Tag Archives: Garrison Keillor

Prepositions: a poem

Preposition: n. a function word that typically comes before a noun phrase to form a modifying phrase – examples: with, for, up, in out, of, beside

I always loved grammar, especially diagramming sentences. It made the language so orderly.

Thanks to Garrison Keillor’s Writers Almanac, which arrives in my inbox every day, I learned about  humorist and biographer Morris Bishop, born this day in 1893, who wrote a poem about prepositions.

[Bishop] was a brilliant scholar, fluent in German, Swedish, French, Spanish, Latin, and modern Greek. He wrote biographies of Pascal, Champlain, La Rochefoucauld, Petrarch, and St. Francis. But we remember him best as the author of light verse, such as this:

I lately lost a preposition:
It hid, I thought, beneath my chair.
And angrily I cried: “Perdition!
Up from out of in under there!”

Correctness is my vade mecum,
And straggling phrases I abhor;
And yet I wondered: “What should he come
Up from out of in under for?”

Past is Prologue: does McCain think we’re THAT stupid?

Prologue: an introductory act or event
“Past is prologue” a quote from The Tempest by William Shakespeare.

Republicans want to forget about the past, says Garrison Keillor in his latest essay at Salon.com:

So the Republicans have decided to run against themselves. The bums have tiptoed out the back door and circled around to the front and started yelling, “Throw the bums out!” They’ve been running Washington like a well-oiled machine to the point of inviting lobbyists into the back rooms to write the legislation, and now they are anti-establishment reformers dedicated to delivering us from themselves. And Mayor Giuliani is an advocate for small-town America. Bravo.

They are coming out for Small Efficient Government the very week that the feds are taking over Fannie and Freddie, those old cash cows, and in the course of a weekend 20 or 50 (or pick a number) billion go floating out the Treasury door. Hello? Do you see us out here? We are not fruit flies, we are voters, we can read and write, we didn’t just fall off the coal truck.

[I wish some of us were as smart as fruit flies. Altogether too many believe these serial liars.]

It is a bold move on the Republicans’ part — forget about the past, it’s only history, so write a new narrative and be who you want to be — and if they succeed, I think I might declare myself a 24-year-old virgin named Lance and see what that might lead to…

Mr. McCain has decided to run as a former POW and a maverick, a maverick’s maverick, rather than Mr. Bush’s best friend, and that’s understandable, but how can he not address the $3 trillion that got burned up in Iraq so far? [by Bush, with whom he’s voted 90% of the time – a war he avidly supported and supports.] …

When you check the actuarial tables on a 72-year-old guy who’s had three bouts with cancer, you guess you may be looking at the first woman president, a hustling Evangelical with ethics issues and a chip on her shoulder who, not counting Canada, has set foot outside the country once — a trip to Germany, Iraq  [actually just 50 feet across the border from Kuwait] and Kuwait in 2007 to visit Alaskans in the armed service. And who listed a refueling stop in Ireland as a fourth country visited.  [Talk about padding your resume!] She’s like the Current Occupant but with big hair. If you want inexperience, there were better choices.

For what it’s worth, in the nation’s capitol two statues stand outside the National Archives (where our Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights are on display). One is called “Study the Past” and this one is: “What is Past is Prologue.”

Peony plus = perfection

Peony ‘Krinkle White’. Rose ‘Just Joey’. Now why can these blooms stay like this forever?

Oh, and they’re both fragrant.

Update: On Prairie Home Companion this weekend, Garrison Keillor mentioned peonies in his news from Lake Wobegon.  Something like: ” having a bouquet of peonies is like inviting a Las Vegas showgirl into your living room. They’re always surprising to find in a Christian home.”

I don’t have a Christian home, but peonies ARE outrageous and I welcome them.

Papal Presence

Pope Benedict made his first visit to America last week (New York and Washington, anyway). He’s been viewed as a very conservative pontiff, who would roll back the clock on a lot of recent papal edicts if he had his way. He even wears a tall two-pointed hat (miter) that is a throwback to earlier papal garb which supposedly sends a signal to his more fundamentalist Catholic followers that he’s one of them.

I’m not a Catholic, and don’t give a poop for the pope, but this visit offered a convincing example of the power of being with one’s accusers face-to-face, listening and apologizing. American Catholics have been pretty steamed up (to put it mildly!) about the pedophile priests who were allowed to continue in their parishes while their higher-ups pretended it wasn’t happening. It has cost the church dearly both in dollars and membership.

Benedict’s advisors had told him to steer clear of the topic, but instead he waded right in, saying repeatedly how ashamed he was, and he met with a group of men who had been molested to hear their stories. To hear the men tell it, it meant everything to them to be able to go to the top guy and really be heard. And in hearing, the pope said he felt moved to do something about it… of course, we’ll see.

When will America learn that the way to defuse volatile situations is to come together as real people and listen to each other? Works better than bombs. Hello… Mr. Bush???

On a much lighter note, Garrison Keillor did a funny skit on his show yesterday about taking the pope (disguised as a schlumpy New York baseball fan) for a sightseeing stroll around a neighborhood in New York. [Link to follow, once it’s up on the Prairie Home Companion website.] The “pope” got into a whole alliterative P-word riff about going up to Boston for a gig with the Boston Pops, “Pope at the Pops with Puppets and Popcorn….”

Believe it – I’m onto something with P-words. You saw it here first!