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John Palcewski's Journal

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At Monacacy Creek


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Mad Patsy said, he said to me,
That every morning he could see
An angel walking on the sky;
Across the sunny skies of morn
He threw great handfuls far and nigh
Of poppy seed among the corn;
And then, he said, the angels run
To see the poppies in the sun.

A poppy is a devil weed,
I said to him -- he disagreed;
He said the devil had no hand
In spreading flowers tall and fair
Through corn and rye and meadow land,
By garth and barrow everywhere:
The devil has not any flower,
But only money in his power.

And then he stretched out in the sun
And rolled upon his back for fun:
He kicked his legs and roared for joy
Because the sun was shining down,
He said he was a little boy
And would not work for any clown:
He ran and laughed behind a bee,
And danced for very ecstasy.

Congratulations, you are the first to identify my character's namesake as that of one of the leading figures of the Irish literary renaissance. I chose it because it's also a combination of two names related to Joyce's Ulysses...James the author, and Stephen Dedalus. Furthermore, my mother's maiden name was Elizabeth Jean Joyce.

Re: In The Poppy Field

Joyce also allegedly toyed with the idea of having Stephens finish Finnegans Wake, which would have been an interesting literary curio, as if it weren't enough of one already.

Re: In The Poppy Field

Indeed, he did, and told Harriet Weaver that Stephens "...is a poet and Dublin born. Of course he would never take a fraction of the time or pains I take but so much the better for him and me and possibly for the book itself."

i celebrate your birth
oh wise and wonderful guide.
be well,
be loved,

Thank you for the birthday greeting...and thanks too for gracing my page with your lovely images. They are marvelous!

Off Topic but,

Happy Birthday!

You have a wonderful journal! Have a great day.


Thank you! Glad you noticed.

Hey- I have recently started working on a novel- when I get some more done- like a chapter or so- would you take a look?

Yes, I'll take a look, but a better approach would be to get involved with a free online writers' workshop, here:


This workshop has a number of areas, like short fiction, sci-fi, novels, etc. You submit your work, get critiques, but then at the same time you are required to critique the work of others. It's a carefully moderated operation, and has been around long enough to know how best to do it. Strangely enough, composing useful critiques sharpens your analytical skills, which you may in turn use on your own work.

Here's another useful site...

Writers Resources on the Web

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