A fellow blogger inspired me to post this song. Patty is a survivor of domestic violence but still has dreams about her abusive ex-husband returning. Despite her past, she has written three books and created a successful marketing business for writers and other entrepreneurs. Check out her blog at the link above.
That said, this song should be an anthem for women who have suffered from abusive relationships. If you’re in such a situation, please remember that you are a wonderful person, and he is nothing more than a rotten piece of meat you wouldn’t even feed to your own dog. Walk away. If he comes after you, get a restraining order. Press charges. Do whatever you have to do to be free of him. Don’t listen if he promises he won’t do it again. He will. They always do. No matter what, you will survive.
In this fictional account of events during World War Ii, an internment camp for evacuated Japanese-American citizens is established in a small Colorado town. Rennie, a thirteen-year-old girl living on her family’s farm adjacent to the camp, tells the story of how these evacuees were transported to the camp and the townspeople’s mixed reactions to their presence. Despite suspicion that one of the camp’s inmates murdered a local girl, Rennie and her family stand up for what’s right.
Her father hires some of the boys to work on the farm. Her mother, skeptical at first, is forced to employ a couple of Japanese girls to help her in the house when she becomes ill. Other sub-plots include Rennie’s brother serving overseas, her best friend, the murdered girl’s sister, and one of the Japanese girls helping in the house. In the acknowledgements at the beginning, the author explains what inspired her to write the book. At the end, she provides historical information and discussion questions for reading groups.
Because I’m not proud of how we treated Japanese-American citizens in the wake of Pearl Harbor, I wouldn’t have read this, but my regional talking book library’s discussion group chose it, so what could I say? I like the way the author tells the story from Rennie’s first person point of view and how she places the girl in situations where she shouldn’t have been in order for her to gleam more of the story. I felt a connection to the setting because my late husband grew up on a farm not too far away during this time. Because the removal and imprisonment of Japanese-American citizens after Pearl Harbor was something I wasn’t aware of until I took a recent U.S. history class during my senior year of high school, this book would be a great way to teach young people about this aspect of World War Ii.
Thanks to fellow blogger Alice Massa for inspiring me to post this again. It was published in Magnets and Ladders several years ago, and I posted it here at that time. In this recent post, Alice encourages her readers to write an abecedarian about summer. I wrote this one several years ago. It’s not exactly about summer, but it will do.
When my father died several years ago, my brother and I performed the song that inspired this poem at his celebration of life with me on piano and vocals and my brother on drums. Without my brother and his drums, I can’t re-produce that version, but here’s Nat King Cole’s rendition, which is a lot better.
Below the video, you’ll find the WordPress player application, and when you press the Play button there, you’ll hear me read the poem. The printed version is below that. This form of poetry is called an abecedarian because the first letter of each line starts with a consecutive letter of the alphabet. Needless to say, this poem is 26 lines. You’ll note that the beginning letter of each line is in bold. In my recorded reading, I emphasize the first word of each line. Enjoy!
On Straightening Up and Flying Right
A buzzard and a monkey wouldn’t fly together because a monkey wouldn’t be stupid enough to climb on a buzzard’s back, a buzzard being a dirty bird with no morals. Everybody knows that monkeys don’t fly–buzzards do. I would guess that monkeys associate with monkeys. Heaven knows why the song was written. What an imagination someone must have to justify writing it—but with knowledge of values, one would believe that there’s a logical message here. The monkey makes a point when telling the buzzard not to blow his top and to do right. Of course, not blowing your top and doing right are important. People who are angry blow their tops, but the question is do these people not do right? I’ve blown my top a few times. Still, I try to do the right thing. I think that even the best of us, under certain circumstances, blow our tops. It’s not very unusual, but back to the monkey and the buzzard. Why would a monkey allow a buzzard to take him for a ride? It doesn’t require x-ray vision to determine that a buzzard is smaller than the average monkey. You should realize that a monkey would be safer riding a zebra. He wouldn’t have far to fall.
If you’d like to try writing an abecedarian poem, check out Alice’s guidelines linked to above. The basic idea is to write a 26-line poem with the first letter of each line starting with a consecutive letter of the alphabet. This can be tricky. Good luck. I’d love to read what you come up with, either on your own blog with a link here or in the comments field below.
In 1985 when I discovered public radio, I quit paying attention to the popular music scene, so I never heard this song until now. I like the idea it expresses that you should capture a dream, no matter what. I hope you young people out there who aren’t sure what to do with your lives will take this song to heart.
The theme for Song Lyric Sunday this week is “dream.”
Yes, when I found out this week’s theme, the first song in my head was the massive hit by the Eurythmics. However, it was quickly pushed aside by a lesser known song which has been a favorite of mine for a quarter of a century. (Think I just dated myself there! 😀 )
Regina Belle is best known for A Whole New World (Alladin’s Theme), her 1993 Grammy-winning duet with Peabo Bryson. Released in late 1992, the song reached number one in March of 1993, knocking Whitney Houston and the colossal I Will Always Love You from is 14-week reign.
In last Tuesday’s post, when I said you can bake a cake again, even if you don’t have the recipe, I was referencing this song. This version was popular when I was in high school, and when I was on the speech team, my teammates and I listened to it often. I found the song and Donna Summer’s version unusual and fascinating. Enjoy, and have a great Saturday.