Monday, February 9, 2015

Poetry in a Chest of Tea: Telephone

"There is a great deal of poetry in a chest of tea." --Ralph Waldo Emerson

What I'm Reading:
(a publication of the Poetry Foundation)
(Cover Art by Tony Fitzpatrick
"The Atomic Oriole," 2014)

A Little Taste to Share:
"Telephone" by Devin Johnston

"A mockingbird
perched on the hood
of a pay phone
half-buried in a hedge
of wild rose
and heard it ring

"The clapper ball
trilled between
brass gongs
for two seconds
then wind
and then again

"With head cocked
the bird took note
absorbed the ringing
deep in its throat
and frothed
an ebullient song

"The leitmotif
of bright alarm
recurred in a run
from hawk
to meadowlark
from May to early June

"The ringing spread
from syrinx to syrinx
from Kiowa
to Comanche to Clark
till someone
finally picked up

"and heard a voice
on the other end
say Konza
or Consez or Kansa
which the French trappers
heard as Kaw

"which is only the sound
of a word for wind
then only the sound of wind"

Check out this link with the poem I featured, as well as some extra information! You can also browse the Poetry Foundation website for more great poems and features.

What I'm Drinking:
(loose-leaf tea)

Description from Bingley's Teas: "A black tea for her strong character, sassy cranberry, and blue mallow for her fine eyes, tempered with a sweetness and more as our heroine is unlike any other and most deserving of a very special blend!" Since it mentioned notes of cranberry (which is usually a pretty strong flavor), I expected more fruitiness from this tea. Still really good. I did taste the cranberry a little more when the tea was really hot and, later, really cold, so I may just need to steep it longer to get the same flavor level when it's warm. I'll try that next time and give you an update. I received this as a Christmas gift (I'm sure you can tell I had a great Christmas) from my mom, and she actually gave me the Pride and Prejudice Anniversary Notions Sampler. At the time of her purchase, Bingley's Mr. Darcy tea was only available for purchase as part of this sampler, and she said she couldn't think about buying any of the Pride and Prejudice teas for me without that one. You can't say she doesn't know her daughter well!

Something on the Side:

Of course, my "Miss Elizabeth" tea wouldn't be the same without my Jane Austen Literary Mug from The Unemployed Philosophers Guild. I love this mug! It's large, heavy, and beautiful. I also have their First Lines of Literature Mug and the Literary Transport Pride and Prejudice Mug tucked away in my cabinet. I'm a bit of a mug collector, if you couldn't tell. And while scanning some websites today, I found this Jane Austen Mug from The Literary Gift Company, which is so fun!


  1. I'm kind of addicted to mugs. I like having one to suit my morning mood. "Am I feeling like some Wolverine today? Avengers? John Wayne? Bard the Bowman? General LOTR-ness? Hamlet? Lone Ranger? Hemingway?" Sadly, the cupboard holds just so many mugs, and if I buy a new one, I have to say good-bye to an old one (or put it in the nearly inaccessible cupboard above the fridge). BUT that first mug? Wow. I so want it.

    Also, I used to read "Poetry" magazine! Sometimes you find some real gems there.

    1. I completely understand, Hamlette; I'm the same way! I don't have much space, either, so Tony usually guilts me into not buying more mugs. Which makes it so fantastic when they're gifts, right? I love the mugs from The Unemployed Philosophers Guild! Not only are the designs lovely and fun, but the construction is just how I love my mugs--big enough to hold a good cup of tea, and heavy enough to relax in my hands!

      I don't subscribe to any literary magazines, but I like picking one up from time to time. I think I got this one browsing in a little shop in Kirkwood. There were some poems in there that I didn't like as much, but something about "Telephone" just struck me.

  2. Aaaahhh! I love those mugs! Especially the Jane Austen one. Must buy one soon. Or, you know, buy two or three. One can never have too many mugs, right? I mean, surely space in the cabinet will just magically appear every time I buy a new one. ;)

    And that tea sounds awesome. See? I knew I was gonna love these tea and poetry posts of yours. Too fun!

    1. I completely agree! :P

      I'm glad you're enjoying them, Kara! I've had a lot of fun with it so far.