Monthly Archives: May 2012

Michael Holloway Perronne

Yesterday, when I asked for book suggestions, (thanks everyone for their wonderful suggestions) I was quite surprised by Jay’s suggestion to read anything by Michael Holloway Perronne.  I was surprised because I had read Perronne’s A Time Before Me several years ago when I was living in Mississippi.  After I had read A Time Before Me, I had posted on MySpace (yes, this was back when MySpace was popular) that he was now one of my favorite authors.  What surprised me the most is that a month or so after that, I received an email from Michale thanking me for listing him as one of my favorite authors.  I wrote back about how much I had enjoyed A Time Before Me, and he then sent me an autographed bookmark in the mail as a thank you. Michael always struck me as a very kind person, so I liked him even more.  Then as things got busier in my life as they often do, I sort of lost track of his newer books, so thank you Jay for reminding me that he has continued to write and that he is still an enjoyable author.  Here is a little biography of Perronne from Wikipedia.

Michael Holloway Perronne (b. 1979Mississippi) is an American author. His novels include: “A Time Before Me”, “Starstruck: A Hollywood Saga”, “Falling Into Me”, “Embrace the Rain”, and “A Time Before Us.”

Perronne received a great deal of publicity after sending a copy of his novel, A Time Before Me, to Alabama state lawmaker Gerald Allen who proposed that all books mentioning gay content should be banned. Allen was quoted saying, “I guess we dig a big hole and dump them in and bury them.” In response, Perronne said, “”If Mr. Allen is determined to bury such great works as The Color Purple, The Picture of Dorian Gray, and Brideshead Revisited, then I would be honored to have my own work buried with such classics.” The controversy led to Perronne making appearances on national television and mentions in national gay newsmagazines. 

His debut novel, “A Time Before Me” won the Bronze Award, ForeWord Magazine’s 2006 Book of the Year Award in the Gay/Lesbian fiction category. Perronne is openly gay.

Some of his later works, including “Falling Into Me” and “A Time Before Us,” dealt with common issues gay men in their thirties face with growing older. “Embrace the Rain” examined cultural clashes between ethnic groups in a post-Hurricane Katrina coastal Mississippi where Perronne is a native.

Michael was born and raised in Picayune, Mississippi. He received a BA in Film from The University of Southern Mississippi and an MFA in Drama and Communications from the University of New Orleans.

For a few years he worked as a production assistant in television and film, in both New Orleans and Los Angeles, on such projects as the television series The Big Easy and the television movies Rag and Bone and Introducing Dorothy Dandridge. Following that, he worked as the Conference Services Coordinator for the [[National Association of Television Program Executives]]. He did script reading and analysis for the Los Angeles Film Festival and the Los Angeles Film Collaborative.

A screenplay he co-wrote with his friend, Gina BonoMillennium Babes From Mars, was optioned by an independent film production company.

He currently resides between Los Angeles and Mexico. Widgets

A Good Book

I was a bit yesterday, so I couldn’t really think of anything to blog about today.  Instead, I thought I would ask you guys a question.

Since school is out, I have a little more time to read, though I am also working on finishing my dissertation this summer, so it is not a lot of time to read.  So here is my question to you guys:

Do you have any suggestions for a good lighthearted read?  I’m not looking for anything too serious, so I would appreciate any suggestions.

Le cancre

Le cancre

Il dit non avec la tête
Mais il dit oui avec le coeur
Il dit oui à ce qu’il aime
Il dit non au professeur
Il est debout
On le questionne
Et tous les problèmes sont posés
Soudain le fou rire le prend
Et il efface tout
Les chiffres et les mots
Les dates et les noms
Les phrases et les pièges
Et malgré les menaces du maître
Sous les huées des enfants prodiges
Avec des craies de toutes les couleurs
Sur le tableau noir du malheur
Il dessine le visage du bonheur.

Jacques Prévert

The dunce

He says no with his head
But he said yes with heart
He said yes to what he loves
He said no to the teacher
He stands
He is questioned
And all problems are posed
Sudden laughter seizes him
And he erases all
The words and figures
Names and dates
Sentences and snares
And despite the teacher’s threats
To the jeers of infant prodigies
With chalk of every color
On the blackboard of misfortune
He draws the face of happiness.

Jacques Prévert

Jacques Prévert (4 February 1900 – 11 April 1977) was a French poet and screenwriter. His poems became and remain very popular in the French-speaking world, particularly in schools. Some of the movies he wrote are extremely well regarded, with Les Enfants du Paradis considered one of the greatest films of all time.

Pensacola Beach’s Gay Memorial Day Celebration

The redneck riviera becomes the rainbow riviera for one weekend out of the year and it couldn’t happen in a more lovely place: Pensacola, Florida. Pensacola Beach is one of the most expansive, beautiful and less known white sand beaches in the world.   This hidden gem of a destination is throwing off its reputation as the ‘Redneck Riviera’ and embracing a future as a world-class tourist destination.  A clear indication that this trend is well under way is the unmitigated success of Pensacola Beach’s Gay Memorial Day Celebration.

There’s no mistaking what time of year it is on Pensacola Beach during Memorial Day weekend. Every year, the beach is sprinkled with rainbow flags welcoming local and out-of-town members of the gay community who generously return the favor by staying in beachfront hotels, eating seafood and drinking a lot. Tens of thousands of gay and lesbian travelers flock to this innocuous beach town every year to bronze their bodies and party with their toes in the blinding white sand.

Those whose memories are still intact remember the weekend starting in the 1980s. The party started on the secluded strip between Navarre and Pensacola Beach on the Gulf Islands National Seashore, and as the years passed it moved its way to the condos and hotels on Pensacola beach.

There’s no official word if the Gulf Islands National Seashore was the chosen spot because of its proximity to the nude beach in Navarre, which is now an urban legend to the younger generation. John Thomas, owner of The Roundup and Pensacola resident since 1993, believes the beach had the best view and the least amount of people as opposed to Destin or Panama City.

“There was a patch of beach that allowed those that are different to be themselves,” he said. “You can go to Destin and be hoity-toity, but in Pensacola it’s more relaxed.”

Pensacola Beach’s laid-back surfer dude charm is worlds away from the hustle and bustle of Miami and tacky tourist spring break debauchery of Fort Lauderdale. The community is accepting, embraces gay travelers and is home to many gay residents and several successful gay business owners. I can’t begin to describe the beauty of the Gulf Coast beaches in this area if you have never experienced them. The sugar white sands are luxurious and the water is crystal clear with a perfect blue-green hue. It will surely take your breath away.

Located on Santa Rosa Island, in Northwest Florida, Pensacola Beach is a barrier island buffered at both ends by bridges.  There are water views in all directions, with the emerald blue vistas of the Gulf of Mexico ‘Gulfside’ and the tranquil views of Pensacola Bay ‘Soundside’.  Local development is severely curtailed by the protected beaches in the Gulf Islands National Sea Shore located on either end of the island.

On Memorial Day weekend colorful pride flags wave in anticipation as LBGT visitors from all over the country exit the bridge onto the beach.  The colors of the rainbow stand in stark contrast to the glittering white sand as the beach transforms into a seemingly spontaneous parade of beautiful bodies and fashionable swim wear.

Revelers start flooding the beach the week prior to Memorial Day.  The local vibe is always awash with boisterous anticipation.  Friendships and romances are kindled and reunions celebrated.   Days are spent nurturing a tan and people watching with a frosty ‘Bushwhacker’ in hand.  Everything you need to have fun in the sun is easily accessible on foot.

At the main beach, live music and cocktails are plentiful. If you’re energetic there is an ample variety of activities such as stand up paddle boarding, parasailing, kayaking and dolphin watching.   There’s also mini golf, go-carts, beach cruiser bike rentals and funky but fashionable beach stores.  If you prefer a more tranquil atmosphere then migrate east or west and enjoy a romantic picnic on the wild and non-commercial beaches in the National Seashore.  While you are there make sure to explore historic Fort Pickens.

When I was growing up, Pensacola was one of the closest beaches to us, and my parents used to take us camping a few weekends out of the year to the Gulf Islands National Seashore at Fort Pickens. You know that I love history, and Fort Pickens was a wonderful place to explore as a kid. The Fort is an old Civil War fort that stayed in Union hands throughout the war, sitting directly across Pensacola Bay from Fort Barrancas, the Confederate fort. Did you know that the actual first shots fired between Union and Confederate troops was not the Confederates firing on Union forces at Fort Sumpter, but actually Union forces at Fort Pickens firing on Confederate forces at Fort Barrancas? Pensacola has such a wonderful history for any lover of history to enjoy and you don’t have to deal with all the hustle and bustle of larger historic southern towns like New Orleans.

Also, if you want a wonderful meal with great service, try one of my all-time favorites, Hall’s Seafood on East Gregory Street.  Hall’s Seafood features casual dining with a waterfront view & great food. Try their famous hush puppies with cheese sauce, or start your meal with an excellent bowl of gumbo. Don’t go to Hall’s expecting to eat ultra healthy because if you don’t try their hush puppies with cheese sauce, then you might as well not go. They are worth the calories, and even if you think you don’t like hush puppies, give these a try. If you get there and are disappointed, then just give the hush puppies and cheese sauce to me, I will eat them. Try it, you won’t be disappointed.

For those who crave more than hush puppies with cheese sauce, Pensacola has plenty of culture in nearby Downtown Pensacola which is a theme park for architectural buffs.  Did you know Pensacola is the oldest city in America? (Grant it the Spanish abandoned it the first time to build a city at St. Augustine, eventually they simply couldn’t stay away.) Wander through the North Hill residential area and dream of renovating your own antebellum mansion.  Then stroll through the pedestrian friendly streets of the Historic District and enjoy unique culinary offerings, theaters, museums and galleries tucked behind flourished iron balconies reminiscent of New Orleans.

Don’t miss out on numerous Gay Memorial Day events.   This year, renowned comedian Leslie Jordan of Will and Grace, Designing Women and Sordid Lives fame, performed at the historic Saenger Theatre. Emerald City, Pensacola’s premier Gay club, hosted blowout bashes every night featuring DJ Jay-R and DJ Joe Gauthreaux. At the beach many of the local bars such as Crabs We Got Em, Flounders Chowder House and Castaways hosted all night parties.

If you ever get down to Pensacola for Memorial Day Weekend, don’t plan on leaving early because on Monday over 150,000 revelers come back to the beach to put their toes in the sand one final time, to share weekend gossip about new loves or break ups, recruit new Facebook friends, get phone numbers or finally muster to courage to say hi to that beautiful person they’ve been eyeing up all weekend.   Most importantly this is the time to say see y’all next year to newfound friends.

Maybe you’ll meet the love of your life and plan a commitment ceremony for the following year.  While same sex marriage is not yet legal in Florida, dozens of couples choose this weekend to say “I Do” with those nearest and dearest to them.  Once you have experienced Pensacola Beach you’ll understand why.

In Honor of Memorial Day Weekend

This post is for all the soldiers who died fighting for our freedoms. More than we will ever know, we’re gay soldiers who fought even though they were banned from doing so because of their sexuality. Now soldiers can finally serve open and honestly and those deaths were not in vain.

Footage of a heartwarming reunion between a gay U.S. Navy seaman and his boyfriend is making the blogosphere rounds.

The sailor, identified in the video simply as Trent, had been deployed on the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson for nearly six months, according to Towleroad. Waiting for Trent amongst the friends and family at the Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego, Calif. was his boyfriend, Lee.

As he waits, an “ecstatic” Lee nervously checks his phone repeatedly before finally greeting Trent with a passionate smooch — yet another poignant reminder of the progress made since the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” last fall.

When the narrator asks Trent what he plans to do when he retires from military service in 10 months, he gleefully replies, “Go to Disneyland!”

U.S. Air Force Academy Graduates First Openly Gay Cadets

In yet another historic, post-“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” moment, the U.S. Air Force Academy graduated the nation’s first group of openly gay cadets this week.

ABC News’ Devin Dwyer caught up with faculty members and some of the graduates, each of which shook hands with President Obama during the ceremony in Colorado Springs, Colo. Aside from the fact that openly gay members were among the ranks, most cadets interviewed said the impact from last year’s repeal was relatively minimal.

“It’s pretty much just like any other repeal,” one cadet said. “We just got told that this is what’s gonna happen, and we all need to be adults about it.”

Though several media outlets have noted the lack of rainbow flags or other obvious lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) pride-relevant symbols during the ceremony, Trish Heller — who heads the Blue Alliance, an association of LGBT Air Force Academy alumni — said the reason was obvious.

“The whole thing is we don’t want to be identified as anything different,” Heller is quoted by ABC as saying. She noted that her group had connected with at least four members of the class of 2012 who had come out publicly as LGBT, though others likely preferred to keep a low profile. “We want to serve, to be professional and to be symbols of what it means to be Air Force Academy graduates.”

Moment of Zen: Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day is a federal holiday observed annually in the United States on the last Monday of May. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the fallen Union soldiers of the Civil War. By the 20th century Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died in all wars. Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. As a marker it typically marks the start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its end.

Diva Worship

A gay icon is a public figure (historical or current) who is embraced by many within lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities.  Qualities of a gay icon often include glamour, flamboyance, strength through adversity, and androgyny in presentation. Such icons can be of any sexual orientation or gender; they can be out or not. Most gay icons have given their support to LGBT social movements, advocating gay rights in times when it was not socially acceptable.

In a candid interview from 1980, Ball was asked her thoughts on a number of subjects, including gay rights. “It’s perfectly all right with me,” she replied. “Some of the most gifted people I’ve ever met or read about are homosexual. How can you knock it?” 
Historical icons are typically elevated to such status because their sexual orientation remains a topic of great debate among historians. Modern gay icons, who are predominantly female entertainers, commonly garner a large following within LGBT communities over the course of their careers. The majority of gay icons fall into one of two categories: the tragic, sometimes martyred figure or the prominent pop culture idol.
Jeffrey Masten, a Northwestern University associate professor of English and comparative literature who wrote a book on “gay identification and musical theater,” offers an answer to an obvious question: Why are all these entertaining objects of gay men’s affection women? “This started through a process of cross-gender identification in which gay men heard women singers as being able to sing things about loving men (and simultaneously about the difficulty of that) that men singers weren’t singing.” In other words, said the professor, when Garland sang about “The Man That Got Away,” gay men could relate.
Being able to triumph over troubles has universal appeal, of course, but gay men, especially, appreciate that as a key quality of a diva, said 29-year-old David Biele, author of “Vanguards,” a play produced at Bailiwick Repertory in 1997 about gay life in Chicago before the 1969 gay men’s Stonewall rebellion in New York.  For many gay men, a diva “is a strong person who is a survivor and gay men can relate to someone who has survived in a hostile environment,” says Biele.
One can never forget, of course, dearly departed divas such as the late, great Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, and the original grande dame of divas: Judy Garland. Although not every gay boy or man worships divas, a good many do. Why is that?
There are many theories. In The Rise and Fall of Gay Culture, Daniel Harris suggests that “at the very heart of gay diva worship is not the diva herself but the almost universal homosexual experience of ostracism and insecurity.” Harris feels that we gay men live vicariously through divas who snare the handsome heterosexual men, and that we like to imagine ourselves in their place. He equates diva worship with watching football and says that it’s actually just as unfeminine as football: “It is a bone-crushing spectator sport in which one watches the triumph of feminine wiles over masculine walls of a voluptuous and presumably helpless damsel in distress single-handedly moving down a lineup of hulking quarterbacks who fall dead at her feet.”
Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffanny’s
Time even addressed diva worship in a review of Judy Garland’s final concert on August 18, 1967, at New York’s Palace Theatre. The article read, “A disproportionate part of her nightly claque seems to be homosexual. The boys in the tight trousers roll their eyes, tear at their hair and practically levitate from their seats, particularly when Judy sings [‘Over the Rainbow’].” The article also quoted a psychiatrist who said, “Judy was beaten up by life, embattled and ultimately had to become more masculine. She has the power that homosexuals would like to have, and they attempt to attain it by idolizing her.”
On closer examination, we can see there is something decidedly masculine about these divas. They have a hardened, sometimes aggressively feminine side. In their performance mode, they are almost as hyperfeminine as drag queens: Diana Ross’ big exaggerated hair, for example, or Cher’s heavily beaded gowns and overly glittering eye shadow.
Joe Kort, a psychotherapist, sexologist, and relationship therapist and founder of the Center for Relationship and Sexual Health, believes that these divas are our stand-in mothers. His Jewish clients and friends have related to him that Barbra Streisand saved their lives. Without her movies and songs, they couldn’t have survived their childhoods. Many of these men had self-absorbed mothers who were unavailable emotionally, so what better surrogate Jewish mother than Streisand? She is already unavailable in many ways, so his clients can worship her and fulfill some needs that their mothers cannot. These diva-mommies will never let us down; they are whoever we want them to be. They’re our mother shadows.
Kort’s theory is that in our early lives, our inability to attach and identify with men may prompt us to try to escape into the feminine realm to avoid the shame and fear of being compared unfavorably with other males. Although this is true of both gay and straight men, straight men bring these issues to their female partners. Not having woman as partners, we turn to our divas.
Most queer theorists, though, miss the boat where diva worship is concerned. Ironically, they regurgitate an ignorant heterosexual belief when they do so. They reinforce the assumption that gay people suffer from a sort of passive sadness, an overriding personality disorder, as though loneliness were unknown in other circles. It’s the suffering, we’ve been told again and again, that unified us. We identify with women because they, too, are oppressed. There may be some truth to that, but it isn’t our suffering; it’s our enduring hope that creates icons. Diva worship is a sensitivity to life’s endless possibilities and our ability to transcend acceptance or oppression.
Whatever the reason, these divas mean so much to us as gay men, I am thankful to them for giving us an escape from the pain of growing up gay. I admire their perseverance and their acceptance of their gay audiences. For me, they make the world a more colorful and better place.
What are some reasons you can think of for why we worship divas?

Exciting News: Jim Parsons Comes Out!

Jim Parsons in his dressing room. 

He stars in the play “Harvey,” which opens on June 14.

Sara Krulwich/The New York Times

You may or may not know this, but my current favorite show is The Big Bang Theory (see here, here, here, and here).  In addition, I love Jim Parsons, who plays Sheldon on the show.  So I was quite ecstatic when i read that Jim Parsons has revealed he is gay and in a committed relationship in a new interview.  I am even more in love with Parsons now then I was before.
 Parsons and Spiewak
New York Times writer Patrick Healy confirms “The Big Bang Theory” star’s sexuality as part of a profile of the 39-year-old actor, who is currently starring on Broadway in a revival of “Harvey.” The revelation comes late in the article, when Healy describes Parsons’ role in the 2011 revival of Larry Kramer’s HIV/AIDS crisis drama, “The Normal Heart.”
Writes Healy: ‘”The Normal Heart” resonated with him on a few levels: Mr. Parsons is gay and in a 10-year relationship, and working with an ensemble again onstage was like nourishment, he said.”
 Parsons and Spiewak
Parsons’ sexuality has been the source of media speculation for several years. Though the Times doesn’t identify Parsons’ partner, the actor thanked Todd Spiewak during a 2010 Emmy Award acceptance speech. He has shown up to awards shows and made public theater contributions together with Spiewak, reportedly an art director, on several previous occasions.
The National Enquirer also reported that Parsons and Spiewak were at one time engaged and planning a Massachusetts-based Christmas wedding, which has since allegedly been called off because Parsons doesn’t want children. None of this has ever been confirmed nor denied by Parsons’ representatives, who have continually declined to speak about their client’s sexuality, according to AfterElton.

I am very proud of Jim Parsons.  He’s such a great actor and deserves every Emmy that he receives.  Congratulations Jim, I love you man.  I wish you many, may years of continued success.

A Response

I received quite a number of comments about my post “Obama and Gay Marriage” on Monday. Instead of answering on that post, I thought I would do another post responding to the comments. First of all, thank you to all who left comments, I always enjoy hearing your opinions. Second, similar to what Fan of Casey said about living in a solid blue state, where no matter how he votes, his state will vote Democrat, I live in a solid red state, and no matter who I vote for, the Republican candidate will win in my state. However, that doesn’t mean that I will like it or follow the trend.

Queer Heaven, I agree with you that if Romney wins, we will most likely lose some of our gains in gay rights. Will, I’m not for sure he will reinstate DADT or that a gay marriage amendment will ever be viable, but he most likely will issue an executive order denying LGBT families from having full visitation rights in hospitals, which would reverse one of Obama’s most important executive orders.

Coop, I also did not vote for Obama in 2008, and I also can’t say that I was impressed with Obama’s recent support of gay marriage because I think it was too little too late. He should have come out in support of gay marriage when he had a Democratically controlled Congress, when he had a chance or repeal DOMA.

As for the Anonymous commenter, I think your response is what is most wrong with American politics. Your preference that politicians act like “politicians” is not how I want my politicians to act. I want my politicians to be sincere when they make a statement, and not state whatever they believe will get them another vote. We need (and excuse the oxymoron) some honest politicians, not mere pundits who change directions with the wind like weathervane.

“.” I tend to vote for Democrats also because they hold my beliefs more so than Republicans, but to be honest, I think both political parties are moving further away from the middle and is being controlled more and more by the extremes in the party. I am very much a moderate on most issues, and it is sad to me when someone like Romney is considered a moderate because he leans to the right for his base support. We desperately need someone in this country who will look out for the middle class and for the moderate voters. Elections are getting too extreme and the center is not represented anymore.

Jay, in many ways we are very much alike politically, though I do tend to think there should be more control of guns, though to a certain extent gun rights are important. I have a few guns that are family heirlooms, and I will never let anyone take them from me. However, like you, I am a bit of a mixed bag, which is why I consider myself a moderate.

Drew, I think that Romney is pandering to the right, but I’m not sure how moderate he can actually become if elected. He will still want to be elected again and he can do a lot of damage in four years. Presidents tend to become moderate only after winning a second term. Romney is a Mormon, which makes it ever more likely that he will stay far to the right. Mormons are nice people personally, but I do not agree with their political beliefs.

Fan of Casey, you are absolutely right that Obama promised the world, and he is seen as less than a success because he could not deliver. That’s why I would like to see a politician who is a realist. If you had a candidate that was as good of a speaker as Reagan or Obama who could point out the real problems and how he wants to go about fixing them, then we might have a candidate that we could follow.

Uncutplus, the only possible hope for the economy is for someone to give us realistic hope. FDR gave confidence to America, but it was Keynesian economics and WWII that brought us out of the Depression. I don’t know what the solution will be this time, but we have to have confidence first, or we will never pull ourselves out of it. I don’t see either candidates supplying that confidence.

Uncutplus, Drew, and Fan of Casey, As I said before, I think what we need to do is more than get the Republicans out of Congress, we need to get a healthy number of Democrats out as well. We need to get people in Congress who will work with each other. Right now, the atmosphere is so bipartisan that very little gets done. I feel that neither the Democrats or the Republicans represent the majority of the people anymore, but we do not have a viable choice otherwise and we vote for the lesser of the two evils.

School’s Out by WH Davies

“School’s Out” may have been Alice Cooper’s first big hit single but did you know it’s also the title of a poem by a Welsh poet born in 1871? If you left school a few decades ago, you’re probably more familiar with the poet as the author of “Leisure”, with its famous opening couplet: “What is this life if, full of care, / We have no time to stand and stare.” No doubt “Leisure” was once, for many young people, their first encounter with printed poetry. The author, of course, is William Henry Davies, sometimes nicknamed “the tramp poet”.
Davies began writing after a serious accident in which, trying to jump onto an express train in Renfrew, Ontario, he was dragged under the wheels. His work doesn’t usually dwell on the uglier side of vagrancy, but celebrates the pleasure and joy (two emotions which he was at pains to distinguish) to be had from nature and the simple life. His exuberance seems entirely unforced. There is no self-pity, although he endured a good deal of hardship in prisons and doss-houses before accomplishing his dream of publication, and his “leisure” must surely have been painful at times. Limping on a primitive wooden leg, he had good reason to slow down and gaze around him.
Davies delivers homilies in some of his verses, but he is never pompous or pious. He is the poet as everyman, using his eyes, his humor and his common sense; a natural lyricist with a direct line to the rhythmic vitality of our dear unfashionable old friend, the Common Muse.
As often with Davies’s poems, “School’s Out” is glancingly autobiographical. It is not a child’s-eye view, and it was not intended, as far as I know, to be a children’s poem. But then, I’m not entirely sure what a children’s poem is. Before writing for children became an industry, children simply looked over the adults’ shoulders, and found plenty to enjoy.
This little poem could be a medieval lyric: it could be a nursery rhyme or a carol. It’s as timeless as the liberation it delights in. A wry self-mockery reveals to the knowing reader the poet’s personal story: the “old man” he orders to “hobble home” may well be himself. But the dimeter rhythm gives the poem a gusty, bouncing pace, the staccato verses succeeding each other like short sharp flurries of March wind. Everything is in fugue – the children, the animals and birds as they hasten out of the way – and the tramps, at possible risk from so much vitality. Any hint of darkness is banished in the cheery apostrophe of the last two lines. There’s a lovely contrast between the skippety dactyl of “Merry mites” and the surprising, ceremonious spondee, “Welcome”. Perhaps it’s not strictly a spondee, but, in bagging a line all to itself, the word seems to insist on taking two full stresses: well come!
So this Poem of the week welcomes anybody who can remember what Alice Cooper described as one of the best moments in life: “the last three minutes of the last day of school when you’re sitting there and it’s like a slow fuse burning.”
School’s Out
Girls scream,
    Boys shout;
Dogs bark,
    School’s out.
Cats run,
    Horses shy;
Into trees
    Birds fly.
Babes wake
If they can,
    Tramps hide.
Old man,
    Hobble home;
Merry mites,
I also have to add this cute little poem, though I do not know who it is by:
Great Expectations
It’s time to say good-bye
Our year has come to an end.
I’ve made more cherished memories
and many more new friends.
I’ve watched your child learn and grow
and change from day to day.
I hope that all the things we’ve done
Have helped in some small way.
So it’s with happy memories
I send them out the door,
With great hope and expectations
for what next year holds in store.