"Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these." (Luke 12:27)
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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!

Announcements

I will present or have presented research on Sydney Owenson (Lady Morgan) or my semiotic theory of iconic realism at the following location(s):

April, 2022: American Conference for Irish Studies, virtual event: "It’s in the Air: James Joyce’s Demonstration of Cognitive Dissonance through Iconic Realism in His Novel, Ulysses"

October, 2021: Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, CT: "Sydney Owenson’s use of sociolinguistics and iconic realism to defend marginalized communities in 19th century Ireland"

March, 2021: Lenoir-Rhyne University, Hickory, North Carolina: "Sydney Owenson (Lady Morgan): A Nineteenth Century Advocate for Positive Change through Creative Vision"

October, 2019: Elms College, Chicopee, Massachusetts: "A Declaration of Independence: Dissolving Sociolinguistic Borders in the Literature of Sydney Owenson (Lady Morgan)"

04 July, 2022

A Yankee Doodle Dandy

A dear friend was like a surrogate Mom to me and just about everyone else in town.  Every 4th of July, she could be seen in the town parade, riding the back of a motorcycle. (See photo below.) She was the mother of several children now living across the U.S., grandma and great-grandma to oodles more, and just a love. If you have the time, click (tick) onto A Patriotic Wave  to visit my other blog and another poem. 

Happy 4th of July from Connecticut, U.S.A! 

A Yankee Doodle Dandy
She's everybody's Mother.
She 'owns' the third pew
 at Mass on Sunday and daily, too,
just to be sure the priests stay true.
 She's an early bird all right
this merry widow dressed in red.

Prayed for the man for whom she wore white
50+ years ago
whispered one last "I love you!"
Sang the blues.
Then...
hopped on the back of this one's bike,
held on tight to save her life. 

Waves, smiles, stories to share,
filling up on love
feathered boa in mid-air
This yankee doodle dandy
in red, white and blue!

© Jeanne I. Lakatos

27 June, 2022

Mercy Otis Warren, Muse of American Revolution, 1776

Painting of Mercy Otis Warren


Mercy Otis Warren, given the title by some historians of Muse of the American Revolution, is often neglected in the U.S. historical memory. However, her motivation for contributing numerous literary works on the subject of independence  demonstrates virtues found in the common individual while pointing out the discrepancies in a non-representational government. In her 1773 play, The Adulateur, Warren describes the issue of individual rights through the speech of her main character, Brutus:

The change how drear! The sullen ghost of bondage

Stalks full in view—already with her pinions,

She shades the affrighted land—the insulting soldiers

Tread down our choicest rights; while hoodwinked justice

Drops her scales, and totters from her basis.

Thus torn with nameless wounds, my bleeding country

Demands a tear – that tear I’ll freely give her. [1]



Using the rebellious poetic format of blank verse, Warren creates an image of the capture of justice, illustrating the conception that human beings might be inherently good, but their thirst for power could cause a diminishing of spiritual truth, thus leading to contrived allegiances to governments and other forms of false leadership. 



We thank such brave intelligent writers as Mercy Otis Warren for their insights regarding historical perspectives of justice. 

~ Dr. Jeanne I. Lakatos 

[1] Mercy Otis Warren, The Adulateur, Act I, Scene I, Boston: New Printing Office, 1773.


16 June, 2022

My Joycean Journey

Quite a few years ago, on June 17th, yes, the day after Bloomsday, I intended to attend a conference held on the IADT campus in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland. Since I wasn't scheduled to present until the 19th, I thought I'd drive myself for the first day's activities. After carefully surveying maps and consulting Mapquest, I sat myself in the driver's seat and decided to drive myself. Since I'm left-handed, driving on the left side of the road comes naturally to me. I was set to go. FOUR HOURS later, I drove into the parking lot of IADT. The following days, I relied on the bus. 

Below is a photo I took whilst I was lost: 
Day After Bloomsday: 
My Own Odyssey in Dun Laoghaire

I pass by Davy Byrne's pub 
And think, “I must go there for a pint.”
It’s just off Grafton Street, ye know. 
And there’s the Ormond Hotel (Sirens chapter) 
But I must get on the M-50 to Dun Laoghaire.
It’s now 9:30. 

I get off the M-50 and drive along the highway,
I go through a town and find another highway.
Water is to my left. So beautiful! 
I take a picture and miss my turn.
So I ask for directions from a lovely garda. 
“Oh, I know exactly where ye want to go. 
I used to pick mushrooms there 
when I was a boy. Shame what they’ve done
To that land now. A real shame. It’ll take you
No time at all to get there.”
I follow his directions to the T…
And end up at the Martello tower.
The Coast Guard tell me I’m almost there.
10:30 I missed the first panels.

I drive around Sandycove 
And around Sandycove
And around Sandycove 
And around.... well, you get the picture...
I see cliffs in the distance. I want to jump….
End up back in City Center Dublin!
I pass the Gardai station again
in Dun Laoghaire... and keep driving
Eventually,
I see a little red pub: Dunpheys Pub
1:00 (I’ve missed Lunch.) 

I beg them to tell me where IADT is. 
“I’ve heard there’s a blue, boxy building,” sigh I. 
One kind gentleman says to another,
“Oh, I know where that is. 
Tom’s son goes there. 
Here, let me draw you a map.”
He proceeds to draw each traffic light, 
And tells me which lane to drive in.
I make it! Just in time for the 2:00 panel. 

When I return to my hotel room,
An email awaits me from my friend,
“Jeanne,” he says, “You MUST go to 
Davy Byrne’s pub, the Martello Tower,
(Opening Ithaca chapter-
where Buck Mulligan descends the stairwell.) 
Sandycove, the cliffs of Killiney… 
That’s real Joyce country.” 
I smile as my keys click the reply… 
Been there, done that. 

© Jeanne I. Lakatos 


Media Arts Building, IADT, Dun Laoghaire, Ireland, where mushrooms once grew.

11 June, 2022

BLISS is my word

Quite a few years ago, one of my professors asked our class to choose a word from Spenser's The Faerie Queene that particularly intrigued us. I chose the word, bliss. I have resurrected a poem that explains my perspective of this word, for I had a blessed week and thought it would be appropriate to post this today.




Bliss

In the O.E.D. resides the little word,
Bliss
So many entries for this little word:
bless, blessed and even bleche!
Heavenly gifts juxtaposed
with human expression.
Humans have this responsibility
to emulate higher levels of existence
to elevate human consciousness,
for each of us has been blessed
with gifts that enhance the living
presence surrounding us
moving humanity forward
in peaceful bliss.

My bliss originates in the glorious* way
we human beings speak to one another.
I scrutinize my fellow humans,
make mental notes of their paralanguage,
spiritual linguistics
where the core of truth generates
the coexistence of 
benevolence and deceit, dissonance!
Sometimes, this confuses me…Bleche!
so I retreat
to my place, the voice within, the Glor
where music of eternal, natural peace
and soothing sound waves of passion
form consonant harmonies,
my personal bliss.

© Jeanne I. Lakatos    

*Glor: the Irish Gaeilge word for voice, sound

09 June, 2022

Prayer of St. Columba of Ireland

 

          
               

               The Prayer of St. Columba

Be a bright flame before me, O God

a guiding star above me.

Be a smooth path below me,

a kindly shepherd behind me

today, tonight, and for ever.

Alone with none but you, my God

I journey on my way;

what need I fear when you are near,

O Lord of night and day?

More secure am I within your hand

than if a multitude did round me stand.

Amen.

05 June, 2022

Fractal Force

A few years ago, another blogger gave our poetry group a line prompt to use for our weekly poetry read. The line was as follows: "I am a crooked line." Well, the first thought that came to my mind was FRACTALS! To view more fractals and listen to some ambient music, click HERE.

Photo from Bing Images
http://www.citi.io/2015/02/28/science-for-designers-scaling-and-fractals/

Fractal Force
I am a crooked line.
My course
parallels spirit
conforming
non-conformist
weaves between
giving and receiving
audaciously
on the humble fringe of
pure
infinite
ubiquitous
Love.

© Jeanne I. Lakatos

26 May, 2022

Memorial Day: Thomas Paine and Revolutionary Consciousness


In honor of Memorial Day, 
a day when we remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. 

from Google Images



     Thomas Paine derives his insight of revolutionary consciousness based on traditions and historical practices. In his pamphlet, Common Sense, directed toward the “American Inhabitants,” Thomas Paine describes monarchies in general in this fashion:

Male and female are the distinctions of nature, good and bad the distinctions of heaven; but how a race of men came into the world so exalted above the rest, and distinguished like some new species, is worth enquiring into, and whether they are the means of happiness or of misery to mankind.

      Here, Paine empathizes with the common individual in his simple analysis of physical and moral distinctions of humanity, and he refers to the British aristocracy as “a new species.” He boldly reaches out to the consciousness of his readers, inspiring them to act on their natural right of the pursuit of happiness. In the words of Harvey Kaye, “As Paine saw it, American unity and vitality were themselves revolutionary imperatives - but not just for Americans” (65).

Kaye, Harvey. Thomas Paine and the Promise of America. New York: Hill & Wang,
2005.