Welcome to poetry in the afternoon.
Sarah and I invite you to join us as we explore the poetry of Helen Hoyt through her poem Annunciation.
Poet Helen Hoyt (1887-1972), born in Norwalk, Connecticut, was the daughter of former Pennsylvania governor Henry Hoyt. Educated at Barnard College, she lived in Chicago and worked as an associate editor for Poetry. In 1916, she edited an issue of Others: A Magazine of the New Verse, an American literary magazine founded by Alfred Kreymborg in July 1915. As editor of the 1916 issue, Hoyt addressed her interest in poetry as a space for women’s voices: “At present most of what we know, or think we know, of women has been found out by men. We have yet to hear what woman will tell of herself, and where can she tell more intimately than in poetry?”
Helen Hoyt poetry spoke of gender, the body, and nature. She married William Whittingham Lyman Jr, a writer and academic, primarily in the field of Celtic studies, and moved to St. Helena, California, where she spent her later years. She was the aunt of poet Elinor (Hoyt) Wylie who wrote “Velvet Shoes”.
By Helen Hoyt
From “Poems of Life and Death”
The great Life,
Came unto me:
He of old ages,
The owner of all,
Came, and his word was for me,
Calling my name:
And the radiance of his presence shone about me.
With leaping heart I heard his voice
And the entering of his steps over my threshold:
Heard, and was not troubled;
Because it was known to me a long time
What answer I should make to Life.
With outstretched, quiet hands,
With unreluctant face,
I stood before him,
And let my eyes look into the eyes of Life:
And I gave, and delivered up to Life,
As one yields and delivers to another
A dumb vessel.
Mighty and splendid is the presence of Life.
By a far road he comes
And travels a great way before
And sways the world.
I trembled to be near his glory,
But with unbowing head I stood before him,
With unbowing head and proud heart;
Knowing my service that I should perform to the honoring of Life.
And in his dignity I was exalted.
Now for a term I am not my own,
But Life is my master:
And I dwell under his commandment,
Beneath the fostering of his wings.
Wrapped in the mantle of Life,
Patient, by ways apart, I go;
Bearing in my flesh his sign
That I am one of his chosen:
The instrument of his purpose; the way of his will.
Slowly day follows day,
Laying its hands upon me with invisible touch,
Molding my flesh;
And I tarry waiting upon Life
Until the use he purposes for me shall be accomplished,
And his intent be fulfilled:
Until the wonder is wrought upon me that now possesses my days.
Welcome to September, the month that leads into the brilliant autumn colours and the warmth of Harvest and Thanksgiving. September has a mellow poignancy that reminds us of the passing of years.
Sonnet 73 by William Shakespeare brings forth natural metaphors to signify the coming of old age. We move ever forward in our timeline and recognize that “sunset fadeth in the west” comes to all. And yet, it is at the moment we face the inevitability of endings that love becomes stronger, more vibrant, more enduring.
Please join me in reciting Sonnet 73 by William Shakespeare “ That time of year thou mayst in me behold”
Sonnet 73 That time of year thou mayst in me behold
That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruin'd choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou see'st the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west,
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death's second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see'st the glowing of such fire
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the death-bed whereon it must expire,
Consum'd with that which it was nourish'd by.
This thou perceiv'st, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long.
Welcome to my Reading Room! Let’s talk about books!
Speak Chuckaboo, Slang of the Victorian and Steam Eras, by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene arrived at my doorstep a few days ago. I knew that my sister, Sarah, would be very interested in this book and waited impatiently for our meeting on the Saturday following the delivery of Teagan’s book.
Sarah and I have designated Saturdays as our “Book Day” – a special time when we talk about the books that we are currently reading.
Please join Sarah and me as we explore Speak Chuckaboo and and the words of Victorian and Steam Eras.
Click on the photo and below for a preview of Speak Chuckaboo.
The Blurb on the back of the Book
Back in the days of steam engines and mannerly people, a chuckaboo was one’s dear friend. This volume contains slang from the Victorian Era, as well as the Steam Era, which began before the reign of Queen Victoria, and continued into the early 1900s. It combines language from the Victorian, Edwardian, and Steam Eras because there was a great deal of overlap.
This slang dictionary also contains a sprinkling of vocabulary words of those eras, which have fallen out of use, along with some history and trivia.
While every effort was made to be as historically accurate as possible, this compilation is not meant to be a scholarly work. It is intended for fictional use and entertainment purposes.
Have fun speaking chuckaboo. You’re positively rum ti tum with the chill off! Simply hunky dory.