Autumnal view in Danbury, CT


My photo
Current: Danbury, CT, United States
Welcome! A few years ago, I discovered an application that artists employ in their works to bring cultural awareness to their audiences. Having discerned this semiotic theory that applies to literature, music, art, film, and the media, I have devoted the blog, "Theory of Iconic Realism" to explore this theory. The link to the publisher of my book is below. If you or your university would like a copy of this book for your library or if you would like to review it for a scholarly journal, please contact the Edwin Mellen Press at the link listed below. Looking forward to hearing from you!

21 October, 2016

Patriotic Sketches

I took this photo of a plaque dedicated to Sydney Swenson (Lady Morgan). 
It's located on Kildare Street, Dublin, Ireland, 
where she lived for a while in the early  19th century. 

In her book, Patriotic Sketches of Ireland (1807), Sydney Owenson observes political philosophy in the following manner:

an extension of the mind’s eye to the whole great scale of civil society, and demonstrating the close-linked dependencies of its remotest parts, affords to the benevolence of the human heart, and the comprehension of the human understanding, a social system, gratifying to the feelings of the one, and ennobling to the faculties of the other (Owenson, 33). 

Here, she illumines her reading audience with the possibilities of revolution through elevation of human consciousness. Particularly, she mentions "benevolence of the human heart." Currently, we need to focus on the strength found between each heartbeat, that electro-magnetic force that guides the human mind. As I make my decision of the right person who will be the leader of the Executive Branch of the United States and Commander in Chief of the U.S. armed forces, I will be observing which candidate has demonstrated the qualities found in the truest human heart. That person won't be perfect. No one is. However, that person will be one who is willing to uphold the U.S. Constitution and will be protective of each human heartbeat, even those who are the most vulnerable: a true patriotic servant, who is willing to be "ennobling to the faculties of the other."

11 October, 2016

Civil Revolution

From my book: 

In Sydney Owenson’s national tales, she weaves together threads of disenfranchisement and enchantment, captures the essence of the politically inspired Romantic era, in which the grand is intentionally written to be grander, where literary characterizations entwine with political forces within a civil society. The English aristocracy and the publishing community accept Owenson as a significant member of their elite societies through her writing and marriage to Sir Charles Morgan. She becomes ‘Lady Morgan’ while remaining loyal to her Irish roots as Sydney Owenson. Her loyalty to both identities serves her expressive purposes well, for she carefully coordinates these unique influences into her text by merging the English tale of aristocratic inheritance with Irish ideology. 

09 October, 2016

Thomas Paine and Revolutionary Consciousness: A Lesson for Twenty-First Century Readers

Thomas Paine differentiates between natural and civil rights of man, with the latter originating from the former. He interprets the aristocracy’s use of language as a means of establishing a sense of power. Echoing the consciousness of the eighteenth century philosopher, John Locke, Paine elucidates for his readers an emerging global consciousness in Rights of Man:

The progress of time and circumstances, which men assign to the accomplishment of great changes, is too mechanical to measure the force of the mind, and the rapidity of reflection, by which revolutions are generated:  All the old governments have received a shock from those that already appear, and which were once more improbable, and are a greater subject of wonder, than a general revolution in Europe would be now…. what we now see in the world, from the Revolutions of America and France, are a renovation of the natural order of things, a system of principles as universal as truth and existence of man, and combining moral with political happiness and national prosperity.[1]

Our politicians of the twenty-first century could do well to consider Mr. Paine's words. These fundamental beliefs authentically provide his readership with contrasting attributes of the narrow vision present in governmental hierarchy in contrast with those belonging to humanity in general. A correlation between humanity and nature formed the consciousness of revolutionary thought, which eventually fed into the elaborate (and beautiful) artistic,  musical, and literary expressions of romanticism.

It's October 9, 2016. Are we on the brink of realizing free expression, found within the core of human creativity....or are we on the brink of a constrained life experience, found in a contrived order as the result of total control of the human mind? 

[1] Quoted in Foner 536-37.

03 October, 2016

From my Operetta, Luminescence: Rhododendron (Dark Thoughts of Anne Sexton)

There exists a balance of positive and negative in life, and in my operetta, Luminescence, I address this through the spirit voice of Anne Sexton and her associated flower, Rhododendron.

                                                     Photo from the site:

Rhododendron: Dark Thoughts
(from my operetta, Luminescence)

From the corner of the garden,
a fierce wind buffets 
branches of the Rhododendron.
Now enters the looming danger 
of love’s despair.

Begonia, Narcissus,
and Southernwood
all bode a feeling of lost love
in the midst of this glorious
locus amoenus.

Anne whispers: 
Rhododendron is my flower’s name,
I bring dark thoughts
into this world of fragrance.
I make the lives of my seed
and the surrounding seeds
suffer as I do.

Man has attached meaning 
to our nature, proclaiming
that we ignore
the pleas of the world
within our hearts, 
so we suffer association
with the human frailties:
egotism, ultimate ruin, evil. 

But here in this garden, I see: 
The beauty in our lives
does surround us,
even in our darkest moments,
even in those isolated
hours of despair.

© Jeanne I. Lakatos

27 September, 2016

Innovation: A Call to Action

An innovative idea is a call to action to make a difference in this world. A brilliant person once shared with me the significance of a single leaf used as a metaphor for the human condition. Since transformation originates from a single notion, I thought this little poem is one that may contribute a genesis of consciousness.  

I took this photo in St. Stephen's Green, Dublin, Ireland.

One maple tree leaf in my garden
Be Leaf 
remains the leaf
not insignificant
well formed
turned over and over.
it resides 
in belief

© Jeanne I. Lakatos  

23 September, 2016

An American Civil War Quilt Poem

Below is a narrative poem that I wrote around 1996
in which I used the American Civil War as its theme.

  A nine-patch quilt, hand-quilted by me

Two Tiny, Nine-Patch Doll Quilts
A tiny, nine-patch doll quilt
lay upon a tiny bed
made especially for Maggie Mae
the year her family fled
from all those scornful Yankees,
who were running through their town
setting homes and lives afire
causing Southern hopes to drown.

A tiny, nine-patch doll quilt
lay upon a tiny crib
made especially for Ellie Sue
the summer when her nib
was loosened from her pen in hand
as the Rebels fired loud
and soon her family stood in fear
with the other Gettysburg crowd.

Two tiny, nine-patch doll quilts
heard two tiny prayers say,
“Dear Lord, please let our battled lands
be placed within Your peaceful stay,
and help our families change their hate
to blessings filled with love.
Then, all of us will recognize
Your blessings from above.”

Two tattered, nine-patch doll quilts
lie in honorable view
for each is cherished dearly
by descendants of the two
who saw their lives so clearly
pass through war’s destructive side
for one hundred years of prayer brought
a Rebel son his Yankee bride.

© Jeanne I. Lakatos 

19 September, 2016


                                I took this photo of a street musician in Dublin a few years ago

On the topic of phonology or phonetic consciousness, the study of way humans combine  sounds to create linguistic patterns, I give you a brief excerpt from my book: Innovations in Rhetoric in the Writing of Sydney Swenson (Lady Morgan, 181-1859) and below that, a poem I wrote entitled, Consciousness. Enjoy! 

Steven Pinker discusses the impact of phonology and semantics as individuals experience sensory connections in their formation of new concepts:   
The phonemes and syllables in a word contact their counterparts in memory piecemeal, more and more of them finding a match as the milliseconds tick by. As soon as all the pieces match some entry, the irregular form linked to the entry is fetched and shunted to the vocal tract. While the lookup is in progress, the inhibitory signal sent to the rule box gets stronger and stronger, and when all goes well, the rule is braked to a halt. [1]

At this point, the individual synapses in the brain connect the familiar sound with a specific memory. 

[1] Steven Pinker, Words and Rules: The Ingredients of Language, (New York: Harper, 2011), p. 130.



Jung's is collective
containing collaborative
but chaotic compositions
carefully calculated
to create clear cut
caricatures of cranial
cacophonies in crazy
and occasionally corny
creatures who care
about causes and effects.

But mine is coincidental, 
caught between 
casual and coiffure
occasionally quirky
consistent and tranquil
cautious,  concerned
a creatively concocted 
course of action, 
convoking acquaintances
to collaborate and affect.

© Jeanne I. Lakatos