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Time Out

Works of a great American poet still relevant and tangible today

April 10, 2014

The skill of the poet is to grasp a subject and describe in as few, well-chosen, thought-provoking and illuminating words as possible. Unlike a novelist who can choose to speak in a simple or extravagant way, the poet tries to say what they have to say in a terse verse. Novelists can ramble on at length, describing a scene in minute detail, utilizing the luxury of that form to give the reader a very clear picture of whatever the author has to say. The poet attempts to get the reader’s imagination perked in a searing, quick-flash format, which will leave the reader thirsting for more, but with the caveat that they must use their imagination to understand and get beyond the poet’s message.

Plenty of good fishing days ahead for anxious anglers

April 10, 2014

Apparently three times is the most a person should use the dishwasher to clean their tackle boxes. More times than that brings only outside voices and wagging fingers. We do have some excuse for our insensitivity or general sense of distraction this week: our focus is blurred from nervous fishing energy. We are anxious. Once trout waters were closed for some rest and restocking, we raced to get lines, canoes, Thermoses, flies and Viking helmets ready for this, the most important daybreak of spring. Now die-hards, weekend warriors and badgered-into-it fathers are ready to brave the elements, searching for hungry trout and a parking space at the spectacle that is April’s second Saturday. Personally, my hope is for a safe dry day and to not have my young son out-fish me or spill hot chocolate all over my canoe, both of which have become unfortunate annual traditions.

Musical talent runs in the Selvidge family

April 10, 2014

A father-son dynamic of sorts creeps its way into this week’s Ear Bliss as we look at albums from The Hold Steady and the late Memphis artist Sid Selvidge. The common thread between the two releases is Steve Selvidge who has held down guitar duties for The Hold Steady since 2011 and is the son of Sid Selvidge and played a pivotal in the resissue of his dad’s classic 1976 album, “The Cold of the Morning.” Let’s take a look.

Rhode Island’s slavery perpetuator

April 10, 2014

In post-Revolutionary War America, a society freed from its British overloads had to engage in much introspection regarding its own laws on human rights issues, namely slavery. James DeWolf, however, cared not for the lives of his slaves, becoming one of the budding nation’s most notorious traders. Cynthia Mestad Johnson, a U.S. history teacher in California and graduate of California State University, has researched the life and times of this despicable slave trader from Bristol in her latest book, “James DeWolf and the Rhode Island Slave Trade.”

April stirs nature’s pot in woodlands and wetlands

April 10, 2014

There are a few things stirring in the soil, and after a long absence of any notes in the Journal about anything green, I can happily report the appearance of rhubarb aboveground. (Alas, no pies yet, but hope is enough.) The daffodils and red maple buds are close to opening, and with any luck, we’ll have Bloodroot and Dutchman’s Breeches in flower soon, perhaps as early as the time you read this. And those wildlings in bloom are reminders that I need to get to certain places in the woods to look for other blossoms, particularly those on the Trailing Arbutus, the Hepaticas, and the Virginia Rockbreaker.

Noteworthy reissues of legendary country and blues albums

April 3, 2014

A couple of recent reissues are in the Ear Bliss spotlight this week. One is from the late country legend and hall of famer Waylon Jennings and another from legendary piano bluesman Roosevelt Sykes. Let’s get into it.

A story of light conquering darkness through a challenging life choice

April 3, 2014

Lighthouses are a fascinating subject to consider. The extraordinary role they play in the life and potential death of those who fare and frolic upon the oceans of this world is something important to consider. If one malfunctions, even for just a short time, well the results could potentially become rapidly catastrophic. The light saves lives. There are many famous lighthouses the world around.

Preparation, conservation and restoration required of fishermen

April 3, 2014

Good fishermen can read a pile of bait under a few circling gannets at four hundred yards but can’t read a note about cleaning the gutters even when left on their favorite “Duck Dynasty” coffee cup. Right now that is very true because we are two weeks from opening outdoor showers, one week from trout season’s Opening Day and today is the home opener at Fenway. We are all about preparation now.

Experience a whole lot of lovin’- naturally

April 3, 2014

Last week, a little movie about a minor flood opened in theaters across the country, and, perhaps just by coincidence, perhaps not, we had our own modest rain event. At one point during the deluge, this surely had people thinking about arks.

Learning to dance through a time of great suffering

April 3, 2014

NARRAGANSETT – Local author Padma Venkatraman’s latest book, “A Time to Dance,” will be available nationwide May 1.

“A Time to Dance” is Venkatraman’s third novel, and tells the tale of Veda, a young girl whose career in classical Indian dance seems promising until she loses a leg in a tragic accident.

Venkatraman spent nearly four years writing her most recent novel, which she said is extremely different from her first novel, “Climbing the Stairs,” and her second novel, “Island’s End.”

Archaeologist talks shipwreck’s ancient plight at URI

April 3, 2014

KINGSTON—Croatian archaeologist Irena Radiç Rossi visited the University of Rhode Island recently to speak on a fascinating discovery underneath the waves of the Adriatic Sea; a Venetian galleon which never saw port again, sinking off the Dalmatian coast in the fall of 1583.

“Today, an international team of archaeologists and archivists are piecing together the fascinating history of everyone connected to the ill-fated ship, which belonged to the Gagliana family of Dubrovnik,” said Bridget Buxton, professor of history at URI and organizer of the event. “So far the story includes the Ottoman Sultan Murad III and his mother, a Venetian lady abducted and sold to the harem of Selim II by the famous pirate Barbarossa; the Doge of Venice, Nicolò da Ponte, and the Grand Duke of Florence, Francesco I de’ Medici.”

Albums with roaring musical attitudes

March 27, 2014

A little behind the curve on this week’s two albums, but Ear Bliss favorite label Bloodshot Records gets off to a roaring start in 2014 with longplayers from Lydia Loveless and the one-man racket quad Scott H. Biram. For Loveless, the new “Somewhere Else” follows a teaser of an EP released last November (“Boy Crazy”) and is her third album for renegade indie label. It has all the makings of a record poised to break her out to a wider audience. Biram, on the other hand, is nine albums into his career with this latest. Let’s get down to business.

Events to prep for spring fishing

March 27, 2014

Monday morning bus stops will be full of chilly children doing the two-sneaker shuffle dance, hands stuffed in wind breaker pockets, collars turned to the breeze, the air suffuse with old bug spray. These are sure signs of fishermen parents who, forcing the hand of spring, have banished all winter clothing to dark cellar corners, creating precious space for new season valuables. Rods, spare reels, waders, trout nets, selfies with stripers can all reclaim their order in closets and on shelves. Parents will tell their children, “It was so much colder when I was a kid,” “The heat’s on at school,” or “The days are getting warmer anyway.”

A lull in the natural world

March 27, 2014

These are the times that are beginning to try my soul, and, in truth, I was sorely tempted to start out this edition of the Journal with one of those probably, by now, infamous “A Note to Readers” phrases that ask forgiveness for the recycled column that will appear instead of some fresh account. In truth, I always hate having to do this, but there are occasions when, because of early deadlines, impossible to resolve conflicts with work, a vacation that finds me out of Internet range, or, I suppose, my being in a coma, I have no choice but to mine the archives for something appropriate. It’s that or, well, offer a blank space.

Human spirit prevails at OSTC

March 27, 2014

WARWICK—Linked by a story that has long been known for its somber outcome, three young local actors, among a cast of 10, are focusing on the powerful human spirit that prevails in “The Diary of Anne Frank,” which opened March 26 and runs through April 13 at Ocean State Theatre Company.


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