Monday, May 28, 2012

Long Island arts and crafts at the Mozart Festival - Old Westbury Gardens

We were invited to present Long Island arts and crafts at the Mozart Festival held annually at Old Westbury Gardens. It was a great event - old mansion, beautifully groomed grounds, music in the air.

Painter Yvonne Dagger worked on a portrait, wood carver Don Dailey carved decorative spoons, writer Paul Mateyunas signed his latest book, and knitter Theresa Wasserman crocheted a baby hat.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Long Island Poem for Sunday, Walt Whitman's birthday, May 27th 2012

Manuscript of Paumanok
Photo from The Walt Whitman Archive
May 31st marks the 193rd anniversary of Walt Whitman's birthday, we are just a few years shy of his bicentennial. Whitman was born in West Hills on Long Island; the location is now the Walt Whitman Birthplace State Historic Site and Interpretive Center - an active place, well worth a visit, offering tours and poetry meetings.

Though Whitman's reach was universal - in 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass (page 29) the poet introduced himself as - "Walt Whitman, an American, one of the roughs, a kosmos, disorderly, fleshly, and sensual, no sentimentalist, no stander above men or women or apart from them, no more modest than immodest"; he referred to Long Island in a number of poems.

Today let us present a later poem, from 1888, "Paumanok", Paumanok was a native name of Long Island. Whitman still saw it as "Isle of sweet brooks of drinking-water—healthy air and soil!"

Walt Whitman

Sea-beauty! stretch'd and basking!
One side thy inland ocean laving, broad, with copious commerce,
         steamers, sails,
And one the Atlantic's wind caressing, fierce or gentle—mighty
         hulls dark-gliding in the distance.
Isle of sweet brooks of drinking-water—healthy air and soil!
Isle of the salty shore and breeze and brine!

"Paumanok" by Walt Whitman, first published in the New York Herald on February 29, 1888.
Reprinted after The Walt Whitman Archive. In public domain.

Previous Long Island Poem for Sunday - Long Island Poem for Memorial Day Sunday, May 20th, 2012

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Long Island Poem for Memorial Day Sunday, May 20th 2012

Fervent religious poetry may not be your cup of tea, but Lloyd Neck-born Jupiter Hammon (October 17, 1711 – before 1806), one of the earliest black poets published in America, devoted all his surviving poems to glory of God and moral instructions.

Jupiter, though a slave throughout his entire life, was politically active and spoke for the gradual emancipation to end slavery.

For more information on Jupiter Hammon visit the Lloyd Harbor Historical Society, Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities which owns and oversees the Joseph Lloyd Manor, now a museum, where Jupiter Hammon lived, Center for Public Archaeology at Hofstra University, or read "The African-American Poet, Jupiter Hammon: A Home-Born Slave and His Classical Name" by Margaret A. Brucia, from International Journal of the Classical Tradition, Vol. 7, No. 4 (Spring, 2001), pp. 515-522

On this Memorial Day weekend "A Poem for Children with Thoughts on Death" would be more appropriate, but we will instead quote a stanza from "An Address to Miss Phillis Wheatley". You may choose to interpret the "heaven's joys" in a sense broader than strictly religious, shall we say "communion of spirit"? Phillis Wheatley was a celebrated black poet of the time.

An Address to Miss Phillis Wheatley
Jupiter Hammon


While thousands muse with earthly toys;
    And range about the street,
Dear Phillis, seek for heaven’s joys,
    Where we do hope to meet.
                Matth. vi. 33.


From "An Address to Miss Phillis Wheatley" by Jupiter Hammon
Reprinted after The Poetry Foundation. In public domain.

Joseph Lloyd Manor in Lloyd Neck
Photo by James Shih
Previous Long Island Poem for Sunday -  Long Island Poem for Mother's Day Sunday, May 13th, 2012

Friday, May 18, 2012

Private dog show, by Mollie Eckelberry

Photo by Ewa Rumprecht
Here we find Mollie Eckelberry, Muttontown artists, working on new drawings.

Her cards with nature themes are very popular - horses, foxes, cats, birds, seagulls, exotic creatures, and homely dandelions.

We have asked Mollie for a selection of dog drawings. Enjoy!

IdggyCork Dog
Flower DogPug
Home AloneNap Time
Puppy with RabbitSetter
Bench Puppies

All images you see here were digitally processed by Minuteman Press in Syosset, NY.
All images are copy righted and not for distribution.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Long Island Poem for Mother's Day Sunday, May 13th 2012

Today, Mother's Day, we present two poems by Walt Whitman, a Long Island native: short but lovely "Mother and Babe" and excerpts from "There was a Child went Forth" - retrospection on poet's formative years with some touching words on his mother.

Mother and Babe
Walt Whitman

I SEE the sleeping babe, nestling the breast of its
The sleeping mother and babe—hush'd, I study them
         long and long.

"Mother and Babe" by Walt Whitman, from Leaves of Grass.
Reprinted after The Walt Whitman Archive. In public domain.

There was a Child went Forth
Walt Whitman

THERE was a child went forth every day,
And the first object he look'd upon, that object he became,
And that object became part of him for the day or a certain part
         of the day,
Or for many years or stretching cycles of years.


His own parents, he that had father'd him and she that had con-
         ceiv'd him in her womb and birth'd him,
They gave this child more of themselves than that,
They gave him afterward every day, they became part of him.

The mother at home quietly placing the dishes on the supper-
The mother with mild words, clean her cap and gown, a whole-
         some odor falling off her person and clothes as she walks by,


"There was a Child went Forth" by Walt Whitman, from Leaves of Grass.
Reprinted after The Walt Whitman Archive. In public domain.

Previous Long Island Poem for Sunday, May 6th, 2012

Monday, May 7, 2012

Mother's Day gifts

Mother's Day is approaching. Consider a meaningful, locally handcrafted gift. We have plenty of choices for you. Here are a few samples.

Mother and Baby Lamb
Drawing by Susan Gaber
Beautifully scented soaps
by Susan Linares
in an ebonized bowl by Harry Wicks
Horse hair vase with red banding
by Sue Adler
In the background a trivet made
from recycled cork by Wayne Jeno
Eye/sun catching crystals
by Sharon LaMonica
Small jewelry box
by Janet Bruce
Elegant cheese plate
by Donna Ferrara
Serving dish with butterfly motives
by Gina Mars
Colorful, hand-made glass beads
by Gea Hines
All photos by Agata and Tom Behrens

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Long Island Poem for Sunday, May 6th 2012

Letter Written on a Ferry While Crossing Long Island Sound
Anne Sexton

I am surprised to see
that the ocean is still going on.
Now I am going back
and I have ripped my hand
from your hand as I said I would
and I have made it this far
as I said I would
and I am on the top deck now
holding my wallet, my cigarettes
and my car keys
at 2 o'clock on a Tuesday
in August of 1960.
although everything has happened,
nothing has happened.
The sea is very old.
the sea is the face of Mary,
without miracles or rage
or unusual hope,
grown rough and wrinkled
with incurable age.
I have eyes,
These are my eyes:
the orange letters that spell
ORIENT on the life preserver
that hangs by my knees;
the cement lifeboat that wears
its dirty canvas coat;
the faded sign that sits on its shelf
saying KEEP OFF.
Oh, alright, I say,
I'll save myself.
Over my right shoulder
I see four arms
who sit like a bridge club,
their faces poked out
from under their habits,
as good as good babies who
have sunk into their carriages.
Without discrimination
the wind pulls the skirts
of their arms.
Almost undressed,
I see what remains:
that holy wrist,
that ankle,
that chain.
Oh God,
although I am very sad,
could you please
let these four nuns
loosen their leather boots
and their wooden chairs
to rise out
over this greasy deck,
out over this iron rail,
nodding their pink heads to one side,
flying four abreast
in the old-fashioned side stroke;
each mouth open and round,
breathing together
as fish do,
singing without sound.
see how my dark girls sally forth,
over the passing lighthouse of Plum Gut,
its shell as rusty
as a camp dish,
as fragile as a pagoda
on a stone;
out over the little lighthouse
that warns me of drowning winds
that rub over its blind bottom
and its blue cover;
winds that will take the toes
and the ears of the rider
or the lover.
There go my dark girls,
their dresses puff
in the leeward air.
Oh, they are lighter than flying dogs
or the breath of dolphins;
each mouth opens gratefully,
wider than a milk cup.
My dark girls sing for this.
They are going up.
See them rise
on black wings, drinking
the sky, without smiles
or hands
or shoes.
They call back to us
from the gauzy edge of paradise,

good news, good news.

"Letter Written on a Ferry While Crossing Long Island Sound" by Anne Sexton.
Reprinted after In public domain.

Previous Long Island Poem for Sunday, April 26th, 2012