Opal and I wanted to give you something for your birthday, so we decided to do something that we hope you will like. I have done a podcast of one of your earliest poems from the Caedemon (did I spell it right?) recordings--one of the poems that I liked from the first time I heard it, you know the one. Yes, "Francina."
And Opal has livicated a poem for your birthday. We have done this tribute because in your poems and life, you have given us an example of how a life should be lived--on its own terms. You have always written how you felt the poem could only be written, and you have taken a lot of criticism over the years for doing that. But where are the critics now? You are still creating, new vibrant poems and you are still leading the way for us.
Give thanks, Kamau.Here is Opal's poem:
love is not an ideal
but power to render
truth in the present
gallantry is not going
into battle shielded
rather refusing to submit
or be silenced
or narrow religious zeal
that the flamboyant tree
will flame red in july
taking the anvil to words
hammering away like ogun
being the voice
you i´ve been loving
long before face and voice
brushed my ears
will be loving you
the feel of your hands
happy birthday, kamau
opal palmer adisa
First published 5/11/07
Several birthdays celebrated in the last few days -- not all of them "creaky!"
In his final essay for Vanity Fair, the late Christopher Hitchens wrote of Charles Dickens, “He loved the idea of a birthday celebration, being lavish about it, reminding people that they were once unborn and are now launched. This is bighearted, and we might all do a bit more of it.” Timely words, as today marks the long awaited Dickens bicentenary. If Dickens did indeed relish an extravagant
Happy Birthday, America! We hope all of our friends and supporters have a safe and happy holiday, and make time to read a good book.
Image by Wojtek Kozak.
I brought home a new friend last week. Piper Louise joined our family a week ago today. We are so happy to have her and can't wait until she's big enough to become another book critic!
Oh, and she has a very special message for one of our dear PBJs:
Tomorrow is our 19th birthday! Happy birthday to us!
Since First Book was born in 1992, we’ve distributed over 80 million books to children from low-income communities all over the United States and Canada. Not bad for a teenager.
But as proud as we are of that success, we know that we’ve only gotten books to a small fraction of the children who are waiting for us. And we need your help to reach them all.
To say “Happy 19th Birthday”, please consider donating $19 to First Book. Your generous support will help us bring books to children in need all over the country.
To show you what we’re talking about, here’s exactly what $19 represents:
The retail value of those seven books is almost $60. That’s a lot more than most Title I schools or social service programs can afford to spend. But those same seven titles add up to $19 on the First Book Marketplace. That’s our online store, where registered teachers and program leaders who serve children in need can get brand-new books for their kids.
Thanks for your help. We couldn’t ask for a better birthday gift.
PS – Once you donate (or even if you’re not able to), share this message on your Facebook or Twitter page and let other people know that you support First Book. And wish us a happy birthday!
Birthday card for the hungry.
Today's post is a bit of a stroll into the past, as the bow tie above was a request based on a blue bow tie I had drawn a couple of years back, redrawn in lemon yellow.
I'm a Featured Seller Interview up at the Zazzle blog this week, which is wonderful and hugely motivating. Perfect timing, as I'm in the midst of sorting out my stores, and going through a much needed
clean-up that will take me quite a while as I have to sort out tags, new
products and redesigns on just about everything.
Here's one of my older text designs that I've now reproduced in different colours and on some of the new products:
Still a bit stuck on the ideas front so I'm hoping this clean-up will help kick-start the inspiration motor. Fingers crossed. Cheers!
I just have to share with you my two go-to books that provide (almost) instant, fool-proof birthday party action.
Today is my birthday. I'm 34 years old, as of 5:25 pm. Someone told me it's not that big a deal - just marks another cycle of the earth around the sun. I told him that our mothers think about it very differently.
| (top row: mum and dad; bottom: kiki, tristan, me, nicholas, tot #1)|
My mum always made our birthdays special. We had a visit from the birthday bird - a small present left by our bedside, first thing in the morning. I grew up poor. A small present might be a new toothbrush or hair decoration. Still, it was always the best way to start the day. Usually school was out by the time my birthday rolled around, so I might have a friend over to play, or we would go to the community pool. Sometimes we were camping, and once we were in a hotel room in Asheville, NC. I turned 13 watching my siblings in a hotel room while my parents went to a work function at the Biltmore.
No matter where we were, mum added special touches. If we were home, she made special dinners, with whatever kind of cake I wanted. (More often than not, I wanted a huge chocolate chip cookie.) My Nanny and Papa would come, and I'd have a couple of friends over, or maybe just one (Betsy Alice Ingrid Elizabeth Huff.) I would be excused from chores, given a one-day pass on my messy room, and presented with the gift of pure childhood, at least for a day.
If we weren't home, mum still found ways to celebrate. She'd gather flowers to put on the wooden picnic table at our campsite, or she'd have brought a special blanket or pillow for my tent. I could choose what hike we took, or whether we went swimming. We'd make s'mores and she wouldn't even admonish me about getting my fingers too sticky.
That birthday in the hotel room? Mum sneaked a collection of petits fours
out of the business dinner and put a candle in one for me to blow out. (At the time I think I was resentful she didn't outright steal a priceless valuable or something, but I was 13. What did I know?)
This is who my mother is. She is someone who makes everything more beautiful.
|3 generations: Mum, Bug and Me|
If I grew up poor, my mother grew up vastly more so. She clung to the idea that there can be special touches to any occasion. We needn't just have napkins - they can be folded and elegant, even if they're just paper. We needn't have plain ball-point pens - we can glue feathers on them to m
I'm a moody person. Stop, I know. You're shocked. I can be joyous and jubilant one day and in doldrums the next. It's how I roll.* Not only do I find myself, on this rainy Sunday afternoon, post-birthday
, but also post-blog-party
(today's sermon: "Celebrating Harry Potter: Spiritual Seeing & Living" by the Rev. Keith Thompson.)
I start to question everything when I get lonely: the meaning of life, my own self-worth, the authenticity of my relationships, the unfairness of some people being this beautiful
, and the all around strangeness that is people's obsession with True Blood
By tomorrow I'll be okay again, of course. For now, I'm going to go do something totally self-indulgent. I know you're going to be jealous.
I'm going to go hit Sephora
. If you haven't heard from me in three weeks, send the search parties there.
*That one's for you, Travis.** Come on. Sookie Stackhouse as a name? Seriously? And Stephen Moyer? Could we get a less attractive vampire? And....no I haven't read or seen any of the series. I guess it can't be worse than Twilight.
Wow, I can't believe WaWe has been alive for two whole years! So excellent! We have such a diverse group of illustrators on this blog! I'm glad to be a part of it all! Here's to many more great adventures together!
Blog: Bobo's Fun Place
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To a Leo father and his two charming Leo daughters, Glenn Yu, Dreama and Yen, "Happy Birthday!"
三位獅子座的父女，Glenn Yu, Dreama and Yen，“生日快乐！”
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, george harrison
, gordon thompson
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By Gordon Thompson
On 9 October, many in the world will remember John Winston Ono Lennon, born on this date in 1940. He, of course, would have been amused, although part of him (the part that self-identified as “genius”) would have anticipated the attention. However, he might also have questioned why the Beatles and their music, and this Beatle in particular, would remain so current in our cultural thinking. When Lennon described the Beatles as just a band that made it very, very big, why did we doubt him?
Today, the music of the Beatles remains popular, perhaps because it helped define a musical genre that continues to flourish, leading some to speculate that these songs and recordings express inherent transcendental qualities. Nevertheless, no graphed demonstration of harmonic relationships and melodic development and no semiotic divination of their lyrics can explain what these individuals and their music have meant to Western civilization. Those born in the aftermath of the Second World War harbor the most obvious explanations. A plurality of the children who came of age during the sixties continues to hold the Beatles as an ideal expression of that decade’s emphasis on self-determination and optimism.
The composer of “A Hard Day’s Night,” “If I Fell,” “Help!,” “Nowhere Man,” “In My Life,” “Strawberry Fields Forever,” “I Am the Walrus,” “Across the Universe,” “Imagine,” and other classics of the modern Western canon left an indelible mark on our notions of music and expression. Where Paul McCartney searched for polite answers to reassure adults, Lennon often seemed to taunt reporters, to the delight of adolescents and the adolescent at heart. When Lennon got into trouble (as he did when American Christians took umbrage at his comparison of fan reaction to the Beatles and to Jesus), we apprehended our own image in the mirror of his discomfort. Moreover, when he shed the conventions of adolescence for the complicated independence of adulthood, we followed his example, albeit usually with less flair and more humility.
In many ways, John Lennon represented a twentieth-century Everyman: someone in whom we could see ourselves re-imagined in extraordinary circumstances with a quicker wit and more charisma. His assassination thirty years ago in December 1980 consequently left an indelible mark on us, standing as one of those moments stained in memory and time. That he had recently emerged from a well-earned domestic sabbatical with renewed possibilities, which both he and his fans recognized, made his death all the more tragic.
Just as the Fab Four had helped to define adolescent identities, perhaps these same baby boomers recognized in Lennon’s death the fragility of our own existence writ large on the wall. And, as the writing hand moved on, we contemplated one last indisputable truth that this most poetic Beatle had bequeathed: the passion play of his life, career, and death had provided us with a sand mandala of our own impermanent individual selves.
Pop culture by definition presents a fleeting expression of our consciousness, which we perpetually construct and reconstruct; but we sometimes forget that the currents of culture have lasting effects on the swimmers. Lennon, Harrison, McCartney, and Starr may have only been musicians that made it very, very big; but, in their roles as ritual players on the altar of the sixties, they played out an extraordinary version of everyday universal lives.
Gordon Thompson is Professor of Music at Skidmore College. His book, Please Please Me: Sixties Br
Many Overlook fans are familiar with our company because of Walter R. Brooks. We published a biography of the great writer a few years ago, called Talking Animals and Others: The Life and Work of Walter R. Brooks, and we recently published his beloved Freddy the Pig novels for the first time in paperback.
He's been a great cultural influence (he inspired the character of Mr. Ed, too!) and in honor of his birthday, we're giving away a copy of FREDDY THE DETECTIVE. Leave a comment here or on Facebook or Twitter to win!
Happy reading! Hug a talking animal today in honor of Walter R. Brooks.
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, call of the wild
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, john barleycorn
, whitee fang
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Yes, today would be Jack London’s 135th birthday, and to celebrate it, we’ll be doing a giveaway to 6 lucky tweeters. International readers, keep your eyes on @OWC_Oxford and when you see,
“It’s Jack London’s 135th birthday!”
just retweet it before 3pm GMT! Live in the US? Follow @OUPblogUSA. You’ll have until 3pm ET. Winners will be announced on Thursday and have their choice of
Everyone at Color Online is still on a hiatus. Just dropping in quickly to wish Ernessa T. Carter author of 32 Candles a happy birthday. Today is her birthday at least that's what she said.
Our gift to the author is a look at a few of the great things people have said about 32 Candles
The Eclectic Book Lover
Perhaps what I love most, though, about this novel is its voice. Carter touches on things common to the black experience in such a universal way that anyone can understand and enjoy it. It's not a book that will only truly resonate with black people. The narrative is engaging, witty and intelligent and the dialogue manages to be in the appropriate vernaculars for the right characters. There's no overdone colloquialisms and no caricaturing of Southern dialects.
While this novel could be simply classified as "chick lit", it's so much more than that. Davie's story isn't just cute and romantic, but grandly triumphant and I loved every word of it
When was the last time you stayed up late to read a book? 32 Candles is so good that I started reading it at a bowling alley, ignored Twitter and the TV when I got home and stayed up until I was done with it. Yes, it's that good
My love for Davidia Jones
Its the 80's Davidia loves John Hughes films. Like Celie from the Color Purple, Davidia may be poor, black, she may even be ugly but she still dreams of a Molly Ringwald ending. Sixteen Candles is Davidia's favorite Ringwald film. She thinks she's found her very own Jake Ryan in James Farrell
I've shown a lot of restraint waiting this long to say I loved 32 Candles. Its ridiculously good. Its my favorite fiction debut of the year. I cared about and loved Davidia from the beginning. Her voice is original and realistic. In the first half of the Davidia Jones is the victim. In the second half, Davie Jones begins to take charge. 32 Candles is sad, funny, smart and entertaining, basically everything a great book should be.
Ernessa - Happy Birthday. Thanks so much for such an original debut.
It wouldn't have been the same without you.
Well, it's March, rgz, and do you know that means it's our 4th birthday? Woohoo! Raise a book and drop a comment in celebration. Share your love!
Looking over the past 4 years, I recall our launch, March 1st, 2007, in honor of Women's History Month. How about our migration from MySpace to Facebook and Blogger and Twitter? I think of great chats like the midnight worldwide extravaganza with Stephenie Meyer, Halloween, 2007. I think of 31 Flavorites where we hosted a different author everyday. I think of celebrations for Teen Read Week, donations of 30,000 books to underserved teens through Operation Teen Book Drop with YALSA and Guys Lit Wire, and the recent A Novel Gift with First Book, driving hundreds to register for 125,000 books. I think of winning the National Book Award for Innovations in Reading and the James Patterson Grant.
I think of great dialog, passionate teens, and those who work to serve them. I think of an amazing crew of ladies who has donated their time to sustain this site.
Here's to YA literature. Here's to you, rgz! Happy 4th birthday!
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Today I would like to wish mom's nephew, Old Bird, a very happy birthday!