Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Didactic Cinquain Poetry

I never really got into poetry when I was in school but lately I have been trying to find different ways of expressing myself through writing so I have been researching poetry. A different form that I recently found is cinquain poetry.  Cinquain has 5 lines with progressive number of words in each line.  There are several variations on this form of poetry but I have decided to attempt a didactic cinquain first.

The didactic cinquain poem works like this:
First Line: Title
Second Line: Two words that describe the title
Third Line: Three words that give more information on the subject
Fourth Line: Four words that describe feelings related to the subject
Fifth Line: Single word that is a synonym for the title.

The example that I found that best helped me see how this works is:
Strong, Tall
Swaying, Swinging, Sighing
Memories of the Summer

Simple but effective. I can picture it perfectly in my mind.

So, to relate this to a topic I love to write about, I happened upon a new piece of artwork on the Fans of David site from my favorite graphic artist in the land of The Archuleta, Juan Morales. (Go here for Juan's blog.) The minute I laid my eyes on this new piece, I knew that I had to write about it. Thanks Juan for always inspiring me to dig deep into my mind and soul for just the right words.

First, here is the artwork entitled, Lightburst.

Now, here is my interpretation of this work.

Radiant, Explosive
 Brilliant, Fiery, Unexpected
Expression of Spiritual Enlightenment

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Patriotic Music

Ok,  I have a great idea but I'm going to need a little help from some of you out there in Archuleta-Land with putting my plan into action.  You see, after listening to the incomparable Mr. Archuleta sing the National Anthem of our country at The Constitution Fair in Gilbert, AZ in a way that I have never heard it performed before by anyone, I have decided that he should be the only person to ever sing this song again. Not only does he know all of the lyrics to The Star Spangled Banner as it is normally sung, but he also knows the lyrics to more than one verse of the song.  Amazing!! Most "famous" singers that are asked to present this incredibly difficult song at various events, have a problem remembering the words to the first verse. Many a "superstar" has bumbled and stumbled their way through this magnificent acclamation of our country's might, embarrassing both themselves and our great country. Why?  If you don't know the words to the song, which would be very sad if you are an American citizen, LEARN THEM.

Here is David performing our National Anthem in Gilbert, AZ. Video credit to Jonerzz.

Many beautiful songs have been written proclaming the special qualities of our country yet very few of these songs are ever performed in public any more. Yes, the "butchered" Star Spangled Banner can be heard before many sporting events and occasionally another patriotic song is tossed in the place of the National Anthem, but unless it's the 4th of July, don't plan on hearing more than one song of this type at any event. What happened to these beautiful songs that tell of our country's history?  Why don't we ever sing them anywhere today? The biggest reason that I see for this incredulous problem is that too many in our country have gotten too slack in teaching our kids what it really means to be an American. I guess they don't want to offend "visitors" to our nation by showing them just who and what we are. People want to be "politically correct".  Many of these songs also have references to God, so I guess people don't want to acknowledge that our country was founded by "Believers." We wouldn't want others to know that we have faith in a higher power. I say that this is not the way for our visitors to learn about our country. We should be proud of our past, even if it was not perfect. We should stand up and Thank God for our country every day.

Here is David performing God Bless America .  Video credit to Jonerzz

I have noticed a very disturbing trend in the past month that goes along with this same line of thought.  My son plays high school football here in Texas. His team has now played 4 games so far this season and the only patriotic song that I have heard performed by any of the marching bands performing at these games has been our national anthem. When I was in high school, I was a member of my high school's marching band and each game, each routine for half time, we always performed at least one patriotic song, usually a Sousa March.  These are beautiful pieces of music that honor our great country each time they are performed.  As I sat watching the halftime performances this past week, a thought came to me; I can't remember the last time I heard any band play a Sousa march. Then another terrible thought occured to me; Sousa has been replaced  by  - Katy Perry.  Yes, you heard me.  At each of the four games that I have attended this year, one, if not both of the marching bands have performed a Katy Perry song. I have heard Hot and Cold, Firework, and Teenage Dream already this season, and we are barely started.  What else can we be exposed to before the season is over. I have also heard The Blackeyed Peas and Lady Gaga already. What is high school band coming to? This new trend is very sad and kind of makes me sick. Is this the image we want our kids to emulate? I certainly don't.

Ok, I'm finished ranting now. I got a little sidetracked there. I was supposed to be talking about the wonderful David Archuleta performance at the Constitution Fair this past Saturday.  This is yet another fantastic performance given by David that I so wish I had been able to attend in person. I did listen to the concert live on ustream, but this is nothing like being at the show; it simply gives the fans a chance to know what David is singing at the moment.  Many of the videos taken by lucky fans in attendance are amazing, but once again do not do justice to the power of the Archuleta when experiencing him live. Every fan knows this is true. No recording devise has been made that can capture the feeling you get when listening to David in person. There is nothing in the world like David "Live."

Here is David performing Stand By Me. While this is not a patriotic song, David manages to elevate the status of the song by dedicating it to our military. He is a very wise young man, knowing just what songs can work for an ocassion.  Once again, video credit to Jonerzz.

While David performed many songs at this concert that had nothing to do with patriotism, he did end his performance with the patriotic medley that he first gave us for Utah's Freedom Fest in July. This is another beautiful example of David showing us how he feels about this country.  I so wish that other performers would follow David's lead and bring back some patriotism. We need it so badly these days.

David sings My Country Tis of Thee and America the Beautiful. Yes David, it is OUR COUNTRY and it is BEAUTIFUL. Thank you for reminding us of that and thank you for being beautiful also.

Video credit once again to the very talented Jonerzz.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Glad Christmas Tidings

Yesterday, Sept. 6, 2011, was the official release date for Glad Christmas Tidings, the annual Christmas gift to the world from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra.  As is the norm, this performance was recorded last year in December for release this year for the holiday season. Each year special guests are featured with the choir and this past year David Archuleta was the musical guest. Actor Michael York also appeared with the choir narrating a story. I so wish that I would have been able to attend one of these tapings, but it was not to be, so I have waited anxiously for 8 months for this date to arrive.

As of late, I have taken to writing poetry about all kinds of David events and songs so I decided to write another acrostic poem in honor of the release of Glad Christmas Tidings. As I thought about what I wanted to say in this poem, I contemplated what the words of this title really mean. As I did research on the words and possible meanings for each, I discovered something; this title, though it sounds old-fashioned, is absolutely perfect for David. The thesaurus I consulted gives synonyms for "glad" that include "happy, delightful, joyful, cheerful, blessed, favored, and merry" to name a few. These words perfectly describe David. I'm not sure that I have ever met or seen anyone as happy or blessed or joyful as David. Synonyms for "tidings" include "greetings, news, announcement, broadcast, knowledge, enlightenment, message, proclamation, and intelligence."  To me, this is David through and through. David has been announcing to the world that happiness is within our grasp if we seek enlightenment and knowledge and use our intellect to process the message of the good news of Jesus Christ.

Since this is no ordinary recording, I decided that my poem would not totally convey the extraordinary uniqueness of the event if I were to use ordinary words, so my thesaurus, as well as my brain, has gotten a workout.   

Now, I present to you my interpretation of the soon to be classic recording, Glad Christmas Tidings. I hope that you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.


Glad Christmas Tidings

Gladsome faces welcome the delighted assemblage to the magnificent amphitheater.
Lively dancers unite with countless voices and a multitude of instruments to create an
Amazing blend of robust power and delicate grace. Harmonious notes rise to the heavens,
Declaring the good news of the infant's birth while lifting up praises to the Almighty One.

Celestial sounds fill the air as the marvelous company is joined by a phenomenal yet
Humble soloist, intent on sharing his jubilant message with those gathered before them.
Reverent selections show the significance of this august performance, while highlighting the
Impeccable power and purity of his majestic voice.  Light-hearted and sometimes whimsical
Songs remind all in attendance that this is a joyous occasion, to be celebrated with great elation.
The sensational orchestra creates a majestic backdrop as the resplendent vocalist delivers each
Magnificent selection with awe-inspiring style and precision. Glorious notes waft through the
Air as the choir's sublime chorus accompanies the young virtuoso as he passionately delivers
Sumptuous vocals for each of his stunning performances, producing sweet sounds for the ears of all.

Tears of joy fill the eyes and tender moments touch the hearts of the audience as they so
Innocently succumb to the divine power of this message of love and peace and happiness. 
Dignity and poise are the order of the night as all marvel at the transformation of this normally
Introverted boy into the confident strong man standing before them. Never before has one so young
Navigated the waters of this massive undertaking, nevertheless he forges on to reach the zenith.
Glad Christmas tidings fill the air as the gathering thanks their benefactors for this blessed evening.
Sparkling eyes, a radiant smile, and an aura of peace proclaim this young man's mission is a success.