The Materialistic Maiden

Where I sip coffee and judge everyone.

Happy Birthday, Charles Fenno Hoffman!

This marks the second birthday that I get to “spend” with this deceased literary figure (and thankfully, my boyfriend doesn’t mind Hoffy too much). So, in honor of Charlie’s birthday, I’m posting his second of two Birthday-related poems. You can visit my first blog post about him by going here.

Without further ado-

A Birthday Meditation

Another year! alas, how swift,
Alinda, do these years flit by,
Like shadows thrown by clouds that drift
In flakes along a wintry sky.
Another year! another leaf
Is turn’d within life’s volume brief,
And yet not one bright page appears
Of mine within that book of years.There are some moments when I feel
As if it should not yet be so;
As if the years that from me steal
Had not a right alike to go,
And lose themselves in Time’s dark sea,
Unbuoyed up by aught from me;
Aught that the future yet might claim
To rescue from their wreck a name.

But it was love that taught me rhyme,
And it was thou that taught me love;
And if I in this idle chime
Of words a useless sluggard prove,
It was thine eyes the habit nursed,
And in their light I learn’d it first,
It is thine eyes which, day by day,
Consume my time and heart away.

And often bitter thoughts arise
Of what I’ve lost in loving thee,
And in my breast my spirit dies,
The gloomy cloud around to see
Of baffled hopes and ruin’d powers
Of mind, and miserable hours —
Of self-upbraiding, and despair —
Of heart, too strong and fierce to bear.

“Why, what a peasant slave am I, ”
To bow my mind and bend my knee
To woman in idolatry,
Who takes no thought of mine or me.
O God! that I could breathe my life
On battle-plain in charging strife —
In one mad impulse pour my soul
Far beyond passion’s base control.

Thus do my jarring thoughts revolve
Their gather’d causes of offence,
Until I in my heart resolve
To dash thine angel image thence;
When some bright look, some accent kind,
Comes freshly in my heated mind,
And scares, like newly flushing day,
These brooding thoughts like owls away.

And then for hours and hours I muse
On things that might, yet will not be,
Till one by one my feelings lose
Their passionate intensity,
And steal away in visions soft,
Which on wild wing those feelings waft
Far, far beyond the drear domain
Of reason and her freezing reign.

And now again from their gay track
I call, as I despondent sit,
Once more these truant fancies back
Which round my brain so idly flit;
And some I treasure, some I blush
To own — and these I try to crush —
And some, too wild for reason’s rein,
I loose in idle rhyme again.

And even thus my moments fly,
And even thus my hours decay,
And even thus my years slip by,
My life itself is wiled away;
But distant still the mounting hope,
The burning wish with men to cope
In aught that minds of iron mould
May do or dare for fame or gold.

Another year! another year,
A LINDA , it shall not be so;
Both love and lays forswear I here,
As I’ve forsworn thee long ago.
That name, which thou wouldst never share,
Proudly shall fame emblazon where
On pumps and corners posters stick it,
The highest on the J ACKSON ticket.

Arboreal Whispers

(An original.)

Lonely forest, dim, deep, and dank,
With tarnished branches chaotically swaying,
Dance in your own denial, parading-
Let musky vapors ensue with haste.

Imbibing corpses jest and cheer,
The harvest moon beams with approbation
Lighting the shadowy hill in elation;
The time of death grows ever near.

Hands writhe and seize and penetrate
The ashen ground, and folly
Evaporates into misty melancholy
Stealing upon windowpane slates.

Beckon to the reaper’s call,
Slip into spirit and out of skin,
Should it fit, come, you’re invited in-
We’ll lay your gauzy funeral pall.

Artemas Wyman Sawyer

I discovered this gem of a gentleman yesterday evening and wanted to share him with my darling followers and the world.

I like to describe him as the lovechild between Rufus Griswold and Charles Fenno Hoffman. If you take a look at his photo below, you’ll see why:

Anyway, let’s get down to who this guy was and his significance.

According to the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, he was born in Westhaven, Vermont, March 4, 1827 (924). He was the son of a Reverend, Reuben Sawyer, and Laura Wyman. He was educated at New London Academy and then Dartmouth College. He taught school in Windsor, Vermont for three years before attending a theological institute. According to this source, he decided on ministry as a career early on, most likely due to his being baptized when he was twelve. He was ordained a minister of the Baptist church in Lawrence, Massachusetts, in 1853.

Not only was he super successful at this point, but he continued on to be exceptionally successful. He became professor of classics at Acadia College in Wolfville, in 1855, which he held for five years. During this time, in 1858, he married Maria E. Chase, and the couple had five children overtime, including Everett Wyman Sawyer. Artemas returned to Acadia in 1869 as Acadia’s president and held this position for twenty-seven years.

According to a memorial article found on this website, “Though stern in appearance, Dr. Sawyer was a Christian scholar and gentleman, and in the classroom ‘a prince of teachers,’ clear in his presentation and with stimulating thoughts in his classes. He stressed the importance of Christian living. The period of Dr. Sawyer’s presidency was one of great change within university structures and curriculums. He endorsed the inclusion of science, history, languages and a system of electives. Female students were first admitted to degree courses in 1884. In 1891 Acadia College became Acadia University, and in the following year introduced a course to lead to a Bachelor of Theology.”

Basically, this guy did a lot of good for the school system. He opened doors, broke the traditional system, although reluctantly at first, and even promoted health and well-being with the opening of a gymnasium in 1890. Nice! However, in regard to the bachelor in theology, “During Sawyer’s presidency theology received very little attention because Maritime Baptists seemed unwilling to commit the funds necessary to establish a program” (source).

In 1896, Sawyer asked to be replaced, apparently, but remained professor of psychology and Christianity almost until his death in 1907. Over all, his life did not go unnoticed and he was a significant part in shaping modern Acadia University.

“He brought stability, leadership, learning, and tact to the position…” (source).

“He was described as a ‘ripe scholar, a profound thinker and a wise administrator who made Acadia richer through a devoted attention to her interests” (source).

Here you can find an example of his handwriting (source).

Here you can find one of his written works.

Here you can find another photo of the guy.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Dearest friends, today is Valentine’s Day (in case you couldn’t tell from the title). So, to celebrate, I thought I would post a poem from our very own Charles Fenno Hoffman, America’s sweetheart!

St. Valentine’s Day

The snow yet in the hollow lies;
But, where by shelvy hill ’tis seen,
In myriad rills it trickling flies
To lace the slope with threads of green;
Down in the meadow glancing wings
Flit in the sunshine round a tree,
Where still a frosted apple clings,
Regale for early Chickadee:

And chestnut buds begin to swell,
Where flying squirrels peep to know
If from the tree-top, yet, ’twere well
To sail on leathery wing below —
As gently shy and timorsome,
Still holds she back who should be mine;
Come, Spring, to her coy bosom, come,
And warm it toward her Valentine!

Come, Spring, and with the breeze that calls
The wind-flower by the hill-side rill,

The soft breeze that by orchard walls
First dallies with the daffodil —
Come lift the tresses from her cheek,
And let me see the blush divine,
That mantling there, those curls would seek
To hide from her true Valentine.

Come, Spring, and with the Red-breast’s note,
That tells of bridal tenderness,
Where on the breeze he’ll warbling float
Afar his nesting mate to bless —
Come, whisper, ’tis not always Spring!
When birds may mate on every spray —
That April boughs cease blossoming!
With love it is not always May!

Come, touch her heart with thy soft tale,
Of tears within the floweret’s cup,
Of fairest things that soonest fail,
Of hopes we vainly garner up —
And while, that gentle heart to melt,
Like mingled wreath, such tale you twine,
Whisper what lasting bliss were felt
In lot shared with her Valentine.

Now go and eat a lot of candy. Rot your teeth away.

Ipsy Review-February

Wow, what a wonderful assortment of goodies for this month’s Ipsy package! When I saw the preview, I squealed. YES, I squealed. Wanna know why I squealed? Continue reading on!

In my package this month, I received the following:

City Color Cosmetics: Creamy Lip Stain
Hey Honey: Take It Off! Exfoliating Honey Peel Off Mask
Luxie Beauty: Large Angled Face Brush 504
Mitchell and Peach: Fine Radiance Face Oil
ModelCo: BLUSH Cheek Powder

First up, the lip stain.

photo 3(3)

This beautiful lip stain applies smoothly and creamily (creamily?). It doesn’t taste too bad, but then again it doesn’t taste like anything special at all. Just that good ole’ processed taste. I digress.

It has a gorgeous pink color when applied to my lips, and it actually goes well with my pale complexion-gasp!

Here it is applied to my arm:

photo 3(2)
As you can see, it compliments pale skin very well, and for just that alone will I highly recommend it.

Now, the Honey Mask.

I have not tried this yet, as I literally just opened the package today; however, I can say that it smells delicious–not exactly like honey, but sort of a more fragrancy smell. Here’s a photo of the tiny bottle sample:

photo 5

Because I am a fan of face masks, I will definitely be trying this. I will edit this and post a review once I do so. On to the next!

Upon opening the package, I saw this *gorgeous* brush poking out. I. Love. Pink. And. Rose. Gold. Look at this(!):

photo 1(3)

I know, right? This angle brush will apply my powders very well, I am sure. For now, I will be gawking at how adorable and pretty it is.

Now, the Mitchell and Peach Radiance Oil.

photo 2(3)

I gave the bottle a sniff, and I can say that it doesn’t smell nice at all. Also, I won’t be using this because it contains traces of nuts, which I am deathly allergic to. Is there any way I can contact Ipsy and tell them not to send me products I can’t actually use? Let me know if I can, because this is really ridiculous. I feel almost as if I’m wasting a bit of my money on products I can’t use. Anyway, if anyone also received this and has a review for it, feel free to post it in the comments below, or post a link to your own review page.

All I know about this is that it is supposed to be applied 2-3 times a day. According to Ipsy’s site, “The Mitchell and Peach Fine Radiance Face Oil is a highly effective face oil packed with powerful natural anti-oxidants and vitamins that are instantly absorbed to leave skin feeling plumper, firmer and glowing with radiance.” So if that seems appealing to you, then I say go for it! As for me, I will be pitching the product (or giving it to a friend).

Finally, the blush! This is described as being a coral color, at least according to the packaging, but I think it comes off more as a very light peachy pink.

photo 4

I applied this silky product to my arm, which you can see below, but as far as I can tell I think it looks pretty! It may be a tad too bright for my complexion, but I know the color will make someone else very happy. Perhaps I will give it a try and try to blend it in my skin for a subtler color.

photo 2(2)

And with that, there’s my review! Over all, I was generally happy with what I received. The nutty product was a sting, though. I feel this adorable bag totally makes up for it, however:

photo 4(1)
(That is green and pink, by the way. The green doesn’t show up well in the photo.)

So, what did you guys think? Would you be interested in any of these products? Please feel free to comment below!

Happy Birthday, Charles Fenno Hoffman!

Today is the Birthday of one of my favorite nineteenth century writers, Charles Fenno Hoffman. Look at this hunk and tell me you aren’t swooning over him:


In honor of his Birthday today, I thought I’d add a quick blurb about him before sharing a couple of his poems.

Born in New York, February 7, 1806, he grew up in a “socially and politically prominent” household with parents Joseph Ogden and Maria Fenno Hoffman (Barnes 17). At the age of eleven, he lost his leg in a traumatic accident caused by the pettiness of being a young schoolboy attempting to overcome a feat. His jumping from dock to ship was unsuccessful and his leg was crushed in the accident. It was thereafter amputated (Griswold 456).

At eighteen, he had nearly completed studies at Columbia College and began studying law. At twenty-one, he was admitted to the bar. He abandoned law for writing, however, and wrote anonymously for the New York American (456). In 1835, he published his first book, A Winter in the West, a two-part book documenting his travels from New York to St. Louis. This was significant as it was one of the most complete works documenting travels this way, especially as far as St. Louis, Missouri. His second work, Wild Scenes in the Forest and Prairie, was published in 1837, which was followed by his most notable novel, Greyslaer, in 1840 (457). Hoffman was the founder of the Knickerbocker magazine, edited for the New York Mirror, and in 1843 published The Vigil of Faith, a book of poetry (457).

In 1849, he “went insane,” which was an oh-so very nice way of saying he was manic depressive. He was admitted permanently to the Harrisburg State Hospital in Pennsylvania, where he remained until his death on June 7, 1884.

Despite his condition, Hoffman was known to many friends for being genial and good-natured. According to an account by William Keese, he is described as follows:

He was a general favorite in society, and his wit, bright intelligence, and genial manners, made his companionship very attractive. He was loved by the young, for he sympathized with them in their sports and enthusiasms, and from his knowledge of nature and his own adventurous experience drew the stories that take children captive. He was a gallant and noble gentleman, and a wide circle of friends mourned the affliction that befell him (Lamb 152).

His leg condition did not damper his spirits, nor did it prevent him from engaging in physical activities such as horseback riding. He was perseverant, compassionate, honorable, and loyal. He was close to the anthologist and Edgar Allan Poe’s defamer, Rufus Griswold, and was even deeply in love at one point in his life. His poetry documents the turmoils of love and rejection, the beauty of nature and afflictions of growing up. In one poem, which I am going to post below, written on his 25th Birthday, Hoffman recollects his life up until that point and bemoans himself for his lack of accomplishments:

Birthday Thoughts
by Charles Fenno Hoffman

At twenty-five — at twenty-five,
The heart should not be cold;
It still is young in deeds to strive,
Though half life’s tale be told;
And Fame should keep its youth alive,
If Love would make it old.

But mine is like that plant which grew
And wither’d in a night,
Which from the skies of midnight drew
Its ripening and its blight —
Matured in Heaven’s tears of dew,
And faded ere her light.

Its hues, in sorrow’s darkness born,
In tears were foster’d first;
Its powers, from passion’s frenzy drawn,
In passion’s gloom were nurs’d —
And perishing ere manhood’s dawn,
Did prematurely burst.

Yet all I’ve learnt from hours rife
With painful brooding here
Is that, amid this mortal strife,
The lapse of every year
But takes away a hope from life,
And adds to death a fear.


Was this man truly unaccomplished? I do not think so. He was strong-willed, intelligent, and is remembered by any and all who happen to stumble upon his writings. (So, basically, I pretty much love this guy, so I’m pretty biased with most of what was said in this post. Whoops.)

Ipsy Box-November Review

Especially since I received such great feedback on my first review for October, here’s November’s review as promised.

I received a gorgeous makeup bag, shown below. I did not keep it however, as I thought it would make a great gift for a friend. She loved it. What she especially loved was the fact that it was sponsored by Forever 21. There ya go.


Once again, I borrowed a photo. Boo. And, no, I didn’t get almost any of those products featured. But here’s what I did get:

Be A Bombshell Cosmetics Eye Base
J. Cat Beauty Wonder Lip Paint
Marc Anthony Oil of Morocco Argan Oil Volume Shine Hairspray
Starlooks Gem Eye Pencil
TEMPTU S/B Highlighter

photo 1 photo 2

So first, the eye base. This “submissive” eye base is just gorgeous and applies very well. Below is a sample on my fairly pale arm:


Yeah, look at that splotched skin. Anyway, the gold is sheer, neutral, and hints at sparkle to give that pop to your eye. It’s great. Did I mention I wear gold eyeshadow every day? It’s true.

The second product, the lip paint, was a horrible product. It was messy, bright, and stained my skin, just as it suggests. Because, you know, paint stains. It took about ten makeup wipes to get it off my lips and skin. (Not that many, but I was unhappy having to waste one of my Burt’s Bees makeup wipes.) I gave it to a friend, and I have yet to hear whether she’s used it or not. This was a dud. Here’s a photo from the website, as I got rid of that thing ASAP:


Moving on.

The hairspray…yeah, sorry to tell you all, but I got rid of that too. You know, my mother, an on-air meteorologist, needed it more than I did and, although it smells great, I don’t really care about the hairsprays I use because I’m trying to wean myself off of using hairspray. I’m all for the environment and all that, when I can be helpful towards it, you know? So, this all isn’t to say it wasn’t great, I just ended up not using it. Here’s a photo, also from the site (ha):


Is it bad that every time I see or hear the name Marc Anthony, I think of the play Antony and Cleopatra? Yikes.

My fourth product was the Starlooks Gem Eye Pencil.

photo 4

This olive green pencil is a lovely addition to the ten million eyeliners I never use. That being said, it’s honestly really nice and applies smoothly. It comes off well as well, which is a bonus because it means not having to wipe my entire eye off trying to get rid of it.

photo 5

Does this photo look familiar? Have some deja vu? It’s the same ghost smudge photo from yesterday’s post. The green line is the eyeliner, yes. Doesn’t it look pretty? It’s honestly really nice!

Finally, my last product…the S/B Highlighter..whatever that means. This highlighter, I assume, is used on the tear duct of the eye to brighten the eyes. That’s how I’ve used it, at least, and it works like a charm! It’s subtle, yet brightens and gives a slight sheen. It applies a bit runny, so it doesn’t take too much of the product to apply it to the eye. I recommend it! (Assuming I’m using it correctly.)

photo 3

Look at that bottle. Isn’t it cute!?

So, what do you guys think? Would you buy these? Am I using the last product correctly? Sorry, this wasn’t a great month for me. I recall being a bit disappointed when I got it. I kept on, though, which will be revealed in December’s review.

Ipsy Box-October Review

I realize I’m a bit late to the show with writing this review, about three months late, however I wanted to go ahead and get these going so I can catch up and officially review the Ipsy products I receive each month. Without further ado, here’s October’s review! (And, yes, I love makeup. Goes along with my whole “materialistic theme,” okay.)

First off, I want to show the bag that my products came in:

This lovely teal bag was a surprise when I opened my first Ipsy package. I use it for jewelry when traveling as it’s thin enough to slip in my bag, without my jewelry clumping down to the bottom of the bag. I would not say it’s practical for storing makeup, as it is rather small, however for jewelry, as mentioned..yes, it gets the job done.

The items that I found in my package were the following:

Ayres Patagonia Body Butter
Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser
Nicole by OPI Nail Lacquer
Noyah Lipstick
Skone Cosmetics TATTOOED Waterproof Eyeliner

Now, for the reviews.

The Ayres Patagonia Body Butter is a rich, creamy body butter that applies to the skin smoothly. It’s honestly silk in a bottle.


The smell reminds me of Lush’s Dream Cream, which, if you recall from one of my earlier posts, is a very good cream for helping eczema. I’m not sure if this would do the job, however, as I could not keep this on my body for too long…My skin did not appreciate the shea butter in its formula, which I’m allergic to. Otherwise, rosemary, lavender, bergamot, ylang-ylang, oakmoss, patchouli, and fir scent, along with its Vitamin E formula, make this a great jar of lotion for those who can actually wear it. (I’m not bitter whatsoever.)

The second product is the Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser. I admittedly did not use this, as I’m against using facial products that could potentially cause my very delicate face to break out, but here’s a picture of the sample:

(The item is on the left. The item on the right will be discussed in a couple posts.) If anyone has used this product and would like to give their insight, please feel free to! I’d be interested in hearing what others thought of the product and how efficient it was.

The third product, Nicole by OPI Nail Lacquer, was a dream to use during the holidays. This gold nail polish goes on like a pro, as do all of OPI’s nail polishes apply very well. As I said, this was a great nail polish for the holidays, and I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in purchasing it. The bottle itself was a different shape, however I am not sure if OPI is transitioning into a new bottle design or not. I say they should keep their classic design, because this was kind of funky.

The fourth product was Noyah Lipstick, which I ended up giving away to a friend. This very bright lipstick applied very..brightly. My skin tone is pale, and this just did not do either my lips or my face any favors. That being said, it is a gorgeous colored lipstick and I wish I had the skin tone to use it. You can’t win them all.

(I “borrowed” the photo from Ipsy’s site as I’d given this away back in October upon receiving it.)

Regardless of color, let me say that it applied very well. Despite being a bit messy. Perhaps it should be avoided completely. (Actually, I don’t think I even received this product. I did receive a lip product, however. The website may be lying to me.)

Finally, I received what would be my first liquid eyeliner, the Skone Cosmetics TATTOOED Waterproof Eyeliner.

This beauty applies like a gem. I was ecstatic to receive it in my package and am still raving about it. Downside is that I don’t really wear eyeliner..ever. Ever. But, that being said, I think I will have to start trying it out again as I am very excited about this product. It is smooth and sharp and easy to apply. It’s a dream come true.

Ignore the smudges on my arm and the gold eyeliner; the latter will be in another review post, and the former are the ghost smudges from makeup products I will also review later on. The black line is, indeed, the liquid eyeliner.

Over all, I think I enjoyed this bag enough, considering I have given them three other chances since then and am eagerly looking forward to receiving February’s package.

Does anyone also order from Ipsy? If so, do any of our products match up? Were you satisfied or dissatisfied with the products? Feel free to leave a comment below!

Happy New Year, friends! Thank you for a wonderful year, and may this year be good to you all. What are your New Year’s resolutions? Do you do resolutions? Mine are as follows:

1) drink more water
2) read more
3) save financially


Punctuation Issues Aside, a New Poem

Whimpering Psithurism

Effervescently pace the foliage,
Lithe fairy footsteps careful to step untrodden ground-
The trees shift and tremble, projecting history into forbidden spaces,
Dark, unforgotten places revealing ghostly shadows, distant war heroes,
the selfish plight of war that ignited pain, continues imprinting bloody carbon marks within the roots.
We break the land below our pitter-pattering,
They stomped with chemical-laden boots-
Mother earth cries bitter tears frozen by this winter wind,
biting whispers blowing lies of freedom into her hopeful heart.
Her cracked soil and crisp limbs moan and creak.
Her heart has long ago since shattered,
Only to be replaced by manufactured glass shards shaped and molded by unpaid hands.
Ethereal memories and unpromising futures destroy-
Watch how the dim night struggles to throw her blanket upon our souls dutifully,
trying to entwine, envelope us to mother nature.
Watch how we ignore them.

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