What Is Heaven Like?

If Jesus calls me home today,

I know, I’m sure that it’s okay.

If I go up to Heaven today,

I know the first thing I will say.

I will stand before the King,

All I will do is praise Him and sing,

“Holy, holy, praise the Lord!”

Admiration from my mouth will be poured.

Then Jesus, the mediator between God and man,

Will come down from the throne at God’s right hand.

He’ll come to me, and I’ll fall on my face,

Blinded His holiness, I’ll be in a daze.

But Jesus will take my hand,

He’ll pull me up and make me stand.

He’ll look me right in the eyes,

As if I’m special, His only prize.

He’ll embrace me and tell me,

“Your pain is over, and you’ll now be,

With me for eternity.  Look,” he’ll say,

“At the city of gold, pearl, and jade,

This great city for you I’ve made.”

I’ll join the angels in singing His praise,

I’ll be in paradise praising Him always.

jesus-hugging-sm

 

 

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Poetry Definitions and Experimentation, Part 3

Yes, I know I promised to get the last part of this series to you a long time ago.  Sorry for the delay.  Anyway, without any further ado, the third part of this series.  Of course, first are the definitions:

  • Alliteration–repeated sounds at the beginning of words (that Slick old Soggy Sick Sand).
  • Consonance–repeated consonant sounds anywhere in the words (Sally Sank to the bottomS).
  • Assonance–repeated vowel sounds anywhere in the words (SAlly sAnk sAdly).

And now onto the interesting stuff!  The POETRY… *trumpets play* Dun, dun, DUUUUNNN… (I’ll be normal now).

sonnets

A sonnet is a fourteen line poem written in iambic pentameter (see the earlier parts of this series), traditionally written about love.  There are two types of sonnets (well, there are actually three, but I’m just talking about the most common ones): English (or Shakespearean) and Italian (or Petrarchan).  The difference is in their rhyme schemes.  English sonnets have the rhyme scheme ABAB CDCD EFEF GG.  It consists of 3 quatrains (four line stanzas) and 1 couplet (a two line stanza).  The Italian sonnet has a rhyme scheme of ABBAABBA CDECDE and consists of 1 octave (an eight line stanza) and 1 sestet (a six line stanza).  Both English and Italian sonnets contain a volta or “turn” within the last (or the last few) stanzas.  A problem is related in the first stanza(s), and the problem is resolved in the volta.  For more information on sonnets, go to this website.

Here’s an example of a sonnet written by Shakespeare (so this is a Shakespearean sonnet 😉 ):

From fairest creatures we desire increase,
That thereby beauty’s rose might never die,
But as the riper should by time decease,
His tender heir might bear his memory:
But thou, contracted to thine own bright eyes,
Feed’st thy light’s flame with self-substantial fuel,
Making a famine where abundance lies,
Thyself thy foe, to thy sweet self too cruel.
Thou that art now the world’s fresh ornament
And only herald to the gaudy spring,
Within thine own bud buriest thy content
And, tender churl, makest waste in niggarding.
Pity the world, or else this glutton be,
To eat the world’s due, by the grave and thee.

~Shakespeare’s Sonnet 1 (taken from Shakespeare Online)

This is a Petrarchan sonnet written by John Milton.

When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide
Lodg’d with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he returning chide,
“Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?”
I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies: “God doth not need
Either man’s work or his own gifts: who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed
And post o’er land and ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and wait.”

~John Milton “On His Blindness”

 

If you’re a poetry geek like me, and you want to know more about sonnets and such, then visit this page.  There’s a lot of great information on there.

So that’s it for this poetry “series!”  As always, please comment.  Thanks!

 

Book Review: To Kill A Mockingbird

{Note: I try to keep this review mostly spoiler-free.  However, there are a few in the  “What I liked” section of this review.}

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What It’s About:
Here’s a summary of To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee from Good Reads (here):

The unforgettable novel of a childhood in a sleepy Southern town and the crisis of conscience that rocked it, To Kill A Mockingbird became both an instant bestseller and a critical success when it was first published in 1960. It went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and was later made into an Academy Award-winning film, also a classic.

Compassionate, dramatic, and deeply moving, To Kill A Mockingbird takes readers to the roots of human behavior—to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos. Now with over 18 million copies in print and translated into forty languages, this regional story by a young Alabama woman claims universal appeal. Harper Lee always considered her book to be a simple love story. Today it is regarded as a masterpiece of American literature.

Here’s a bit more about the plot from Barnes and Nobles (here):

Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning masterwork of honor and injustice in the deep South—and the heroism of one man in the face of blind and violent hatred [sic]

One of the best-loved stories of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird has been translated into more than forty languages, sold more than forty million copies worldwide, served as the basis for an enormously popular motion picture, and was voted one of the best novels of the twentieth century by librarians across the country. A gripping, heart-wrenching, and wholly remarkable tale of coming-of-age in a South poisoned by virulent prejudice, it views a world of great beauty and savage inequities through the eyes of a young girl, as her father—a crusading local lawyer—risks everything to defend a black man unjustly accused of a terrible crime.

What I liked:

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee is one of my all-time favorite books.  It’s not called an American classic for nothing!  To Kill A Mockingbird is about racial prejudices in the South in the 1930’s.  This book will make you laugh, cry, and want to punch something (or someone).

One area that Harper Lee really excels in is characterization.  All her characters are very real, and they all are unique in their personalities.  For example, Scout, the main character, is an innocent, naïve young girl, who’s a tomboy and is always getting into trouble.  Jem, her brother, acts tough for his little sister, but he genuinely cares about her.  Dill, Jem and Scout’s best friend, is small for his age but acts tough and thinks he’s smart.  Atticus, Jem and Scout’s father, is a lawyer, who cares about doing what he believes is right and doesn’t back down even in the face of impossible odds.  All these characters have their own unique personalities, one element that makes this book truly a worth-while read.

The story centers around a court case in which Atticus is defending a black man accused of raping a white girl.  The black man (Tom Robinson), as you find out in the story, did not really rape the white girl, and Atticus believes Tom.  This is unheard of in the South in the 1930’s.  While most defense lawyers would not defend Tom Robinson fairly because he is black, Atticus defends Tom to the best of his ability.

Scout, the main character, develops throughout the course of the novel and learns that the world is not as innocent as she once thought it was.  She’s made fun of in school because her father is defending Tom.  But she has to learn to stand strong through all the mayhem and evil of the world.  This book is unbelievably moving, and the story conceals truths and morals that are still relevant today.

What I didn’t like:

There really isn’t anything I would change about this book.  I love everything about it (except the cussing).  However, once you get past the cussing, you’ll realize the true genius of this book.  Please do yourself a favor and read it, if you haven’t already.

Who I would recommend this book for:

This book contains PG-13 material, including rape and some cuss words.  The book does not show the rape scene but talks about it often, since there is a lawsuit about it, which is the main plot of the book.  Therefore, I wouldn’t recommend this book for anyone 10 and under.  I said this above, but let me say it again.  Once you get past the cussing and yucky stuff, you find a story containing wonderful truths and messages.  Believe me, you don’t know what you’re missing if you haven’t read it (or maybe now you do since I just told you what you’re missing 😉 ).

Underlying themes and messages:

Messages and themes include (source):

  • Justice–Tom Robinson is innocent.
  • Courage–Atticus’s courage standing up for what is right.
  • Social classes–All men are created equal.
  • Racism–Discrimination against African-Americans.
  • Heroism

Rating (Barnes and Nobles):

Barnes and Nobles give this book a 4.5 out of 5 star rating.

My rating:

I would give this book a 4.5 out of 5 star rating, as well.

To Kill A Mockingbird movie:

The movie was well-done but, of course, not as good as the book.  If you want to see the movie (which I would never recommend watching before reading the book), simply Google “To Kill A Mockingbird movie,” and you’ll find it.

Have you read To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee?  Did you like it?  Tell me what you think in the comments!

Poem: How Can I

The lovely Kingdom Pen editors ( kingdompen.org ) have published one of my poems, titled “How Can I.”  Please be sure to check Kingdom Pen out!  Their mission is to help Christian teens write for Christ.  I’ve learned so much from the awesome writing community there.  When you click on this link, click on the image below in the slideshow at the top of the page, and you’ll be able to view the poem.  Hope you enjoy it!

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9