Jacki Kellum Weekly: Highlights of My Blogging Week September 4 – September 11, 2016

Every Year on September 11, I like to play a video showing Liza Minelli and Pavrotti singing New York, New York. It is my Anthem of Survival.

I am currently blogging on several sites, and I have decided to post a Weely Review to allow my readers to have an overview of what I consider to be the best of what I have blogged each week on all of my sites.


Because it is the time when school has always started, fall has almost always seemed to me like the time to begin a new year. Fall is the time to buy new crayons and glue and to get a shiny new ruler–one that isn’t nicked and scratched, and it has become the time to buy a new backpack and lunch box. Fall is also the time to celebrate the harvesting of the apples and to honor America’s rise from the terrorist attack on 9-11. Read more Here


In the North, we have some hot days in summer, but summer doesn’t last as long as it does in the South. I have laughed, saying that I believe that whoever broke the years into seasons, lived in New Jersey, because in New Jersey, we have 4 distinctive seasons, and you can bank on them changing at exactly the time that they are supposed to change. Read More Here


Allow Yourself the Time to Walk and to Look and to Simply Jot Some Notes Along the Way: Thoughts on Keeping a Journal

William Wordsworth was an avid walker. and he made sure that he filled his life with the types of moments that evoke an ever-renewing spontaneous overflow of emotion. I realize that I have not been doing enough of that. This week, I am studying the practice of keeping a writer’s journal.

In her Grasmere Journal, William Wordsworth’s sister Dorothy wrote that Wordsworth often sat in a crude shepherd’s hut or a writer’s hut to write. Wordsworth’s writing huts  were little more than a roof and a desk that were beneath a covered shelter, and they had no walls that separated him from nature. The huts were situated in places where he had a natural view and first-hand experience of his natural environment. Wordsworth clearly wanted to write from  a place where he could directly respond to his natural setting, and his intimacy with nature allowed him to have the fodder needed to evoke his overflow of emotions and to refill his spirit.

Anaïs Nin also talked about the overflow that Wordsworth had mentioned:

“You must not fear, hold back, count or be a miser with your thoughts and feelings. It is also true that creation comes from an overflow, so you have to learn to intake, to imbibe, to nourish yourself and not be afraid of fullness. The fullness is like a tidal wave which then carries you, sweeps you into experience and into writing. Permit yourself to flow and overflow, allow for the rise in temperature, all the expansions and intensifications. Something is always born of excess: great art was born of great terrors, great loneliness, great inhibitions, instabilities, and it always balances them.”
― Anaïs Nin, The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 4: 1944-1947

Read More about Dorothy Wordsworth’s Grasmere Journal Here

Image result for jessamyn west

Jessamyn West – at Her Desk

“People who keep journals have life twice.”

7 Writers Tell Why They Keep Journals

Anaïs Nin, Ray Bradbury, C.S. Lewis, Joan Didion, Franz Kafka, Susan Sontag, and Jessamyn West Share Why They Keep Journals Here

“The diary taught me that it is in the moments of emotional crisis that human beings reveal themselves most accurately. I learned to choose the heightened moments because they are the moments of revelation.”

From Nin’s essay “On Writing,” 1947.

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Anaïs Nin

Romanticism – William Blake – Songs of Innocence: the Concept of the Child & Anaïs Nin On An Extraordinary Life

Blake described an idyllic place where people who are always young reside. They are the people who have not been hardened by life. In the Songs of Experience, he described the hellish place where people who have been hardened by life are trapped. These are the people who, regardless of their physical age, are old. The people who have not been hardened by life’s experiences are  the forever young.

“Ordinary life does not interest me. I seek only the high moments. I am in accord with the surrealists, searching for the marvelous. I want to be a writer who reminds others that these moments exist; I want to prove that there is infinite space, infinite meaning, infinite dimension. But I am not always in what I call a state of grace. I have days of illuminations and fevers. I have days when the music in my head stops. Then I mend socks, prune trees, can fruits, polish furniture. But while I am doing this I feel I am not living.”
― Anaïs Nin, The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 1: 1931-1

More Here

An Overview of Romanticism – A Celebration of Nature and the Child – William Blake Songs of Innocence

Image result for blake songs of innocence and experience

William Blake is considered to be one of the earliest voices of the Romantic period, and his Songs of Innocence and Experience are characteristic of Romantic thought. Although Blake was rejected by most of his contemporaries and while he died virtually unknown, the words of his poem Jerusalem have eventually become the Hymn of England: Jerusalem. Here


Let Them Eat Cake – Romanticism and Its Link to the French Revolution

The French Revolution was a time of political unrest directed toward the royalty of France and its insensitivity to the poor. Contrary to popular opinion, the revolt was not led by the impoverished, but it was led by the more affluent and the writers and the artists who revolted for the poor.

In 1792-1792, the English poet William Wordsworth was living in France, and he was influenced by the ideals of the French Revolution. When he returned to England, his book Lyrical Ballads was published. In the Preface to the book, Wordsworth laid out his plan for a new kind of writing that would be about the common man and would be written for the  veryday man.  This was a break with the Classical tradition. Read More Here


Dorothy Wordsworth’s Journal Provides A Word Painting of 19th Century Life in the English Lake District – Sense of Place

Dorothy Wordsworth wrote in a journal, and her words paint a brilliant image of what life seemed to her when she and her brother William Wordsworth lived in the English Lake District during the early 19th Century.  Read More about Dorothy Wordsworth Descriptive Writing that Creates a Sense of Place Here


Things That I Did Not Expect to Learn from Dorothy Wordsworth’s Journal – Keep It Short! Disregard the Rules!

Much of Dorothy Wordsworth’s journal is built of phrases and not of full sentences. I found this to be very encouraging. When I look at the entirety of Dorothy’s journal, I see that her journaling must have been good for her development as a writer. Even if the journal entries are quick and even if they are not grammatically correct, they capture immediate observations that are almost poetic. There is evidence that some of William Wordsworth’s most famous poems were built upon Dorothy’s journal entries. Read More about This Here


Writings about the Wordsworth Homes – Writing about Sense of Place

William Wordsworth and his siblings were orphaned when William was 13-years-ol and when Dorothy was 12-years old. They were separated until about 1795 when they were reunited. Read the following post to see how they and other people described their homes and the countryside Here

Racedown Lodge in Dorsetshire – 1795

“The brother and sister, have thus cast in their lots together, settled at Racedown Lodge in Dorsetshire in the autumn of 1795. They had there a pleasant house, with a good garden, and around them charming walks and a delightful country looking out on the distant sea.” Read More & See Who Wrote This Here


William Wordsworth – His Opinions about Poetry and Nature – The Tables Turned away from Classicism to Romanticism

William Wordsworth grew up in the Lake District of England, and the beauty of that region was of vital importance to both Wordsworth and to his sister Dorothy, who was also a writer.

Wordsworth states his opinions of the importance of nature and of the role of the poet in the Preface that Wordsworth wrote for Lyrical Ballads

  •  Write naturally but imaginatively about everyday life and write about nature
  • Write about Humble and rustic…because, in that condition, the essential passions of the heart find a better soil in which they can attain their maturity, are less under restraint, and speak a plainer and more emphatic language
  • Everyday life has a simplicity and is rooted in that which is elementary and fundamental to oneself.
  • Everyday life is steeped in the beauty and permanence of nature.
  • Use everyday language because the use of exalted language is a type of vanity.
  • Men who write as a way to flaunt their lofty usages of language are typically fickle.
  • More Here


Write to Experience the Power of Words – in Sounds

Good poetry harnesses the sounds of words, as well as their meanings. Consider the sound of the word “twinkle.” The very sound of the word is a twinkling.

by Jacki Kellum

Twinkle twinkle in the night,
Glitter, glimmer kind of light,
Sparkle, shimmer, winking sight,
Twinkle, twinkle in the night.

Contrast the word “twinkle” with the word “glare.”…The meanings of the words “twinkle” and “glare” are different, but their sounds are different, too, and the sounds of the words contribute greatly to our reactions. Read More Here





2 thoughts on “Jacki Kellum Weekly: Highlights of My Blogging Week September 4 – September 11, 2016

  1. Wow, quite the review. I appreciate the tour of Blake and the Wordsworths. Reminds me of the better parts of graduate school. I wrote the poem below a while ago and haven’t really done anything with it. I was thinking of Blake and his “tyger,” and this proceeded. I hope you might enjoy it.

    The Spyder
    (an innocent experience
    inside wand’ring poet’s fence)

    Spy-der, spy-der spinning white
    In suburban corner’s plight—
    What sufficiency’s reply
    Made into this rever-y?

    Which divinity made legs
    Spinning all your woven eggs?
    Who is it who might maintain
    Something of your silky grain?

    Some small part of you is red,
    Yet no clearance for the dead
    Moves you by your eight-in stride
    Gives you joint and grace divide

    You are here and will be still
    At the birth of your own will;
    We can only guess the sense
    Formed you without recompense

    Spy-der-spy-der, all delight
    In your many-angled sight,
    That which gives you William Blake
    Song of mine to undertake

    C L Couch


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