Monday, April 9, 2012

Poetry Patio

 Poetry Patio is now open so come on over and take a look.

Visits and Verse will stay open here indefinitely, but for now its status is inactive. 


Monday, April 2, 2012

An Upcoming Move

I'm making a move over to Wordpress and appreciate your patience as I get things set up. I'll put a link here as soon as I'm ready.

More information about my Poetry Patio to come soon.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Poem, "Veiled Lady"

Veiled Lady 
by Lori Lipsky
~A tribute to sculptor, Raffaelo Monti

In Monti’s block of marble
Hard, cold, dense
Hid the portraiture of a virgin
From the hands of the trompe-l’oeil master

He polished shoulders smooth
Shadowed eyes, softened brows
Hard stone transformed to delicate
In the sculptor’s hands

Note: Trompe-l’oeil is French for 'deceive the eye', an art technique involving imagery in order to create an optical illusion. The Veiled Lady is on display at the Minneapolis Institute of the Arts. Institute of Arts

Monti's Veiled Lady

I am scheduling a break from writing posts at Visits and Verse. I plan to use the time to write verse, submit for publication, organize my messy desk, clean house, and hunt for my missing camera (it's tough to keep up the blog without my camera). 

The plan is to return after spring break. Look for notification on Facebook, or sign up for e-mail delivery.

Thank you for your support of Visits and Verse.

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Poem "Assembly Required" by Michael Keshigian

Assembly Required by Michael Keshigian

In bits and pieces
they fall from heaven,
disassembled snowmen,
one flake after the other,
strewn about the countryside,
discovered by those young at heart,
and with a dash
of imaginative insight,
they roll a gleeful creature
in their own image.
No directions needed.

Assembly Required was recently published by Bolts of Silk and is reprinted here by permission from the author, Michael Keshigian.

For more information on Michael Keshigian, for information on his books or to read more poems by him,  check out his site: http://www.michaelkeshigian.com/

Keshigian's latest chapbook, Wildflowers was published by Flutter Press  and released in November 2011. Wildflowers is available for purchase at the Flutter Press site.

Friday, February 17, 2012

"A Snow Day Hue" is published by Everyday Poems

I am happy to announce that my poem "A Snow Day Hue" has been published and appears today on the Everyday Poems site.

Everyday Poems is a blogzine by Every Writer's Resource. If you enter your email address at their site, they offer to send you a poem via email on a regular basis. I've been receiving their poems for over a year and I'm thrilled to have a poem of my own published by them

I invite you to click on the link and check the poem out.

Thanks for dropping by Visits and Verse. You can sign up to receive Visits and Verse by email, too. The box is in the upper left part of the blog. 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Good Book Can Take Us All Sorts of Places

Recently I ran into the phrase, "…All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well" while reading Madeleine L'Engle's A Circle of Quiet. The words kept coming back to my mind over and over the next few days. I decided to look them up and see where they originated.

Multiple sources credit Julian of Norwich, a 14th century mystic, with the words. According to one source, it's "one of the best-known phrases of literature of her era."

Here it is below written another way:

All shall 
be well,
and all shall 
be well,
and all manner
 of thing
shall be well.

I like seeing it and reading it like that.

Norwich cathedral facade, photo by Jerzy Kociatkiewicz, UK 

A white statue of Julian of Norwich stands before the Norwich cathedral, Norfolk, UK. And atop the cathedral sits a great little steeple.

Have you read a quotable book lately? I recommend Madeleine L'Engle's A Circle of Quiet.

Thanks for being a part of Visits and Verse. Have a pleasant weekend.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Tribute to a Fine Voice: Whitney Houston

Something different for today. A tribute to vocal beauty.

Beauty worth visiting.

Here (click on link below) is a recording of a remarkably beautiful voice at its peak matched up with a striking melody.  I'm thankful to have had the privilege of hearing her sing. Not in person, just via recording, but that's enough.

With this song, the artist leaves for "us" a wish for joy, happiness and love. It's worth the 4:42 listen, I think.

Thanks for dropping by. 



Thank you to GermanGirly013.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Poem: On Winter Days by Lori Lipsky; Photos by Gail Smith

On Winter Days
by Lori Lipsky

On winter days when snow pelts my eyes
Gray clouds hide the sun, and
Life seems a struggle against the world,
You-beside-me makes the indescribable difference

Photos by Gail P. Smith

Gail P. Smith is a transplanted Texan who’s lived in The Heartland since 1976. She loves being wife to Rick, Mom to three, and Grammy to seven perfect grandchildren. Gail worked at a private studio teaching performing arts for 25 years. She has also been an usher, choir director and virtual assistant.  Her interest in photography grew when the photos she took of her students at recitals were well received. She loves reading and telling stories through words and photographs. 

Gail is also known as Tech-Know Grammy. Find out more at http://techknowgrammy.blogspot.com/p/whats-tech-know-grammy.html


Happy Valentine's Day.

Share some love.


Monday, February 13, 2012

Marriage Tango: A Poem by Lori Lipsky

Today, in honor of Valentine's Day, I'll share a marriage poem, Marriage Tango.

I read it yesterday at the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets' Winter Festival

By the way, if you read the post last week, 25 Ways to Wear a Scarf , I would like to report back that I did indeed muster courage enough to wear my first scarf-in-a-public-setting yesterday at the reading. Whoo-hoo. 

Wish I could show a picture of the room and the scarf, but I've misplaced my camera. Hopefully it'll show up soon. Sally says she's seen it laying around somewhere...she just can't remember where. I've probably set some papers on top which now unintentionally hide it.

My entire writing group braved the weather yesterday and came to Avol's in downtown Madison, WI to hear me read and show their support. Wasn't that kind of them? Cheryl brought husband Randy and her lovely girls, too. Afterward, a few of us stayed down on State Street and ate an early dinner together. It was nice to de-brief and celebrate with them.


Marriage is a dance. It's a lot of back and forth; all sorts of give and take...

Here's my Marriage Tango poem:

Marriage Tango
by Lori Lipsky

There are different ways to load a dishwasher
Bowls on bottom, bowls on top
Mine is the better method:-)
But we’ll do it your way

You’d prefer to listen to music as we read
I can’t concentrate with the distraction
You let me have my way
We read in silence

I’d prefer nice furniture
You love electronics
So we go back and forth, but
We do have some awesome electronics

You leap up in the morning
Move fast, accomplish much
My start is slow—I mull things over, drink coffee
You allow me my freedom

Your meetings go long
My dinner plans are ruined
I save you a plate
It’s not as good re-heated

I assign the kids jobs
You go easy on them
But you spoil me, too
And sometimes we spoil you

When we were first married you sacrificed
To get me the piano—it must have challenged your frugality
What would my life be without it?
I appreciate your generosity

Thanks for dropping by Visits and Verse. Tomorrow, for Valentine's Day, I share another short poem that I wrote especially for tomorrow's post. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

A Poem: Dressed in Red by Lori Lipsky

Dressed in Red

by Lori Lipsky

The color of spring arrived today
Outside my bedroom window

Dressed in red to brighten
The frozen day of gray and white

It came as a pair to revitalize
My melancholy soul

To cheer with song, with color
In incomparable cardinal style

Photo by Gail P. Smith

Gail P. Smith is a transplanted Texan who’s lived in The Heartland since 1976. She loves being wife to Rick, Mom to three, and Grammy to seven perfect grandchildren. Gail worked at a private studio teaching performing arts for 25 years. Gail has also been an usher, choir director and virtual assistant.  Her interest in photography grew when the photos she took of her students at recitals were well received. She loves reading and telling stories through words and photographs. 

In addition, Gail is known as Tech-Know Grammy. Find out more at http://techknowgrammy.blogspot.com/p/whats-tech-know-grammy.html

My thanks to Gail for sharing her cardinal photo here.

Thanks to you for dropping by Visits and Verse. Comments are most welcome! Members, too. Click on 'join this site' to become part of the group.

I hope your weekend is terrific!


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Five Reasons You Should Attend the WFOP Winter Festival of Poets Reading

You are cordially invited to attend the Winter Festival of Poets Reading this Sunday afternoon, February 12th at 2:pm. The event is sponsored by the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets and held at Avol's Bookstore, 315 West Gorham Street in Madison, WI.

Featured readers will be Susan Elbe, Robin Chapman, Tim Walsh, Morgan Harlow, Geoff Collins and Lori Lipsky (that's me).

Photo credit Avol's Books 

Here are five reasons to consider leaving the comfort of your home to drive on down and attend:

  • Football season has come to an end and attending this event will help you out with your withdrawal symptoms.

  • Since the Festival is held at Avol's Books, you can browse among stacks and shelves of amazing used books both before and after the event. 20% off all books in February!

  • A little more poetry in your life would be a good thing

  • It was advertised in the Isthmus Daily Page (Isthmus Magazine) so it must be legitimate.

  • It'll be my first public poetry reading. Kind faces in the audience would be a comfort.

Thanks for stopping by Visits and Verse. Have you considered membership here? Just click where it says 'join,' follow the short menu and become part of our group. All who stop by (even once in a while) are welcome.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

25 Ways to Wear a Scarf from Miz Booshay's Quiet Life

One of my favorite blogs to follow is  Quiet Life. Miz Booshay started her Quiet Life blog in 2004.

The blog author lives in the Madison, Wisconsin area and one of her lovely daughters was in the alto section of a wonderful high school choir I directed.

Here's a scarf video I found on a recent  Quiet Life post. What fun, especially if you like to wear scarves. Even I ( Scarf Scrooge) went out and bought a couple after seeing this. One day soon I may actually muster the courage to wear one. 

This is my first attempt to share a video clip. (I hope this works).

If you want to check out Quiet Life:


Do you wear scarves? 
If you happen to go out and buy a scarf this week or if you're inspired to wear one after this, I hope you'll leave a comment and let us know about it.

Thanks for dropping by Visits and Verse. I invite you to join as a member and sign up to receive the blog by email.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Visits and Verse Masterpiece Party; Photos by Sue Finley

We had celebrators enough at the Visits and Verse party last Wednesday to get two games of Masterpiece going. Some of the nicest people around were in attendance. I would have completely forgotten about taking pictures, but luckily Sue Vick Finley showed up with her camera and offered to take some photos for this post. 

Sue must have been on a quest for color that day.  She discovered some on the island where the beverages and food were, and in other places around the house, too. 

Please forgive the duplicates. None were exactly the same and I didn't want to delete. I was not in a deleting mood. Loved them all! I hope you will, too.

The new beverage dispenser was a hit.

Hot beverage anyone?

The games were set up and ready to go when the Visits and Verse members arrived.

My creamer and sugar collection was out and about. Sue found some color there, too.

My newest additions

I dream of liking tea one day. I am working on it. In the meantime, I enjoy the pots designed for tea.

Van Gogh and Monet make an appearance via the miniature Kelvin Chen teapots

No Monet on the walls, but Sue found our Hugh London hand-me-down

Joanie and Sue Finley met for the first time that day.

From the left: The Prude, Susan, Kim and the host

A serious moment. They are counting money: (seated from left) Joanie, Cheryl and Robin

The Prude took this photo with Sue's new camera. Joanie is saying something hilarious.

Robin was happy to get the million dollar painting, but Joanie and Susan F. were the big winners of the day.

As mentioned above, friend Sue Finley provided the photos for this post. Besides living on the lake with her family and being a member of a book club with me, Sue plays the flute and takes photos. She also loves gardening and being a granny.

Sue Finley will be having a photo display at the E. D. Locke Library in McFarland, Wisconsin during the month of April 2012. 

You may view some of Sue Finley's photography work on Facebook at Tree-Hollow Cottage Photography or Sue Vick Finley. Also, Sue Finley on Google+.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Monet at the Art Institute of Chicago

How about a bit of Monet for a winter's day? 

Since Monet was such a hard worker, even a museum in the midwest, thousands of miles from France can own a significant collection. Fabulous. 

The Art Institute of Chicago owns multiple pieces from Monet's London campaign, his Water Lilies series and his Haystack series. Monet was obsessed with light and color. He delighted in painting the same view during different times of day and in different seasons. 

Houses of Parliament, London, 1900-01

Waterloo Bridge, Gray Weather, 1900

Waterloo Bridge, Sunlight Effect, 1903

Stacks of Wheat (End of Summer), 1890/91

Stack of Wheat (Snow Effect, Overcast Day), 1890/91

Water Lily Pond, 1900

In 1893, three years after purchasing the property at Giverny, Monet began to transform the marshy ground behind his home onto a pond. He built a Japanese style bridge on the narrow end, then added plantings, including the famous water lilies. The pond became one of the main subjects of his painting for the remainder of his life. 

Monet produced 18 similar versions of the piece above with the common theme of the lilies mingling with other vegetation and their reflections. 

Water Lilies, 1906

Water Lily Pond, 1917-22

Sandvika, Norway 1893

Monet painted 29 scenes during his two month stay in Norway. Six were views of Sandvika. He toured the country with his stepson, Jacques  Hoschede who lived in Christiania (now Oslo).

Vetheuil, 1901

One of 15 canvases depicting the village of Vetheuil, 7 miles from his home in Giverny.
This painting shows midday.

It feels sad to say good-bye to the Art Institute of Chicago, but I hope I've encouraged at least one or two of you to decide that it would be worth a trip to Chicago to see all it has to offer.

I hope each of you are able to visit the museum some day if you've never been.


Here we go with February. I hope it's a good month for you.Thanks for being part of Visits and Verse. You are invited to become a member if you haven't done so already.

Next week: A view or two of our Visits and Verse Parker Brothers' Masterpiece Party, plus a visit over to Miz Booshay's Quiet Life.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Two Poems at Sparkbright Magazine

I'm pleased to announce that Sparkbright Magazine has published two of my poems.

The Respite and The Widow appear in their most recent issue, Issue 7: Winter Issue 2011.

The December Issue of Sparkbright Magazine was released and I didn't realize it until yesterday when I stumbled upon the poems as I was looking for the Isthmus Magazine article on the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets' Winter Festival Reading. It was a great sort of surprise.

Turns out the editors notified me of their intent to publish, but I failed to record it properly. I usually keep fairly good records, but dropped the ball on this one.

If you missed my post the other day about the poem, Three Horses in the Cold, it is still up at Bolts of Silk, so I hope you'll check it out.


Thank you for being a part of Visits and Verse. I especially appreciate those readers who have taken time to leave comments this month. I've loved all the dialogue. It's always terrific to hear from you.

And now it's time to announce the winners of the Prestel art books:

 Here are the top five commenters of the month, winners of the promised Prestel art books:
  • The Prude
  • Robin Steinweg
  • Suef
  • Susan
  • ScheltyDebate and Sandy (Sandy L.) tied for 5th place.
Please send your address to me at lorilipsky@gmail.com within the next ten days, and I'll ship your book to you.  

Congratulations to the winners! You've made January fun.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Look What I Found in my Parents' Basement. Masterpiece 1987

Look what we found in my parents' basement last Tuesday when I went for a visit. The 1987 version of the Masterpiece game. 

25% of the cards are the same as the 1970 Version of the game. 

Seventy-five percent are 'new' masterpieces.

 Here are several paintings from the '87 game that I spotted at the Art Institute of Chicago.  

Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grand Jatte by Georges Seurat, 1884-86

I wanted to show this photo so you could see the scale of the piece and the crowds. I waited around a while for heads to move in order to get this next shot...

The Seurat owns a place of prominence at the museum and is one of their most popular pieces. It is Seurat's largest and best-known painting.

Van Gogh's The Bedroom, 1889

Van Gogh's Self-portrait, 1887, made the center of the 1987 board. Deservedly so.

Water Lilies, 1906, by Claude Monet

Paul Cezanne's The Vase of Tulips, 1890

This still life of fruit and flowers appears in several other paintings by Cezanne. From what I've read, the spatial relationships between objects in the painting is admirable. I just know that I love it when I see it.


And this Renoir which is part of the 1987 Masterpiece game calls Chicago its home, but it was out on loan when we visited. But here is a print from the wall in our office next to the piano. I love Renoir and love this painting:

Renoir's Lady at the Piano, 1875

I like all the paintings here. I'm not sure I could pick a favorite. Do you have one?