Friday, April 22, 2022

A Full Week?

 Post by Doris McCraw

writing as Angela Raines

Photo Property of the Author

April 22, 2022. It's National Earth Day, National Jelly Bean Day. This past week was National Coin Week, and of course, April is National Poetry Month. What a full slate. 

Earth Day is fairly new, however, Thoreau's "Walden" was published in 1854. While not a best seller when written, it did manage around three hundred copies a year in its first few years. 

Now, when it comes to Jelly Beans, that's another story. Most candy makers used unique shapes to sell their wares. Is it an off-shoot of Turkish Delights? Those have been around since almost the dawn of civilization. If you follow the thread, the coating of the jelly bean could be traced back to the 17th-century when Jordan Almonds made their appearance. (Of all the candies, Jordan Almonds are one of the top on my list.) Fast forward to 1861 and a Boston candy maker advertised sending Jelly Beans to soldiers fighting in the Civil War. For me, it is not a leap of logic, since Boston Baked Beans had been around for some time, to call the bean-shaped candies Jelly Beans. But then, that's just my opinion.

National Coin Week, is the celebration of coin collecting, including paper money. Can you imagine having a coin from the early days of the United States? What a thing that would be, but I digress. This celebration is when the Numismatic Association becomes really active with coin shows, etc..

Of course, my favorite is National Poetry Month. I love poetry, both the reading and the writing of it. There were some wonderful women poets from the 1800s. If you haven't heard of Emma Lazarus, a favorite of mine after Helen Hunt Jackson, perhaps you know some of her work, like 'The New Colossus'

The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus (written in 1883)
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!" 

I know for me, these days, weeks, and months allow me to look at the past and I find myself thinking, how can I add these wonderful pieces to my own work? How about you?

Until next time...Happy reading and writing.

Doris McCraw


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