San Diego students learn to write, recite poetry!

Teachers reading this blog, heads up!

Write Out Loud in San Diego offers several great educational programs that encourage students to thoughtfully read, write, speak and listen!

Yesterday, at the Arts in the Park event in Chula Vista, I learned how students can experience the transformative power of poetry!

Let Your Voice Be Heard is a program of Write Out Loud that provides free poetry writing workshops in schools. Students K-12 are inspired to reach within themselves and express their thoughts and emotions with a poem. Selected works are then displayed in libraries and retail businesses!

Poetry Out Loud is a poetry recitation competition for high school students. This educational program encourages the study of great poetry by offering free educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition for high school students across the country…students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life.

I was told that some teachers, like many students, are bewildered and a bit intimidated by the very idea of poetry. But why? Poetry is simply words flowing from our inner selves. There’s no right or wrong. There’s no need to be exalted or profound. Just be yourself. And, possibly, learn a little more about yourself in the process!

Teachers, please explore all the educational programs offered by Write Out Loud by visiting their website here!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Poetry transcends perception at Liberty Station.

One seldom observes public art that features poetry. It’s even more rare when the poems are composed by people who are frequently ignored.

Transcending Perception is public art that debuted in Liberty Station back in October, 2020. I hadn’t seen this installation until last weekend, when I walked down a pathway on the east side of THE LOT movie theater.

The images of Transcending Perception, according to the nearby information sign, “were created in a series of workshops that combined theater, poetry, and photography with the intention of ‘returning the gaze’ on both current and historical representations of those who are often excluded or misrepresented in the dominant media…”

This artwork was created by Josemar Gonzalez/Diana Cervera/The AjA Project.

Should you visit Liberty Station in Point Loma, you might want to read these potent words and consider what they mean and why they were written.

We all lead unique lives, with our own experiences and assumptions. It’s enlightening to put yourself in another’s shoes.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

A secret place for High Flight in Coronado.

In Coronado, in a secret place overlooking the Coronado Yacht Club, there’s a shady nook where the human spirit can find High Flight.

High Flight

Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long delirious burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew.
And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
The high, untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

–John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

John Gillespie Magee, Jr. was an American serving with the Royal Canadian Air Force in England during World War II. On December 11, 1941, at the age of 19, his Spitfire accidentally collided with another plane and he crashed to his death. Learn more about him here.

If you’d like to sit on this special bench in Coronado, and gaze quietly out at the world’s beauty, make your way to the corner of Glorietta Boulevard and Ynez Place.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Walking on a poem at UC San Diego.

A couple weekends ago, the day the San Diego Trolley’s Mid-Coast Extension opened, I got off the Blue Line and explored the area around the new UC San Diego Central Campus station. I noticed that a “plaza” beneath the elevated station was paved with lots of words and phrases that could be read in opposing directions.

Curious, I took photographs.

What I had discovered was just the beginning of an 800-foot-long “spine poem” titled CONCORDANCE that can be read while walking either way along the Rupertus Walk, which is under construction. This outdoor installation is by internationally renowned artist Ann Hamilton, and when finished will be the newest addition to UCSD’s Stuart Collection of public art.

According to this web page: “The pathway will be made from basalt blocks hewn with words and phrases drawn from the writings of authors from many disciplines, all associated with UC San Diego and the history of the site….

The Rupertus Walk will lead past the future Pepper Canyon Amphitheater. Here’s a photo of the path and amphitheater construction.

All of the photographs I took that historic Sunday the trolley’s Mid-Coast Extension opened can be found here.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Mathematical nonsense and truth at the Bonita Museum.

If you are intrigued by human creativity, science or philosophy, you might enjoy the artwork now on display at the The Bonita Museum and Cultural Center. The title of the exhibition is Rule 42, Stretched Language.

Why Rule 42? According to one popular work of fiction, 42 is the answer to the ultimate question of Life, the Universe and Everything. Go ahead, smile!

Why Stretched Language? Perhaps because human language can be stretched in endless ways. Words assembled in infinite combinations can represent one’s personal experience or shine light into dark places. Be made into poetry.

Words are symbolic. Numbers, variables and equations are also symbolic. They, too, can be used in poetic expression. Indeed, the exhibition’s subtitle is “Explorations into visual, concrete and mathematical poetry.”

Supposedly, the works in this exhibition each have something to do with mathematics. It seemed to me, however, that they all celebrate something larger: the unique capacity of diverse human minds to imagine, rationalize and create. And even embrace pure nonsense.

Psychronometrics. Sounds scientific. Sounds profound. The equation and description are impressive. But the assertion is that our psychological experience of time, and how time seems to accelerate as we become older, is related to Einstein’s theory of relativity.

To compare the two is utterly absurd. That equation in the photograph above includes velocity. Neither the young or the old have managed (yet) to approach the speed of light!

But you know what? The plasticity of the human mind, which can imagine and rationalize absolutely anything and everything, is what is on display. These are the metaphorical works of visionary artists, not “serious” scientists. Infinite artistic truths cannot be defined with a few equations.

More rational visitors to the exhibit might laugh at some of the jumbled assertions and associations. Rule 42, Stretched Language can be a stretch.

My advise? Don’t be too critical. Step outside your own idea of Truth and enjoy!

This rather unusual exhibition ends on December 3, 2021.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Art, wisdom and unity at the City Heights Library.

A man called King once had a dream. A dream of man caring for fellowman, limited only by the boundaries of time and space, echoed by men and women through time. A love without limits. Art and Poetry – Jihmye Collins, 1998.

At the City Heights/Weingart Library, in the City Heights Urban Village, colorful art and wise words greet patrons as they approach the front door.

The artwork and poetry were created by Jihmye Collins in 1998.

Learn more about Jihmye, his life and work, here.

Approaching the City Heights Library on Fairmount Avenue.
Vivir! To live!
Celestial fragrance consumes universal air…
Patterned tile mosaics and faces.
Sometimes I dream a dream of totally finding myself multiplied by the peoples and kindreds of the earth…
World Unity.
I dance on the brink of the world. I hear your drum…
A circle containing diverse symbols.
…your creativity, your mind and compassion…
Many children at play together.
A wall full of life and wisdom.
Reading colors your world!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Your Mother is Always With You, at Sunset Cliffs.

I walked along Sunset Cliffs in Point Loma today.

As I moved along the edge of the Pacific Ocean, looking out at the horizon from atop the high sandstone bluffs, the corner of my eye was caught by something colorful and bright. It was a bench beside the path overlooking the water.

The bench is very special, as you can see from my photos.

I found flowers, memories, and a poem written by Deborah R. Culver titled Your Mother Is Always With You. Read the powerful but simple words.

I will share photographs from my amazing walk along Sunset Cliffs shortly. I’m getting them ready right now.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Poet and Muse reappear in Balboa Park!

The long absent Poet and Muse has reappeared in Balboa Park!

Le Poète et sa Muse–Poet and Muse–by Franco-American artist Niki de Saint Phalle, used to stand near the Mingei International Museum’s main entrance. Now, as the Mingei is almost ready to reopen after a major renovation and expansion, the sculpture has returned to public view. It has been placed in a corner of the Alcazar Garden, near the House of Charm’s tower and a new public entrance to the museum!

The beloved Nikigator is also returning to Balboa Park! The fun sculpture, also by Niki de Saint Phalle, will again welcome kids near the Plaza de Panama entrance to the Mingei. I saw today that preparation is underway to move Nikigator back from Liberty Station, where it has been located temporarily during the museum’s renovation.

The redesigned, even more amazing Mingei International Museum will open to the public on September 3, 2021!

Preparing for the return of Nikigator…

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A special song celebrates beautiful Coronado.

There’s a special, very beautifully written song that celebrates Coronado. The song, which has become beloved by many over the years, was written by composer and Coronado resident Joan Brown Goldberg, who passed away in early 2020.

I learned about The Coronado Song yesterday in Encinitas of all places. I was outside the old 19th century schoolhouse, lingering after a historical walking tour of Encinitas, when I approached a pianist who was playing among nearby vendors at a small crafts event.

The musician, whom you can see in my photos, is Famous Frank. He told me about Joan Brown Goldberg and how he’d played The Coronado Song during a music festival at the Emerald C Gallery a couple years ago. He described The Coronado Song as the unofficial theme song of Coronado.

I did a little searching, and discovered here that “…For a time the song with piano accompaniment was sold around town and at the Hotel del Coronado.”

I also found here that Joan Brown Goldberg “…was a talented composer, writing over 40 songs. Her most recognized work was ‘The Coronado Song,’ which won several international contests. The song was played before the annual Coronado July 4th Parade at the grandstand for 20 years.”

You can see some of the sheet music here.

I love the poetry and feeling in her lyrics. I’ve transcribed the words for the enjoyment of all.

THE CORONADO SONG

Music and Lyrics by Joan Brown Goldberg

Coronado, where the sun shines
Where the grand Hotel meets the sea
And the crashing waves
Will set you ablaze
And launch you into a dream.

Coronado, little island,
With skies as blue as can be
I long to walk on your tanned
California sand
And sit by your sparkling sea.

I miss your cold windy days
That grey winter haze
And fog horns blowin’ all night

Your summer perfume
Of jasmine in bloom
Your seaside seagulls in flight.

Coronado, on a sea breeze,
You know you’re haunting me so.
You are the Queen of the Coast
You’re the mariner’s host
And the most lovely Lady I know!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Dancing children on a marble bench in La Jolla.

Perhaps you remember a blog post from years ago, when I shared photographs of the Ellen Browning Scripps Memorial in La Jolla, with its beautiful sculpture of a young girl dipping her finger into a pool of water. For photos of the sculpture, and to learn more, click here.

On Saturday I headed to La Jolla again to photograph playful images carved on the back of the nearby marble bench. I added contrast to my photos, so you can see the fine, fluid carvings of children making music and dancing, and the lines from Robert Louis Stevenson’s beloved A Child’s Garden of Verses.

Like the original sculpture, which was commissioned by the City of San Diego (and which went missing in 1996, to be replaced by a different sculpture) this curved marble bench was created by James Tank Porter in 1926. Inscribed in the front of the bench are the words: “Presented to the people of La Jolla by the people of San Diego, in honor and appreciation of Ellen Browning Scripps.”

The happy, carefree carvings make me wish I were a child again.

The world is so full of a number of things…
…I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!