A Bit of Singing from the Barbershop …

This may not be poetry … well actually, powerful and spine tingling vocal harmonies should be considered as poetry, when I think about it.

Following is the first informal performance of a couple of new songs from Hallmark of Harmony (aka the Sheffield Barbershop Harmony Club), whom I joined for a course they were running on barbershop singing, in August and September. During the six sessions of this course held over as many weeks, the chorus learnt the two songs from scratch to sing (of necessity, without the music). Since then, I have sung with them a couple more times, and have been invited to join them when they do a guest set at the Ladies Association of British Barbershop Singers (LABBS) National Convention in Harrogate in a week’s time. Scary! Whether or not I do join them on stage, depends on my progress in learning the five songs (and choreography!) that they will be singing on that Saturday night, 1st November …

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy these fairly rudimentary recordings of that first informal performance …

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

There follows a video of Hallmark of Harmony performing their set at the National Convention of the British Association of Barbershop Singers in Harrogate last May, at which, out of forty-eight choruses they won the Gold Medal. They are therefore the British champions and, in consequence, will be travelling to Pittsburgh, USA in June next year to perform as Britain’s representative barbershop chorus at the International Convention. Lots of work to do (and funds to raise) in the meantime.

Watch this space for more to come …

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READY, SET, GO … The backstory on 100,000 Poets for Change …

PoetJanstie:

A cause worthy of support, particularly if you are a writer, artist, musician or just someone with something to say about the state of the world, in this 100th year since the start of WW1 …

Originally posted on THE BARDO GROUP/BEGUINE AGAIN, Home of "The B Zine":

100_Thousand_Poets_for_Change_logoThe Bardo Group “100,000 Poets for Change” event page is HERE. Beginning 27 September (tomorrow), we’ll post work on Peace and Justice for one week as our participation. We invite others to link their own work to ours and, although the title is “poets” everyone (artists, activists, writers, musicians, bloggers) is welcome. Shortly after the event, we’ll collect your links into a page to create a commemorative collection like we did last year for Poets Against War.

More details are on The Bardo Group event page. Instruction on how to add your link will be provided on this blog within the text of each day’s post. We have designed our participation as a virtual event to accommodate bloggers and those who are homebound or otherwise unable to take to the streets. At least one core team member will visit your site if you link in and we hope that you will…

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… Chalice

PoetJanstie:

Haven’t put much out there lately, not that I haven’t been writing, just that I’m becoming more critical of my own work. This is the result of some more serious thought on a subject that is at the roots of my philosophical outlook and observations of human behaviour … and a bit of fun really.

Originally posted on THE BARDO GROUP/BEGUINE AGAIN, Home of "The B Zine":

Dear Earth, you are a sacred aqueous Isle
in a dark and endless sea of universe.
You may never reveal your strategy.
We may be  bound  by  genetic code
to the presupposing chemical destiny
of one great astrophysical master plan
for living things and we, who represent
your malaise,  your chronic infestation;
we,  like a fleeting itch in your long life,
will never comprehend it.  But, in truth
you know too well  that  we can never
understand more  than one percent
of all there is to know. You contain
the knowledge that is beyond us.
We are like a rash on your skin.

One day, we know you will
raze all of our delusions,
prepare us for the day
when a blinding light
will  inoculate  you
and inform us  of
a moment when
extant humans
will, at last be
prepared to
distinguish
the truth
f r o m
l i e s;
a n d

if…

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Womb With a View Redux — Part 2

PoetJanstie:

And this is another in depth article (in two parts) on a landmark decision in the US, which concerns the rights of so-called ‘closely held’ corporations to be exempt from a law, if there is a less restrictive way in which it can be upheld … be prepared to engage your brains and deductive thinking …

… in a day or two, I’m going to get back to some of my own poetry here. So, if you are interested, watch this space :)

Originally posted on Beguine Again:

skeptic

For part 1 of this post, see http://beguineagain.com/2014/08/14/womb-with-a-view-redux-part-1/

(Correction: In part 1 of this post, I referred to “36 other substances / devices for contraception”. The correct number should be 14 other methods. The ACA contraception mandate covers 18, not 40, contraceptive methods (20 total, but 18 for women) approved by the FDA, 4 of which were at issue in the Hobby Lobby case.)

All that said, however, we must also acknowledge that by no means are all the problems with the Hobby Lobby ruling “pseudo”. Some are both significant and real, such as …

o The real (potential) problem of the case for Hobby Lobby being argued and decided on a statutory rather than constitutional basis

 As paradoxical as it perhaps may sound at first, the fact that the Hobby Lobby case was argued and decided on the basis of a Federal statute – RFRA – instead…

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Letting Schroedinger’s Cat Out of the Bag

PoetJanstie:

This is mind blowing and magnificent!

Originally posted on Beguine Again:

skepticAt least one perennial philosophical puzzle has been put to rest by quantum theory: the question of whether events are contingent or determined. By “contingent” I mean the possibility that the future is “open” in the sense that  future events have not already been determined by antecedent conditions.  By “determined” I mean the opposite:  that future events have already been determined by past and present conditions. I have never seen any paper or book or journal article, much less a popular discussion of the subject, that actually went so far as to draw the logical inference. But the answer to the question of contingency vs. determinism implicit in quantum mechanics is: the question itself is a phony question, a non-question. Newtonian mechanics was shown to be incomplete by Einstein’s demonstration that, contrary to the Newtonian model, there are no such things as absolute space, absolute time, and absolute simultaneity. Analogously, quantum…

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Editing poems: John Glenday and Don Paterson

PoetJanstie:

This is worth a read …

Originally posted on isabelrogers.org:

There’s a lot of talk about editing prose: a writer can employ a professional editor for a novel before querying an agent, then it may be edited again by their agent before it lands on a publishing house editor’s desk for another go.

I was recently asked if there is a similar process for poetry. The road between laptop and published page is often shorter and straighter with a poem. You don’t need an agent, to start with. I’ve had poet friends suggest changes as a poem evolved. My work has been published in magazines, the majority with no tweaks at all from the final draft I sent.

Publishing an entire poetry collection is different. Because I haven’t yet reached that stage, I questioned two far more experienced people (ok, a bit older) to illuminate the process:

Don pic

Don Paterson is head honcho of the Picador poetry list, as well as…

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Are There Any Other Civilisations … Out There?

PoetJanstie:

The universe is simply awesome …

Originally posted on THE BARDO GROUP/BEGUINE AGAIN, Home of "The B Zine":

I have held a universal and, it seems probably a pantheistic view of our life on earth for many years now. It is this: that there are probably other intelligent civilisations out there in the cosmos, but, in spite of our continued quest to find some and because of the humungous scale and mind boggling span of time that is represented in the life of the universe, we will never discover one. We may not even exist simultaneously. I would add a small warning to those, who like my mother-in-law, God rest her soul, are mind-bogglephobics, or who simply cannot cope with the scale of it all, that this may be a challenging concept to grasp. Nonetheless, it does require a calculator with a large scale, should you wish to do some proportions!

The following is a track from his album, “Letters from a Flying Machine” by a very fine…

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Myra Schneider asks, “Who is poetry for?”

PoetJanstie:

This is not just a thought (and action) provoking essay, by Myra Schneider, but it is filled with useful links, suggestions for action and lateral thinking. Ever since I started writing poetry, primarily as part of my personal story for my family and future generations of it, I have been increasingly struck by a feeling that I need to do something more than I do, at present, to promote its value more widely in the community.

Myra’s statement: “… there is often no more potent a way of expressing and communicating vital aspects of life and thought” is also a crucial description of poetry.

This piece gives a much needed insight into its value and a boost to the cause of poetry.

Originally posted on THE BARDO GROUP/BEGUINE AGAIN, Home of "The B Zine":

1815_coversNote: This full-length feature article is presented as an appropriate wrap after celebrating interNational Poetry Month (April). The feature was originally published by ARTEMISpoetry (13 November 2013) and is delivered here with the permission of the publisher (Second Light Live) and the author, Myra Schneider. Although Myra discusses poetry in Britain, we feel her observations apply to other countries as well. Jamaica only just appointed a poet laureate for the first time in fifty years. This month in the U.S. King Features Syndicate partnered with the American Academy of Poets to present poetry to the general public along with the news, which hasn’t been done in the U.S. for more than a generation.

Some months ago at one of the twice-yearly poetry readings, which I help organize for Poetry in Palmers Green, a woman I didn’t know, turned to me as she was leaving and said apologetically: ‘I’m afraid I don’t write poetry.’…

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Family

(For Noah and Neve)

You may not choose your family,
but you’ll be loved by them,
because you are the flower’s bloom
and they your lasting stem.

If ever you have doubted it,
this love you feel inside,
not there by chance, but by design,
where your heart will reside

in everything and everywhere,
you’ll feel this poem’s rhyme
remind you that your family
will bear the test of time.

© 2014 John Anstie

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An Apology from Your Grandfather

PoetJanstie:

A poem for my grandson, for all my grandchildren and for theirs …

Originally posted on THE BARDO GROUP/BEGUINE AGAIN, Home of "The B Zine":

(for Nathaniel)

This poem was written last November shortly after the birth of my third grandchild, a second grandson, and the first child of my son and his wife. I put it away for a while to ‘rest’, because I felt it wasn’t quite there; that it still needed something to make it work. Three months later, following several edits and adjustments, whilst it is perhaps less like poetry and more a narrative, (and was it Leonardo da Vinci himself who said that a work of art is never complete, only abandoned?) I have decided that I should let it go. I hope my grandson, when he’s old enough, all my grandchildren and onward generations, may find some use or ornament for it, to give them perspective on their own situations, whatever they may be, and to help guide them in their journeys through life …

The…

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