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Popular Poetry (History)
  1.  Christmas (hope)
  2.  Earthrise

Sir Walter's Secret Club
by Gene Williamson

Friday, March 11, 2011
Rated "G" by the Author.
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Recent poems by Gene Williamson
•  befofe the big bang--what?
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           >> View all 258


Soldier, explorer, privateer, writer, reckless intellectual,
Sir Walter Raleigh mustered a group of free thinkers
who in secrecy debated such taboos as the new astronomy emerging from the Copernican idea that

the earth revolved around the sun.

The elite gathering, accused of atheism and other blasphemies, was condemned “the school of night.”

Members included the man who discovered the moons
of Jupiter; a popular poet killed in a barroom quarrel;

a champion of religious tolerance; a geographer who sailed around the world; a closet poet favored by the queen; England's father of the atomic theory; the poet famed for his translation of Homer; the philosopher and former Dominican monk burned at the stake for heresy.

Thomas Nashe ridiculed the group as mathematicians “that will prove men before Adam,” and Shakespeare alluded to the group in Love’s Labor’s Lost:

         O paradox! Black is the badge of hell,
         The hue of dungeons and the school of night.

A darling of the queen for whom he named the Virginia colony, Raleigh was beheaded by James I because he uttered unkind remarks about royal sodomites.

Sir Walter's widow carried his head around in a basket.













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Reviewed by Chessly Nesci 3/23/2011
Enjoyed learning about the secret club! Take care Gene! :)
Reviewed by Don Juan Amante 3/21/2011
what a history lesson! great work.
Reviewed by Michelle Kidwell Power In The Pen 3/19/2011
Awesome the way you presented this, thank you
In Christs Love
Reviewed by Regis Auffray 3/18/2011
Thank you for this history lesson presented in your unique literary manner and style, Gene. Love and peace to you,

Reviewed by Andy Turner 3/16/2011
I wonder if you realise how brilliant this piece really is?
His room in the bloody tower is really quite something.
But I adore your take on this!
Reviewed by La Belle Rouge Poetess Of The Heart 3/16/2011
Oh My, what a macabre thing his head carried around by his widow! You rock Gene, thanks for the history lesson.
Reviewed by Amor Sabor 3/16/2011
Your revelations of history are like cliff notes to me. Thank you for sharing.
Reviewed by jude forese 3/15/2011
vivid and brilliantly constructed historical version ...
Reviewed by Jon Willey 3/14/2011
When innuendo rules the acts of men portray them for what they are, fools. History, history,! Who rules the perception of a man better than the popular versions of history? Truth is always inconvenient to those in power. Gene, your elegant reminder of the facts regarding Sir Walter and his ilk have refreshed my lust for ferreting out he truth in all matters. I bid you love and peace my dear friend. Jon Michael
Reviewed by Chantilly Lace (Reader) 3/14/2011
Wowwwwwwwwwwww....your so amazing sweet I love to read your words darlin...Hugss...sighhh
Love Always,
Chanti Lace xoxo
Reviewed by Kate Burnside 3/13/2011
... I like history like how you do tell it, Gene. Were he and Lizzie really lovers? That might account for why his widow carried his head in a basket - as trophy, rather than out of maddening grief... Mind you, if ER had disappeared without trace when he laid his cape over that puddle, she might have been attributed with discovering Australia! It's literally mindbending the wealth of brainpower that gathered together at such a time. As Gina has said, I wonder who will prove to be their modern-day equivalent? Some complete basket-cases, I'll be bound! :)) xx
Reviewed by E T Waldron 3/12/2011
Fascinating, Gene! Imagine having such interesting people all at the same time,I wish I could have been there;-)Great read! love,Eileen
Reviewed by pat medlin 3/12/2011
who wrote 'ring around the rosies'?....makes basket full of posies sound kinda lame......head in a basket? need to ponder this a minute...
Reviewed by Liana Margiva 3/12/2011
POWERFUL POEM!!!!!!!!!!! Liana Margiva
Reviewed by Amber Moonstone 3/11/2011
You brought me right to those times of such simplicity. Things were black and white and the rich were richer and the poor were poorer, kinda sounds like what's happening again in this country...History surely does repeat itself.......

Much peace, love and light,
Reviewed by Karen Palumbo 3/11/2011
Wow, gotta love history, just doesn't get better than this does it?

Be always safe,
Reviewed by Ed Matlack 3/11/2011
How do u know so much of this stuff, Gene? I would have carried his head in my handbag, if they had them way back then...hope all is well in NJ tonight as I am in DE till Sunday...e
Reviewed by Gianetta Ellis 3/11/2011
I love this, Gene. It makes me wonder what secret group is meeting now - for what egregious ideas and discussion would they be ridiculed and mocked? Ideas that will prove themselves valid in forthcoming generations? I love your intellect - its depth and amazing scope - not to mention your deft way of expressing complexities in relatable and eloquent terms.
Reviewed by Sage Sweetwater 3/11/2011
Reviewed by Christine Tsen 3/11/2011
What vivid imagery, Gene, about rebels and thoughts and deeds!
Reviewed by Morgan Merriweather 3/11/2011
excellent write. This is the way history should be taught. Whispers from the tower, and baskets. -Morgan
Reviewed by John Flanagan 3/11/2011
...held onto the head as long as she could, there
was where he was, in his head...and your intellectual
understanding, Gene, is inside mine and i'm so much
the better and wiser for it.
It's high time history was written with such panache
and handed out in our classrooms.
Such a calm delivery of a volatile time
and radical, real thinkers.
In admiration,

Reviewed by Peter Schlosser (Reader) 3/11/2011
i believe he was implicated in the main plot hatched in spain to remove king james from the throne in much the same way erwin rommel was implicated in the plot to kill hitler. this is a great piece, full of intrigue and historical fact.
Reviewed by TONY NERONE 3/11/2011
OMG she carried it around in a basket! She must have been a fruitcake. If this is non-fiction thanks for the learning. If fiction thanks for great write.
Reviewed by Paul Berube 3/11/2011
Quite the story, Gene. Thanks for sharing it. I learned something new. Well done and may God bless.
Reviewed by Jerry Bolton (Reader) 3/11/2011
Didn't know the widow toted old Walter's head around in a basket. Have to think about that some. Didn't know much of what you wrote about either, Gene. Very informative and entertaining. And all this time I thought he was the one who discovered, and named, Sir Walter Raleigh pipe tobacco. Drat.

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