2017

2017
Sunset on the farm, Danbury, Connecticut

Introduction:

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!

30 May, 2017

"Singing the "Blues"

Every year, when my irises bloom, thoughts of my Dad return to me. Below is a poem about the irises that he brought to me many years ago. "They're your flower, Jeanne Iris. The blue matches the blue in your eyes and they bear your name." This was a significant statement, for my genetic 'flaw' of blue eyes had always made me feel like an outsider, for everyone else in my family had brown eyes. 

The second poem describes the first thing I experience in the morning. My favorite time of day is that moment when I first awaken, sometimes still dreaming, and I look out my window to a lovely little forest, night animals still calling to their mates, no human sound outdoors at all. It's just before dawn, and just after that 'darkest hour,' and for only a few minutes, everything is blue. 



Blue Iris
My Dad brought me some irises
one day
I planted them,
and when 'moving day' arrived,
those bulbs were dug up
brought along for the ride.
Now, every June, they appear
bearing memories of his smiles 
more vividly than the previous year
keeping his beautiful memory alive.
Now, as I strive
to achieve daily goals,
his voice rings clearly in my ear:
"You can be anything you want to be, my dear...
if you just persevere."  

© Jeanne I. Lakatos
********************************************

Just Before Dawn
Eyes open slowly.
Still, I walk along that lovely beach
and glance up to see a small village.
That same, intriguing dream,
now, it fades away
with the early morning mist.
 I feel a gentle, cool breeze
waft across my face
and turn my head
toward the choir of crickets,
still calling to their mates.
An owl wings its way
midst entangled branches,
eerily hooting through the blue.
My gaze reaches the maple tree
standing tall in this tableau
all blue, shades of blue, no other color
but blue. Everywhere!
Leaves, tree trunks, even the lone deer,
all blue.
It's no longer evening, not yet dawn.
Sky and sea are one magic hue.
The song of one bird greets me:
a prayer for the new day
in this tranquil moment of 
blue.

© Jeanne I. Lakatos

24 May, 2017

Attack of the Georgia June Bugs

I had to remove the photo of the June Bug. 
It just gave me the creeps.

With warm days behind and ahead of us, my mind immediately traveled to a memory of one laundry night, many years ago, when I lived in Atlanta, Georgia. If you have never encountered a Georgia June bug, well, let me tell you... you are fortunate indeed. The darn things are about two inches long and click and sputter around lights at night all summer long. ugh! ugh! (worth 2 ughs!) Anyway, here's the poem:

Attack of the Georgia June Bugs

Snugly against my right hip,
I carry laundry, clean and folded,
in a wicker basket
on a hot, southern night.

Georgia June bugs
encircle my head.
Zipping to and fro, their wings roar
like ghosts of B-52 bombers.

I run to escape 
their clicking laughs;
laundry jostles 
over the edges of the basket.

Quickly. I swoop 
to retrieve escaping bras and panties
before anyone sees me 
or those bugs get nearer.

“Don’t you dare fly into my hair!”
Ah, at last! 
I’m inside my apartment.
Only one goal: to chug a cold beer.

© Jeanne I. Lakatos

21 May, 2017

Praying Mantis

The praying mantis doesn't usually bite the head off of her man while copulating. Apparently, some scientists had at one time starved some of these creatures, and the femme fatales decided the only recourse was to snap off the heads of their men. 

Photo from Google Images

Mantis Religiosa

I, the Praying Mantis
prey upon lesser species
with ultimate finesse.
My wings provide swift flight. 
My auditory channels
hear the smallest whimper,
and I attack my prey
with a lust that must
be satisfied.

When I am famished,
I thrust my acidic sap
upon the male of my species,
and while copulating,
I internally debate
his future. (Oh, I can multi-task.)

Occasionally, magnificently
I’ve been known
to snap his head right off
and masticate his splendid juice
blending our vital fluids
to finish off my day 
with a cocktail of divine love.

Then, I bestow the gift,
my majestic beauty,
as I wrap our offspring
in a glutinous cocoon
nestled upon a woody limb
to endure winter's strife,
and the cycle prevails:
we, the preying mantid. 

© Jeanne I. Lakatos

15 May, 2017

Sydney Owenson's Application of the Semiotic Theory of Iconic Realism


The following is from the first chapter of my book: 

Woven from the threads of disenfranchisement and enchantment, Owenson's writing captures the semiotic essence of the philosophically and politically inspired Romantic era, in which the grand is intentionally written to be grander in terms of style, topics and themes, where literary characterizations align with political forces to challenge the core of that which comprises a civil society.

The field of semiotics defines the significance of meaning in terms of its relative interpretations by Owenson’s audiences. Based on its historical and philosophical frames of reference, an audience assigns a variety of interpretations to any piece of literature. As Mario J. Valdés asserts, “The meaning we construe to any statement or any text is tentative; indeterminacy is controlled by a system of signs we accept as determinate in order to establish a temporary identity to the text.” [1] 

In alignment with this thought, Owenson’s readers interact with her as author and interpret the material independently of each other, yet in a way that is inclusive of the history and culture of all parties. These inclusive qualities of specific communities comprise the basis for the establishment of certain elements to be identified as iconic.

Iconic representation of literature within any community develops from that community’s awareness of the connection between the writer’s endeavour and human consciousness. When the community understands that each writer is contributing to the possible transformation of consciousness, fresh ideas offer the possibility for growth in the potential for change. 

Reformation occurs when the community also understands the historicity of the artists’ renderings in correlation with the current status of the community’s mind-set. Eventually, the cultures within a community, inclusive of the writers and those who comprise the audience, form a semiotic alliance that incorporates the language, philosophy and history of the culture. Once these elements align, a tolerance emerges that provides opportunity for innovation.... (pp.18-19)


[1] Mario Valdés,  Hermeneutics of Poetic Sense: Critical Studies of Literature, Cinema, and Cultural History (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1998) p.15.

12 May, 2017

Happy Mother's Day!

I've posted this poem on both of my sites. This doesn't have anything to do with iconic realism, but realism, yes. It's a verse that, hopefully, illustrates the flowing bond of memory and emotions between Mother and Daughter. 

Sleeping Mother with Child by Christian Krohg, 1883

Breath 

Behind her sleeping eyes,
a youthful face remains within
the gentle embrace of her heart,
impish blue eyes, trying her patience,
the quiet soft puffs of sleeping breath.

She smiles, wondering
what this wee one dreamt,
so small, so peaceful,
then erupting passion
and the sighing relief in its passing,
growing, knowing that surely
there will return a forgiving kiss.

Eyes closed, she remains
in cherished supplication
wafting on the quiet breath
of the one who calls her Mom.



© Jeanne I. Lakatos

06 May, 2017

Dandelion Wine Recipe



2017 is shaping to be an excellent year for the dandelion crop. Below is a recipe for dandelion wine I copied from my mother's recipe box many many years ago, but I've no idea of the origin of this recipe: 

Dandelion Wine Recipe
1 quart dandelion blossoms- packed solidly
1 gallon water-boil water for 10 minutes
Add blossoms to water and cook for 10 more minutes. 
After cooking, strain off the blossoms
Add 3 1/2 lbs. sugar to juice and 2 packets of dried yeast
Add about 4 oranges whole and 5 lemons whole
Add 1/2 lb. raisons
Soak one week with raisons. 
Stir well at least once a day while soaking during the 2 weeks.