Monday, January 31, 2011

Quoth the Raven, Nevermore

horizontal space "The Raven"

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by Edgar Allan Poe

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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.'

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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.

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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,'

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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.

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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.


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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!'

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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.

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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.'

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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.'

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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.'

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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."'

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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, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking `Nevermore.'

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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!

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.'

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`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.'

`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.'

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`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.'

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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!

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The Bracelet

by Cornerstoregoddess

Raven illustrations by Gustave Dorรฉ

Friday, January 28, 2011

Maneki Neko To Do List

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1.  Get up.  Wash face with right paw.

2.  Watch humans get excited over waving of right paw.  Watch humans examine checking account to see if the balance has gone up.

3.  Eat breakfast.  Empty bowl with left paw.

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4.  Watch humans get excited over waving of left paw.  Watch humans start business hours early.

5.  Nap in front of business.  Take credit for all sales.

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6.  Get up and stretch.  Watch humans take it as a sign,

7.  Eat lunch.  Watch humans blame lack of sales on lack of maneki neko activity.

8.  Take walk.  Bring good fortune to sailors.  Check out calico neko down the street.

9. Return to shop.  Wash face with right paw. Watch humans check bank balance.

10.  Pretend to nap.  Watch human sigh and close shop.

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11.  Follow human home.  Raise right paw when human's back is turned.

12.  Eat dinner.  Raise left paw when human's back is turned.

13.  Make tomorrow's To Do list.

14.  Nap.

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Maneki nekos with an agenda can be found here.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

To Ogden Nash's Valentine

To My Valentine

by Ogden Nash

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More than a catbird hates a cat,
Or a criminal hates a clue,
Or the Axis hates the United States,
That's how much I love you.

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I love you more than a duck can swim,
And more than a grapefruit squirts,
I love you more than a gin rummy is a bore,
And more than a toothache hurts.

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As a shipwrecked sailor hates the sea,
Or a juggler hates a shove,
As a hostess detests unexpected guests,
That's how much you I love.

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I love you more than a wasp can sting,
And more than the subway jerks,
I love you as much as a beggar needs a crutch,
And more than a hangnail irks.

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I swear to you by the stars above,
And below, if such there be,
As the High Court loathes perjurious oathes,
That's how you're loved by me.

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Brightandshinythings with heart here.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Hare and the Elixir of Immortality

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In both the Chinese and Japanese culture, the hare (Chinese, Tu; Japanese, Usagi) is sacred to the moon, where the Taoists believe it lives, mixing together the ingredients that form the elixir of life, or longevity.  

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In the Chinese culture, the greatest desire is long life, which prolongs  enjoyment of this world's goods, and ensures receiving the respect paid to old age in a country governed by the maxims of Confucius. Longevity is therefore the first and greatest of the Woo Fuh or " Five Blessings." 

 Legend tells us that the rabbit's fur turns white at the age of 100, and blue at the age of 500.  

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When the Chinese goddess Ch'ang-O drank too much of the magical elixir, she floated away to live on the moon, too light to return to earth.  

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Year of the Rabbit charm can be found here.  Ch'ang-O can be found on the moon.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Year of the Rabbit


1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 
1975, 1987, 1999, 2011

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A person born in the year of the Rabbit possesses one of the most fortunate of the twelve animal signs. The Rabbit, or Hare as he is referred to in Chinese mythology, is the emblem of longevity and is said to derive his essence from the Moon. 

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When the Chinese look at the Moon, they see the Moon Hare...

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...standing near a rock under a Cassia tree...

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and holding a bottle...

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...with the Elixir of Immortality in his hands.

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During the Chinese mid-Autumn festival when the Moon is supposed to be at its loveliest...

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...Chinese children still carry lighted paper lanterns made in the image of a Rabbit and climb the hills to observe the Moon and admire the Moon Hare.

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The Rabbit symbolizes graciousness, good manners, sound counsel kindness and sensitivity to beauty. His soft speech and graceful and nimble ways embody all the desirable traits of a successful diplomat or seasoned politician.

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Likewise, a person born under this sign will lead a tranquil life, enjoying peace, quiet and a congenial environment. He is reserved and artistic and possesses good judgment. His thoroughness will also make him a good scholar. He will shine in the fields of law, politics and government.

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But he is also inclined to be moody; at such times he appears detached from his environment or indifferent to people.

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The Rabbit is extremely lucky in business and monetary transactions. Astute at striking bargains, he can always pop up with a suitable proposal or alternative to benefit himself. His sharp business acumen, coupled with his knack for negotiation, will ensure him a fast rise in any career.

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Thanks to the Holiday Spot for the rabbit horoscope.  More can be found there.

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And the bracelet can be found here.