Sunday, February 28, 2010

Poe's Valentines: To —— (1829)

To —— (1829)

This title refers to two poems carrying the same name. One begins with the lines "The bowers whereat, in dreams, I see." The other begins "Should my early life seem." Both first appeared collected in the 1829 Al Aaraaf, Tamerlane, and Minor Poems. The first, consisting of 12 lines, was reprinted in the September 20, 1845, issue of the Broadway Journal and deals with the speaker's loss which leaves him with "a funeral mind." The poem, despite is many reprintings, never had any significant revisions. The second "To ——" was republished in the December 1829 issue of the Yankee and Boston Literary Gazette after being cut from 40 lines to 13. The narrator of this poem equates breaking with his love as one of several failures.

To ——
Edgar Allan Poe

The bowers whereat, in dreams, I see
The wantonest singing birds,
Are lips — and all thy melody
Of lip-begotten words —

Thine eyes, in Heaven of heart enshrined
Then desolately fall,
O God! on my funereal mind
Like starlight on a pall —

Thy heart — thy heart! — I wake and sigh,
And sleep to dream till day
Of truth that gold can never buy —
Of the baubles that it may.

To — —
Edgar Allan Poe


Should my early life seem
[As well it might] a dream —
Yet I build no faith upon
The King Napoleon —
I look not up afar
To my destiny in a star:


In parting from you now
Thus much I will avow —
There are beings, and have been
Whom my spirit had not seen
Had I let them pass me by
With a dreaming eye —
If my peace hath fled away
In a night — or in a day —
In a vision — or in none —
Is it the less gone?


I am standing 'mid the roar
Of a weather-beaten shore,
And I hold within my hand
Some particles of sand —
How few! and how they creep
Thro' my fingers to the deep!
My early hopes? no — they
Went gloriously away,
Like lightning from the sky
At once — and so will I.


So young? ah! no — not now —
Thou hast not seen my brow,
But they tell thee I am proud —
They lie — they lie aloud —
My bosom beats with shame
At the paltriness of name
With which they dare combine
A feeling such as mine —
Nor Stoic? I am not:
In the terror of my lot
I laugh to think how poor
That pleasure "to endure!"
What! shade of Zeno! — I!
Endure! — no — no — defy.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Poe's Valentines: To One in Paradise (1833)

To One in Paradise (1833)

"To One in Paradise" was first published without a title as part of the short story "The Visionary" (later renamed "The Assignation"). It evolved into "To Ianthe in Heaven" and then into "To One Beloved" before being named "To One in Paradise" in the February 25, 1843 Saturday Museum.

Modernist poet William Carlos Williams considered "To One In Paradise" one of his most preferred poems.

The poem inspired a song composed by Sir Arthur Sullivan. "To One In Paradise" was published posthumously in 1904 and written for a tenor voice with piano. It is also the basis of the song To One In Paradise on the Alan Parsons Project 1976 album Tales of Mystery and Imagination.

To One in Paradise
Edgar Allan Poe

Thou wast all that to me, love,
For which my soul did pine-
A green isle in the sea, love,
A fountain and a shrine,
All wreathed with fairy fruits and flowers,
And all the flowers were mine.

Ah, dream too bright to last!
Ah, starry Hope! that didst arise
But to be overcast!
A voice from out the Future cries,
"On! on!"- but o'er the Past
(Dim gulf!) my spirit hovering lies
Mute, motionless, aghast!

For, alas! alas! me
The light of Life is o'er!
"No more- no more- no more-"
(Such language holds the solemn sea
To the sands upon the shore)
Shall bloom the thunder-blasted tree
Or the stricken eagle soar!

And all my days are trances,
And all my nightly dreams
Are where thy grey eye glances,
And where thy footstep gleams-
In what ethereal dances,
By what eternal streams.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Poe's Valentines: Annabel Lee (1849)

Annabel Lee (1849)

The last complete poem written by Poe, it was published shortly after his death in 1849. The speaker of the poem talks about a lost love, Annabel Lee, and may have been based on Poe's own relationship with his wife Virginia, though that is disputed.

Annabel Lee
Edgar Allan Poe

It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.

I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea:
But we loved with a love that was more than love —
I and my Annabel Lee;
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsmen came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
Went envying her and me —
Yes! — that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we —
Of many far wiser than we —
And neither the angels in heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee:

For the moon never beams, without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise, but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling — my darling — my life and my bride,
In her sepulchre there by the sea,
In her tomb by the sounding sea.

Brittany Murphy's Grave at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills

Brittany Murphy was buried at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills on December 24, 2009.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Poe's Valentines: Lenore (1843)

Edgar Allan Poe

Ah, broken is the golden bowl! the spirit flown forever!
Let the bell toll!- a saintly soul floats on the Stygian river;
And, Guy de Vere, hast thou no tear?- weep now or nevermore!
See! on yon drear and rigid bier low lies thy love, Lenore!
Come! let the burial rite be read- the funeral song be sung!-
An anthem for the queenliest dead that ever died so young-
A dirge for her the doubly dead in that she died so young.

"Wretches! ye loved her for her wealth and hated her for her pride,
And when she fell in feeble health, ye blessed her- that she died!
How shall the ritual, then, be read?- the requiem how be sung
By you- by yours, the evil eye,- by yours, the slanderous tongue
That did to death the innocence that died, and died so young?"

Peccavimus; but rave not thus! and let a Sabbath song
Go up to God so solemnly the dead may feel no wrong.
The sweet Lenore hath "gone before," with Hope, that flew beside,
Leaving thee wild for the dear child that should have been thy bride.
For her, the fair and debonair, that now so lowly lies,
The life upon her yellow hair but not within her eyes
The life still there, upon her hair- the death upon her eyes.

"Avaunt! avaunt! from fiends below, the indignant ghost is riven-
From Hell unto a high estate far up within the Heaven-
From grief and groan, to a golden throne, beside the King of Heaven!
Let no bell toll, then,- lest her soul, amid its hallowed mirth,
Should catch the note as it doth float up from the damned Earth!
And I!- to-night my heart is light!- no dirge will I upraise,
But waft the angel on her flight with a Paean of old days!"

"Lenore" is a poem by the American author Edgar Allan Poe. It began as a different poem, "A Paean," and was not published as "Lenore" until 1843.


The poem discusses proper decorum in the wake of the death of a young woman, described as "the queenliest dead that ever died so young." The poem concludes: "No dirge shall I upraise,/ But waft the angel on her flight with a paean of old days!" Lenore's Fiance, Guy de Vere, finds it inappropriate to "mourn" the dead; rather, one should celebrate their ascension to a new world. Unlike most of Poe's poems relating to dying women, "Lenore" implies the possibility of meeting in paradise.[1]

The poem may have been Poe's way of dealing with the illness of his wife Virginia. The dead woman's name, however, may have been a reference to Poe's recently-dead brother, William Henry Leonard Poe.[2] Poetically, the name Lenore emphasizes the letter "L" sound, a frequent device in Poe's female characters including "Annabel Lee," "Eulalie," and "Ulalume."[3]

Major themes

Death of a beautiful woman (see also "Annabel Lee," "Eulalie," "The Raven," "Ulalume." In Poe's short stories, see also Berenice, Eleonora, Morella).

Publication history

The poem was first published as part of an early collection in 1831 under the title "A Pæan". This early version was only 11 quatrains and the lines were spoken by a bereaved husband. The name "Lenore" was not included; it was not added until it was published as "Lenore" in February 1843 in The Pioneer, a periodical published by the poet and critic James Russell Lowell. Poe was paid $10 for this publication.[4] The poem had many revisions in Poe's lifetime. Its final form was published in the August 16, 1845, issue of the Broadway Journal while Poe was its editor.[5]

The original version of the poem is so dissimilar from "Lenore" that it is often considered an entirely different poem. Both are usually collected separately in anthologies.[6]

Lenore in other works

A character by the name of Lenore, thought to be a deceased wife, is central to Poe's poem "The Raven" (1845).

Roman Dirge made a comic book inspired by the poem, involving the comedic misadventures of Lenore, the Cute Little Dead Girl.

Lenore is a French model. [1]

Lenore is an overture of Beethoven. [2]


1.^ Kennedy, J. Gerald. Poe, Death, and the Life of Writing. Yale University Press, 1987: 69. ISBN 0300037732
2.^ Silverman, Kenneth. Edgar A. Poe: Mournful and Never-ending Remembrance. Harper Perennial, 1991: 202–203. ISBN 0060923318
3.^ Kopley, Richard and Kevin J. Hayes "Two verse masterworks: 'The Raven' and 'Ulalume'," as collected in The Cambridge Companion to Edgar Allan Poe, edited by Kevin J. Hayes. Cambridge University Press, 2002: 200. ISBN 0521797276
4.^ Silverman, Kenneth. Edgar A. Poe: Mournful and Never-ending Remembrance. Harper Perennial, 1991: 201. ISBN 0060923318
5.^ Sova, Dawn B. Edgar Allan Poe: A to Z. Checkmark Books, 2001: 130. ISBN 081604161X
6.^ Hoffman, Daniel. Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe. Louisiana State University Press, 1972: 68. ISBN 0807123218

Brittany Murphy - Death


At 08:00 (16:00 UTC) on December 20, 2009, the Los Angeles Fire Department responded to "a medical request" at the Los Angeles home Murphy and Monjack shared. She apparently collapsed in a bathroom. Firefighters attempted to resuscitate Murphy on the scene. She was subsequently transported to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead on arrival at 10:04 after going into cardiac arrest.

The official cause of death is yet to be determined, but Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter told the Associated Press: "It appears to be natural." An autopsy was performed on December 21, 2009. Her death certificate lists the cause of death as "deferred". Full results will not be available for several weeks; authorities are looking into her medical records and toxicology reports.

Murphy was buried at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills on December 24, 2009.

-- wiki

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Deathday: Octavia Butler 1947-2006 RIP

Octavia Estelle Butler (June 22, 1947 – February 24, 2006) was an American science fiction writer, one of the best-known among the few African-American women in the field. She won both Hugo and Nebula awards. In 1995, she became the first science fiction writer to receive the MacArthur Foundation "Genius" Grant.

Butler was born and raised in Pasadena, California. Since her father Laurice, a shoeshiner, died when she was a baby, Butler was raised by her grandmother and her mother (Octavia M. Butler) who worked as a maid in order to support the family. Butler grew up in a struggling, racially mixed neighborhood. According to the Norton Anthology of African American Literature, Butler was "an introspective, only child in a strict Baptist household" and "was drawn early to magazines such as Amazing, Fantasy and Science Fiction, and Galaxy and soon began reading all the science fiction classics."

Octavia Jr., nicknamed Junie, was paralytically shy and a daydreamer, and was later diagnosed as being dyslexic. She began writing at the age of 10 "to escape loneliness and boredom"; she was 12 when she began a lifelong interest in science fiction. "I was writing my own little stories and when I was 12, I was watching a bad science fiction movie called Devil Girl from Mars," she told the journal Black Scholar, "and decided that I could write a better story than that. And I turned off the TV and proceeded to try, and I've been writing science fiction ever since."

After getting an associate degree from Pasadena City College in 1968, she next enrolled at California State University, Los Angeles. She eventually left CalState and took writing classes through UCLA extension.

Butler would later credit two writing workshops for giving her "the most valuable help I received with my writing" :

1969–1970: The Open Door Workshop of the Screenwriters' Guild of America, West, a program designed to mentor Latino and African American writers. Through Open Door she met the noted science fiction writer Harlan Ellison.

1970: The Clarion Science Fiction Writers Workshop, (introduced to her by Ellison), where she first met Samuel R. Delany.

Butler moved to Seattle, Washington, in November 1999.

She described herself as "comfortably asocial—a hermit in the middle of Seattle—a pessimist if I'm not careful, a feminist, a Black, a former Baptist, an oil-and-water combination of ambition, laziness, insecurity, certainty, and drive." Themes of both racial and sexual ambiguity are apparent throughout her work.

She died outside of her home in Lake Forest Park, Washington, on February 24, 2006, at the age of 58. Some news accounts have stated that she died of head injuries after falling and striking her head on her walkway, while others report that she apparently suffered a stroke as a result of those injuries. Another suggestion, backed by Locus magazine (issue 543; Vol.56 No.4), is that a stroke caused the fall and hence the head injuries.


Her first published story, "Crossover," appeared in Clarion's 1971 anthology; another short story, "Childfinder," was bought by Harlan Ellison for the never-published collection The Last Dangerous Visions. (Like other stories purchased for that volume, it has yet to appear anywhere.) "I thought I was on my way as a writer..." Butler wrote in her short fiction collection Bloodchild and Other Stories. "In fact, I had five more years of rejection slips and horrible little jobs ahead of me before I sold another word."

Patternist series

In 1974, she started the novel Patternmaster (reportedly related to the story she started after watching Devil Girl from Mars), which became her first published book in 1976 (though it would become the fifth in the Patternist series). Over the next eight years, she would publish four more novels in the same story line, though the publication dates of the novels do not match the internal order of the series (see Works below).

Wild Seed, the first book in the Patternist series, was published in 1980. In Wild Seed, Butler contrasts how two potentially immortal characters go about building families. The male character, Doro, engages in a breeding program to create people with stronger psychic powers both as food, and as potential companions. The female character, Anyanwu, creates villages. Yet Doro and Anyanwu, in spite of their differences grow to need each other, as the only immortal/extremely long-lived beings in the world. This book also explores the psychodynamics of power and enslavement.


In 1979, she published Kindred, a novel that uses the science-fiction staple of time travel to explore slavery in the United States. In this story, Dana, an African American woman, is inexplicably transported from 1976 Los Angeles to early nineteenth century Maryland. She meets her ancestors: Rufus, a white slave holder, and Alice, an African American woman who was born free but forced into slavery later in life.

This novel is often shelved in the literature or African-American literature sections of bookstores instead of science fiction—Butler herself categorized the novel not as science fiction but rather as a "grim fantasy," as there was "absolutely no science in it" (no scientific explanation of the book's time travel is ever given). Kindred became the most popular of all her books, with 250,000 copies currently in print. "I think people really need to think what it's like to have all of society arrayed against you," she said of the novel.

Lilith's Brood

Lilith's Brood (formerly Xenogenesis trilogy) refers to a collection of three novels. The central characters are Lilith and her genetically altered children. Lilith, along with the few other surviving humans, are saved by extraterrestrials, the Oankali, after a "handful of people [a military group] tried to commit humanicide," leading to a missile war that destroyed much of Earth. The Oankali have a third gender, the ooloi, who have the ability to manipulate genetics, plus the ability of sexually seductive neural-stimulating and consciousness-sharing powers. All of these abilities allow them to unify the other two genders in their species, as well as unifying their species with others that they encounter. The Oankali are biological traders, driven to share genes with other intelligent species, changing both parties.

The Parable series

In 1994, her dystopian novel Parable of the Sower was nominated for a Nebula for best novel, an award she received in 1999 for a sequel, Parable of the Talents. The two novels provide the origin of the fictional religion Earthseed.

Butler had originally planned to write a third Parable novel, tentatively titled Parable of the Trickster, mentioning her work on it in a number of interviews.


She eventually shifted her creative attention, resulting in the 2005 novel, Fledgling, a vampire novel with a science-fiction context. Although Butler herself passed Fledgling off as a lark, the novel is connected to her other works through its exploration of race, sexuality, and what it means to be a member of a community. Moreover, the novel continues the theme, raised explicitly in Parable of the Sower, that diversity is a biological imperative.

Short stories

Butler published one collection of her shorter writings, Bloodchild and Other Stories, in 1996. She states in the preface that she "hate[s] short-story writing" and that she is "essentially a novelist. The ideas that most interest me tend to be big." The collection includes five short stories spanning Butler's career, the first finished in 1971 and the last in 1993. "Bloodchild," the Hugo and Nebula award-winning title story, concerns humans who live on a reservation on an alien planet ruled by insect-like creatures. The aliens breed by implanting eggs in the humans, with whom they share a symbiotic existence. In Butler's afterword to the story, she writes that it is not about slavery as some have suggested, but rather about love and coming-of-age—as well as male pregnancy and the "unusual accommodation[s]" that a group of interstellar colonists might have to make with their adopted planet's prior inhabitants. She also states that writing it was her way of overcoming a fear of bot flies.

In 2005, Seven Stories Press released an expanded edition.


Butler is well known for her Patternist series, Lilith's Brood (formerly the Xenogenesis trilogy), and the Parable of the Sower Series. The first book which she wrote for the Patternist series, Patternmaster (1976), is actually the last in the internal chronology of the series. In fact, most of the Patternmaster novels were written and published out of sequence. The four novels in Butler's "Patternist series" other than Survivor were released in 2006 as the single volume Seed to Harvest.

Themes of Social Criticism

Butler used the hyperbolic reach of speculative fiction to explore modern and ancient social issues. She often represented concepts like race, sexuality, gender, religion, social progress and social class in metaphoric language. However, these issues were not relegated only to metaphor. For instance, class struggle is an overt topic in the Parable of the Sower series.


2000: lifetime achievement award in writing from the PEN American Center
1999: Nebula Award for Best Novel - Parable of the Talents
1995: MacArthur Foundation "Genius" Grant
1985: Hugo Award for Best Novelette - Bloodchild
1985: Locus Award for Best Novelette - "Bloodchild"
1985: Science Fiction Chronicle Award for Best Novelette - "Bloodchild"
1984: Nebula Award for Best Novelette - Bloodchild
1984: Hugo Award for Best Short Story - Speech Sounds
1980: Creative Arts Award, L.A. YWCA


1994: Nebula Award for Best Novel - Parable of the Sower
1987: Nebula Award for Best Novelette - The Evening and the Morning and the Night
1967: Fifth Place, Writer's Digest Short Story Contest

Scholarship fund

The Octavia E. Butler Memorial Scholarship was established in Butler's memory in 2006 by the Carl Brandon Society. Its goal is to provide an annual scholarship to enable writers of color to attend one of the Clarion writing workshops where Butler got her start. The first scholarships were awarded in 2007.



Patternist series
Patternmaster (1976)
Mind of My Mind (1977)
Survivor (1978)
Wild Seed (1980)
Clay's Ark (1984)
Seed to Harvest (compilation; 2007-does not include Survivor)
Lilith's Brood (formerly the Xenogenesis trilogy)
Dawn (1987)
Adulthood Rites (1988)
Imago (1989)
Parable of the Sower Series
Parable of the Sower (1993)
Parable of the Talents (1998)

Standalone novels

Kindred (1979)
Fledgling (2005)

Short stories

Bloodchild and Other Stories (1995); Second edition with additional stories (2006)


A Few Rules For Predicting The Future by Octavia E. Butler - Essence (magazine)
AHA! MOMENT-Eye Witness: Octavia Butler -

Poe's Valentines: The Sleeper (1831)

The Sleeper (1831)

The poem that would become "The Sleeper" went through many revised versions. First, in the 1831 collection Poems of Edgar A. Poe, it appeared with 74 lines as "Irene." It was 60 lines when it was printed in the Philadelphia Saturday Courier on May 22, 1841. Poe considered it one of his best compositions, according to a note he sent to fellow author James Russell Lowell in 1844. Like many of Poe's works, the poem focuses on the death of a beautiful woman, a death which the mourning narrator struggles to deal with while considering the nature of death and life. Some lines seem to echo the poem "Christabel" by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, a poet known to have had a heavy influence on Poe's poetry.

Poe praised "The Sleeper" as a "superior" poem. He wrote to an admirer: "In the higher qualities of poetry, it is better than 'The Raven'—but there is not one man in a million who could be brought to agree with me in this opinion."

The Sleeper
Edgar Allan Poe

At midnight, in the month of June,
I stand beneath the mystic moon.
An opiate vapor, dewy, dim,
Exhales from out her golden rim,
And, softly dripping, drop by drop,
Upon the quiet mountain top,
Steals drowsily and musically
Into the universal valley.
The rosemary nods upon the grave;
The lily lolls upon the wave;
Wrapping the fog about its breast,
The ruin molders into rest;
Looking like Lethe, see! the lake
A conscious slumber seems to take,
And would not, for the world, awake.
All Beauty sleeps!- and lo! where lies
Irene, with her Destinies!

O, lady bright! can it be right-
This window open to the night?
The wanton airs, from the tree-top,
Laughingly through the lattice drop-
The bodiless airs, a wizard rout,
Flit through thy chamber in and out,
And wave the curtain canopy
So fitfully- so fearfully-
Above the closed and fringed lid
'Neath which thy slumb'ring soul lies hid,
That, o'er the floor and down the wall,
Like ghosts the shadows rise and fall!
Oh, lady dear, hast thou no fear?
Why and what art thou dreaming here?
Sure thou art come O'er far-off seas,
A wonder to these garden trees!
Strange is thy pallor! strange thy dress,
Strange, above all, thy length of tress,
And this all solemn silentness!

The lady sleeps! Oh, may her sleep,
Which is enduring, so be deep!
Heaven have her in its sacred keep!
This chamber changed for one more holy,
This bed for one more melancholy,
I pray to God that she may lie
For ever with unopened eye,
While the pale sheeted ghosts go by!

My love, she sleeps! Oh, may her sleep
As it is lasting, so be deep!
Soft may the worms about her creep!
Far in the forest, dim and old,
For her may some tall vault unfold-
Some vault that oft has flung its black
And winged panels fluttering back,
Triumphant, o'er the crested palls,
Of her grand family funerals-
Some sepulchre, remote, alone,
Against whose portal she hath thrown,
In childhood, many an idle stone-
Some tomb from out whose sounding door
She ne'er shall force an echo more,
Thrilling to think, poor child of sin!
It was the dead who groaned within.

Deathday: Dinah Shore 1916-1994 RIP

Dinah Shore (born Frances Rose Shore; February 29, 1916 – February 24, 1994) was an American singer, actress, and television personality. She was most popular during the Big Band era of the 1940s and 1950s.
After failing singing auditions for the bands of Benny Goodman and both Jimmy Dorsey and his brother Tommy Dorsey, Shore struck out on her own to become the first singer of her era to achieve huge solo success. She enjoyed a long string of over 80 charted popular hits, lasting from 1940 into the late '50s, and after appearing in a handful of films went on to a four-decade career in American television, starring in her own music and variety shows in the '50s and '60s and hosting two talk shows in the '70s. TV Guide magazine ranked her at #16 on their list of the top fifty television stars of all time. Stylistically, Dinah Shore was often compared to two popular singers who followed her in the mid-to-late '40s and early '50s, Doris Day and Patti Page.

Childhood and rise to success

Born to Solomon and Anna Stein Shore, Jewish immigrants from Russia, young Frances Rose lived in Winchester, Tennessee. When she was two years old, she was stricken with polio (infantile paralysis), a disease that was not preventable at the time, and for which treatment was limited to bedrest. Her parents provided intensive care for her and she recovered and overcame the disease. She continued, however, to have a slightly deformed foot and limp, which did not physically impede her. As a small child she loved to sing, encouraged by her mother, a contralto with operatic aspirations. Her father would often take her to his store where she would perform impromptu songs for the customers.[1] She had a childhood recollection of her normally restrained father's exasperated reaction one evening when the Ku Klux Klan paraded in Winchester; despite the hoods the marchers were wearing, Solomon Shore, an insightful merchant of dry goods, had recognized some of his customers by their shoes and gaits.[2] In 1924 the Shore family (which included Dinah's only sibling, older sister Bessie) moved to McMinnville, Tennessee, where her father had opened a department store. Although shy because of her limp, she became actively involved in sports and was a cheerleader at Hume-Fogg High School and involved in many other activities. At 14, Shore debuted as a torch singer at a Nashville night club only to find her parents sitting ringside, having been tipped off to their daughter's performance ahead of time. They allowed her to finish, but put her professional career on hold. She was paid $10.

When Shore was 16, her mother died unexpectedly of a heart attack, and Shore decided to pursue her education. She went to Vanderbilt University, where she participated in many events and activities, including the Chi chapter of the Alpha Epsilon Phi Sorority. She graduated from the university in 1938 with a degree in sociology. She also visited the Grand Ole Opry and made her radio debut on Nashville's WSM (AM) radio station in these years. She decided to return to pursuing her career in singing, so she went to New York City to audition for orchestras and radio stations, first on a summer break from Vanderbilt, and after graduation, for good. In many of her auditions, she sang the popular song "Dinah." When disc jockey Martin Block could not remember her name, he called her the "Dinah girl," and soon after the name stuck, becoming her stage name. She eventually was hired as a vocalist at radio station WNEW, where she sang with Frank Sinatra. She also recorded and performed with the Xavier Cugat orchestra. She signed a recording contract with RCA Victor records in 1940.

The 1940s and 1950s

In March 1939, Shore debuted on national radio on the Sunday afternoon CBS radio program, Ben Bernie's Orchestra. In February 1940, she became a featured vocalist on the NBC Radio program The Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street, a showcase for traditional Dixieland and Blues songs. With Shore, the program became so popular that it was moved from 4:30 Sunday afternoon to a 9:00 Monday night time slot in September. In her prime-time debut for "the music of the Three Bs, Barrelhouse, Boogie-woogie and the Blues", she was introduced as "Mademoiselle Dinah 'Diva' Shore, who starts a fire by rubbing two notes together!"[3] She recorded with the two Basin Street bands for RCA Victor; one of her records was the eponymous "Dinah's Blues."

Shore's singing came to the attention of Eddie Cantor. He signed her as a regular on his popular radio show, Time to Smile, in 1940. Shore credits him for teaching her self-confidence, comedic timing, and the ways of connecting with an audience.[4] Cantor bought the rights to an adapted Russian folk song with new lyrics by Jack Lawrence for Shore to record for RCA Victor's Bluebird label. This song, "Yes, My Darling Daughter," became her first major hit, selling 500,000 copies in a matter of weeks, which was unusual for that time.

Shore soon became a successful singing star with her own radio show in 1943, Call to Music. Also in 1943, she appeared in her first movie, Thank Your Lucky Stars, starring Cantor. She soon went to another radio show, Paul Whiteman Presents. During this time, the United States was involved in World War II and Shore became a favorite with the troops. She had major record hits, including "Blues In the Night", "Jim", "You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To", and "I'll Walk Alone", the first of her number-one hits. To support the troops overseas, who liked her singing, she participated in USO tours to Europe. She met George Montgomery, a young actor ready to go into military service. They married on December 3, 1943, shortly before he went into service. When he returned, they settled in San Fernando, California. In 1948, their first child was born, a daughter named Melissa Ann, and they also adopted a son in 1954 named John David before moving to Beverly Hills.

Shore continued appearing in radio shows throughout the 1940s, including Birds Eye-Open House and Ford Radio Show. In early 1946, she moved to another label, Columbia Records. At Columbia, Dinah Shore enjoyed the greatest commercial success of her recording career, starting with her first Columbia single release, "Shoo Fly Pie And Apple Pan Dowdy", and peaking with the most popular song of 1948, "Buttons and Bows", which was number one for ten weeks. Other number one hits at Columbia included "The Gypsy" and "The Anniversary Song". One of her most popular recordings was the holiday perennial "Baby, It's Cold Outside" with Buddy Clark from 1949. The song was covered by many other artists, Ella Fitzgerald, for example. Other hits during her four years at Columbia included "Laughing on the Outside (Crying on the Inside)", "I Wish I Didn't Love You So", "I Love You (For Sentimental Reasons)", "Doin' What Comes Naturally", and "Dear Hearts And Gentle People". She was a regular with Jack Smith on his quarter-hour radio show on CBS. Shore acted in films such as Follow the Boys and Up in Arms (both in 1944), Belle of the Yukon (1945), and Till the Clouds Roll By (1946). She lent her musical voice to two Disney films: Make Mine Music (1946) and Fun and Fancy Free (1947). Her last starring film role was for Paramount Pictures in Aaron Slick from Punkin Crick (1952), co-starring Alan Young and Metropolitan Opera star Robert Merrill.

In 1950, Shore went back to RCA with a reported deal to record 100 sides for $1,000,000. The hits kept coming, but with less frequency, and weren't charting as high as in the '40s. Dinah's biggest hits of this era were "My Heart Cries for You" and "Sweet Violets", both peaking at number three in 1951. Several duets with Tony Martin did well, with "A Penny A Kiss" being the most popular, reaching number eight. "Blue Canary" was a 1953 hit and her covers of "Changing Partners" and "If I Give My Heart To You" were popular top twenty hits. "Love and Marriage" and "Whatever Lola Wants" were top twenty hits from 1955. "Chantez, Chantez" was her last top twenty hit, staying on the charts for over twenty weeks in 1957. Shore stayed with RCA until 1959, and during that time released several albums including Bouquet of Blues, Once in a While, and Vivacious, which were collections of singles with different orchestras and conductors such as Frank DeVol and Hugo Winterhalter. Moments Like These, a studio album from 1958, recorded in stereo, with orchestra solely under the musical direction of Harry Zimmerman, who performed the same duties on The Dinah Shore Chevy Show, being the exception.
Recording career after the 1950s

In 1959 Dinah was successfully wooed away from RCA by Capitol Records. She recorded only one "almost" hit for her new label, I Ain't Down Yet, which "bubbled under the hot 100" on Billboard's pop chart, peaking at 102 in 1960. However, she recorded six classic albums which remain her strongest recording legacy. These were carefully thought out "theme albums" that paired Dinah with master arranger Nelson Riddle (Dinah, Yes Indeed!) gifted conductor and sensitive accompanist Andre Previn (Somebody Loves Me and Dinah Sings, Previn Plays) and Jazz great Red Norvo (Dinah Sings Some Blues With Red). Her final two albums for Capitol at this time were Dinah, Down Home and The Fabulous Hits (Newly Recorded).

Dinah Shore left Capitol in 1962 and recorded only a handful of albums over the next two decades, including Lower Basin Street Revisited for pal Frank Sinatra's Reprise label in 1965,Songs For Sometime Losers (Project 3, 1967), Country Feelin' (Decca, 1969), and Once Upon A Summertime (Stanyan, 1975). Her final studio album was released in 1979, Dinah! Visits Sesame Street, for the Children's Television Workshop. In 2006, DRG released For The Good Times, a CD reissue of "DINAH!," an album recorded for Capitol that had a very limited Reader's Digest release in 1976. Dinah recorded this album at the height of her talk show fame, and it featured her take on contemporary hits such as 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover, The Hungry Years, and Do You Know Where You're Going To (Theme from "Mahogany").

Early television career

Dinah Shore singing "See the U.S.A. in Your Chevrolet" in a television advertisement.Soon after she arrived in New York in 1937, Dinah Shore made her first television appearances on experimental broadcasts for NBC. Twelve years later, In 1949 she made her official television show debut on the Ed Wynn Show and also made a guest appearance on Bob Hope's first television show in 1950. After being on many other people's television shows, she got her own, The Dinah Shore Show in 1951. She did two 15-minute shows a week for NBC. She won her first of many Emmy awards for the show in 1955. The show was sponsored by Chevrolet. The sponsor's theme song ("See the U.S.A. in Your Chevrolet") became the singer's signature piece.

In 1956 she hosted a monthly series of one-hour full-color spectaculars as part of NBC's "Chevy Show" series. These proved so popular that the show was renamed "The Dinah Shore Chevy Show" the following season, with Dinah becoming the full-time host, helming three out of four weeks in the month. Broadcast live and in NBC's famous "Living Color," this classic variety show was one of the most honored and popular of the 1950s and early 1960s and featured the television debuts of many great stars of the era, such as Yves Montand and Maureen O'Hara, and featured Dinah in now-classic performances alongside Ella Fitzgerald, Mahalia Jackson, Peggy Lee, Frank Sinatra and Pearl Bailey. "The Dinah Shore Chevy Show" ran through the 1960-61 season, after which Chevrolet dropped sponsorship and the show continued for two more seasons as a series of monthly broadcasts sponsored by "The American Dairy Association" and "Green Stamps." Simply called "The Dinah Shore Show," Dinah's guests included Nat "King" Cole, Bing Crosby, Jack Lemmon, and a very young Barbra Streisand. Over twelve seasons, from 1951 to 1963, Dinah Shore made 125 hour-long programs and 444 fifteen-minute shows.

Dinah famously ended her televised programs by throwing an enthusiastic kiss directly to the cameras (and viewers) and exclaiming "MWAH!" to the audience as if to be extending a kiss to everyone in gratitude for being with her. It was always said by Frank Sinatra that "Dinah blows the best kisses!"

Later television career

From 1970 through 1980, Shore hosted two daytime programs, Dinah's Place (1970–1974) on NBC and Dinah! (later Dinah and Friends) in syndication from 1974 through 1980 and a third cable program from 1989–1992.

"Dinah's Place," primarily sponsored by Colgate-Palmolive (which later sponsored her women's golf tournament), was a 30-minute Monday through Friday program broadcast at 10:00am(et) over NBC, her network home since 1939. Dinah described this show as a "Do-Show" as opposed to a chat show because she would always have her guest show off an unexpected skill, whether it be Frank Sinatra sharing his spaghetti sauce recipe, Spiro Agnew showing off his keyboard chops by accompanying Dinah on "Sophisticated Lady," or Ginger Rogers showing Dinah how to throw a clay pot on a potter's wheel. Though "Dinah's Place" featured famous guest stars, just as often you would find Dinah grilling lesser-known lifestyle experts on nutrition, exercise or "homemaking." Despite being one of the more popular programs in NBC's morning lineup, this show famously left the air in 1974 after NBC sent a telegram to Dinah congratulating her on her Emmy win at the same time informing her the show was canceled, because it broke up a "game show programming block," thus ending the network's 35-year association with Miss Shore.

Dinah bounced back that fall with "Dinah!" a syndicated 90 minute daily talk show (also seen in a 60 minute version on some stations) that put the focus clearly on top guest stars and entertainment. This show was strong competition for both Mike Douglas and Merv Griffin, whose shows had both been on the air for over 10 years when "Dinah!" debuted. Frequent guests included show-biz greats Lucille Ball, Bob Hope and James Stewart as well as regular contributors like lifestyle guru Dr. Wayne Dyer. There were unexpected rock music performances on this show, the most famous being the appearances of David Bowie and Iggy Pop. Shore also had the misfortune of interviewing the comedian Andy Kaufman in his Tony Clifton guise on this show. He took deliberate offense at her questions and eventually tipped a pan of eggs over her head. This program was taped live in front of a studio audience and the "Egg" segment was never aired and it's believed that the offending footage was destroyed. Shore's producers superimposed titles such as "This is a put on" over the footage that was eventually aired, including an uncomfortable duet between a game Dinah and a belligerent Tony of "Anything You Can Do", and his solo of "On The Street Where You Live." Shooting was stopped and Kaufman was escorted out of the studio.

Dinah Shore at the Miami Book Fair International of 1990Shore, with her Dixie drawl and demure manner, was always identified with the South, and guests on her shows often commented on it. She famously spoofed this image by playing Melanie in Went with the Wind, the famous Gone with the Wind parody for The Carol Burnett Show. In the summer of 1976, Dinah Shore hosted "Dinah and her New Best Friends", an eight-week summer replacement series for The Carol Burnett Show that featured a cast of young hopefuls such as Diana Canova and Gary Muledeer along with guests such as CBS stars Jean Stapleton and Linda Lavin.

Shore guest starred on Pee-wee's Playhouse Christmas Special, calling Pee-wee on his picturephone and singing The 12 Days of Christmas. Throughout the special, Pee-wee walks past the picturephone, only to hear her going past the original 12 days ("...on the 500th day of Christmas...")

Dinah Shore finished her television career hosting "A Conversation with Dinah" from 1989–1992 on the cable network TNN (The Nashville Network). This half-hour show consisted of one-on-one interviews with showbiz greats (Bob Hope), former boyfriends (Burt Reynolds in a special one-hour episode) and political figures (President Gerald Ford and his wife, Betty.) In a coup, Dinah got former First Lady Nancy Reagan's first post-White House interview for this show. Her last television special, "Dinah Comes Home," (TNN 1991) brought Dinah Shore's career full circle, taking her back to the stage of the Grand Ole Opry, which she first visited some 60 years earlier.

Shore won nine Emmys, a Peabody Award and a Golden Globe.

Romantic life

In her early career, while in New York, Dinah Shore was briefly involved with famed drummer Gene Krupa. After Dinah relocated to Hollywood she became involved with James Stewart and it was rumored that a Las Vegas, Nevada, elopement was aborted en route. Dinah's flirtation with General George Patton was much commented on when he escorted her for a portion of her tour to entertain the troops in England and France during World War II.

Shore was married to actor George Montgomery from 1943 to 1962. Shore gave birth to daughter Melissa Ann, now known as Melissa Montgomery-Hime, in January 1948. She later adopted her son, John "Jody" David Montgomery.[5] In the book "Mr. S," the author, Frank Sinatra's longtime valet George Jacobs, alleged that Dinah Shore and Frank Sinatra had a long-standing affair in the 1950s. After her divorce from Montgomery, she briefly married Maurice Smith. Romances of the later 1960s involved comedian Dick Martin, singer Eddie Fisher, and actor Rod Taylor.

In the early 1970s, Shore had a long and happy public romance with actor Burt Reynolds, who was 20 years her junior. The relationship gave Shore an updated, sexy image, and took some of the pressure off Reynolds in maintaining his image as a ladies' man. The couple were often featured in the tabloids and after the relationship cooled, the tabloids often paired Dinah with other younger men, from Wayne Rogers, Andy Williams, and "Tarzan" Ron Ely, to other gentlemen such as novelist Sidney Sheldon, Dean Martin, and former New York Governor Hugh Carey.


Shore, who played golf herself, was a longtime supporter of women's professional golf. In 1972, she helped found the Colgate Dinah Shore golf tournament, which today, now known as the Kraft Nabisco Championship, remains as one of the four major golf tournaments on the LPGA Tour. The tournament is held each spring near Shore's former home in Rancho Mirage, California.

Shore was also the first female member of the famed Hillcrest Country Club in Los Angeles.

In acknowledgment of her contributions to golf, Shore was made an honorary member of the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1994. She also received the 1993 Old Tom Morris Award from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, GCSAA's highest honor.

Death and legacy

Dinah Shore died February 24, 1994, in Beverly Hills, California, of ovarian cancer five days before her 78th birthday. Her ashes were divided and she has two burial sites. Half were interred in the Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery in Culver City, California, and the other half interred at Forest Lawn Cemetery (Cathedral City) near her beloved second home in Palm Springs, California.

Shore's legacy resonates posthumously, with a 1998 album featuring the arrangement skills of Andre Previn combined with the re-releasing of some of her classic recordings like April in Paris, and My Funny Valentine, garnering moderate success.

Dinah's daughter, Melissa Montgomery, is the owner of the rights to most of Shore's television series. In March 2003, PBS presented "MWAH! The Best of The Dinah Shore Show 1956–1963," an hour-long special consisting of rare, early color videotape footage of Dinah in full duets with guests Ella Fitzgerald, Jack Lemmon, Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Pearl Bailey, George Burns, Groucho Marx, Peggy Lee, and Mahalia Jackson. It was rumored that this was an attempt to persuade PBS to broadcast full episodes of the classic series.

In Cathedral City, CA, near Palm Springs there is a street named after her.

In her birthplace of Winchester, TN, Dinah Shore Boulevard is named after her.

Major recordings

"Baby, It's Cold Outside" (Duet with Buddy Clark)
"Blues in the Night"
"The Breeze and I" (her first recording, as a vocalist with Xavier Cugat's orchestra)
"Buttons and Bows"
"The Cattle Call"
"Chantez, Chantez"
"Dear Hearts and Gentle People" (also done by Bing Crosby)
"The Gypsy" (also done by The Ink Spots, originally done by Dorothy Squires)
"I Could Have Danced All Night"
"I'll Never Say Never Again Again"
"I'll Walk Alone"
"It's So Nice to Have a Man Around the House"
"Laughing on the Outside, Crying on the Inside"
"Love and Marriage"
"Shoo-Fly Pie and Apple Pan Dowdy"
"Stolen Love"
"Whatever Lola Wants"
"You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To"

Albums (partial list)

Holding Hands at Midnight (1955, RCA)
I'm Your Girl (1955, RCA Camden)
Bouquet of Blues (1956, RCA)
Moments Like These (1958, RCA)
Dinah, Yes Indeed! (1959, Capitol)
Dinah Sings, Previn Plays (1960, Capitol)
Somebody Loves Me (1960, Capitol)
Dinah Sings Some Blues with Red (1960, Capitol)
The Fabulous Hits of Dinah Shore (1962, Capitol)
Dinah Down Home! (1962, Capitol)
Lower Basin Street Revisited (1965, Reprise)
Songs for Sometime Losers (1967, Project 3)
Country Feelin' (1969, Decca)


Thank Your Lucky Stars (1943)
Up in Arms (1944)
Follow the Boys (1944)
Belle of the Yukon (1944)
Make Mine Music (1946) (voice)
Till the Clouds Roll By (1946)
Fun and Fancy Free (1947) (voice)
Bongo (1947) (short subject) (voice)
Aaron Slick from Punkin Crick (1952)
A Great New Star (1952) (short subject)
Screen Snapshots: Hollywood Stars on Parade (1954) (short subject)
Screen Snapshots: Hollywood Small Fry (1956) (short subject)
Premier Khrushchev in the USA (1959) (documentary)
Oh, God! (1977) (Cameo)
HealtH (1980) (Cameo)


The Dinah Shore Show (1951-1956)
The Dinah Shore Chevy Show (1956-1963)
Dinah's Place (1970-1974)
Hold That Pose (1971) (canceled after a few weeks)
Dinah Shore: In Search of the Ideal Man (1973)
Dinah! (1974-1980)
Dinah and Her New Best Friends (1976 summer series)
The Carol Burnett Show, Episode 1002 (guest star, Aired: November 13, 1976)
Pee-wee's Playhouse Christmas Special (guest star 1988)
Murder She Wrote (episode: "Alma Murder"; 1989) (as Emily Dyers)
Conversations with Dinah (1989-1991)

1.^ "Dinah Shore Fan Club Website". Retrieved 2007-03-22.
2.^ G. Michael Sims (2009 Fall). "Best all-around girl: How a small-town Tennessee girl sang her way to stardom". Vanderbilt Magazine. p. 18. Retrieved 20 December 2009.
3.^ "Chamber Music Society", TIME Magazine, September 23, 1940
4.^ "Dinah Shore Fan Club". Retrieved 2007-03-22.
5.^ Dinah Shore - Biography
Forest Lawn Cemetery Cathedral City
near Palm Springs, California

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Poe's Valentines: To Helen (1848)

To Helen (1848)

The original manuscript was sent to Sarah Helen Whitman in 1848. It was published as "To —— —— ——" in the Union Magazine's November issue that year. It became the second of Poe's "To Helen" poems when published as "To Helen" in the October 10, 1849 issue of the New York Daily Tribune.

To Helen (1848)
Edgar Allan Poe

I saw thee once- once only- years ago;
I must not say how many- but not many.
It was a July midnight; and from out
A full-orbed moon, that, like thine own soul, soaring,
Sought a precipitate pathway up through heaven,
There fell a silvery-silken veil of light,
With quietude, and sultriness, and slumber,
Upon the upturned faces of a thousand
Roses that grew in an enchanted garden,
Where no wind dared to stir, unless on tiptoe-
Fell on the upturn'd faces of these roses
That gave out, in return for the love-light,
Their odorous souls in an ecstatic death-
Fell on the upturn'd faces of these roses
That smiled and died in this parterre, enchanted
By thee, and by the poetry of thy presence.

Clad all in white, upon a violet bank
I saw thee half reclining; while the moon
Fell on the upturn'd faces of the roses,
And on thine own, upturn'd- alas, in sorrow!

Was it not Fate, that, on this July midnight-
Was it not Fate, (whose name is also Sorrow,)
That bade me pause before that garden-gate,
To breathe the incense of those slumbering roses?
No footstep stirred: the hated world all slept,
Save only thee and me. (Oh, Heaven!- oh, God!
How my heart beats in coupling those two words!)
Save only thee and me. I paused- I looked-
And in an instant all things disappeared.
(Ah, bear in mind this garden was enchanted!)

The pearly lustre of the moon went out:
The mossy banks and the meandering paths,
The happy flowers and the repining trees,
Were seen no more: the very roses' odors
Died in the arms of the adoring airs.
All- all expired save thee- save less than thou:
Save only the divine light in thine eyes-
Save but the soul in thine uplifted eyes.
I saw but them- they were the world to me!
I saw but them- saw only them for hours,
Saw only them until the moon went down.
What wild heart-histories seemed to lie enwritten
Upon those crystalline, celestial spheres!
How dark a woe, yet how sublime a hope!
How silently serene a sea of pride!
How daring an ambition; yet how deep-
How fathomless a capacity for love!

But now, at length, dear Dian sank from sight,
Into a western couch of thunder-cloud;
And thou, a ghost, amid the entombing trees
Didst glide away. Only thine eyes remained;
They would not go- they never yet have gone;
Lighting my lonely pathway home that night,
They have not left me (as my hopes have) since;
They follow me- they lead me through the years.
They are my ministers- yet I their slave.
Their office is to illumine and enkindle-
My duty, to be saved by their bright light,
And purified in their electric fire,
And sanctified in their elysian fire.
They fill my soul with Beauty (which is Hope),
And are far up in Heaven- the stars I kneel to
In the sad, silent watches of my night;
While even in the meridian glare of day
I see them still- two sweetly scintillant
Venuses, unextinguished by the sun!

Brittany Murphy and Simon Monjack

Simon Mark Monjack (born 1970) is an English writer, director, and producer.[1] He is the widower of American actress Brittany Murphy.[2][3]

Early life

Monjack was born to Jewish parents in Hillingdon, Greater London.[4] His father died of a brain tumour in 1986. His mother Linda, a hypnotherapist,[5] lives in Buckinghamshire.[6]


Monjack directed, produced, and wrote the B-movie Two Days, Nine Lives in 2000.[7] He received story credit for the 2006 biopic Factory Girl about Warhol actress/model Edie Sedgwick.[1] Director George Hickenlooper contends that "Monjack had nothing to do with Factory Girl" and that "he filed a frivolous lawsuit against us [...] making bogus claims that we had stolen his script. He held us literally to hostage and we were forced to settle with him as he held our production over a barrel." Monjack, however, denies these claims.[8] In 2007, E! News reported that Monjack was slated to direct a film adaptation of D. M. Thomas's novel about Sigmund Freud, The White Hotel, with Brittany Murphy cast in a leading role.[9] The project never materialized.

Legal troubles

In 2005, warrants were issued for Monjack's arrest in Virginia on charges of credit card fraud, but the charges were later dropped.[10]

In 2006, Coutts successfully sued Monjack, who had been evicted from four homes, for $470,000.[10]

In February 2007, Monjack was arrested and spent nine days in jail, facing deportation, because his visa to the United States had expired.[10]
Personal life

Monjack once dated Alexandra Kerry.[10] He married British television personality Simone Bienne in 2001,[10] and they were divorced in 2006.[10]

In May 2007, Monjack married actress Brittany Murphy in a private Jewish ceremony.[2] The pair did not announce their engagement beforehand and rarely made public appearances together before their marriage.[9] On December 20, 2009, Murphy died of cardiac arrest after collapsing in her bathroom.[3]

In late November 2009, TMZ reported that Monjack became "incoherent" during a flight from Puerto Rico to Los Angeles. Murphy told the responding firefighters at LAX Airport that she believed he was having an asthma attack and felt that the situation was not serious; however, EMTs disagreed and rushed him to a nearby hospital.[11]


1.^ "Simon Monjack". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2009-12-22.
2.^ Fleeman, Mike (2007-05-08). "Brittany Murphy Marries Writer-Director". People.,,20037875,00.html.
3.^ "Actress Brittany Murphy dead at 32". CNN. 2009-12-20. Retrieved 2009-12-20.
4.^ "England & Wales, Birth Index: 1916-2005". Retrieved 2009-12-21.
5.^ Brittany Murphy's Mother-In-Law: Simon Monjack Has Lost The Love Of His Life
6.^ Has Mr Brittany Murphy got something to hide?
7.^ "Two Days, Nine Lives (2000)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2009-12-21.
8.^ "Director: Brittany Murphy was warned about husband Simon Monjack but did not listen" New York Daily News. December 27, 2009. Retrieved December 30, 2009.
9.^ Serpe, Gina (2007-05-08). "Brittany Murphy Made a Missus". E!. Retrieved 2009-12-22.
10.^ MacIntosh, Jeane (2009-12-22). "Debts and Arrests in Husband's Dark Past". New York Post. Retrieved 2009-12-22.
11.^ "Brittany Murphy's Hubby Rushed to Hospital". TMZ. 2009-11-28. Retrieved 2009-12-22.

-- wiki

Brittany Murphy and Jeff Kwatinetz

Jeff Kwatinetz was the CEO of a talent management company called The Firm.


He has worked with many celebrities,[1] including music acts Backstreet Boys, Jennifer Lopez and Kelly Clarkson and actors Samuel L. Jackson and Vin Diesel.

Jeff Kwatinetz founded the company in 1997 to quickly become one of the top management and production companies in the industry representing talent in all facets of entertainment.[2] He has been successful in breaking, developing and managing the careers of artists such as KoRn, Limp Bizkit, Backstreet Boys,Snoop Dogg, Enrique Iglesias, Vin Diesel, Ice Cube, Jennifer Lopez, Kelly Clarkson, OneRepublic, Rachel Weisz, Audioslave, Pete Yorn, Puddle of Mudd, and many more. The Firm acquired Artist Management Group in 2002 to add high-profile television and film industry managers and clients such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Cameron Diaz, Kate Hudson, Benicio del Toro, Bill Condon and Martin Scorsese and expand into an all-encompassing entertainment management and production company.

2005 Mass Exodus

The Firm survived a massive exodus of execs and clients back in 2005 when, JoAnne Colonna, a manager of the company's film talent department, left with her clients that includes Anna Paquin, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Brittany Murphy (Kwatinetz's one-time fiance), and Brendan Fraser. Only weeks before, her co-manager, Aleen Keshishian, had also left with clients Natalie Portman, Orlando Bloom, Laura Linney and Freddie Prinze Jr. And those moves followed the departures of the co-managers of the music department when Simon Renshaw took with him the Dixie Chicks, Clay Aiken and Anastacia, and Andy Gould left with Rob Zombie.


Kwatinetz has been a controversial figure in the industry especially in connection with such clients as Britney Spears. On September 17, 2007 he released the following statement: "It saddens us to confirm media reports that we have terminated our professional relationship with Britney Spears. We have represented Britney for the past month. We believe Britney is enormously talented, and has made a terrific record. But current circumstances have prevented us from properly doing our job. We wish Britney the best."[3]

Departure From The Firm/Creation of Prospect Park

Kwatinetz left The Firm in late 2008. He's expected to start his own music, film and television management firm and film and TV production company. [1] Jeff has now started his new Management/Record company Prospect Park, and recently signed a deal with Vancouver/LA based band, Like a Storm. Other clients include the Backstreet Boys and Korn.


Kwatinetz attended Marlboro High School, in Marlboro, New Jersey. He attended Northwestern University. He holds a Harvard Law degree, Juris Doctor.


1.^ "Firm Believer". Washington Post. 2002-07-08. Retrieved 2008-03-21.
2.^ Waxman, Sharon (March 19, 2004), "Leading Hollywood Talent and Marketing Companies Merge", New York Times, 3.^ "Manager dumps Britney Spears". ABC News. 2007-09-19. Retrieved 2008-03-21.

-- wiki

Monday, February 22, 2010

Poe's Valentines: To Helen (1831)

To Helen (1831)

"To Helen" is the first of two poems to carry that name written by Edgar Allan Poe. The 15-line poem was written in honor of Jane Stanard, the mother of a childhood friend. It was first published in 1831 collection Poems of Edgar A. Poe then reprinted in 1836 in the Southern Literary Messenger. Poe revised the poem in 1845, making several improvements, most notably changing "the beauty of fair Greece, and the grandeur of old Rome" to "the glory that was Greece and the grandeur that was Rome." These improved lines are the most well-known lines of the poem.


In "To Helen," Poe is celebrating the nurturing power of woman. Poe was inspired in part by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, particularly in the second line ("Like those Nicean barks of yore") which resembles a line in Coleridge's "Youth and Age" ("Like those trim skiffs, unknown of yore").


Poe, in referring to Helen, may be alluding to the Greek goddess of light or Helen of Troy who is considered to be the most beautiful woman who ever lived, though there is not enough information given to determine for certain.

To Helen (1831)
Edgar Allan Poe

Original 1831 version

Helen, thy beauty is to me
Like those Nicean barks of yore,
That gently, o'er a perfum'd sea,
The weary way-worn wanderer bore
To his own native shore.

On desperate seas long wont to roam,
Thy hyacinth hair, thy classic face,
Thy Naiad airs have brought me home
To the beauty of fair Greece,
And the grandeur of old Rome.

Lo ! in that little window-niche
How statue-like I see thee stand!
The folded scroll within thy hand —
A Psyche from the regions which
Are Holy land !

Revised 1845 version

Helen, thy beauty is to me
Like those Nicean barks of yore
That gently, o'er a perfumed sea,
The weary, way-worn wanderer bore
To his own native shore.

On desperate seas long wont to roam,
Thy hyacinth hair, thy classic face,
Thy Naiad airs have brought me home
To the glory that was Greece,
And the grandeur that was Rome.

Lo, in yon brilliant window-niche
How statue-like I see thee stand,
The agate lamp within thy hand,
Ah! Psyche, from the regions which
Are Holy Land!

In popular culture

The poem is prominently recited by Tom Hanks in the 2004 Coen Brothers film The Ladykillers.


1.^ Kennedy, J. Gerald. "Poe, 'Ligeia,' and the problem of Dying Women" collected in New Essays on Poe's Major Tales, edited by Kenneth Silverman. Cambridge University Press, 1993. p. 115. ISBN 0521422434
2.^ Campbell, Killis. "The Origins of Poe", The Mind of Poe and Other Studies. New York: Russell & Russell, Inc., 1962: 153–154.

Brittany Murphy and Ashton Kutcher

Christopher Ashton Kutcher (pronounced /ˈkʊtʃər/; born February 7, 1978), best known as Ashton Kutcher, is an American film actor, television actor, producer and former fashion model, best-known for playing Michael Kelso in the Fox sitcom That '70s Show. He created, produced and hosted Punk'd. He played lead roles in such films as Dude, Where's My Car?, Just Married, The Butterfly Effect, The Guardian and What Happens in Vegas.

He is also the producer and co-creator of the supernatural TV show Room 401. and the reality TV show Beauty and the Geek. He is married to actress Demi Moore. As of April 2009, Kutcher is the most followed user on the social-networking site Twitter.[1]
Early life

Kutcher was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa to Larry Kutcher, a worker at a General Mills factory, and Diane (née Finnegan), a Procter & Gamble worker.[2][3][4] He is of part Irish ancestry on his mother's side.[3] Kutcher has an older sister, Tausha, and a fraternal twin, Michael, who had a heart transplant when the brothers were young children. Kutcher attended Washington High School in Cedar Rapids for his freshman year, before his family moved to Tiffin, Iowa, where he attended Clear Creek-Amana High School. In high school he played on the football team as a wide receiver and appeared in school plays.[5] However, his brother suffering from cardiomyopathy caused his home life to become increasingly stressful. He has stated that "I didn't want to come home and find more bad news about my brother" and "kept myself so busy that I didn't allow myself to feel".[6] Kutcher admitted that during adolescence, he contemplated committing suicide. At thirteen, he attempted to jump from a Cedar Rapids hospital balcony, with his father intervening in the incident.[7] Kutcher's home life worsened as his parents divorced when he was sixteen. During his senior year, he broke into his high school at midnight with his cousin in an attempt to steal money; he was arrested leaving the scene. Kutcher was convicted of third-degree burglary and sentenced to three years' probation and 180 hours of community service. Kutcher stated that although the experience "straightened him out", he lost his girlfriend and anticipated college scholarships, and he was ostracized at school and in his community.[5]

Kutcher enrolled at the University of Iowa in August 1996, where he majored in biochemical engineering, motivated by the desire to find a cure for his brother's heart ailment.[4] At college, Kutcher was kicked out of his apartment for being too "noisy" and "wild".[8] Kutcher stated, "I thought I knew everything but I didn't have a clue. I was partying, and I woke up many mornings not knowing what I had done the night before. I played way too hard. I am amazed I am not dead."[9] He is a member of the Delta Chi fraternity. To earn money for his tuition, Kutcher worked as a college summer hire in the cereal department for the General Mills plant in Cedar Rapids, and sometimes donated blood for money.[10] During his time at UI he was approached by a scout at a bar called "The Airliner" in Iowa City and was recruited to enter the "Fresh Faces of Iowa" modeling competition. After placing first, he dropped out of college and won a trip to New York City to the International Modeling and Talent Association (IMTA) Convention. Following his stay in New York City Ashton returned to Cedar Rapids before relocating to Los Angeles to pursue a career in acting.[8]


After participating as a modeling contestant in an IMTA competition (losing to Josh Duhamel) in 1998, Kutcher signed with the Next modeling agency in New York, appeared in ads for Calvin Klein, modeled in Paris and Milan, and appeared in a Pizza Hut commercial.

After some success in modeling, Kutcher moved to Los Angeles and, after his first audition, was cast as Michael Kelso in the television series That '70s Show, which debuted in 1998 and ended in 2006. Kutcher was cast in a series of film roles; although he auditioned but was not cast for the role of Danny Walker in Pearl Harbor (2001),[11] he starred in several comedy films, including Dude, Where's My Car? (2000), Just Married (2003), and Guess Who (2005). He briefly appeared in the 2004 family film, Cheaper By The Dozen, playing a self-obsessed actor. His 2004 film The Butterfly Effect was an unusually dramatic role for Kutcher, playing a conflicted young man who fell in love with a girl called Kayleigh; the film received mixed to negative reviews, but was a box-office success.[5]

In 2003, Kutcher produced and starred in his own series on MTV's Punk'd as the host. The series involved various hidden camera tricks performed on celebrities. Kutcher is also an executive producer of the reality television shows Beauty and the Geek, Adventures in Hollyhood (based around the rap group Three 6 Mafia), and The Real Wedding Crashers and the game show Opportunity Knocks. Many of his production credits, including Punk'd, come through Katalyst Films, a production company he runs with partner Jason Goldberg.[12]

Because of scheduling conflicts with the filming of The Guardian, Ashton was forced not to renew his contract for the eighth and final season of That 70s Show, although he did appear in the first four episodes of it (credited as a special guest star) and returned for the show's series finale.[5]

Kutcher was part of the management team for Ooma, a tech start-up launched in September 2007. Ooma is in the Voice over Internet Protocol business and Ashton's role was as Creative Director. He was spearheading a marketing campaign and producing viral videos to promote this service. Kutcher has also created an interactive arm of Katalyst called Katalyst Media with his partner from Katalyst Films, Jason Goldberg. Their first site is the animated cartoon Blah Girls. Ooma revamped its sales and marketing strategy with a new management team in the summer of 2008, replacing Ashton Kutcher as their creative director. Rich Buchanan, from Sling Media, became Ooma's Chief Marketing Officer.

Kutcher is due to produce and star in the action comedy, Five Killers, in which he will play a hitman.[13]

Personal life

Kutcher dated actresses January Jones (from 1998 to 2001), Ashley Scott (from 2001 to 2002), Monet Mazur (2002), and Brittany Murphy (from 2002 to 2003). Following his break-up with Murphy in early 2003, Kutcher began dating Demi Moore. Moore and Kutcher married on September 24, 2005 in a private ceremony conducted by a rabbi of the Kabbalah Centre; the wedding was attended by about 100 close friends and family of the couple, including Bruce Willis, Moore's ex-husband.[14]

Kutcher has invested in an Italian restaurant, Dolce[5] (other owners include Masterson and Valderrama) and a Japanese-themed restaurant named Geisha House located in Atlanta and Los Angeles. Kutcher is a Chelsea F.C. fan.[15]

Kutcher is a self described fiscal conservative and social liberal.[16]

In September 2008, Kutcher was named the assistant coach for the freshman football team at Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles. However, he was unable to return in 2009 because he was filming Spread.[17][18]

Ashley Ellerin

Kutcher's former girlfriend, Ashley Ellerin, a 22-year-old fashion model, was found stabbed to death in her Hollywood Hills apartment in February 2001.[19] Hours before she was found dead, Kutcher visited her home to pick her up for the 43rd Grammy Awards, but no one answered the door. Kutcher looked inside her apartment through a back window and saw what he thought were red wine stains on the carpet, then left. Ellerin's body was found later in the day by her roommate, and after hearing of the news, Kutcher went to the police to offer any help in the investigation. In August 2008, police announced that they had traced Ellerin's murder to suspected serial killer Michael Gargiulo, a Santa Monica resident who is charged in the stabbing deaths of at least three women.[19]

Twitter presence

On April 16, 2009, Kutcher became the first user of Twitter to have more than 1,000,000 followers,[1] beating out CNN in the "Million followers contest".[20][21][22] Kutcher announced via Twitter that he would be donating $100,000 to a charity to fight malaria.

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