Tag Archives: books

vertigo of words

Stokes_The-Passing-Train_WEB_cover

Words inviting, the eyes accepted

the spirit willing, the heart exalted

the mind laboring, the brain revolted

against the lust of learning to be learned;

Woe was to her as her will yet essayed

Amid the vertigo of cogitation whirled

Like a never-ending merry-go-around

Swiveling her head in pandemonium.

 

gentle giant

unnamed

 

A gentle giant in the maze of darkness

Sees the darkest corruption of the heart

alloyed in the putrid puss of proud violence

Writhing his pulsation of life like a serpent

Twisting the veins that carry life to his breath

Pounding the dome of his sovereign palace

In a morbid frisson of the ecstatic dance of death

Amid the cries of the man in a maze of disgrace

Unarmored, unguarded, unprotected, unheard

As the rampant madness of murder with passion

Possesses the man with the corrupt heart blinded

By outgrown white heat of hatred with unreason.

 

P.S.: It would have been my first day of returning to the office after the partial end of stay-home order in California had my brother not told me of a civil unrest situation in Downtown LA where my job was located; the subway station I always use was closed, and a curfew would be enforced in LA Counties starting from 6:00 PM, which would affect my returning home via trains.

Behind all this commotion lies another intermittently continuous police brutality exercised against the socially disenfranchised or marginalized – or to put it more blatantly –  invisible, and therefore ignorable. The demonstrations were egged on by the inhumanly aggravated handling by the police of George Floyd, a former promising college basketball student who had eked out living by working as a security guard until he was laid off due to Covid-19 lockdown.

I don’t care what Floyd’s past sins are. I don’t need to know his character assessment to reason the initiation of Floyd’s arrestment by the police in the first place. What I see from the video of his undignified death posted on the New York Times attests to the manifestation of how prejudice aided by the unbridled zealous passion of the heated moment can lead to the destruction of humanity. The more I watch the tragedy, the more I see the man’s pathos and the oppressor’s inhumanity.  How could you do that? This alone matters to me. Hence this poem is my elegy to Mr. Floyd. 

the shadow of a dream

Dear Reader,

Hey, there! Thanks for visiting my blog and reading my post. And if you express it by pressing the Like button into the bargain, my spirit will surely be uplifted from the rut of my so-called life. Also, if you are further intrigued by my e-book recently published on Amazon Kindle and drop just a few lines of your thoughts about the story upon reading (but no words of derision or sarcasm), I will feel like a millionaire without the actual sort of money in my bank account.

Well, it’s been two weeks or so since I published the e-book on Kindle, but a reception reminds me of the frightfully cold winter of New York City I have experienced. No one seems to read even the first page thereof according to my Kindle Direct stats. Surely, a good book will find its readers without eye-catching promotions or pitiful solicitations for readership based on sympathy. But honestly, I don’t feel comfortable canvassing readership by either of the means. And yet, since I am a girl of contrasts, my ambition for wide recognition of my work refuses to be humble and thus commands my unwilling spirit to write this letter to you.

It’s only 57 pages in total, so the book won’t take much of your precious time. Just click on the below book cover with one touch of your fingertip, and it will lead you to the place where the story begins via wondrous witchcraft. Many thanks for reading with my whole heart!

Best,

Stephanie 

wandering star

1

A puerile quest for a mirage, he rebukes

A pristine request of the heart, she decries

and begins a Ballard of a plain girl unknown;

Since her star in the Milky Way lost

its trail of Manifest Destiny shining the brightest,

the heiress bereft of her heavenly bequest

Without a speck of stardust has not been

As others were – she has not seen

As others saw – she has not known

As others knew- she still can not find

Where the tides of the ocean by wind

Arise, rush, roll, and reach with the surge

The silent silverly soil with the urge

When the lost high star finds her at last

And returns her overdue gifts of the best.

P.S. I feel intimately acquainted with Charlotte Bronte, her fictional alter ego Jane Eyre, and Janice Sessions, the plain girl created by Arthur Miller in their quiet deportment, delicate feminity, sentimental loneliness, and plaintive want of beauty. They are, in fact, my spiritual sisters in whom I can confide my inmost feelings, repressed emotions, and provocative thoughts guarded by my own conceptions against the acerbic opinions of the brutish, insensitive rabble. Nevertheless, the aforesaid sisters all had the breakthroughs that led them to fortune, luck, happiness however it might have lasted or whatever they might have been. I feel that I am kept away from anything wonderful or even remotely felicitous ever happening to me by some unseen forces of godly or evil beings. Alas, woe is to me! Shakespeare believed that our lives are governed by the stars above us and that there are tides in the affairs of man, which taken at the right time, they will lead man to fortune. What with such cold reception of my first published e-book and what with my regret of having published it at first, I wonder when I can meet my tides and sail away into the wide ocean to reach the land of my destiny.

Dear Reader: Hey, there! Thanks for visiting my blog and reading my post. And if you express it by pressing the button into the bargain, my spirit will surely be uplifted from the rut of my so-called life. And if you are further intrigued by my e-book recently published on Amazon Kindle and drop just a few lines of your thoughts about the story upon reading (but no words of derision or sarcasm), I will feel like a millionaire without the actual sort of money in my bank account. It’s only 57 pages in total, so the book won’t take much of your precious time. Just click on the below book cover with one touch of your fingertip, and it will lead you to the place where the story begins via wondrous witchcraft. Many thanks for reading with my whole heart! Best, Stephanie 

universal man: ‘Ben Jonson: A Life’, by Ian Donaldson – review

Ben Jonson: A LifeBen Jonson: A Life by Ian Donaldson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have always been drawn into a writer whose noble ambition and unswerving individuality are distinct from those of the officialized popularity of famed celebrities simply because of the sheer provocativeness of the author translated into the textual world of reality, which is a reflection of his conceptions by the barrier he establishes proudly and profoundly against those of others. In fact, it is this unapologetic individuality that enables the author to become what he is capable of in protean varieties; an alchemist of words, a high priest of the temple of Apollo, a mortal equivalent of Hercules, a neo-classist of a new renaissance, an independent scholar of the great leaning, and a humanist committed to the Classical principles to contribute to the new capital of the Arts. The hero of the splendid epithets is no less the poet and playwright than Ben Jonson himself, and it is in this superbly told biography Ben Jonson: A Life that his modern disciple Ian Donaldson resurrects the person of Jonson in flesh and spirit vividly.

Ian Donaldson’s Ben Jonson begins with the burial ground of Jonson and then comes alive as Donaldson presents the protagonist Jonson through a phantasmagorical display of the epochal chapters of Jonson’s life as though to be screened for posterity in Immortal Theater of Art. Donaldson’s capacity of screenwriter and director of Ben Jonson’s dramatic life is deprived of blind idolization of Jonson as a suffering lone wolf-typed writer whose brightness was unfairly adumbrated by that of his contemporary peer William Shakespeare, nor is it intent upon accounting the greatness of Jonson over Shakespeare by elucidating the dichotomic feud between the two equally but differently brilliant literary stars in the constellation of Arts. Also, the book rejects the conventional mode of biography in the frame of “cradle to grave” by guiding the reader through specific epochal moments that profoundly influenced Jonson both personally and professionally during one of the most politically and religiously turbulent periods in the history of Great Britain.

Rich in details of the political and social backgrounds of Jonson’s plays and poems in addition to his personal elements that make him stand out among the contemporary literary figures, Donaldson follows the Thucydidean way of examining the history of Jonson in attempt to transcend the subjectivity of the time and popular opinions on the subject and to balance scholarly objective equilibrium to test the validity of truth about the subject matter to the extent possible by holding his express personal opinion on thereon. The result is myriad imaginations and images of Jonson as the reader likes to create, whether it be that of dauntlessly confident Achilles, wisely ambitious Agamemnon, divinely valorous Odysseus, or compassionately passionate Hercules.

Upon reading this book, I saw the images of Rodrigo Mendoza played by Robert De Niro from the excellent film “The Mission” and Ben Jonson as himself springing from my mind’s garden as both of their faces a piece like a great Ancient Greek statue. Both of them are passionately devoted to their causes, unfailingly humane, and admirably courageous in fulfilling their destiny to achieve their noble ambitions for the good of humanity – one for the building of terrestrial heaven governed by deeds according to the Gospel in the case of Fr. Mendoza and the other in the person of Jonson for the reconstruction of British Renaissance based upon classical principles as a stratagem of moral and artistic reform. And behind this fascinating literary witchcraft lays Donaldson’s superb biography of Ben Jonson that successfully resurrects the noble and heroic spirit of his literary Hero whose work is enshrined in the Temple of Divine Arts as a scintillating star of the Humanities. And I am sure that Jonson is so happy with Donaldson’s account of his life that he introduces his biographer to the Immortals (including his chum Shakespeare) and that they are having a divine feast with heavenly wine in a constellation of literary stars evermore.

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