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Saturday, July 18, 2020

Musical Interlude

(For politics, please scroll down)

A sampling of the first-ever singers:




Have a good weekend!

24 comments:

  1. OFF-TOPIC, BUT IMPORTANT TO NOTE IN THE INTERESTS OF BASIC DECENCY. CANCER IS THE COMMON ENEMY OF ALL MANKIND. IT RESPECTS NO RACE, RELIGION, AGE, SEX, SOCIAL POSITIN, OR DEGREES OF BEAUTY OR UGLINESS, NO POLITICAL PARTY OR IDEOLOGICAL POINT OF VIEW.

    In honor of Congressman and Civil Rights Activist John Lewis (1940-2020) who died last night of pancreatic cancer at the age of eighty. May he Rest In Peace.

    For Whom the Bell Tolls

    No man is an island,
    Entire of itself.
    Each is a piece of the continent,
    A part of the main.
    If a clod be washed away by the sea,
    Europe is the less.
    As well as if a promontory were.
    As well as if a manor of thine own
    Or of thine friend's were.
    Each man's death diminishes me,
    For I am involved in mankind.
    Therefore, send not to know
    For whom the bell tolls,
    It tolls for thee.


    ~ John Donne (1572-1631)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Franco,
      My friend, let's stay on topic. This blog post is a break from the news cycle.

      Delete
    2. Amen..... loved the beautiful sounds of Nature's best singers..

      Delete
  2. _______ A MINOR BIRD _______

    I have wished a bird would fly away,
    And not sing by my house all day;

    Have clapped my hands at him from the door
    When it seemed as if I could bear no more.

    The fault must partly have been in me.
    The bird was not to blame for his key.

    And of course there must be something wrong
    In wanting to silence any song.


    ~ robert Frost (1874-1963)



    ReplyDelete
  3. __ To A Superior Parrot - January 24, 2010 __

    Rest softly in your plumage, golden friend.

    I found you warm, yet lifeless, though your eyes

    Pierced my heart as though you wished to send

    Longings still my way. A rude surprise

    It was to find that you so quickly passed ––

    Taken leave –– without the faintest sound.

    The twenty years we had went by so fast.

    Love grew slowly ‘tween us, but once found

    Evolved into a rather poignant thing.

    Despite your squawks, and shrill, ill-timed demands,

    Even your envy of the cats was touching.

    Vain, inane, your comical commands

    Inspired chuckles, while your innocence

    Leaves a scar upon my conscience.


    ~ FreeThinke - January 26, 2010

    ReplyDelete
  4. A Bird, came down the Walk --
    He did not know I saw ––
    He bit an Angle Worm in halves
    And ate the fellow, raw,

    And then, he drank a Dew
    From a convenient Grass ––
    And then hopped sidewise to the Wall
    To let a Beetle pass ––

    He glanced with rapid eyes,
    That hurried all abroad ––
    They looked like frightened Beads, I thought,
    He stirred his Velvet Head. ––

    Like one in danger, Cautious,
    I offered him a Crumb,
    And he unrolled his feathers,
    And rowed him softer Home ––

    Than Oars divide the Ocean,
    Too silver for a seam,
    Or Butterflies, off Banks of Noon,
    Leap, plashless as they swim.


    ~ Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

    ReplyDelete
  5. _____________ STILLNESS _____________

    No sound beyond the dropping of the leaves
    Or shushing in the treetops of the stirring
    In the air and periodic whirring
    Soft of wings and bundling of sheaves ––

    Every now and then a bird may call
    Looking for or longing for his mate;
    Escaping still the hunter’s dinner plate.
    Scythes swish steadily as grain grown tall

    Submits to delicate compelling force.
    Workers silently bent to their task
    Over whom hot sunshine spills its rays

    Reap swiftly knowing pain could come, of course.
    Later, in the afterglow they’ll bask
    Dreaming –– foolishly –– of better days.


    ~ FreeThinke

    [NOTE: This poem was inspired by Pieter Brueghel's painting The Reapers c.1555,]

    ReplyDelete
  6. Chew-chew chew-chew" and higher still,
    "Cheer-cheer cheer-cheer" more loud and shrill,
    "Cheer-up cheer-up cheer-up"—and dropped
    Low—"Tweet tweet jug jug jug"—and stopped
    One moment just to drink the sound
    Her music made, and then a round
    Of stranger witching notes was heard
    As if it was a stranger bird:
    "Wew-wew wew-wew chur-chur chur-chur
    Woo-it woo-it"—could this be her?
    "Tee-rew tee-rew tee-rew tee-rew
    Chew-rit chew-rit"—and ever new—
    "Will-will will-will grig-grig grig-grig."

    - John Clare, "The Progress of Rhyme"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How cleverly onomatopoetic!

      How do you manage always to find recondite material that so oftn piques our interest? You are a Master at Disovering and Uncovering the Abstruse

      Delete
  7. "A poet is a nightingale who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds; his auditors are as men entranced by the melody of an unseen musician, who feel that they are moved and softened, yet know not whence or why.”
    - Percy Shelly, "Defense of Poetry"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies

    1. Thank you for that beautiful quotation from Shelley. FJ. It's a keeper.

      I have found that even in my darkest hours a determination to focus on beautiful thoughts, beautiful images, and beautiful music can transport me to higher realms where joy and gladness prevail.

      And as Thomas Gray said in his famous Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard

      "If ignorance is bliss
      'Tis folly to be wise."


      The ever-wry, but eminently tender-hearted Oscar Wilde put it this way:

      "Illusion sthe greatest of all pleasures."

      I don't like to think of Beauty as illusory, however. Most probably don't think this way, but I have found that PRAYER has the same tonic effect as the contemplation of Beauty in Nature, and the Poetry, Music Objects of Art it has inspired.

      Delete
  8. Thomas Morley (1557-1602/3), "Madrigal":
    Though Philomela lost her love
    fresh note she warbleth yes again
    Fa la la la fa la la la...

    He is a fool that lovers prove
    and leaves to sing, to live in pain
    Fa la la la fa la la ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Though I llove the mystery and the musicality inherent in the reference I feel compelled to explain that PHILOMELA is an old English word meaning NIGHTINGALE.

      Delete
    2. ...derived from a Roman myth of humans (Philomela, Procne-swallow, Tereus-hoopoe) transformed into birds.

      Delete
  9. A Birdie on the Windowsill

    A quiet winter’s day ––
    The sky a luminescent gray ––
    A light dusting of snow
    Adding to the winter’s glow
    Covered the bricks on my kitchen window sill

    Little sparrows darted to and fro
    Perching on the branches white with snow
    Joining them a tiny finch or two
    shared the branches too
    In the frosty air. Their twittering not shrill

    Was delightful up until
    I saw upon that kitchen window sill
    One of the little finches ––
    Not larger than two inches ––
    Charming till I saw he’d just one leg!

    My heart went out to him
    So tiny on the rim
    Where warmth and comfort waited
    To welcome this ill-fated
    Little fellow much too dignified to beg.

    I wanted him inside
    Where with me could abide
    In the safety of a cage
    with no fear of Nature’s rage ––
    An impractical idea I knew, but even so

    My empathy for him would grow
    Until it filledme with great woe,
    But the finch thought all my pain
    Was perfectly inane
    So off he flew to live back in the snow!


    ~ FreeThinke (7/18/2020)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, dear friend. I've corrected and revised it, since writing it here in place yesterday. Here for your archives is the improved version:

      A  Birdie on the Windowsill

      A quiet winter’s day ––
      The sky a luminescent gray ––
      A light dusting of snow 
      Adding to the winter’s glow
      Covered the icy bricks upon my kitchen window sill

      Little sparrows darted to and fro 
      Perching on the branches white with snow
      Joining them a tiny finch or two
      shared the branches too
      In the frosty winter air. Their twittering not shrill

      Was delightful up until 
      I saw on that old window sill
      One of the little finches ––
      Not larger than two inches ––
      Charming till I noticed that he only had one leg!

      My heart went out to him ––
      So tiny on the rim –-
      Where warmth and comfort waited
      To welcome this ill-fated
      Little fellow much too brave and dignified to beg.

      I wanted him inside
      Where with me he could abide
      In the safety of a cage
      with no fear of Nature’s rage ––
      A vain impractical idea I knew, but even so

      My empathy for him would grow
      Until it filled me with great woe,
      But the finch thought all my pain
      Was perfectly inane ––
      So abruply off he flew to live back in the snow!


      ~ FreeThinke (7/18/2020)

      Delete
  10. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll do it for you AOW, "No politics today, please."

      Here's a nice piece of violin for today. I kind of fell in love with this young lady the other day. She has quite a lot on YouTube, but "Sound of Silence" is my favorite.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Buu5AgGnUzk&t=36s

      Delete
    2. Jayhawk,
      How lovely! Thank you for alerting me to that rendition.

      Delete
  11. When icicles hang by the wall,
    __ And Dick the shepherd blows his nail,
    And Tom bears logs into the hall,
    __ And milk comes frozen home in pail,
    When blood is nipped, and ways be foul,
    Then nightly sings the staring owl,
    ________ To-whoo;
    To-whit, to-whoo, a merry note,
    While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.

    When all aloud the wind doth blow,
    __ And coughing drowns the parson’s saw,
    And birds sit brooding in the snow,
    __ And Marian’s nose looks red and raw,
    When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl,
    Then nightly sings the staring owl,
    _______ To-whoo;
    To-whit, to-whoo, a merry note,
    While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.


    ~ William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
    from “Love’s Labor ’s Lost,” Act V. Sc. 2.

    ReplyDelete
  12. ____ TO A SKYLARK ____

    Hail to thee, blithe Spirit!
    Bird thou never wert,
    That from Heaven, or near it,
    Pourest thy full heart
    In profuse strains of unpremeditated art.

    Higher still and higher
    From the earth thou springest
    Like a cloud of fire;
    The blue deep thou wingest,
    And singing still dost soar, and soaring ever singest.

    In the golden lightning
    Of the sunken sun,
    O'er which clouds are bright'ning,
    Thou dost float and run;
    Like an unbodied joy whose race is just begun.

    The pale purple even
    Melts around thy flight;
    Like a star of Heaven,
    In the broad day-light
    Thou art unseen, but yet I hear thy shrill delight,

    Keen as are the arrows
    Of that silver sphere,
    Whose intense lamp narrows
    In the white dawn clear
    Until we hardly see, we feel that it is there.

    All the earth and air
    With thy voice is loud,
    As, when night is bare,
    From one lonely cloud
    The moon rains out her beams, and Heaven is overflow'd.

    What thou art we know not;
    What is most like thee?
    From rainbow clouds there flow not
    Drops so bright to see
    As from thy presence showers a rain of melody.

    Like a Poet hidden
    In the light of thought,
    Singing hymns unbidden,
    Till the world is wrought
    To sympathy with hopes and fears it heeded not:

    Like a high-born maiden
    In a palace-tower,
    Soothing her love-laden
    Soul in secret hour
    With music sweet as love,
    which overflows her bower:

    Like a glow-worm golden
    In a dell of dew,
    Scattering unbeholden
    Its a{:e}real hue
    Among the flowers and grass,
    which screen it from the view:

    Like a rose embower'd
    In its own green leaves,
    By warm winds deflower'd,
    Till the scent it gives
    Makes faint with too much sweet
    those heavy-winged thieves:

    Sound of vernal showers
    On the twinkling grass,
    Rain-awaken'd flowers,
    All that ever was
    Joyous, and clear, and fresh,
    thy music doth surpass.

    Teach us, Sprite or Bird,
    What sweet thoughts are thine:
    I have never heard
    Praise of love or wine
    That panted forth a flood
    of rapture so divine.

    Chorus Hymeneal,
    Or triumphal chant,
    Match'd with thine would be all
    But an empty vaunt,
    A thing wherein we feel
    there is some hidden want.

    What objects are the fountains
    Of thy happy strain?
    What fields, or waves, or mountains?
    What shapes of sky or plain?
    What love of thine own kind?
    what ignorance of pain?

    With thy clear keen joyance
    Languor cannot be:
    Shadow of annoyance
    Never came near thee:
    Thou lovest: but ne'er knew
    love's sad satiety.

    Waking or asleep,
    Thou of death must deem
    Things more true and deep
    Than we mortals dream,
    Or how could thy notes
    flow in such a crystal stream?

    We look before and after,
    And pine for what is not:
    Our sincerest laughter
    With some pain is fraught;
    Our sweetest songs are those
    that tell of saddest thought.

    Yet if we could scorn
    Hate, and pride, and fear;
    If we were things born
    Not to shed a tear,
    I know not how thy joy
    we ever should come near.

    Better than all measures
    Of delightful sound,
    Better than all treasures
    That in books are found,
    Thy skill to poet were,
    thou scorner of the ground!

    Teach me half the gladness
    That thy brain must know,
    Such harmonious madness
    From my lips would flow
    The world should listen then,
    as I am listening now.


    ~ Percy Bysshe Shelley


    ReplyDelete

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