Frêsh Fish

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Seasons

I have a lot of big trees on my property and although I enjoy the changing of the colors and watching the twirling meanderings of the discarded foliage I often wish that leaves fell upward instead of down.

I wanted to do a blog about Fall so I started by looking through my archives for a Fall picture. I happened upon this snap of the elegant oak I have in the back. This picture was taken last November, 2006, on a gorgeous Fall day. Unfortunately, I hadn’t mastered the concept of exposure compensation and the photo is overexposed. Overexposed or not, it is still a photo dear to my heart. My camera, my tree, me, on a perfect Fall day. Perhaps I will have chances again to do better but there will never be another moment exactly like that captured in this snap, ever, ever, again.

She certainly is a beauty.  I hope she is always with me.

And From the Tiny Acorn Thus

In the folder that the picture of the oak was in, named 1106wonderfulfallday, was another picture of the saint that blesses my garden. I thought it would be interesting to have the snap of the humongous oak and then another showing the base.



I have taken many, many, snaps of the saint that blesses the garden. Spring, Summer, Winter, Fall, I have snaps of the saint in all. So after the Fall offering, I went through my archives of pictures and found 3 more captures of the saint for the remaining seasons.







© 2007 big box industries

Sunday, October 21, 2007


I was up early this morning with little to do, nothing prearranged for my doing. That being so my mind began to wander. In truth it did not wander far because for some time I have been thinking about once again reviewing The Raven.

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
`'Tis some visitor,' I muttered, `tapping at my chamber door -
Only this, and nothing more.'

It has been about 10 years since I gave Edgar’s offering any serious consideration. During that time I had attempted to memorize all 18 stanzas of The Raven. Although I made some progress, reaching the 7th or 8th stanza on my quest, I failed.

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; - vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow - sorrow for the lost Lenore -
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels named Lenore -
Nameless here for evermore.

Again I pick up the gauntlet. Perhaps not to complete The Quest but at least to go further than I have gone before.

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me - filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
`'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door -
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door; -
This it is, and nothing more,'

In preparation for my journey I googled The Raven on the web to see what stuff was out there. I was especially interested in reviews of the work. I was somewhat saddened by the discovery that there were only two entries of any merit –The First American Poem, with insight into how The Work was first published and received in 1845 & ,The Raven which gives an excellent summary of The Poem. 3,460,000 entries for "the raven reviews" and only two entries of any merit?

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
`Sir,' said I, `or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you' - here I opened wide the door; -
Darkness there, and nothing more.

I was especially taken by this passage found in the 2nd review – “Speaking of the composition of "The Raven," Poe wrote "that no one point in its composition is referrible either to accident or intuition -- that the work proceeded, step by step, to its completion with the precision and rigid consequence of a mathematical problem." This conjured up the scenes from Amadeus in which Mozart, the ever faithful scribe, seemed to be just coping down the work done by a higher entity. Here to we find Poe suggesting that the The Raven was already completed in his mind and all he had to do was pen to paper put, write it down.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before
But the silence was unbroken, and the darkness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, `Lenore!'
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, `Lenore!'
Merely this and nothing more.

Further investigation of references to Poe’s The Raven found on Google yielded that both of the reference mentioned above are from the same source. Both references are from The Poe Perplex, a project sponsored by, of all places, the U.S. Naval Academy “The Poe Perplex has its origins in a class offered at the U. S. Naval Academy in the spring of 1996. Students in two sections of an English major's seminar on Poe created many of the materials for use in class. In usual seminar fashion, the students did the research and talked about the works of Poe.”

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
`Surely,' said I, `surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore -
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore; -
'Tis the wind and nothing more!'

My first Google search used the terms -"the raven review" - and I got the meager offerings cited above. I next tried - "poe’s the raven" - and found much more to get excited about. Here I found an excellent entry in Wikipedia. As an aside let me say that I continue to find Wikipedia to be one of the most wonderful of collaborative endeavors.

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore.
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door -
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door -
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

I continue to be interested in the method by which a work comes into being. Poe supposedly (obiter dictum – I have been having trouble here. It is not supposively.) offers insight into his method of drafting The Raven in The Philosophy of Composition. Find here the Wikipedia entry for The Philosophy of Composition and here the actual work – The Philosophy of Composition.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
`Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,' I said, `art sure no craven.
Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the nightly shore -
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

Many consider The Philosophy of Composition to be a satire or hoax. It starts off promising enough with the fourth paragraph echoing a sentiment that I have always held. – “I have often thought how interesting a magazine paper might be written by any author who would- that is to say, who could- detail, step by step, the processes by which any one of his compositions attained its ultimate point of completion. Why such a paper has never been given to the world, I am much at a loss to say- but, perhaps, the autorial vanity has had more to do with the omission than any one other cause. Most writers- poets in especial- prefer having it understood that they compose by a species of fine frenzy- an ecstatic intuition- and would positively shudder at letting the public take a peep behind the scenes, at the elaborate and vacillating crudities of thought- at the true purposes seized only at the last moment- at the innumerable glimpses of idea that arrived not at the maturity of full view- at the fully-matured fancies discarded in despair as unmanageable- at the cautious selections and rejections- at the painful erasures and interpolations- in a word, at the wheels and pinions- the tackle for scene-shifting- the step-ladders, and demon-traps- the cock's feathers, the red paint and the black patches, which, in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, constitute the properties of the literary histrio.”

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning - little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door -
Bird or beast above the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as `Nevermore.'

And then after many strolls around the block, Poe claims, like Bob Fisher who could recall any chess game he had ever played, to recall in detail just how he went about writing The Raven. Although all the little details he mentions make sense, ex ante, the most suspicious claim he makes is that he started the crafting of the The Raven with the 15 th stanza.

`Prophet!' said I, `thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil! -
Whether tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted -
On this home by horror haunted - tell me truly, I implore -
Is there - is there balm in Gilead? - tell me - tell me, I implore!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

Although I do agree with the gist of The Philosophy of Composition, that the superior writer considers the ending first, I still find it hard to believe that stanza 15, certainly not the most enchanting stanza in the poem, was the source of inspiration for all that followed.

But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only,
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered - not a feather then he fluttered -
Till I scarcely more than muttered `Other friends have flown before -
On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before.'
Then the bird said, `Nevermore.'

Although Poe claims in The Philosophy of Composition to remember ever detail of the way in which he put pen to paper, he leaves much of interest out. How long did it take him to write the poem? He states in The Composition that one should be able to read a poem in one sitting. Should it also be written as such? After the 15th stanza, which he claims is the first, did he then write the rest of the poem in reading order? Which were the more difficult stanza’s to write? Were there stanza’s that he left out? What corrections, if any, were made to the poem?

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
`Doubtless,' said I, `what it utters is its only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore -
Till the dirges of his hope that melancholy burden bore
Of "Never-nevermore."'

Regardless of how Poe wrote The Raven there is no doubt that it enchanted and enchants still. It is rather ironic though that Poe states that brevity is a desired quality of poetry and yet anyone today who starts to read The Raven after about 7 or 8 stanza’s starts to get a little weary. But herein lies the magic of the work, that Poe could go on and on and on.

But the raven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird and bust and door;
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore -
What this grim, ungainly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking `Nevermore.'

There are 108 lines in The Raven divided into 18 stanza’s. An interesting exercise would be to rate the 18 in order of preference. This would be very difficult to do, because with the exception of a few lines here and there I find The Raven perfect.

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o'er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o'er,
She shall press, ah, nevermore!

A movie was made about Poe and his life. Although I remember very little about the movie, I do recall a scene in which Poe goes maniacally running about reciting The Raven at a feverish pace. Hint – The Raven is not meant to be read too slowly.

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
`Wretch,' I cried, `thy God hath lent thee - by these angels he has sent thee
Respite - respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore!
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost Lenore!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

Even though I have read The Raven in its entirety many times, the first few stanza’s are the ones I am the most familiar with. A favorite phrase of mine is quaint and curious. And at first I had thought since there were many that it would be volumes of forgotten lore but I was mistaken, it is volume.

`Prophet!' said I, `thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil! -
Whether tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted -
On this home by horror haunted - tell me truly, I implore -
Is there - is there balm in Gilead? - tell me - tell me, I implore!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

And here above we have the 15th stanza again. This is the stanza that Poe claims he wrote first.

`Prophet!' said I, `thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us - by that God we both adore -
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels named Lenore -
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden, whom the angels named Lenore?'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

The entirety of The Raven hinges on nevermore and the name of the rare and radiant maiden, Lenore. Poe states that he used these terms because they stressed the sonorous O in each word.

`Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!' I shrieked upstarting -
`Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken! - quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

I have read many of Poe’s other poems. I have actually put, with some literary license, the words of Anna Belle Lee to music. I have also read many of Poe’s prose offerings and reviews he wrote when he was the editor of several literary magazines. Poe liked to write. He had an extensive vocabulary. He was fond of alliteration. I am very happy for him that once in his life he was able to make the ascension and commune with his muse. We are all happy that he found a way to put pen to paper and leave us The Raven.

And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted - nevermore!

© 2007 big box industries

Saturday, October 20, 2007

White Dahlia

This is a dinner plate dahlia from my garden. Actually it is only about 6 inches across but that’s still pretty damn big. I suspect that if I had been more diligent with pinching off the side buds I could have gotten a flower even bigger.

I actually let her get too tall this year.  Next year I will do better.

Pristine & Serene

This was the White’s final Fall hurray. A way perhaps of saying thanks for my care and asking me not to forget her while she is away.

I am still not sure which I like better. The one above or this.

I used the posterized effect here.


© 2007 big box industries

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Hearth & Home on a Dreary Autumn Day

What can I say it is a dreary Fall day. Not much is happening so I have to make my own magic.

The first offering focuses attention on the picture on the wall – Lady in The Blue Hat - 2003, with a darkened kitchen area on the right. The Lady in the wall hanging is actually a snap of Plum taken in 2003 aboard an aircraft bound for Key West. Last week Plum’s kids came over for a Saturday brunch. For reasons known only to her, Plum felt compelled at that time to hide her Key West snap in the entrance way closet. I have since retrieved it from the dark of the closet and rehung.

With each and every thing having a story of its own.

Hearth & Home

To assist in the story I have provided a few clues to some of the mysterious shapes that reside in the darkened kitchen.

I have recently put the Thanksgiving Scarecrow out. He was residing in an entrance way closet opposite the one that Plum hid The Blue Hat in.

The cheese and eggs are for a sandwich I am going to make later. I have them out now so they will warm up a bit before they hit the gurgle of the butter in the pan.

Plum brought the apples home yesterday. She had been to the Asian market with her new daughter-in-law and somehow ended up with half a dozen crisp red beauties. Plum is not known to be a big time apple eater.

Aglow with holiday folly.

Life is Good

Considering that the Thanksgiving Scarecrow spends about 11 months a year in a dark entrance way closet opposite the one that Plum hid The Blue in, The Crow has a remarkably cheerful disposition. I have provided a pictorial clue as to why he may be so festive.

© 2007 big box industries

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Arach, arach, arachnia.

Had one of these harbingers of Fall hanging out near the entrance to my abode. I am always taken by the elaborate needle work of their webs. They must get it on to the quick because first there is nothing and then in a wink, pow.

Although they look menacing supposedly these guys are harmless.

Argiope aurantia

Did a little research on these guys just to get up to speed. Their moniker is very original – the black and yellow spider. The most interesting factoid I picked up is that the female is a lot bigger than the male. If you spot a big,fat, yellow and black it's a bitch. The stunted specimen of the group, about 4 times smaller, is the wanker male.

And anytime you think you have it bad just dwell on the spiddies for awhile. Takes the concept of sponge worthy to a new level. The males die after sex and the females die after laying eggs.

© 2007 big box industries

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The BagMen

These guys are bagmen 24x7. They are always on the hang. Doing a bit of the good stuff. Doing a little thistle. Not sure what these guys would do without me? To the best of my knowledge there is no thistle in these here parts.

When we first got the house we put out a thistle bag and these guys have been with us ever since.

With Naked Foot Stalking Within my Chamber.

It’s Fall and the males’ hue started turning about 3 weeks ago from a bright and beautiful daffodil yellow to a motley mud of brown. Do they know that they are not so pretty anymore?

And this brings us to the topic of Bovine-Mallard. How like a cow and dull.

If you are up for an adventure I suggest that you try putting bagman in the search function at the top left of this page. This will take you to other references to bagman found within this blog. If you take this little adventure you are going to have to scroll down after the search because the first entry you will get is the current entry and you might think that nothing happened.

© 2007 big box industries

Saturday, October 13, 2007


And they took Two and made One many times.

Water Fairy

Many Listened As She Spoke of Agua for All

And they, the many, all came from far and wide, to listen to the old stories. To the stories when there was plenty and all gave freely. To the old stories about the times when there was lots and lots of agua.

Plants are people too.

And She Cast a Wide Spell with Her Gurgling

Elsewhere it has been written. Elsewhere it has been written about how the One you seek is not of the Land or Air but like the fishes, of the Water. Water gives and is given by all freely. When you wash you are clean again. And the miracle was that he walked, he walked upon the Water.

And he waited by the sage oak, waiting for a sign.

He Wandered for 30 Days & Nights Without Water

He sought upon a Quest. It was a Nantuckett that he sought. A way away. The path he had traveled was long and arduous but he had not noticed. But now he was without Water and he was catching glimpses of fragmented thoughts that suggested that perhaps his God was a false God, a God without Water.

The last of the '07 roses.

Sub Rosa

In Georgia we are currently facing one of the worst droughts in the state's history. All outside watering has been banned. This is making it very difficult for me because plants are people too.

© 2007 big box industries

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

The Fare is Fowl is Cumming

Macbeth : Act 1 Scene 1

11 Fair is foul, and foul is fair:
12 Hover through the fog and filthy air.

Why is it farris wheel?

Round and Round She Goes

Macbeth : Act 1 Scene 3

38 So foul and fair a day I have not seen.

Giddy up.    Wonder what the origin of that phrase is?

Save a Horse Ride a Cowboy

The Cumming Country Fair will be in town from Oct. 4th – Oct. 10th. Big time phun for everyone.

Cumming Country Fair Oct. 4th - Oct. 10th

© 2007 big box industries

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

All This and Heaven Too

High above the kingdom fair I with golden sword did stand. High above the kingdom fair with golden sword I did stand. High above the kingdom fair I did stand with golden sword.

Did a little wack/jack this morning.

Neighbor down the road was getting an oak tree cut down.


Then I had a big breakfast.

Eggs,fried rice, and Canadian bacon - GTG.

They Eat the Eggs of Others

Went out and found a garden fairy.

Birthday present for E from R.

I Think Her Name is Painty Girl

She told me to find a place where the bees were busy.

They say the ees are disappearing but I have lots and lots.

Working Hard for the Good Stuff

© 2007 big box industries