Oh, The Stress!

TIRED TO DEATH

by Mary J MacColl

An imaginary conversation between a young society belle and her friend, Grace, with off-side orders to her maid, Marie. The poet has skillfully portrayed the attitudes of the pampered daughter in a prosperous family, circa 1870.

Oh, Marie, come quickly and take off my shoes;
Now, bring my white peignoir and let down my hair;
I’m tired to death! Grace, you must excuse
me to Alice and Captain Bellair.

Not a moment of rest all this day have I had
since my coffee was brought me at ten
with the papers. Each item of interest I read—
by the way, I’m disgusted with men!
A second Maud Muller young Moneysworth’s wed,
when he might — but no matter — and then

an hour was spent dressing, a letter I wrote
to Bell Breeze — she’s a love of a girl!
Drove to Russell’s, was fitted,
then penned a sweet note
to Fred Fairleigh — that card case of pearl

he sent me — a bet on the races last week.
Yes archery is quite the rage;
a cute polo pony’s my very last freak —
I’ll never fall back of the age.

Had breakfast at one, then a short nap I took;
read Daniel Deronda till three;
I must say it’s tedious — not my style of a book —
George Eliot’s too solid for me.

Now, Southworth and Flemming are just to my taste,
and French novels are quite au fait
Kate Norris called next — oh, how tight she was laced! —
and I’m sure she was painted today.

While we talked, Clara Alden rushed in with a gush,
I thought she would strangle me quite.
Her brother is charming; you know, dear — don’t blush —
I saw that flirtation last night.

Next Mordant dropped in — he’s a donkey, but then
he’s worth a cool million or more!
Ma thinks him the nicest and wisest of men —
to me he’s a horrible bore.

But I don’t mean to snub him; his T-cart and drag
are the most stunning turn-outs I’ve seen;
While driving today we met Marion Flagg,
and with envy she fairly turned green.

One cannot well blame her, he is such a catch,
and the poor girl is growing passé.
How she has maneuvered to make a good match!
What! Grace, six o’clock did you say?

Why, I must be dressing; at seven we dine
at Delmonico’s. What shall I wear?
The German at Granger’s commences at nine —
shall I bang, frizz or scollop my hair?

How frightful to think I have not a new dresss;
I’m sure I’ve appeared at least twice
while at Newport, in each of the robes I possess.
My white mull —do you think that is nice?

Come Marie, make haste, you are always so slow —
I wish I had time to take breath.
Well, darling, good-bye, if you really must go

Thank goodness! I’m tired to death.

From the book, BIDE A WEE by Mary J MacColl,
published in 1880 by Peter Paul & Brother of Buffalo, NY.

I found this book in a sale somewhere and it’s still in fairly good shape. Gold trimmed edges and letters! And on the first page are endorsements of Miss MacColl’s poetry by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Henry W Longfellow, Joaquin Miller, and John G Whittier. She definitely hung out with the right crowd, back in her day!

I’m posting this in honour of National Poetry Month.

That Old Thief

Good morning everyone. Cloudy, drippy day here in south-central Sask. Not rain, but the heavy mist that rolled in during the night has made everything damp. I think everyone’s wishing for a day of good steady rain, especially the farmers.

The seniors in our church decided to have a potluck supper yesterday evening and we were among the number enjoying the delicious meal. We were about 25 in all and every lady brought one large dish, so no lack of food.

Some ladies were asking me what I plan to do today to celebrate my 66th birthday. I have a specific goal — my birthday present to me: I want to work on Seasons of Gold until it’s done and ready to be published Saturday. My son-in-law has uploaded an improved cover image to KDP, so now I need to add the manuscript, then can view it all. Then let it sit a few days; there’s always some last minute, “Oh, I’d better add /change …”

Actually the whole file is put together except for maybe a few more images, and to go through and check the spacing of the lines. I don’t know what prompts Kindle Create to do what it does, but it tends to toss extra spacing in here and there. Not a whole extra line, which would be obvious, but .19 of an extra line. Enough that if you look close you can see this poem is a bit farther apart from its follower than the follower is from its follower. If you follow me. 😉

Re: images. I really like the little hand-drawn illustrations in some of my haiku books. Birds, cherry trees, all very old-Japan looking. You know the type:
Birds-abstract

However, I have often used images from Pixabay to illustrate my poems and want to use the same type for my e-book. I’m doing about one small image and three or four poems per page.

Having a sense of humor, I’d like to stick this one in, along with Bobby Burns famous words. I don’t know if I dare be this silly in a book of Japanese-style poetry, but a wry look at human nature is what senryu is all about. In fact, I suspect this picture would have given Issa a chuckle.
Eggs + RB Quote

The Ragtag daily prompt came through at 9:30 pm last night, giving me lots of time to think about a response to the prompt word THIEF. As I consider all these years that have slipped by and wondered, as so many others, “where the time has gone,” I thought of this verse, written by Scottish poet Harvey Scott:

I saw the old thief, Father Time,
Come hirpling down the road;
He had a sack upon his back,
Lost minutes were his load.
He opened it and showed to me
Not minutes, but a host
Of years, decades, a century
And more of minutes lost.
“I want to buy year,” I said,
“And I shall pay you well.”

“If this earth’s mould were finest gold,
To you I would not sell,
For I have minutes stolen from kings,
From Milton, Shakespeare, Bach.
How could you buy such precious things?
Your common gold is trash!”…
He tied his sack and said, “Farewell.
Young man, I’ve got my fee,”
For while I tried to make him sell,
He stole an hour from me!

Options & Frustrations

We have a lovely spring-like day with a temp of -2 C as I write this. Perhaps I should be out walking off my frustrations instead of writing about them, but they say writing is therapeutic, so here’s my tale:

What I wanted was

Dance Shoes + font
(Thanks, Keith, for the fonts tip)

Dreaming of future poetry book covers, you know.

Buying single fonts can get pricey, I’ve discovered, plus you have to buy a “Desktop” license which covers personal use of the font plus, if you wish, an e-book cover font.

But then I saw several Creative font packages produced by SummitSoft, sold by STAPLES, a Canadian office supplies company. With special decorative fonts for holidays and such. YES!

No.

I bought and installed the package last night, but my computer says (a long-winded form of) “No dice!” To be specific, the prompt I get when I try to install them in my current fonts selection is:
“Although new computers can handle up to 1000 installed fonts installed at any time, you should never have more than 500 fonts installed to maintain the best performance. The more fonts you install the slower your computer will become.”

When I hit TEMPORARILY ACTIVATE I get:

“Access violation at address xxx in module ‘Font Management System xxx’…etc.”

I’m told that Windows has close to a thousand fonts installed. That is not to say oodles of different styles. Rather, there seem to be about five different serif type fonts (like TNR, Georgia), five different sans serif type fonts (like Arial, Verdana), plus their Italic & Bold variations, and hundreds of almost identical  fonts. Yes, some minute variations but basically the same standard serif & sans serif fonts. In addition there are a few Courier types, as well as more rounded serif & sans serif versions like Americana & Tahoma.

You will also find a few basic fonts with a bit of flair like Seagull and Arimo, some more unique fonts like Poster Bodoni and Bernhard Mod, a few hand-printed styles like Broadway Copyist. Cursive fonts are Script,  Freehand591,  and Gabriola.

We went into the Windows font programme and discovered that where we get the Western versions of Jhenghei, YaHei, Yi Bati, LiU and Ming LiU, etc., these show up as Chinese and Japanese type character fonts in the windows menu. And you can’t delete them to make room. “Microsoft protected font” the prompt says. We did succeed in deleting the few Arabic and Greek, languages I can’t write in anyway.

So here I am with this marvy fonts package and I can’t even open it to have a look at what fonts are in it, never mind actually use it. Mind you, I’m technologically challenged. It could well be there’s some tech-whizzes out there — probably ten years old — who’d have the package up and running in minutes.

So if you’re thinking of adding a fancy fonts collection to your computer, be sure to have one of those whizzes standing by to assist you.When it comes to technology, options can definitely lead to frustrations. 🙂