Saturday, March 29, 2014

Poems about April: Playlist for March 28,2014


 

April Love

By  Ernest Dowson    

 

We have walked in Love's land a little way,

 

 

We have learnt his lesson a little while,

 

 

And shall we not part at the end of day,

 

 

With a sigh, a smile?

 

A little while in the shine of the sun,

 

 

We were twined together, joined lips, forgot

 

 

How the shadows fall when the day is done,

 

 

And when Love is not.

 

We have made no vows--there will none be broke,

 

 

Our love was free as the wind on the hill,

 

 

There was no word said we need wish unspoke,

 

 

We have wrought no ill.

 

So shall we not part at the end of day,

 

 

Who have loved and lingered a little while,

 

 

Join lips for the last time, go our way,

 

 

With a sigh, a smile?
 
 
 
 
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Enchanted April Suite by Richard Rodney Bennett
 
 
 
 
 

 

Spring

By  Edna St. Vincent Millay 

 

To what purpose, April, do you return again?

 

Beauty is not enough.

 

You can no longer quiet me with the redness

 

Of little leaves opening stickily.

 

I know what I know.

 

The sun is hot on my neck as I observe

 

The spikes of the crocus.

 

The smell of the earth is good.

 

It is apparent that there is no death.

 

But what does that signify?

 

Not only under ground are the brains of men

 

Eaten by maggots.

 

Life in itself

 

Is nothing,

 

An empty cup, a flight of uncarpeted stairs.

 

It is not enough that yearly, down this hill,

 

April  

Comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers.
 
 
 
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Sarabande for Katherine in April by Ron Nelson
 
 
 

 


 

April Midnight

By  Arthur Symons    

 

Side by side through the streets at midnight,

 

 

Roaming together,

 

 

Through the tumultuous night of London,

 

 

In the miraculous April weather.

 

 

 

Roaming together under the gaslight,

 

 

Day’s work over,

 

 

How the Spring calls to us, here in the city,

 

 

Calls to the heart from the heart of a lover!

 

 

 

Cool to the wind blows, fresh in our faces,

 

 

Cleansing, entrancing,

 

 

After the heat and the fumes and the footlights,

 

 

Where you dance and I watch your dancing.

 

 

 

Good it is to be here together,

 

 

Good to be roaming,

 

 

Even in London, even at midnight,

 

 

Lover-like in a lover’s gloaming.

 

 

 

You the dancer and I the dreamer,

 

 

Children together,

 

 

Wandering lost in the night of London,

 

In the miraculous April weather.
 
 
 
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: April-England by John Foulds
 
 
 

 

So sweet love seemed that April morn by Robert Seymour Bridges

So sweet love seemed that April morn,
When first we kissed beside the thorn,
So strangely sweet, it was not strange
We thought that love could never change.

But I can tell--let truth be told--
That love will change in growing old;
Though day by day is naught to see,
So delicate his motions be.

And in the end 'twill come to pass
Quite to forget what once he was,
Nor even in fancy to recall
The pleasure that was all in all.

His little spring, that sweet we found,
So deep in summer floods is drowned,
I wonder, bathed in joy complete,
How love so young could be so sweet.
 
 
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Piano Concerto No. 1, Op. 15 (2nd movement) by Johannes Brahms
 
 
 

 

"I'll Remember April"

By Patricia Johnston

This lovely day will lengthen into evening
We'll sigh goodbye to all we ever had
Alone where we have walked together
I'll remember April and be glad

I'll be content you loved me once in April
Your lips were warm and love and spring were new
I'm not afraid of autumn and her sorrow
For I'll remember April and you

The fire will dwindle into glowing ashes
For flames live such a little while
I won't forget but I won't be lonely
I'll remember April and smile


REFLECTIVE MUSIC: I'll Remember April, by Gene de Paul



 

 

 

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Poems about J.S. Bach: Playlist for March 21, 2014


 

Bach in the DC Subway

By  David Lee Garrison  

 

As an experiment,

 

The Washington Post

 

asked a concert violinist—

 

wearing jeans, tennis shoes,

 

and a baseball cap—

 

to stand near a trash can

 

at rush hour in the subway

 

and play Bach

 

on a Stradivarius.

 

Partita No. 2 in D Minor

 

called out to commuters

 

like an ocean to waves,

 

sang to the station

 

about why we should bother

 

to live. 

 

A thousand people

 

streamed by.  Seven of them

 

paused for a minute or so

 

and thirty-two dollars floated

 

into the open violin case.

 

A café hostess who drifted

 

over to the open door

 

each time she was free

 

said later that Bach

 

gave her peace,

 

and all the children,

 

all of them,

 

waded into the music

 

as if it were water,

 

listening until they had to be

 

rescued by parents

 

who had somewhere else to go.
 
REFLECTIVE MUSIC:  Chaconne, from Violin Partita No. 3 by J.S. Bach
 
 

 

The Aftertaste of Bitterness
By John F. Deane

The roof slopes steeply:
I am listening to Bach, the St John Passion: I live,
the pleasures of love enjoying, and thou
art dying. How the attic space
has grown luxurious with the music, oboe

d'amore, a thunder-storm, a dulcet
rending of the heart in sorrow; and I fill,
if only for a moment, with
transcendental energy. Clouds
through the skylight window shift, reform,

there falls a huge knocking on the glass
from the opened sky. Peter's
ham-fisted attempt at violence, the swung
sword; then the music of healing, the forgiving
hand. And what is truth? I'm drawn away

by mating-shouts of pheasants
In the high grass outside. Bach's slow chorales
lift the soul, through time, out
beyond time, till the music tells how death
is the perfect state of innocence.

REFLECTIVE MUSIC: St. John Passion (Part 1 excerpts) by J.S. Bach

:



At a Bach Concert   by Adrienne Rich

 

Coming by evening through the wintry city
We said that art is out of love with life.
Here we approach a love that is not pity.

This antique discipline, tenderly severe,
Renews belief in love yet masters feeling,
Asking of us a grace in what we bear.

Form is the ultimate gift that love can offer -
The vital union of necessity
With all that we desire, all that we suffer.

A too-compassionate art is half an art.
Only such proud restraining purity
Restores the else-betrayed, too-human heart.
 
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Keyboard Concerto in A by J.S. Bach
 
 

 

If Bach had been a beekeeper
By Charles Tomlinson

If Bach had been a beekeeper
he would have heard
all those notes
suspended above one another
in the air of his ear
as the differentiated swarm returning
to the exact hive
and place in the hive,
topping up the cells
with the honey of C major,
food for the listening generations,
key to their comfort
and solace of their distress
as they return and return
to those counterpointed levels
of hovering wings where
movement is dance
and the air itself
a scented garden

REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Prelude & Fugue in C Major, from WTC I by J.S. Bach
 
 
 

The Stillness of the World before Bach
By Lars Gustafsson
 
 
There must have been a world before
the Trio Sonata in D, a world before the A minor Partita,
but what kind of a world?
A Europe of vast empty spaces, unresounding,
everywhere unawakened instruments
where the Musical Offering, the Well-tempered Clavier
never passed across the keys.
Isolated churches
where the soprano-line of the Passion
never in helpless love twined round
the gentler movements of the flute,
broad soft landscapes
where nothing breaks the stillness
but old woodcutters' axes,
the healthy barking of strong dogs in winter
and, like a bell, skates biting into fresh ice;
the swallows whirring through summer air,
the shell resounding at the child's ear
and nowhere Bach nowhere Bach
the world in a skater's silence before Bach.

REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Violin Sonata in A minor by J.S. Bach





 

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Poems about Pleasure: Playlist for February 28, 2014


Are They Shadows
Are They ShadowsAre They Shadows
by Samuel Daniel

 

 

Are they shadows that we see?

 

And can shadows pleasure give?

 

Pleasures only shadows be

 

Cast by bodies we conceive

 

And are made the things we deem

 

In those figures which they seem.

 

 

But these pleasures vanish fast

 

Which by shadows are expressed;

 

Pleasures are not, if they last;

 

In their passing is their best.

 

Glory is most bright and gay

 

In a flash, and so away.

 

 

Feed apace then, greedy eyes,

 

On the wonder you behold;

 

Take it sudden as it flies,

 

Though you take it not to hold.

 

When your eyes have done their part,

 

Thought must length it in the heart.

 
REFELCTIVE MUSIC: Liquid Shadows by Yolanda Kondonassis (not available) 

Stolen Pleasure


Stolen Pleasure

 

By  William Drummond of Hawthornden  

 

 

My sweet did sweetly sleep,

 

And on her rosy face

 

Stood tears of pearl, which beauty’s self did weep;

 

I, wond’ring at her grace,

 

Did all amaz’d remain,

 

When Love said, “Fool, can looks thy wishes crown?

 

Time past comes not again.”

 

Then did I me bow down,

 

And kissing her fair breast, lips, cheeks, and eyes

 

Prov’d here on earth the joys of paradise.



REFLECTIVE MUSIC:  Joy to the person of my love (Anonymous, 16th century)


 
My sweet did sweetly sleep, pearl, which beauty’s self did weep;

I, wond’ring at her grace,
When Love said, “Fool, can looks thy wishes crown? Time past comes not again.” Then did I me bow down, And kissing her fair breast, lips, cheeks, and eyes Prov’d here on earth the joys of paradise.  

The River
By  Gregory Orr    

 

I felt both pleasure and a shiver

 

as we undressed on the slippery bank

 

and then plunged into the wild river.

 

 

I waded in; she entered as a diver.

 

Watching her pale flanks slice the dark

 

I felt both pleasure and a shiver.

 

 

Was this a source of the lake we sought, giver

 

of itself to that vast, blue expanse?

 

We’d learn by plunging into the wild river

 

 

and letting the current take us wherever

 

it willed. I had that yielding to thank

 

for how I felt both pleasure and a shiver.

 

 

But what she felt and saw I’ll never

 

know: separate bodies taking the same risk

 

by plunging together into the wild river. Are they shadows that we see?

REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Summer Music by Richard Rodney Bennet

 

 


 

This Ecstasy 

By  Chard DeNiord    

 

It’s not paradise I’m looking for

 

but the naming I hardly gave a thought to.

 

Call it the gift I carried in my loneliness

 

among the animals before I started

 

listening to the news. Call it the hint

 

I had about the knowledge that would explode.

 

In the meantime, which is real time

 

plus the past, you’re swishing your skirt

 

and speaking French, which is more

 

than I can take, which I marvel at

 

like a boy from the most distant seat

 

in the Kronos Dome, where I am one

 

of so many now I see the point

 

of falling off. There’s not enough seats

 

for us all to attend the eschaton.

 

This ecstasy that plants beauty

 

on my tongue, so that if it were

 

a wing, I’d be flying with the quickness

 

of a hummingbird and grace of a heron,

 

is so much mercy in light of the darkness

 

that comes. Who would say consolation?

 

Who would say dross? Not that anyone

 

would blame them. All night I hear

 

so many echoes in the forest I’m tempted

 

to look back, to save myself in hindsight,

 

where all I see is the absence of me.

 

Where all I hear is your voice,

 

which couldn’t be more strange.

 

How to go on walking hand in hand

 

without our bodies on the path

 

we made for our feet, talking, talking?

 

REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Gerald Finzi: Elegy for Violin/Piano

 

 

Song of the Open Road 

By  Walt Whitman  

 

 

1

 

Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road,

 

Healthy, free, the world before me,

 

The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose.

 

 

Henceforth I ask not good-fortune, I myself am good-fortune,

 

Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing,

 

Done with indoor complaints, libraries, querulous criticisms,

 

Strong and content I travel the open road.

 

 

The earth, that is sufficient,

 

I do not want the constellations any nearer,

 

I know they are very well where they are,

 

I know they suffice for those who belong to them.

 

 

(Still here I carry my old delicious burdens,

 

I carry them, men and women, I carry them with me wherever I go,

 

I swear it is impossible for me to get rid of them,

 

I am fill’d with them, and I will fill them in return.) And can shadows pleasure give?

 

From this hour I ordain myself loos’d of limits and imaginary lines,

 

Going where I list, my own master total and absolute,

 

Listening to others, considering well what they say,

 

Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating,

 

Gently,but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me.

 

I inhale great draughts of space,

 

The east and the west are mine, and the north and the south are mine.

 

 

I am larger, better than I thought,

 

I did not know I held so much goodness.

 

 

All seems beautiful to me,

 

I can repeat over to men and women You have done such good to me I would do the same to you,

 

I will recruit for myself and you as I go,

 

I will scatter myself among men and women as I go,

 

I will toss a new gladness and roughness among them,

 

Whoever denies me it shall not trouble me,

 

Whoever accepts me he or she shall be blessed and shall bless me.


REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Serenade for String Orchestra by Edward Elgar

 

 

 

 

From this hour I ordain myself loos’d of limits and imaginary lines,

Going where I list, my own master total and absolute,

Listening to others, considering well what they say,

Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating,

Gently,but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me.

I inhale great draughts of space,

The east and the west are mine, and the north and the south are mine.

 

I am larger, better than I thought,

I did not know I held so much goodness.

 

All seems beautiful to me,

I can repeat over to men and women You have done such good to me I would do the same to you,

I will recruit for myself and you as I go,

I will scatter myself among men and women as I go,

I will toss a new gladness and roughness among them,

Whoever denies me it shall not trouble me,

Whoever accepts me he or she shall be blessed and shall bless me.

From this hour I ordain myself loos’d of limits and imaginary lines,

Going where I list, my own master total and absolute,

Listening to others, considering well what they say,

Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating,

Gently,but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me.

I inhale great draughts of space,

The east and the west are mine, and the north and the south are mine.

 

I am larger, better than I thought,

I did not know I held so much goodness.

 

All seems beautiful to me,

I can repeat over to men and women You have done such good to me I would do the same to you,

I will recruit for myself and you as I go,

I will scatter myself among men and women as I go,

I will toss a new gladness and roughness among them,

Whoever denies me it shall not trouble me,

Whoever accepts me he or she shall be blessed and shall bless me.