Welcome to Maoist Orange Cake. Each week one of our Divas posts a thoughtful (but not necessarily serious) essay on whatever calls forth her Voice or strikes her Fancy. We invite you to join us wherever the discussion leads.
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"I would also like to add that ‘Maoist Orange Cake is possibly the best name for a blog ever. Just my twopence." -- The Sixth Carnival of Radical Feminists, 1 October 2007

The Twelfth Carnival of Radical Feminists is up at The Burning Times blog and mentions one of our posts, Helen 'Wheels' Keller, for recommendation. Orangeists spreading our zest!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


At last I have a dozen or so. Puny and small, and many plants aren't bothering to flower. But at last they are here!

I'm going to go dance among them.


silvio soprani said...

Little Gator,
I remember that poem, "I wandered lonely as a cloud," (saw your topic tags...) but was it by Longfellow?

Do schoolchildren still memorize poems these days? I suppose we complained about it back in the day, but looking back, I think it was a good idea.

When I was in college, my English professor had poetry readings at his home a couple times a semester. He made us take our shoes off to enter his living room. Most people read their poems, but I only knew songs, so I used to bring a musical instrument and sing them. Without fail, this professor would say,"It is wonderful to know the words by heart!"

I congratulate you on your daffodils. In my backyard at the moment I have the promise of roses, and also Shasta daisies. Oh yes, and dandelions! (I pick the greens and eat them in salads...does that sound predatory? I don't think the dandelions mind too much!

little gator said...

I see signs of lilacs, bleeding heart, and daylilies. Where are the violets?

I forget who wrote it too. Never memorised peoms in school, but when I was 15 I memorised The Raven just to see if I could. Now I've forgotten most of it.

pamish said...

Wordsworth. And his sister, Dorothy , possibly had a hand in a lot of his stuff.

Up in the Lakes, by Wordsworth's cottage, one of the local landladies this year resorted to planting loads of plastic daffodils for easter, because the holidaymakers would be coming specially to see them. Sadly, by easter the daffs had been and gone.

Our first daffodils came out mid-January. Finished by end feb at the latest. The spring blossoms are now replaced by trees in full leaf. We just have to get used to it, and do what we can to slow down the changes. Thinnk global, act local, is my chant now.

Maggie Jochild said...

Having to choose a category here, but it's a wealth of choices: Daffodils, poetry, Dorothy Parker (one of my matron saints -- and a Leo, didja know?), accordions and the beauty of a woman on a learning curve.

I don't think schoolchildren memorize much these days, but I agree, it's an important skill. I came from a family of poetry memorizers. When my Great-Aunt Lee hit her early 80s, she became fearful of getting Alzheimer's. Despite our assurances she'd be the last on the planet to show signs, she set herself memory tasks. One month, she learned all the Presidents in order. The next month, she told me all the Vice Presidents in order. After that, it was all the First Ladies. She began on the First Vice Ladies, but she called me mid month to say, with her humor-filled stuffed-vocabulary drawl, "What's the point in learning the names of a string of vinegar-faced has-been's consorts?" She promised me a surprised.

On my next monthly visit, as we tucked into one of her incredible lunches, she stood up with a grin and began reciting "The Cremation of Sam McGee", complete with acting out the most exciting bits. She went on to "The Shooting of Dan McGrew", then abruptly switched to the Lake Poets.

As for me, I used sudden recitations of Dorothy Parker's "Resume" at family dinners to upset my mother -- not just the words, but my bitter delivery (and I still know it by heart):
Razors pain you
Drugs cause cramp
Acids stain you
Rivers are damp
Guns aren't lawful
Nooses give
Gas smells awful
You might as well live

little gator said...

I'm always amazed to remember that Longfellow wrote the one about the little girl who had the little curl

(obnoxious singsong)
There was a little girl
Who had a little curl
Right on the middle of her forehead
And when she was good she was very very good.
And when he was bad she was horrid.

my mother like the alternate ending line
"and when she was bad her mother spanked her."

Fave D.P. quote, said to be how she answered her phone:

"What fresh hell is this?"

Jana C.H. said...

I know some of Gilbert's Bab Ballads off by heart: "Etiquette", "Ellen McJones Aberdeen", and "The Yarn of the Nancy Bell". I have been known to recite them (with acting, of course) at open mikes. No one says you have to recite your OWN poetry. Though I do write light verse of my own, it's hard to top Gilbert. At open mikes I make it a rule not to perform anything that is primarily about myself. The audience gets enough of THAT!

One of these days I'm going to have to finish memorizing "Casey at the Bat", a truly wonderful poem for acting.

Jana C.H.
P.S. Anyone want to read my Fremont Troll song?

little gator said...

Jana-I'm still the first to quote G&S here, and no one even said anything. BUt I'd love to know where that song came from, and intellectual chap that I am, I'm too lazy to look it up.

Pseaking of falalas, did you know you can sing "The Raven" to the tune of Deck the Halls?

Once upon a midnight dreary, falalala la la la la...

Jana C.H. said...

Gator-- I haven't been able to find your G&S quote, or I'd identify it for you. I know them all far too well than is good for my mental health.

I did not know "The Raven" could be sung to "Deck the Halls." The latter tune was originally a Welsh song about the coming of spring (back on topic!).

Did you know that the theme from "Gilligan's Island" can be sung to the tune of "Amazing Grace"? And vice versa, of course.

"Oh, sit right down and hear a tale,
A tale of a fateful trip..."

"Amazing Grace" will never be the same.

Jana C.H.
Saith Floss Forbes: If you don't know the tune, sing tenor.

little gator said...

Jana-it's in the "no title, s there" thread. I though that calling myself an intellectuasl chp was a giveaway.

I have a bunch of songs with swappable lyrics, and will dig them out and post them.

Deck the halls can also be swapped with the opening song from Iolanthe.(We are dainty little fairies)

Mazing Grace, Gilligan, and many other work for almost any cerse by Emily Dickinson.

Jana C.H. said...

Iolanthe, sung by Private Willis, first song of Act Two. I often use it as a tagline.

When all night long a chap remains
On sentry go, to chase monotony,
He exercises of his brains,
This is, assuming that he's got any.

Iolanthe is my favorite G&S opera. The Mikado is the best, but Iolanthe is my favorite.

Jana C.H.
Saith WSG: Every boy and every gal / That's born into the world alive, / Is either a little liberAL / Or else a little conservaTIVE.

pamish said...

"House of the Rising Sun" fits Amazing Grace too, in fact I think it's the same tune. Am, C, G7...