Poetics Serendipity

15 Jan

8:12 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to Seals & Crofts singing Diamond Girl

Hullo, all. I gaze out my window at… nothing. We have fog for the third day. That’s not a problem except that it is not accompanied by lovely wintry temperatures. No. Our temperatures are steadily climbing towards 60. What kind of winter is that? Okay, okay, I’ll get back on topic. Ready for some dipping into the grab bag?

1] It’s Not That Hard. Taming the Apostrophe. Makes you want to race right over and read it, doesn’t it? There are two camps nowadays: the people who spend their lives cringing when they see a misused apostrophe, and those who see an ‘s’ and figure that means placing an apostrophe. I spend a lot of time cringing and wishing people wouldn’t use them at all, rather than wrongly. We haven’t read a Judy Lee Dunn post in a while, but her husband has obligingly had her write a guest post. I have always enjoyed her and she includes a Monty Python clip, so it’s hard to go wrong visiting.

2] I discovered a place where the articles are well written and interesting and all to do with words. The pop-up ads can be dealt with quickly and don’t appear again within an article. This week, I picked Katy Waldman’s ‘The Secret Rules of Adjective Order‘ (my favourite, but I’m strange). We all have a pretty good ear for whether we should write ‘the flowered, green dress’ or ‘the green, flowered dress’; ‘the tall grey-haired man’ or ‘the grey-haired, tall man’. I was fascinated to read the rules of order behind what we do automatically. You will see articles from this source often in the coming weeks.

3] The final article is more damn fun, especially if you cook, but that is not a requirement for enjoying what you read. Erin McCarthy gives us ‘The Dishes 16 Writers Would Bring to a Literary Potluck‘.  This is not fiction. McCarthy gives us the author, a brief history/context for the dish AND the recipe. How can you resist an egg-nog recipe from Poe? Yes, that Poe. How about Tolstoy’s macaroni and cheese? I kid you not.

Go read then, maybe, go cook. Maybe, even, be inspired to write a poem to do with cooking a certain author’s recipe, or thinking about cooking a certain author’s recipe, or the fact that a certain author is known for a particular recipe. We’ll call this Poem Tryouts Leftovers. So, should you partake, post as usual and leave a link here.

I will see you tomorrow for the week’s roundup of prompts; Tuesday for my prompt; and Thursday for more links.

Happy writing, everyone.


Posted by on 15/01/2015 in links, poetry, writing


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20 responses to “Poetics Serendipity

  1. julespaige

    15/01/2015 at 9:46 am

    When my ‘double dip day’ ends maybe I’ll get a chance to look into the recipes.
    I haven’t done much this week. I’ve gone on a sort, give and trash, binge.
    And I’m so far from done. But I do have four bags for charity , gave a bag to DIL for her school, filled up a bag of magazines for recycling, condensed and sorted a bunch of papers…

    You know 60 F is a whole lot warmer than 27 F 🙂

    • margo roby

      15/01/2015 at 9:49 am

      I’ll give you the 60 and take the 27. Really. Temperature-wise I like my winters to be, well, winter.

      I love sort, give and trash binges. Skip and I did one this summer and gave eight cartons to Goodwill and a whole bunch of stuff to a niece about to get married.

      • julespaige

        15/01/2015 at 9:59 am

        Recycling is good. Very, very good. 🙂
        Especially when you have doubles and triples.
        I got a food processor from my niece when she moved into a smaller place (the one in the Army). I made room for it in the cupboard – :S … and there it sits.

  2. MarinaSofia

    15/01/2015 at 9:53 am

    well, well, I had no idea I was using Ray Bradbury’s Pizza Soup recipe when I was a student… Great minds (impoverished wallets) think alike, obviously!

    • margo roby

      15/01/2015 at 10:08 am

      Your comment gave me a good laugh. Now I’m wondering how many impoverished wallets (writers) unconsciously made Ray Bradbury’s Pizza Soup.

  3. Misky

    15/01/2015 at 10:33 am

    That’s not like any macaroni and cheese that I know! Veg and parmesan cheese? More like a ratatouille. Which by the way, I adore. 😀 >

    • margo roby

      15/01/2015 at 10:37 am

      Sounds delicious, doesn’t it? I am already working on what other cheese I would use.


    15/01/2015 at 2:03 pm

    Fanny Flagg’s
    Fried Green Tomatoes
    at the Whistle Stop Café.
    Try them, they’ll give you a pain

    • margo roby

      15/01/2015 at 3:22 pm

      Hmmm. I think I’ll take a pass on them, Viv.

  5. Hannah Gosselin

    15/01/2015 at 2:35 pm

    That IS a lot of gray! Wow…with the warm temps I’d be wading in that fog…foggy walks are sure fun!

    Thank you for the links, Margo. 🙂

    • margo roby

      15/01/2015 at 3:21 pm

      Come on down, Hannah.

      • Hannah Gosselin

        15/01/2015 at 4:10 pm

        I wish I could! I could SO use a road-trip. 🙂

  6. barbcrary

    15/01/2015 at 6:27 pm

    Having a good laugh at both Nabokov and Lee. His description of a boiled egg gone wrong is priceless, but how can you top, “First, catch your pig,” as the beginning of a recipe?

    • margo roby

      16/01/2015 at 8:58 am

      It is very hard to top that line, but have you read Fitzgerald’s turkey leftovers? That surprised the loudest laugh from me.


    16/01/2015 at 3:28 am

    I am brooding an apostrophic abusive adjectival pecking order poem.

    • margo roby

      16/01/2015 at 8:54 am

      How lovely, ViV, but oh, what a wonderful sentence you have crafted! Do it as a recipe and you knock out all three.


        16/01/2015 at 11:23 am

        Having worn myself out making Jock a gingerbread this afternoon (the Christmas cake is finally finished), I doubt I’ll be writing it tonight! I only seem able to do one thing a day these days.

        • margo roby

          16/01/2015 at 11:35 am

          I’m twenty years younger and have that problem, ViV.

          Gingerbread. I cannot find decent gingerbread anywhere, here. I don’t think Americans really understand it.

          Thought this would amuse you: In a comment today I wrote ‘vivid’ about someone’s imagery. Only, when I reread my comment, I had written, ViVid.


            16/01/2015 at 3:52 pm

            They call it “pain d’épices” here and it’s dry and boring. Mine is not!

            • margo roby

              16/01/2015 at 4:16 pm

              I grew up with lovely gingerbread that looked almost like brownies. More cake than cookie, but not cake.


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