Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Poetry for all Seasons and Reasons

     At the beginning of this month I spotted an article in the Denver Post newspaper which gave a lackluster viewpoint on the future of poetry in print. It seems that with all the new Nook and Kindle electronic reading devices, poetry has been left in the dust as far as accessibility. Why would any poet want to be published in print ? Interestingly, the author of the article, David Milofsky, had to acquiesce to the fact that most people who are still reading books or collections of poetry want to buy a book with pages you can turn. That is very encouraging to me because it says that poets are still the most visible authors. Perhaps we'll take over the book stores someday. Well, we can dream can't we ? 
     While Milofsky may be encouraged by the fact that well recognized poets are still being published, with the dubious honors and distinctions which were already in place, the unknowns, who may be better, worse or at least equal to their fellow stars have been using the electronic medium to reach their reading public for going on three decades. I have personally been posting my poetry online for more than a decade now, selling my first edition poetry book, Seasons of the Heart online for almost as long and have enjoyed a certain amount of recognition from common people and people who love poetry all the while. It hasn't made me a publishing superstar yet, but I remind myself that starving poets are legend. It's a shame that people are so ignorant to the fact that they are actually addicted to poetry and they are unaware of it. How so, you say ?
     Well, think about all the music with lyrics you listen to in a day. Perhaps you watch a little T.V. each morning before you go to work. I guarantee that you will hear at least several commercials with jingle music on them before you've even had your toast. How about the alarm each morning ? More music, more poetry. Then, when you're driving to work you'll hear anywhere from 5 to 10 songs on the radio along with some more commercial jingles. Pardon me but that's a lot of poetry to listen to before you even get to work. If you have piped in music where you work there's more right there. It's true that much of the elevator and office music may not have lyrics to their MOR washed out noise but if you work in a mall or retail store you're more likely to listen to whatever is the most contemporary to back to the 80s full on with lyrics by the original artists.
     As you drive home you'll hear some more from your radio or CDs or MP3s depending on what you have going on in your vehicle. After dinner you'll probably watch shows that all have their own ditties and more music on the shows you watch. You know what ? That's a lot of poetry~ every day. Somebody writes those lyrics for a living. Some may be passable and then there are genius lyrics which elevate our souls and we feel it and may still be unaware of what we are enjoying. Listen to the lyrics of George Harrison's Across the Universe and it will make a believer out of you.
     Now that you have been enlightened to your dependence on poetry you will certainly appreciate what you have been enjoying all along a little more now won't you ?
I thought so.
Words are flowing out like endless rain into a paper cup
they slither wildly as they slip away
across the universe....
The Castle Lady

Friday, April 08, 2011

Nuggets and other tidbits

      I don't write about sports events that often and in most conversations I veer away from putting forth opinions about players, teams and my own personal philosophies concerning how a sport should be run. It doesn't mean I don't have strong opinions about them but I tend to keep it to myself. Sports are to be enjoyed as spectators and participants, principally, and not argued or fought over as if that was more important. In addition, if you don't at least participate directly in a sport, it is my opinion that you shouldn't discuss particulars about rules, decisions or abilities of players. My feeling is that you really won't know what you're talking about and your opinion should be kept to yourself.
     That being said, I am going to put in my 2 cents worth about the Nuggets, Denver's NBA team, with and without Melo and I am doing so not necessarily because I want to start a discussion, argument or brawl but just because I think what I have to write about the issue is valid. I read all these negative comments from sports commentators, sports writers and columnists, casual spectators and naysayers and I feel an opposite viewpoint might be refreshing.
     First off, before Melo was traded to the Knicks he has been a boon for quite a number of years to the Nuggets. The attendance at the Pepsi Center increased continually and continues to climb. His offensive playing was phenomenal the entire time of his tenure with the Nuggets if you check the averages. His injuries were minimal and he often played through certain problems. That's beyond the call of duty. For one year he topped Kobe Bryant as the highest scorer in the NBA and he kept up a high average. It is my understanding that he cooperated with everyone on the team and never played the star against any teammate. He's a sensitive guy so when I looked on his blog and  read negative comments on the entry where he thanked Denver for all the great years I became a bit irate.
     The Nuggets are doing phenomenally most recently and I applaud that and realized a long time ago that they had a great roster of very talented players. I can't think of one Nugget who isn't showing abilities currently that hadn't already shown up in the stats. The only exceptions were a couple of Nuggets who were traded along with Melo and Chauncey, ironically enough. That happens. Not everyone lives up to their potential. The real debate always seems to center around the defense/offense objective. You have to have both to win a game. Each is equally essential to a good or great basketball game. When it is unbalanced either way you have a serious issue. Right now the Small Forward position, which was taken over by Danilo Gallinari, is among the double digit scorers but if you compare most of his scoring with Melo's stats you're going to find an interesting difference. If an offensive player is allowed to dominate a game then there are a lot less opportunities for the remainder of players to play an offensive game. Just use your head because I'm only using logistics here. A lot of coaches allow their offensive stars to dominate the ball.
     If you think I'm wrong then let's focus on LeBron James for a minute. Have you seen the Win/Loss stats this season for the Cavaliers ? Since LeBron has been whisked away of his own volition they have had the worst season ever. Worse than the Nets 2009/2010 season. Worse. Perhaps they relied on LeBron's offensive playing a little too much. This is sad. Meanwhile, the Heat are enjoying being on top in the southeast division and the Eastern Conference topping the Boston Celtics ! The truth about the Nets is that they needed Vince Carter's great offensive playing and maneuvering fouls to get in those extra points. 
     My point is- that won't happen if you have a team who can play offensive and defensive basketball equally well. It won't matter if your offensive player is gone because the team was always ready to play real basketball. This is really lacking today. I remember watching basketball games on T.V. when I was a little girl that were riveting. I don't see that much anymore and the action seems awfully slow. Slam dunking is great when you see a team work up to that pitch in their playing. It should be a crescendo to fast passing, sticking to a ball, ali ooping and any amount of legitimate maneuvers that show skill and energy. The Nuggets are currently playing this kind of basketball. It works.
Just the humble opinion of
The Castle Lady