Poetry

Assorted Poetry & Sage Reflections

WW2 Love Letter 75 years past D Day

Posted by on Jun 6, 2019 in 1940s Life, All Blog Posts, Bowdoin College, LOVE LETTER, Media, Navy, Poetry, WW2, WW2 Letters, WW2 Love Letter, WWII Letter | 0 comments

I wrote that I’d write. That plan didn’t turn out as well as D Day did. The good news is we still live in Brunswick, Maine and Robert Peter Tristram Coffin is still my favorite poet. And, Arline will be adding another clocked year here in just a couple weeks.

To honor the 75th Anniversary of D Day I’ve chosen to publish a complete letter my father penned to Arline from Bates, just a couple days after D Day, on June 9th, 1944. He was in Lewiston, Maine. She was in Portland. The distance between them was a world war.

If you read it you’ll see that his heart was just as sunk as ever. Against the back drop of the successful invasion in Europe, bringing hope and excitement abroad, Mose would none the less not be free. If he hadn’t enlisted in the navy he would have been drafted. He had no choice. At this date in his navy career Mose was enrolled at Midshipmen’s School at Bates. Next would be the Naval Academy at Notre Dame, then off to fight.

Being still a Bowdoin student, but enlisted in the navy and at Bates College, the arch rival of Bowdoin, was a time of emptiness and sad feelings. Old and best friends were leaving for the war. New friends at Bates were transient, many from out of town, out of state, there for just for a training period. So much disruption was crazy. But Mose did find some interesting things to say and some humor.

The Armed Forces had the Bowdoin boys play on the Bates athletic teams and wear the Bates uniform. Mose did this and had to play against Bowdoin. We have official photos of him donning the Bowdoin team uniform and Bates.

Arline helped me make peace with all this saying that the boys liked to play games and baseball, it was definitely an enjoyable sport for them, and good thing for them to do at this time regardless of the uniform they wore. They had fun. I’m sure she’s right, though Mose does mention some mixed feelings about it in another letter.

Screen Shot 2019-06-05 at 11.42.55 PMScreen Shot 2019-06-05 at 11.43.19 PM

 

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Nothing Gold can Stay by Robert Frost

Posted by on Jun 4, 2017 in All Blog Posts, Poetry | 0 comments


Nothing Gold Can Stay

Nature’s first green is gold, 
Her hardest hue to hold. 
Her early leaf’s a flower; 
But only so an hour. 
Then leaf subsides to leaf. 
So Eden sank to grief, 
So dawn goes down to day. 
Nothing gold can stay.
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Love is a Star Spangled Banner

Posted by on Apr 24, 2016 in All Blog Posts, Media, Poetry, Vintage Style | 0 comments

Love is a Star Spangled Banner

 

Francis Scott Key was an American poet and lawyer who wrote the Star Spangled Banner. Check out videos below.

Francis-Scott Key 1948, 3 Cent Stamp

Francis-Scott Key 1948 Three Cent Stamp

My father’s love was like a high flying flag. So often these days I wonder what he’d have to say about things like our money system (he was a prominent banker) and the current presidential election. Would he vote for Donald Trump? The internet was just getting started when Morris passed away in 1999. The internet is what makes a Trump possible.

WW2 Flag from Mose's Ship

WW2 Flag from Mose’s Ship

The flag from Morris’s battleship is framed and in my brother’s home office.

I lived near my parents most of my adult years up to the point where Mose passed away in 1999. In my teens and twenties I had few concerns about world happenings or the stability of America. In my rather elite all-girl’s high school, Marlborough, the emphasis in the 1970s was as much about pop psychology as any significance of comparative religion, the history of the modern West, the Founding Fathers and American values in American history.
I learned to take great notes at Marlborough, but on the whole, my parent’s high school education and opportunities were superior to mine. That is until the war came.

I remember reading “Working Girls” in high school, a book to enlighten about the daily struggles of prostitutes. I read Malcolm X too for a social studies elective.  The most interesting science I found was beneath the surface of the school. It was the bond of brotherly institutions built by men like Walt Disney whose granddaughter was in my class. Notable, when a group of girls got caught shoplifting at Disneyland in my 8th grade, all of the offenders were expelled at the end of the year. That is except for one girl. One of the shoplifters wasn’t punished at all. She remained in my class and we graduated together. I always admired her beautiful long blond hair, short skirts and Mercedes coupe.

I have a fuller context for my liberal arts high school education now from this journey through my father’s love letters.

How I’d love to hear Morris’s thoughts today about our country. No doubt if he were alive today I’d find him where he so often was on a weekend afternoon, in front of a TV ball game and not wanting to be disturbed until the game was over. Our relational approaches were long standing habits, mine even more distanced than his. Like a flag flying high, I always knew in my heart that I was fully blessed with one man’s protection and love. But the battles of evil and ignorance were mine to fight alone in a tall New England tradition of purification through trial and error.

Below is short history lesson and a song I dedicate to my dad and to all Americans.

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WW2 Inoculation Cartoon and Poem

Posted by on Nov 5, 2015 in 1940s Life, All Blog Posts, Media, Medicine, Navy, Poetry, South Pacific, WW2 | 0 comments

In 1943 Morris was a freshman at Bowdoin College. Once enlisted in the U.S. Navy they gave him inoculations. It’s in a letter. Here’s a poem from the ship’s magazine. I don’t think this piece is about inoculation. It does demonstrate the idea of creating and treating sickness. Big sigh ahhh.

WW2 Inoculation Cartoon

WW2 Inoculation Cartoon & Poem

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“Generation” by P.K. Page

Posted by on Jul 2, 2015 in 1940s Life, All Blog Posts, Bowdoin College, Media, Poetry | 0 comments

I sit in the hotel lobby in San Fransisco. Ella Fitzgerald is singing “Blue Skies”.  Like tarot cards I pull a poem from seventy-two years ago, July 1943.  Morris was in summer school at Bowdoin. He wrote Arline often then. No mail delays. I pull up the table of contents in Poetry Magazine 1943.  I’m drawn to read the last on its list “Generation” by P.K. Page. Last lines hit me first “crash helmets of permanent beliefs”. I study the poem. It’s a lot truth, how it was. I love the line “freed from the muddle of sex by the never-mentioned method”. That sure was handed down- the never mentioning part anyway. I reflect on the poem. Art Garfunkel is playing and sings “let your honesty shine”.

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Reading My Poems from WWII

Posted by on Jul 2, 2015 in All Blog Posts, Poetry, WW2, WW2 Letters, WWII Letter | 0 comments

Poetry Magazine  1970 issue published “Reading my WWII Letters” by William Meredith. The poem is large scale in few lines. Takes me back to the feeling of opening a whole new world the first time I read one of my father’s letters.

Reading My Poems from WWII in Poetry Magazine

Reading My Poems from WWII in Poetry Magazine

 

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