March 28, 2012

Rosa Parks Poem

Oil and Water

A bus split like oil and water

The dividing

Not because of chemical reaction

But the color of skin

Hinges squeak

The smudged grimy door

Creaks open

To omit a man

His skin milky white

Brooding and gruff

He grunts with a hostile nod

But the seamstress has had enough

She will be strong for her people

Unknowingly starting a revolution

The seamstress

Refusing the conformity of

A brutal but accepted culture

Will teach

And change the world

March 21, 2012

Charming the Shrew By Laurin Wittig

Charming the Shrew

Catriona MacLeod is a woman with a reputation labeling her as a withered old crone with a tongue that can flay the skin off of any man.

Tayg of Culrain has the reputation of a fierce, brave, and handsome warrior.

In truth, Catriona is beautiful. But she has locked up her heart, for she has been verbally abused and ridiculed by her older brothers her whole life. She can't run the risk of giving anyone the key for fear of being exploited and deceived.

And Tayg. Yes, he is a fierce and handsome warrior, but his whole life, he has followed in the steps if his older brother Robbie, trying to do as he would, and trying to make his mother as proud of him as she was for her eldest son. Do not get me wrong. Robbie was a great man. That is, until he was slain in war.

Now Tayg is the eldest son of his clan. And he knows what comes next. His mother wishes him to be married.

Now many of you think you know where this is going. Let me help you:

1. Catriona and Tayg meet
2. Tayg breaks the lock on her heart and they fall in love
3. They get married
4. They live happily ever after

Sorry to disappoint, but it's not that easy. Not in the least.

Sure, they meet. But Tayg is disguised as a Bard. He does not wish for people to know his true identity because he wants to feel like he once did. Like a normal man with only the pressure of everyday life riding on his shoulders.

To put it simply, Cat is a firecracker. She speaks her mind whenever she pleases and is not afraid to speak the truth, however unfortunate or untimely the information.

But as they get to know each other, Cat starts to relax, starts to open up. She tells Tayg stories about her childhood that have no one's ears have ever heard save her father's. And both cannot deny the growing attraction they feel for each other. But this attraction is only physical, mind you. They constantly speak how they detest each other.

Yes. Okay. You win. They get together. And they are to be married. But there's only one problem.

Cat doesn't know who Tayg really is.

She still thinks him a Bard. Uh-oh.
Pardon my crudity, but Tayg is gonna get his butt kicked. Big time.

For me, this story melded three of Shakespeare's most famous plays. It has a Romeo and Juliet-esque vibe at some points, while at others, it rings true to Benedict and Beatrice from Much Ado About Nothing. And of course, The Taming of the Shrew. (:

March 11, 2012

Pride and Prejudice By Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice

I got a Kindle for Christmas, and since every book costs money, I have veered towards the free classics. An earlier blog post tells the story of Jane Eyre, and A Christmas Carol also captivated me. I have also tried other classics, and found them completely and utterly unentertaining and boring, but Pride and Prejudice was a book I could not put down.

In the turn of the 19th century, Mrs. Bennet, resident of Longbourn House in England, eagerly awaits the marriages of her five daughters. She is a frivolous and foolish woman and thinks only of wealth for her daughters upon marriage. Her two youngest, Kitty and Lydia, yearn for attention, and are the silliest and most flirtatious of the five daughters, much like their mother. The next oldest, Mary, fancies herself an intelligent individual, and strives to expand her mind by constantly reading, although she is as empty-headed as when she started. The second eldest sister, Elizabeth, sometimes called Eliza, is the main character of the novel. She and her older sister, Jane, are the most intelligent, amiable, and witty of the five sisters. Jane is known around the neighborhood for her looks, as are all of her younger sisters. Their father, Mr. Bennet loves his daughters dearly, especially Jane and Elizabeth because they aren't preoccupied with petty whims and daydreams, but seek useful knowledge and meaningful conversation.

The book starts out when a man named Charles Bingley moves to Netherfield house, a manor close in proximity to the Longbourn estate. Mrs. Bennet is bent on marrying her daughters to wealthy men, and sends them all to a ball hosted by Mr. Bingley. At the ball, Mr. Bingley makes good impressions on everybody, as well as makes it apparent that he fancies Jane very much. On the other hand, Mr. Bingley's friend, Fitzwilliam Darcy comes across as extremely proud and excessively condescending.

On her way to visit Mr. Bingley's sister, Jane, catches a cold, and Elizabeth comes to Netherfield house to tend her. As Elizabeth makes bad impressions on the ladies with her frankness, Mr. Darcy notes it as a good quality, and notices his attachment to her.

Shortly afterward, Mr. Bennet's cousin, Mr. Collins visits the family at Longbourn. Mr. Collins never ceases to speak of his employer, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, and this fact is quite amusing to Elizabeth and her father. Is soon becomes apparent, however that Mr. Collins has come to Longbourn to choose a wife from the five sisters in order to ensure his receiving the estate upon Mr. Bennet's death. It also becomes apparent that he has chosen Elizabeth as his future wife.

While attempting to evade Mr. Collins' presence, Elizabeth forms a bond with a man named Mr. Wickham, who tells her how Mr. Darcy cruelly mistreated him as a child. This story, along with her attraction to Mr. Wickham fuels her dislike of Mr. Darcy.

At a second ball hosted by Mr. Bingley, it becomes increasingly apparent that he and Jane are very much attracted to each other. But it seems as if they could never be together because, with the exception of Jane and Elizabeth, the Bennet family shows extremely poor manners and decorum.

The next morning, Mr. Collins proposes to Elizabeth, who refuses him, with the belief that they could ever get along. Undaunted, Mr. Collins proposes to Elizabeth's best friend Charlotte instead. Mr. Bingley suddenly leaves for London, and Elizabeth os convinced that Miss Bingley and Mr. Darcy have conspired to end Mr. Bingley's relationship with her sister, still adding wood to her fire of hatred for Mr. Darcy.

Later, in the Spring, Elizabeth visits Mr. and Mrs. Collins, frequently accompanying them to dine at Rosings Park, the home of Lady Catherine de Bourgh. Lady Catherine is also the aunt of Mr. Darcy, and he happens to visit her at the same time that Elizabeth is there. Again, Mr. Darcy is attracted to her, and in the heat of the moment, proposes to Elizabeth. And again she refuses a proposal, having just learned that Mr. Darcy had a hand in separating her sister and Mr. Bingley. A heated discussion ensues, in which Elizabeth accuses Mr. Darcy of ruining her sister's happiness, treating Mr. Wickham disgracefully, and treating her in an ungentleman-like manner. Livid, he quits the room seething.

Upon reflection, Mr. Darcy gives Elizabeth a letter, justifying his actions, and telling her the truth about certain events about which she thought differently. His letter stated that he had not noticed any affection towards Bingley from Jane, and Elizabeth soon realized this ti be true. As for Mr. Wickham, he stated that he gambled all his money away, and returned to Mr. Darcy, asking for a forfeited inheritance. He then tried to elope with Darcy's younger sister, as to absorb her fortune.

Months later, Elizabeth and her Aunt and Uncle Gardiner visit Pemberly, Mr. Darcy's estate, not believing him to be home. Towards the end of their visit, however, he appears, and although surprised, treats his guests with civility and hospitality. He later introduces Elizabeth to his sister, and the two form a bond of friendship instantly. As their stay increases, Elizabeth begins to realize her attraction towards Mr. Darcy, and begins to rethink her refusal to marry him. Time would allow the two to get re-acquanted, if not for an urgent letter from Jane stating that Lydia had run away with Mr. Wickham. Her Uncle Gardiner instantly returns to Longbourn to speak with Mr. Bennet and search for Lydia, taking Elizabeth and his wife with him. Once home, Elizabeth mourns that her renewed acquaintance with Mr. Darcy will end because of what her sister has done.

Will Elizabeth ever get to see Mr. Darcy again?

Will Lydia and Mr. Wickham ever be found?

And what will become of Jane's broken spirit?

Read Pride and Prejudice to find the answer to these and all your other questions that arose in our mind while reading this. Well, go ahead, GO GET THE BOOK!!