Niagara Falls by Parley P. Pratt

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Portrait of Parley P. Pratt from The Autobiography of Parley Parker Pratt

Where now is Nimrod’s mighty tower? Where the
Majestic walls, the warlike battlements,
The splendid palaces, the hanging gardens
Of Babylon?
Where the proud Nebuchadnezzar, who, with
Golden sceptre, swayed the world, and made
The nations tremble ? Where the proud Ninevah, —
The strong Thebes, with its hundred gates ?
The golden Tyre, the splendid Athens, the
Majestic Rome, with all their works of art —
Their monuments of fame, once the pride
And glory of the world ?
Where the mighty Pharaoh’s, the terrible
Alexanders, the invincible Cesars,
The warlike Hannibal ? Tyrants in turn.
Where now the gifted poets, the splendid
Orators, the profound philosophers
Of Greece and Rome, whose mighty genius
Hurled royal tyrants headlong from their thrones, —
Made senates weep or laugh at will, and ruled
The nations ? They are swept away by time ;
Their beauty, like the morning flower, is withered
Their pride and glory gone like leaves of autumn; —
Their grandest works are fast decaying,
Mouldering to ruin, soon to be forgotten.
But still my store house is unexhausted,
My fountain full and overflowing — my
Solid munitions of rocks stand secure. —
My voice as mighty as when the beauteous
Colors of the rainbow first sported in
The sunbeams : —
As when the intelligences of olden worlds
First gazed with admiration upon my
Expanded waters ; or, animated at
The music of my voice joined in the chorus,
And all the sons of God shouted for joy.
###But, boast not, proud Niagara ! Though
Thou mayest withstand the ravages of time, —
While countless millions, swept away with all
Their mighty works, are lost in following years. —
Yet there is a voice to speak, long and loud ;
‘Tis Michael’s trump, whose mighty blast shall rend
Thy rocks, and bow thy lofty mountains in the dust,
Before whose awful presence thy waters
Blush in retiring modesty ; and in
Respectful silence thou shalt stand in listening
Wonder, and admire, while thunders roll
Majestic round the sky, the lightenings play, —
The mountains sink — the valleys rise — till Earth,
Restored to its original, receives
Its final rest, and groans and sighs no more.
### Till then, weep on, and let thy voice ascend
In solemn music to the skies, — ’tis like
A funeral dirge, — ’tis fit to weep o’er the miseries
Of a fallen world in anguish deep.

Source: Pratt, Parley Parker. The Autobiography of Parley Parker Pratt, One of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Embracing His Life, Ministry and Travels With Extracts, In Prose and Verse, from His Miscellaneous Writings. Chicago: Law, King & Law, 1888.

Read about Parley P. Pratt on Wikipedia

Click here to view the article On the Poetics of Self-Knowledge: Poetry in Parley Pratt’s Autobiography by  Joseph M. Spencer from the Journal of Mormon History vol. 37 Issue 1 Winter 2011

Niagara Falls by Mila Mancuso

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Timelapse Photo of Niagara Falls by Alex Conrath

Niagara Falls, water crystal blue,
The sound of the Falls will relax you.
Hear the waves, the birds, and
see the kindness in the air.

Go downtown and enjoy something to eat.
Meet new people and make new friends.
Discover every single person’s talent and personality.
Be inspired by people’s uniqueness.

Embrace the fresh air and the sounds of nature all around you.
Enjoy your visit and your stay, but don’t worry you’ll be back to play.
Have fun with games and activities,
Niagara Falls, that’s where you’ll be!

 

Mila Mancuso is an 11 year old Niagara Falls resident who enjoys playing soccer and baseball during her free time.  She also likes to paint and draw as a hobby.  Mila enjoys spending time with her friends and family, especially swimming at her cousin’s house.

Mancuso submitted this poem as an entry in the youth category of the 2019 Niagara Falls Writer’s Festival Poetry Competition, which was cancelled.

Fika With Vicky Radio Interview

On November 2 Vicky Young Bennison had me as a guest on her radio show, Fika with Vicky. We talked a lot about the poetry of Niagara Falls and this website. Click here to listen to the show – our segment starts at 1:32:00.Turn the sound up-as  usual  I’m  hard  to  hear!fika

Nickel Eclipse: Iroquois Moon: Poems and Paintings by Eric Gansworth

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Cover of Nickel Eclipse: Iroquois Moon

Although no poem or painting is included here, this book of poetry by Eric Gansworth is an important addition to the literature of Niagara. Gansworth,  who was raised on the Tuscarora Indian Reservation in Niagara County, New York, just outside Niagara Falls, still resides in the area and teaches in Buffalo, NY.

Publisher supplied:

“Nickel Eclipse is a merging of personal and cultural history. Structured in part like the alternating colored beads on a wampum belt, patterns emerge from this exploration of contemporary life on an eastern Indian reservation and the sometimes tenuous persistence of a culture after centuries of survival within another, more dominant, culture. The poems, while highly personalized, reflect the tension of speakers surviving within-though never fully of-that larger culture, where lives are formed and meaning defined by their inherent separateness.
Gansworth’s paintings complement the poems, using the metaphor of the cycle of moons identified in the traditional Haudenosaunee (Iroquois Confederacy) culture’s calendar. These paintings of the different lunar phases serve to organize the poems around a common image, breaking them into sections through the use of an eclipse. Additionally, the relationships indigenous communities have had with the United States-from thriving to near extinction to eventual re- emergence-are symbolized in the progression of that eclipse across the moon.
Symbols common to the culture appear throughout the cycles: the Three Sisters (Corn, Beans, and Squash), Strawberries, and Green Corn, from the ceremonies named for them, and more consistently, wampum beads-within which Haudenosaunee culture is iconographically documented-appear in various incarnations, from the earliest shell groupings, through isolated shaped beads, small strings, and full- belt formations.”

Run to your nearest library or book store to read this remarkable collection by Eric Gansworth.

Visit Eric Gansworth’s website

A Half-Life of Cardio-Pulmonary Function: Poems and Paintings by Eric Gansworth

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Cover of A Half Life of Cardio-Pulmonary Function

Although no poem or painting is included here, this book of poetry by Eric Gansworth is an important addition to the literature of Niagara. Gansworth,  who was raised on the Tuscarora Indian Reservation in Niagara County, New York, just outside Niagara Falls, still resides in the area and teaches in Buffalo, NY.

Publisher supplied book information:

“Echoing the muscular rhythms of the heart beat, the poems in this stunning collection alternate between contraction and expansion. Eric Gansworth explores the act of enduring, physically, historically, and culturally. A member of the Haudenosaunee tribe, Gansworth expresses the tensions experienced by members of a marginalized culture struggling to maintain tradition within a much larger dominant culture. With equal measures of humor, wisdom, poignancy, and beauty, Gansworth’s poems mine the infinite varieties of individual and collective loss and recovery. Fourteen paintings punctuate his poetry, creating an active dialogue between word and image steeped in the tradition of the mythic Haudenosaunee world. A Half-Life of Cardio-Pulmonary Function is the most recent addition to Gansworth’s remarkable body of work chronicling the lives of upstate New York’s Indian communities. ”

Run to your nearest library or book store to read this remarkable collection by Eric Gansworth.

Visit Eric Gansworth’s website