Definition #142 (Jeanne from Queens #14) Song of NYC

Got the quartet together in 1978

Got the quartet together in 1978

Colum McCann

He said, “I wanted it to be a Whitmanesque song of the city, with everything in there – high and low, rich and poor, black, white, and Hispanic. Hungry, exhausted, filthy, vivacious, everything this lovely city is. I wanted to catch some of that music and slap it down on the page so that even those who have never been to New York can be temporarily transported there.”

Definition #141 (Jeanne from Queens) Fear

Laugh at fear; its tail is courage 1975 Jeanne and Quenby

Laugh at fear; its tail is courage
Jeanne and Quenby

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Definition #140 (Jeanne from Queens #12) A Poem Emerges

Jeanne's young gets a higher view (1975)

Jeanne’s young gets a higher view (1975)

The Star-Spangled Banner took from 1812 to 1931 to become our national anthem.

The lyrics come from a poem written by Francis Scott Key more than a century before, “Defence of Fort McHenry.” He’d spent a night toward the end of the War of 1812 hearing the British navy bombard Baltimore, Maryland. The bombardment lasted 25 hours — and in the dawn’s early light, Francis Scott Key emerged to see the U.S. flag still waving over Fort McHenry. He jotted the poem “Defence of Fort McHenry” on the back of an envelope. Then he went to his hotel and made another copy, which was printed in the Baltimore American a week later.

The tune for the Star-Spangled Banner comes from an old British drinking song called “To Anacreon in Heaven,” which was very popular at men’s social clubs in London during the 1700s. Francis Scott Key himself did the pairing of the tune to his poem. It was a big hit.

For the next century, a few different anthems were used at official U.S. ceremonies, including “My Country Tis of Thee” and “Hail Columbia.” The U.S. Navy adopted “The Star-Spangled Banner” for its officialdom in 1889, and the presidency did in 1916. But it wasn’t until this day in 1931 — just 80 years ago — that Congress passed a resolution and Hoover signed into law the decree that “The Star-Spangled Banner” was the official national anthem of the United States of America.

Definition #139 (Jeanne from Queens #11) emotions

Doesn't everyone dress in gold in 1977?

Doesn’t everyone dress in gold in 1977?

Tom Wolfe:

In an essay published in 2007, Tom Wolfe argued that the newspaper industry would stand a much better chance of survival if newspaper editors encouraged reporters to “provide the emotional reality of the news, for it is the emotions, not the facts, that most engage and excite readers and in the end are the heart of most stories.”

He said there are exactly four technical devices needed to get to “the emotional core of the story.” They are the specific devices, he said, “that give fiction its absorbing or gripping quality, that make the reader feel present in the scene described and even inside the skin of a particular character.”

The four:

1) constructing scenes;

2) dialogue — lots of it;

3) carefully noting social status details — “everything from dress and furniture to the infinite status clues of speech, how one talks to superiors or inferiors … and with what sort of accent and vocabulary”; and

4) point of view, “in the Henry Jamesian sense of putting the reader inside the mind of someone other than the writer.”

Definition #138 (Jeanne from Queens #10) articulate

Jeanne and Quenby 1975

Jeanne and Quenby

Richard Wilbur said:

“I would feel dead if I didn’t have the ability periodically to put my world in order with a poem.

I think to be inarticulate is a great suffering,

and is especially so to anyone who has a certain knack for poetry.

Definition #137 (Jeanne from Queens #9) writing

Polynose Jeanne

Poly-nose Jeanne (cartoon by Jeanne)

“Good writing is always about things that are important to you,

things that are scary to you,

things that eat you up.”

—John Edgar Wideman

Definition #136 (Jeanne from Queens#8) Touch

Jeanne and Quenby  1992

Jeanne and Quenby

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