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  • mistermuse 12:01 am on April 24, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: East of the Sun, , , , , , , Rudyard Kipling, , Westwind,   

    EAST MEETS WEST DAY 

    EAST IS EAST, AND WEST IS WEST, AND NEVER THE TWAIN SHALL MEET. –Rudyard Kipling

    The above quote notwithstanding, it’s not too late if you want to meet Twain. Forget East/West, and return to the site of my previous post (MARK TWAIN ON DONALD TRUMP), where Twain still lives. I could quibble that you should have met him there then, but I am magnanimous enough to forgive those of you who didn’t read that post (so long as you promise never to let it happen again).

    Be that as it may, this is April — April 24th, to be exact, which just happens to be East Meets West Day, which just happens to give me an excuse to engross you with some of my favorite East and/or West songs, such as this old standard by an old favorite:

    Keely Smith (born Dorothy Keely) died four months ago at age 89, one of the best (though underappreciated) female vocalists of the 1950s-60s.

    Next, we change directions for this Kurt Weill classic from the 1943 musical ONE TOUCH OF VENUS:

    Let us end, fittingly, with WEST END BLUES by Louis Armstrong, one of the all-time great recordings in jazz history:

    That performance was recorded in 1928; 90 years later, you can travel far and wide, east and west, and never the same shall meet.

     

     
    • Garfield Hug 1:21 am on April 24, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      I am curious too as to how the meeting with N Korea will pan out?

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 9:56 am on April 24, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        You’re really going East — Far East — with that one, G.H.! Though your question is a bit off-subject with the theme of this post, I’ll venture to predict that if ‘Past is prologue,’ N. Korea will agree to, but not keep, a treaty. Herbert Hoover wasn’t the greatest of American Presidents, but he wisely said, “Peace is not made at the council table or by treaties, but in the hearts of men.”

        Liked by 1 person

        • Garfield Hug 12:59 pm on April 24, 2018 Permalink

          Yes, I did digress! But thanks for sharing the info you gave. I strayed as the title of your post reminded me of how the west as in Trump is planning to meet eastern Asia’s N Korea Kim. 😊

          Liked by 2 people

        • mistermuse 4:13 pm on April 24, 2018 Permalink

          No problem, G.H.! If “digression is the better part of valor,” who am I to say you stray? Unfortunately, the old saying is “discretion” (not “digression”) is the better part of valor” — but I digress. 😦

          Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 1:53 pm on April 24, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Mr. Kipling also assured us that…
      “But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth,
      When two strong men stand face to face, tho’ they come from the ends of the earth.”

      Sorry to hear about the passing of Keely Smith. She was a great singer. And, here’s her take on the subject.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 5:35 pm on April 24, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        As you may know, Don, “Sing, Sing, Sing” was a huge hit for Benny Goodman’s big band in 1937 and was one of the songs which helped establish him as the “King of Swing” in the Swing era. Interestingly, the song was written by Louis Prima, Keely Smith’s first husband, who famously partnered with her professionally in the 1950s.

        Liked by 1 person

    • dunelight 6:29 pm on April 30, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Keely Smith..I love her. What a dream to have seen her in Vegas. She had killer timing as a comedienne. I can watch her play off Louis Prima for days.

      Like

  • mistermuse 12:00 am on June 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , James Jones, John Steinbeck, , , , Rudyard Kipling, , , Willa Cather, ,   

    TELLTALE TITLES 

    How much time and thought do you devote to coming up with just-the-right title for your story, poem or article? If you take writing seriously, the answer is probably: as long as it takes to nail it — which could be almost no time at all, if it comes to you in a flash — or, more time than a less intense writer is willing to allot.

    Ernest Hemingway, for one, evidently wasn’t the latter type. Case in point: in writing his definitive Spanish Civil War novel, he didn’t settle for less than a killer title that would encapsulate ‘the moral of the story,’ eventually finding it in this passage from a 1624 work by the poet John Donne: “Any man’s death diminishes me because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”

    As a writer of (mostly) humorous poems and posts, I’m inclined to go for witty and/or wordplay titles. Many times, the title to a particular piece all but suggests itself, but more often, no such luck, and I’m stuck — until eventually (as with the title of this post) a eureka moment rewards my resolve….or a poem resists my labeling efforts, and I just settle for:

    UNTITLED

    This poem’s title is Untitled —
    Not because it is untitled,
    But because I am entitled
    To entitle it Untitled.

    If I’d not titled it Untitled,
    It would truly be untitled….
    Which would make it unentitled
    To the title of Untitled.

    So it is vital, if untitled,
    Not to title it Untitled,
    And to leave that title idled,
    As a title is entitled.

    Moving on, suppose we try a title quiz based on the Papa Hemingway model (sorry, those of you who’d prefer the mistermuse model). Here are five passages from classic original works from which later authors lifted titles for their novels. Can you name the five later works and pin each tale on its author (ten answers total)? If you name all ten correctly, you win the title (with apologies to Cervantes) of Donkeyote Of All You Survey.

    PASSAGES FROM ORIGINAL WORKS:

    Gentlemen-rankers out on the spree/Damned from here to Eternity/God ha’ mercy on such as we/Ba! Yah! Bah! –Rudyard Kipling

    The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men/Gang aft a-gley/An’ lea’e us naught but grief an’ pain/For promised joy! –Robert Burns

    By the pricking of my thumbs,/Something wicked this way comes. –Wm. Shakespeare

    Come my tan-faced children/Follow well in order, get your weapons ready/Have you your pistols? Have you your sharp-edged axes?/Pioneers! O pioneers! –Walt Whitman

    No Place so Sacred from such Fops is barr’d,/Nor is Paul’s Church more safe than Paul’s Churchyard./Nay, fly to altars; there they’ll talk you dead/For Fools rush in where Angels fear to tread. –Alexander Pope

    TITLES (WITH AUTHORS) FROM  ABOVE PREVIOUS WORKS:

    FROM HERE TO ETERNITY –James Jones
    OF MICE AND MEN –John Steinbeck
    SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES –Ray Bradbury
    O PIONEERS! –Willa Cather
    WHERE ANGELS FEAR TO TREAD –E.M. Forster

    How many of the ten titles/authors did you get? That last title, parenthetically, became part of Johnny Mercer’s lyrics to this 1940 hit song composed by Rube Bloom:

    And now I fear I must tread on out….before something wicked this way comes.

     

     
    • Cynthia Jobin 10:29 am on June 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      If there were an award entitled “The Best Poem about Title-ing An Untitled Poem” you certainly would be entitled to it. I recall a creative writing teacher who was a stickler about titles; she said leaving a poem untitled was lazy and a refusal to finish your poem properly. In the history of Literature it seems even the use of Numbers—Sonnet 24—has been acceptable, and often the first line or phrase of a poem is used as its title—-“Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night….”.

      I liked the quiz. Pour moi it was a piece of cake. Just this past month I used a line from a Shakespeare sonnet for one of my titles: “Love’s Not Time’s Fool.” Thanks for an enjoyable post!

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 11:21 am on June 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you, Cynthia. I believe the exception to the ‘poems must be titled rule’ is the limerick, which should never be titled (if one were to follow the rules, which apparently exist to curtail my fun, so I have occasionally titled a few of mine).

        Congrats on getting 100% on the quiz. I hereby award you the title (in deference to your gender) of DONNA-KEYOTE OF ALL YOU SURVEY! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 5:14 pm on June 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I got all the titles but sad to say did not know the last three authors off the top of my head. I guess I get a 70. But of course I knew the song.

      Like

    • mistermuse 9:05 pm on June 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Don, you know how much I dig great old songs, so I’m giving you 30 bonus points for knowing FOOLS RUSH IN (WHERE ANGELS FEAR TO TREAD). That brings your score up to 100, which wins you the DON(FRANKEL)KEYOTE OF ALL YOU SURVEY AWARD….and well deserved, I might add!

      Like

    • arekhill1 10:32 am on June 16, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      AUTO REPLY: I’m on vacation. Any quizzes will be taken when I get back to my office.

      Like

    • mistermuse 11:07 am on June 16, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I auto wish you a great vacation, but no doubt you’re having one anyway. Safe trip home.

      Like

    • inesephoto 5:55 pm on June 16, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Love your poem 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • D. Wallace Peach 11:20 pm on June 17, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I got the titles but didn’t know all the authors. This was really interesting. Your poem made me laugh. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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