Snow and Poetry

For Day 19 of Zero to Hero, the challenge is to “publish a post using a format you’ve never used before”. The slideshow below contains a photo gallery (a format which is new to me) of wintry pictures which I took a couple of years ago, plus a cento I composed to go with them. A cento is like a poetic mash-up, with lines from poems by different authors rearranged into a new, unique poem. For a wonderful example of a cento that the BBC recently produced as a promo for one of their channels, click here: BBC Cento.

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And here is my complete cento in order. All of the authors’ names and the titles of the poems are in the captions of the gallery slideshow. In respective order, I composed the cento with quotes from poems by Robert Frost, Emily Bronte, John Clare, Thomas Hardy, George Meredith and Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep
And fifteen wild Decembers
From those brown hills have melted into spring.
The winter comes; I walk alone.

Around the house the flakes fly faster,
And all the berries now are gone.
Sharp is the night, but stars with frost alive
Leap off the rim of earth across the dome.

The secret ministry of frost
Shall hang them up in silent icicles,
Quietly shining to the quiet Moon.

January, we had fun

January was a great month on the blog.

I made some delicious soup (Honey-roasted parsnip and carrot soup), took part in a photo challenge (highlights below) and published the post which was Freshly Pressed, to my delight, on February 1!

I kick-started January with the First Thirty-one Photo Challenge, welcoming in 2013 with a photo a day.

Browse highlights from my entries below:

Day 1: Resolution:

Resolution: to get outside and go places

Resolution: to get outside and go places

Day 10: Gorgeous hand-knitted socks, knitted by a friend


A wintry photo entry for day 14’s “Frost” theme

snowy tree

Day 19: Fur


Day 31: snowdrops signal the end of winter


I also enjoyed challenging my writing skills with challenges from The Daily Post

My dream trip: a writing challenge about traveling set my imagination on fire.

Another writing challenge: Starting Over, a short story set in Mexico.

Cultural Life celebrated the 200th anniversary of the publication of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice with this post:

January 28 1813.

And on January 31, I published this weekly writing challenge post, about saying an emotional goodbye to my mother at the doors of the operating suite. It was Freshly Pressed! I don’t often use the word “awesome” but being Freshly Pressed was the embodiment of that word. Thank you to everyone who commented, liked and shared my post. Welcome to my new followers and thank you for helping to create a great blogging month here at Cultural Life!

Photo challenge day 12: Flakes

First Thirty-one Photo Challenge day 12 (Fourtuitous)!

I have much better pics of snowflakes on my camera, like this one:

snowflakes falling

snowflakes falling

But that was taken in 2011, whereas the photo below was taken today. It’s an embarrassingly terrible photo though but it was all I could get!

snowflakes and ice on the car

snowflakes and ice on the car

Photo challenge day 6: Gray

It’s already day 6 of the First Thirty-one photo challenge! Head on over to Fourtuitous to find out more.

For today’s theme of gray, I have a photo with many different shades of gray, though perhaps not as many as 50. 😉 Sorry, that was a lame attempt at a joke and I haven’t even read 50 Shades of Gray (and I don’t particularly want to!)
Let’s just get on with the task in hand, shall we? See below for my photo entry:

Different shades of gray in a dramatic winter landscape

Different shades of gray in a dramatic winter landscape

February weekend

I took this picture last Saturday, on a cold morning when the hazy mist was lying low over the hills and the orange tinge to the clouds heralded the arrival of snow. It’s by no means a spectacular photo but I like it because it reminds me of a watercolor painting, with the silhouetted trees in the distance and the soft outlines of the landscape.