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Being a Widow

My experience of dealing with grief as a widow


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The Dash by Linda Ellis

14 July 2011

At Jane's funeral, two of her school friends wanted to read the following poem, The Dash by Linda Ellis. Unfortunately it was too long to be read as the service only was 30 minutes and the ladies also had a personal tribute to read. So instead, I printed it in the Order of Service.
I think it is a lovely poem with a nice sentiment. Much nicer than what is normally read at funerals, about how we should not cry for the dead as they live in our hearts blah blah blah. If I want to cry, I won't let a stupid poet tell me that is wrong!


UPDATE ON 7/3/2012
I had, like many, many websites, put the text of the poem here. The poem is available in many different places on the web. For example here, here, here, here, here and here. However, as you can see in the comments, the author of the poem was unhappy about the fact that I love her poem but find the commercialisation of the poem offputting. And just to show that even authors of deeply moving poems can be petty and over sensitive to criticism, I was served with a copyright infringement notice to remove the poem from this blog.

No problem. The poem is available in so many places on the internet, it really does not matter to me.

All she had to do was ask. I am all in favour of copyright laws. All she had to do was ask.


Now I like this poem. But it surely is not a lifestyle? Well, in true American style, of course it is. The Dash is now a book, a follow-up book, "an inspirational film" and various merchandise. The author's website is just awful. It manages to turn a nice poem into something that is clearly trying to extract money from people on the basis of a poem. (Ed: it appears that website is no longer under her control.... It is now a link dump for all kinds of ads. I doubt it is related to her)

Somehow I would rather not have known how a lovely poem is being turned into something garish.


Brian said...

I don't ever comment on stranger's posts, but I just agreed with it so much I had to say something. Your site was the only one I could find with the actual words written out to the poem. The author's site is terrible and full of so much commercialism. The only thing I could find was a video with some incredibly sappy music set behind it. So anyways, thanks for putting the words down and giving me a good laugh today (not for the poem obviously, but your words surrounding it)!

Dutchcloggie said...

Thanks Brian. The site is just....well if it did not sound so racist, I would say, American....


Linda Ellis said...

Thank you for your positive, inspirational comments. (Simply because you couldn't get someone else's product the way in which YOU preferred it.) This is the author of The Dash and the words are indeed shared in various forms for everyone to enjoy. The fact that I am entitled to make a living on my writing is my right. How I wish I could afford to never have to work for a living. How do you make a living? Are you able to give away your wares, talents and products for free every day to millions? You're lucky. The fact the others legally license my work protects its value and integrity while giving me the opportunity to continue to write and inspire others. Thanks again. Your comments have...well...inspired? me. ;-) HEY...DON'T FORGET TO LIVE YOUR DASH...and respect others???

Linda Ellis said...

Didn't want to post my comment?

Dutchcloggie said...

Not at all. But with working nightshifts at the hospice and studying for my exams to go to university to become a palliative care nurse, moderating the comments on my blog has not been a priority this week.

Anonymous said...

Linda Ellis - quit whining. How the hell do you put poetry and real estate on the same website? Can't make up your mind which provides the most income for the least effort?

As for serving a take-down notice. Yuck! You damned Americans are making the world such an ugly place. Between you, the RIAA and the MPAA there is an unsavoury urge to capitalise on anything and everything with absolutely no discrimination - so much effort for the easy dollar.

Try working EVERY day for a living, instead of trying to live off one day's efforts.

H Forth said...

I don't think it's a website she created. It's just her domain has been parked on some weird thing. A lot of sites have this so that traffic can still be monitored.

Have just read her poem. It's not that good anyway - I am sure anyone grieving could just come up with words for their loved ones that are more real and authentic anyway. I think it's very spiteful of her to expect payment for people who have merely read her work or recited it in Public - copyright doesn't work like that. Sharing someone's work without profiting from it also has no copyright infringement in my view because the intent is not about "theft" of copyright or any kind of financial gain, therefore, I don't see what she is whining about.

Asking permission to use her work may be an entirely different legal framework.

Imagine if W.H. Auden's lawyer's/estate came after everyone who loved "Stop all the clocks..."

Anonymous said...

I am all for copyright laws for those who try and make a buck off another person’s work, but Linda attacks every person she can find that post her poem by sending them an extortion letter that usually starts out offering the innocent victim a supposed fair settlement for $7500. She goes after churches, schools, funeral homes, and blogs like this one. April Brown and the ELI team have been exposing her tactics and she has done everything she can to shut down their YouTube accounts and websites. The ONLY case she ever took to court was a man who actually published her work and did not pay her for it. Though Linda’s team will claim they want to settle so they do not have to take you to court, they never will or at least they never have so far. It is much easier to attack someone with a scary letter threatening to sue for large sums of money and simply sit back and let the money roll in. The best advice I can give is if you post this dumb poem on your blog or wherever and receive one of their threatening emails, or a regular letter through the mail, ignore it and it will go away. Of course, remove the poem from wherever you have posted. You will probably receive 5 or 6 emails asking you to respond, but not matter how bad it sounds ignore it. There is no way for them to know if you are receiving their emails or even a regular letter through the mail. The ONLY way they could know for sure you received their message is either by responding to their email or if they actually sent you certified mail, which they never do.

I am not a lawyer, but from the research I have done if they wanted to sue you, they would have to send you a certified letter from a lawyer and then they would have to take you to court in your district, which would cost them more money than it is worth. From what I have found about the most a judge would make you pay for innocent infringement would be about $200. This is far less than the supposed 30,000 that Linda’s team claims they are guaranteed to get from you. It is sad that a supposed Christian lady has no mercy when it comes to lining her pockets with cash from those who innocently post her dumb poem with no intent to benefit from it.

If it was not all about the money, she would consider her poem as a blessing to others from God. When she finds the thousands of people who innocently post her poem, she could simply ask them to remove it and I believe 99.9% of them would. For those who would not, then she could threaten them with a lawsuit. This woman does not operate that way, she starts off with a $7500 settlement. I sorry, but no poem is worth that.

Anonymous said...

I highly recommend reading Linda Ellis's latest stunt for scaring people into paying. First read the stories posted on PDNPulse.com and the Marietta Journal Online about Matthew Chan, Forum Moderator for ExtortionLetterInfo.com. Matthew is a victims advocate. Then read the comments. Linda Ellis is using the alias "Ben Avic" on PDNPulse and "A Fan of Linda Ellis" on the Marietta Journal Online. She is getting a long overdue spanking for her many lies.

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