all the magic I have known
I've had to make myself.

--Shel Silverstein


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"For DORA BAGGINS in memory of a LONG correspondence, with love from Bilbo; on a large wastebasket. Dora was Drogo's sister, and the eldest surviving female relative of Bilbo and Frodo; she was ninety-nine, and had written reams of good advice for more than half a century."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"A Chance Meeting at Rivendell" and other stories

leleni at hotmail dot com
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Aunt Dora Baggins
Half-elven


Nov 8 2012, 8:30pm

Post #8 of 38 (159 views)
Shortcut
Sweet and sad. [In reply to] Can't Post

I remember loving that kind of melancholy as a teen too.

Why am I thinking of "All that is gold does not glitter" right now?


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"For DORA BAGGINS in memory of a LONG correspondence, with love from Bilbo; on a large wastebasket. Dora was Drogo's sister, and the eldest surviving female relative of Bilbo and Frodo; she was ninety-nine, and had written reams of good advice for more than half a century."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"A Chance Meeting at Rivendell" and other stories

leleni at hotmail dot com
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



wendy woo
Rivendell


Nov 9 2012, 12:43am

Post #9 of 38 (154 views)
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All the poems here are really good today, IMO!! [In reply to] Can't Post

I've got a couple of old favorites. Forgive me if they are a little simplistic.

"Trees" by Joyce Kilmer

I think that I shall never see
A poem as lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

I heard a choral arrangement a long time ago that is based on this lovely poem. It was beautiful to hear.

This next poem is a problem because I can remember neither the title nor the author. I just committed it to memory as a child. One of these days I might turn it into a cross-stitch sampler!

Larkspur and Hollyhock,
Pink Rose and Purple Stock.
Lovely-smelling Mignonettes,
Lilies not quite opened yet.
Phlox, the favorite of the bees,
Bleeding Heart and Peonies--
All these names are nice to say,
Softly, on a summer's day.

"We named the monkey Jack."


wendy woo
Rivendell


Nov 9 2012, 12:45am

Post #10 of 38 (163 views)
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I'd forgotten that it was in The Outsiders! [In reply to] Can't Post

Some of Frost's best poems were his shortest!

"We named the monkey Jack."


Annael
Half-elven


Nov 9 2012, 2:13am

Post #11 of 38 (149 views)
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This one has a lot of meaning for me [In reply to] Can't Post

The Layers
by Stanley Kunitz

I have walked through many lives,
some of them my own,
and I am not who I was,
though some principle of being
abides, from which I struggle
not to stray.

When I look behind,
as I am compelled to look
before I can gather strength
to proceed on my journey,
I see the milestones dwindling
toward the horizon
and the slow fires tailing
from the abandoned camp-sites,
over which scavenger angels
wheel on heavy wings.

Oh, I have made myself a tribe
out of my true affections,
and my tribe is scattered!
How shall the heart be reconciled
to its feast of losses?
In a rising wind
the manic dust of my friends,
those who fell along the way,
bitterly stings my face.

Yet I turn, I turn,
exulting somewhat,
with my will intact to go
wherever I need to go,
and every stone on the road
precious to me.

In my darkest night,
when the moon was covered
and I roamed through wreckage,
a nimbus-clouded voice
directed me:
"Live in the layers,
not on the litter."

Though I lack the art
to decipher it,
no doubt the next chapter
in my book of transformations
is already written.
I am not done with my changes.

The way we imagine our lives is the way we are going to go on living our lives.

- James Hillman, Healing Fiction

* * * * * * * * * *

NARF and member of Deplorable Cultus since 1967

(This post was edited by Annael on Nov 9 2012, 2:14am)


Annael
Half-elven


Nov 9 2012, 2:19am

Post #12 of 38 (179 views)
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that's "Names" by Dorothy Aldis // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

The way we imagine our lives is the way we are going to go on living our lives.

- James Hillman, Healing Fiction

* * * * * * * * * *

NARF and member of Deplorable Cultus since 1967


Tintallë
Gondor


Nov 9 2012, 3:12am

Post #13 of 38 (143 views)
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Wild Grapes - Robert Frost [In reply to] Can't Post

I remember my dad reading this to me before bed. Robert Frost was his favorite poet, and this particular poem was my favorite when I was a kid. I still love Frost beyond all others.

Wild Grapes


What tree may not the fig be gathered from?
The grape may not be gathered from the birch?
It's all you know the grape, or know the birch.
As a girl gathered from the birch myself
Equally with my weight in grapes, one autumn,
I ought to know what tree the grape is fruit of.
I was born, I suppose, like anyone,
And grew to be a little boyish girl
My brother could not always leave at home.
But that beginning was wiped out in fear
The day I swung suspended with the grapes,
And was come after like Eurydice
And brought down safely from the upper regions;
And the life I live now's an extra life
I can waste as I please on whom I please.
So if you see me celebrate two birthdays,
And give myself out of two different ages,
One of them five years younger than I look--
One day my brother led me to a glade
Where a white birch he knew of stood alone,
Wearing a thin head-dress of pointed leaves,
And heavy on her heavy hair behind,
Against her neck, an ornament of grapes.
Grapes, I knew grapes from having seen them last year.
One bunch of them, and there began to be
Bunches all round me growing in white birches,
The way they grew round Leif the Lucky's German;
Mostly as much beyond my lifted hands, though,
As the moon used to seem when I was younger,
And only freely to be had for climbing.
My brother did the climbing; and at first
Threw me down grapes to miss and scatter
And have to hunt for in sweet fern and hardhack;
Which gave him some time to himself to eat,
But not so much, perhaps, as a boy needed.
So then, to make me wholly self-supporting,
He climbed still higher and bent the tree to earth
And put it in my hands to pick my own grapes.
"Here, take a tree-top, I'll get down another.
Hold on with all your might when I let go."
I said I had the tree. It wasn't true.
The opposite was true. The tree had me.
The minute it was left with me alone
It caught me up as if I were the fish
And it the fishpole. So I was translated
To loud cries from my brother of "Let go!
Don't you know anything, you girl? Let go!"
But I, with something of the baby grip
Acquired ancestrally in just such trees
When wilder mothers than our wildest now
Hung babies out on branches by the hands
To dry or wash or tan, I don't know which,
(You'll have to ask an evolutionist)--
I held on uncomplainingly for life.
My brother tried to make me laugh to help me.
"What are you doing up there in those grapes?
Don't be afraid. A few of them won't hurt you.
I mean, they won't pick you if you don't them."
Much danger of my picking anything!
By that time I was pretty well reduced
To a philosophy of hang-and-let-hang.
"Now you know how it feels," my brother said,
"To be a bunch of fox-grapes, as they call them,
That when it thinks it has escaped the fox
By growing where it shouldn't--on a birch,
Where a fox wouldn't think to look for it--
And if he looked and found it, couldn't reach it--
Just then come you and I to gather it.
Only you have the advantage of the grapes
In one way: you have one more stem to cling by,
And promise more resistance to the picker."
One by one I lost off my hat and shoes,
And still I clung. I let my head fall back,
And shut my eyes against the sun, my ears
Against my brother's nonsense; "Drop," he said,
"I'll catch you in my arms. It isn't far."
(Stated in lengths of him it might not be.)
"Drop or I'll shake the tree and shake you down."
Grim silence on my part as I sank lower,
My small wrists stretching till they showed the banjo strings.
"Why, if she isn't serious about it!
Hold tight awhile till I think what to do.
I'll bend the tree down and let you down by it."
I don't know much about the letting down;
But once I felt ground with my stocking feet
And the world came revolving back to me,
I know I looked long at my curled-up fingers,
Before I straightened them and brushed the bark off.
My brother said: "Don't you weigh anything?
Try to weigh something next time, so you won't
Be run off with by birch trees into space."
It wasn't my not weighing anything
So much as my not knowing anything--
My brother had been nearer right before.
I had not taken the first step in knowledge;
I had not learned to let go with the hands,
As still I have not learned to with the heart,
And have no wish to with the heart--nor need,
That I can see. The mind--is not the heart.
I may yet live, as I know others live,
To wish in vain to let go with the mind--
Of cares, at night, to sleep; but nothing tells me
That I need learn to let go with the heart.


Magpie
Immortal


Nov 9 2012, 3:28am

Post #14 of 38 (161 views)
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a fall haiku [In reply to] Can't Post

Morning-misted street...
.....With white ink an artist brushes
A dream of people
....................................Buson


LOTR soundtrack website ~ magpie avatar gallery
TORn History Mathom-house ~ Torn Image Posting Guide


divine hobbit
The Shire


Nov 9 2012, 5:12pm

Post #15 of 38 (135 views)
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lovelovelove this poem [In reply to] Can't Post

When I used to teach middle school I would always assign The Outsiders as a book we'd read together as a class and we'd always have amazing discussions about this poem.


divine hobbit
The Shire


Nov 9 2012, 5:16pm

Post #16 of 38 (136 views)
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The Patience of Ordinary Things [In reply to] Can't Post

It is a kind of love, is it not?
How the cup holds the tea,
How the chair stands sturdy and foursquare,
How the floor receives the bottoms of shoes
Or toes. How soles of feet know
Where they're supposed to be.
I've been thinking about the patience
Of ordinary things, how clothes
Wait respectfully in closets
And soap dries quietly in the dish,
And towels drink the wet
From the skin of the back.
And the lovely repetition of stairs.
And what is more generous than a window?
~ Pat Schneider


Ethel Duath
Valinor


Nov 9 2012, 11:21pm

Post #17 of 38 (152 views)
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One of my grandmother's favorites, plus a Poet Laureate below that. [In reply to] Can't Post

that she used to love to read to me. We were both partial to swings!Smile

The Swing By Robert Louis Stevenson
"How do you like to go up in a swing, Up in the air so blue? Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing Ever a child can do!
Up in the air and over the wall, Till I can see so wide, Rivers and trees and cattle and all Over the countryside—
Till I look down on the garden green, Down on the roof so brown— Up in the air I go flying again, Up in the air and down!"
--------------
And then I found these. I have one of his books, but hadn't seen these before. One I got started, I couldn't stop posting! Sorry for kinda overdoing it . . .

Here's a short intro and then the poems.

Ted Kooser (US Poet Laureate in 2004) from my home state of Nebraska

Though Kooser does not consider himself a regional poet, his work often takes place in a recognizably Mid-western setting; when Kooser was named US Poet Laureate in 2004, he was described by the librarian of Congress as “‘the first poet laureate chosen from the Great Plains.” However, David Mason in the Prairie Schooner saw Kooser’s work as more than merely regional, arguing that Kooser’s vision was actually universal: Kooser, Mason wrote, “has mostly made short poems about perception itself, the signs of human habitation, the uncertainty of human knowledge and accomplishment.”

(To read these, just click on the black poem title underneath the sound file, not the one at the top.)

Walking on Tiptoe: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/features/audioitem/610

Abandoned Farmhouse: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/237648

An Epiphany: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/features/audioitem/688

A Letter in October: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/171349

A Room in the Past: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/171343


(This post was edited by dernwyn on Nov 10 2012, 2:23am)


wendy woo
Rivendell


Nov 9 2012, 11:41pm

Post #18 of 38 (142 views)
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Thanks for sharing this one! [In reply to] Can't Post

I love it! Smile

"We named the monkey Jack."


wendy woo
Rivendell


Nov 9 2012, 11:42pm

Post #19 of 38 (139 views)
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Thanks! [In reply to] Can't Post

Wink

"We named the monkey Jack."


Aunt Dora Baggins
Half-elven


Nov 10 2012, 12:19am

Post #20 of 38 (128 views)
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I especially like this line: [In reply to] Can't Post

"Oh, I have made myself a tribe
out of my true affections,"

Makes me think of TORn :-)


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"For DORA BAGGINS in memory of a LONG correspondence, with love from Bilbo; on a large wastebasket. Dora was Drogo's sister, and the eldest surviving female relative of Bilbo and Frodo; she was ninety-nine, and had written reams of good advice for more than half a century."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"A Chance Meeting at Rivendell" and other stories

leleni at hotmail dot com
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Aunt Dora Baggins
Half-elven


Nov 10 2012, 12:22am

Post #21 of 38 (130 views)
Shortcut
Beautiful. [In reply to] Can't Post

I'd never read that before. The idea of "letting go" came up with another friend today; there must be something in the air. :-)

I really liked this part:

So if you see me celebrate two birthdays,
And give myself out of two different ages,
One of them five years younger than I look--
One day my brother led me to a glade
Where a white birch he knew of stood alone,
Wearing a thin head-dress of pointed leaves,
And heavy on her heavy hair behind,
Against her neck, an ornament of grapes.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"For DORA BAGGINS in memory of a LONG correspondence, with love from Bilbo; on a large wastebasket. Dora was Drogo's sister, and the eldest surviving female relative of Bilbo and Frodo; she was ninety-nine, and had written reams of good advice for more than half a century."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"A Chance Meeting at Rivendell" and other stories

leleni at hotmail dot com
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Aunt Dora Baggins
Half-elven


Nov 10 2012, 12:24am

Post #22 of 38 (127 views)
Shortcut
Very visual! [In reply to] Can't Post

We don't get morning mist much here, and I love it when we do, so that was nice to read.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"For DORA BAGGINS in memory of a LONG correspondence, with love from Bilbo; on a large wastebasket. Dora was Drogo's sister, and the eldest surviving female relative of Bilbo and Frodo; she was ninety-nine, and had written reams of good advice for more than half a century."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"A Chance Meeting at Rivendell" and other stories

leleni at hotmail dot com
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Aunt Dora Baggins
Half-elven


Nov 10 2012, 12:25am

Post #23 of 38 (129 views)
Shortcut
I first heard this one from the pulpit too. [In reply to] Can't Post

So many nice poems in this thread!


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"For DORA BAGGINS in memory of a LONG correspondence, with love from Bilbo; on a large wastebasket. Dora was Drogo's sister, and the eldest surviving female relative of Bilbo and Frodo; she was ninety-nine, and had written reams of good advice for more than half a century."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"A Chance Meeting at Rivendell" and other stories

leleni at hotmail dot com
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Aunt Dora Baggins
Half-elven


Nov 10 2012, 12:26am

Post #24 of 38 (125 views)
Shortcut
I'll have to look at these later :-) // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"For DORA BAGGINS in memory of a LONG correspondence, with love from Bilbo; on a large wastebasket. Dora was Drogo's sister, and the eldest surviving female relative of Bilbo and Frodo; she was ninety-nine, and had written reams of good advice for more than half a century."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"A Chance Meeting at Rivendell" and other stories

leleni at hotmail dot com
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



divine hobbit
The Shire


Nov 10 2012, 1:06am

Post #25 of 38 (142 views)
Shortcut
okay you're freaking me out [In reply to] Can't Post

because the last few poems I've posted you've heard at church and while none of them are expressly religious it cracks me up because I'm an Episcopal priest--so obviously there's *something* there!

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