– Nickolas Nikolic's Blog

Poetry, the most saturated meaning in English

Rich in 1977 (care of

I have had a meaningful relationship with the work of the great poet: Adrianne Rich, for decades. She wrote emphatically on the passion of words “fitting over meaning like a skin”. I have always found her hope for the world to be inspirational.

Allow me to bring attention to her best work: a work of editorial anthology, “The Best American Poems of 1996”. In this work of curation, she highlights the fight we all work through to achieve a meaningful self respect in spite of the life we are provided by the structures of the world.

Case and point: the opening poem of the anthology: I am not a witness. This poem talks of the loss of the less fortunate through the execution system. It cries. It’s a listing of the final meals by it’s preparer, the prison cook. All the while, a cadence of sorrow in repeated remarks to what could be different in the world.

Then there is the poem: The Cancer Garden. This short poem sings to grit and hope in the cancer ward.

All of the poems reflect not just Rich’s ardor, but our own, should we look to the skies rather than to the end, or to profit, or to anything at all transient. She is a poet no longer with us, but dammit, she has dignity.

Two Pablos from Catalonia: Casals & Picasso

When I consider excellence in adversity, I think to the master cellist Pablo Casals. So good a man, he supported his whole symphony during the German occupation of Europe. Pablo Casal’s genius was myriad: he assessed the anatomy of the forearm in order to better commit ‘energy’ to the instrument and also took mission to teach others. Just a warm story of excellence in the adversity of WW2. A truly great man.

Picasso, on the other hand, was quite a dick. He was massively talented, but a dick! His first daughter was convinced that his absence was due to being locked in a room askance from the household. Picasso needed to ultimately quit the hype of his persona and pay attention to his responsibilities.

Stands4 Network API for poetry.

I have had a few requests to explain the API that powers this site’s special effects. Allow me to introduce the Stands4 API (application programming interface) found at

I use this particular interface, and with php (simply guzzlehttp/guzzle library) load the poetry from the api with api credentials you get from Stands4. Be careful not to use the free api more than 100 times per day, it will boot you.

A caching apparatus should be used. Depending upon your technology, research caching the text you get from the api. I personally simply store it in a text file at the server, later requests check the text file to see if it is older than a half hour, and then if not: spit it out to the requestor, if so, start the process over.

There is something to be said about the vision and innovativeness of Stands4: IT processes must be considered from where the greater population sits. We often lose focus of who really matters in IT, and that isn’t just the profit-producing employer, IT must consider all people to be ends in themselves.

For the love of god, please use your skills in unusual ways in the greater good’s service.

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