Eratosphere Forums - Metrical Poetry, Free Verse, Fiction, Art, Critique, Discussions Able Muse - a review of poetry, prose and art

Forum Left Top

Notices

Reply
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #11  
Unread 05-26-2022, 06:46 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: TX
Posts: 6,461
Default

Hi John,

I think I have to tell you Jefferson died on 4 July, 1826, exactly 50 years to the day after the Declaration of Independence. The man you knew had likely muddled the story in his recollection.

I have a great story about my dad leaving a Princeton party with Einstein's umbrella which someone pointed out to me was impossible, since Einstein had died by the time my dad was at the Institute. He did know Nash though.

Cheers,
John
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Unread 05-26-2022, 07:50 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: TX
Posts: 6,461
Default

Oh - here's a neat little anecdote about Jefferson and Adams, 1826:

On July 4, 1826, at the age of 90, Adams lay on his deathbed while the country celebrated Independence Day. His last words were, "Thomas Jefferson still survives." He was mistaken: Jefferson had died five hours earlier at Monticello at the age of 83.

Cheers,
John
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Unread 05-26-2022, 08:11 PM
John Riley John Riley is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 5,336
Default

I guess it was in the 1820s unless the old guy was lying. I really don’t t think he was. He wasn’t my friend at a keg party. He was a respected American historian from an old Virginia family. Who knows?

Last edited by John Riley; 05-26-2022 at 08:19 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Unread 05-26-2022, 08:25 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: TX
Posts: 6,461
Default

Who knows indeed! I would bet it's a true story and the dates just got muddled in the telling and retelling through the generations. But yeah, by the 1830s, Jefferson was gone.
My dad, now, pretty certainly did not leave a party with Einstein's umbrella by mistake. I don't know how that story got started. :-)

Cheers,
John
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Unread 05-26-2022, 10:50 PM
John Boddie John Boddie is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2022
Location: Onancock, VA, USA
Posts: 38
Default

This is a fine piece of work. The portraits of the old soldiers ring true and need no embellishment. I had not heard the term “liquor house” before, but my wife’s uncle in Tennessee told me that those in the trade disliked the term “moonshine.”
“raiding their stupor” is a riveting phrase as it gives rise to questions about the speaker. It was interesting to think of the speaker as death – a quiet, patient death that is always nearby.
It’s a very good close, calling up the image of Van Gogh’s “starry night.”
I’d spend good money on a book that contained this piece.

JB
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Unread 05-27-2022, 09:20 AM
John Riley John Riley is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 5,336
Default

David, thanks for commenting. I originally had a date in a subtitle. That would probably make the war before the last war clear.

Sarah-Jane, I'm happy you think it's improved. It's funny that this is one I've treated with kid gloves. Do you know how you develop a type of relationship with them as you work? Maybe it happens to me because I usually keep a poem around for a long time if they don't work at first and grow attached to them in different ways. I've treated this one tenderly, which is strange with a poem about old alcoholic men who had been to war.

John B., thanks for reading. I'm deeply pleased you like it. A poem like this is deeply dependent on authenticity so I'm glad it rings true for you. I'm glad you like that close. I sneaked "electric light" in there. It's a bit of a reference to Hemingway's great story "In Another Country" that has the opening paragraph that made Fitzgerald cry when he read it. He was probably drunk but it is brilliant.


Quote:
In the fall the war was always there, but we did not go to it anymore. It was cold in the fall in Milan and the dark came very early. Then the electric lights came on and it was pleasant along the streets looking in the windows. There was much game hanging outside the shops, and the snow powdered in the fur of the foxes and the wind blew their tails. The deer hung stiff and heavy and empty, and small birds blew in the wind and the wind turned their feathers. It was a cold fall and the wind came down from the mountains.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



Forum Right Top
Forum Left Bottom Forum Right Bottom
 
Right Left
Member Login
Forgot password?
Forum LeftForum Right


Forum Statistics:
Forum Members: 8,259
Total Threads: 21,278
Total Posts: 268,779
There are 158 users
currently browsing forums.
Forum LeftForum Right


Forum Sponsor:
Donate & Support Able Muse / Eratosphere
Forum LeftForum Right
Right Right
Right Bottom Left Right Bottom Right

Hosted by ApplauZ Online