Monday, October 17, 2016

Desire



Take, Oh, Take Those Lips Away
by William Shakespeare


Take, oh, take those lips away

That so sweetly were forsworn

And those eyes, like break of day,

Lights that do mislead the morn;

But my kisses bring again,

Seals of love, though sealed in vain.


Hide, oh, hide those hills of snow,

Which thy frozen bosom bears,

On whose tops the pinks that grow

Are of those that April wears;

But first set my poor heart free,

Bound in those icy chains by thee.

 REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Take, Oh, Take Those Lips Away by Roger Quilter





  The Unquarried Blue of Those Depths Is All But Blinding
by Ashley Anna McHugh
There are some things we just don’t talk about—
Not even in the morning, when we’re waking,
When your calloused fingers tentatively walk
The slope of my waist:
                                         How love’s a rust-worn boat,
Abandoned at the dock—and who could doubt
Waves lick their teeth, eyeing its hull? We’re taking
Our wreckage as a promise, so we don’t talk.
We wet the tired oars, tide drawing us out.
We understand there’s nothing to be said.
Both of us know the dangers of this sea,
Warned by the tide-worn driftwood of our pasts—.
But we’ve already strayed from the harbor. We thread
A slow wake though the water—then silently,
We start to row, and will for as long as this lasts.

REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Tonal Pictures by CharlesGriffes;
 Reflections in the Water by Claude Debussy


  I Knew A Woman
by Theodore Roethke
I knew a woman, lovely in her bones,
When small birds sighed, she would sigh back at them;  
Ah, when she moved, she moved more ways than one:
The shapes a bright container can contain!
Of her choice virtues only gods should speak,
Or English poets who grew up on Greek
(I’d have them sing in chorus, cheek to cheek). 
How well her wishes went! She stroked my chin,  
She taught me Turn, and Counter-turn, and Stand;  
She taught me Touch, that undulant white skin;  
I nibbled meekly from her proffered hand;  
She was the sickle; I, poor I, the rake,
Coming behind her for her pretty sake
(But what prodigious mowing we did make). 
Love likes a gander, and adores a goose:

Her full lips pursed, the errant note to seize;
She played it quick, she played it light and loose;  
My eyes, they dazzled at her flowing knees;  
Her several parts could keep a pure repose,  
Or one hip quiver with a mobile nose
(She moved in circles, and those circles moved). 
Let seed be grass, and grass turn into hay:  
I’m martyr to a motion not my own;
What’s freedom for? To know eternity.
I swear she cast a shadow white as stone. 
But who would count eternity in days?
These old bones live to learn her wanton ways:  
(I measure time by how a body sways).

REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Body & Soul (performed by Art Pepper) 



  When to Her Lute Corinna Sings
by Thomas Campion
When to her lute Corinna sings,
Her voice revives the leaden strings,
And doth in highest notes appear
As any challenged echo clear;
But when she doth of mourning speak,
Ev’n with her sighs the strings do break. 
And as her lute doth live or die,
Let by her passion, so must I:
For when of pleasure she doth sing,
My thoughts enjoy a sudden spring,
But if she doth of sorrow speak,
Ev’n from my heart the strings do break.

REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Lute Songs by John Dowland



Movement Song by Audre Lorde

I have studied the tight curls on the back of your neck   
moving away from me 
beyond anger or failure 
your face in the evening schools of longing 
through mornings of wish and ripen 
we were always saying goodbye 
in the blood in the bone over coffee 
before dashing for elevators going 
in opposite directions 
without goodbyes. 

Do not remember me as a bridge nor a roof   
as the maker of legends 
nor as a trap 
door to that world 
where black and white clericals 
hang on the edge of beauty in five oclock elevators   
twitching their shoulders to avoid other flesh   
and now 
there is someone to speak for them   
moving away from me into tomorrows   
morning of wish and ripen 
your goodbye is a promise of lightning   
in the last angels hand 
unwelcome and warning 
the sands have run out against us   
we were rewarded by journeys 
away from each other 
into desire 
into mornings alone 
where excuse and endurance mingle   
conceiving decision. 
Do not remember me 
as disaster 
nor as the keeper of secrets 
I am a fellow rider in the cattle cars 
watching 
you move slowly out of my bed   
saying we cannot waste time 
only ourselves.

REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Preludes in D major & G major by Sergei Rachmaninov

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Autumnal Poetry





  October
By Robert Frost

O hushed October morning mild,

Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.
Slow, slow!
For the grapes’ sake, if they were all,
Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost—
For the grapes’ sake along the wall.


REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Piano Concerto in G (Maurice Ravel) 
2nd movement


 IN PATHS UNTRODDEN by Walt Whitman

In paths untrodden,

In the growth by margins of pond-waters,
Escaped from the lite that exhibits itself,
From all the standards hitherto publish'd, from the pleasures,
profits, conformities,
Which too long I was offering to feed my soul,
Clear to me now standards not yet publish'd, clear to me that my soul,
That the soul of the man I speak for rejoices in comrades,
Here by myself away from the clank of the world,
Tallying and talk'd to here by tongues aromatic,
No longer abash'd, (for in this secluded spot I can respond as I
would not dare elsewhere,)
Strong upon me the life that does not exhibit itself, yet contains
all the rest,
Resolv'd to sing no songs to-day but those of manly attachment,
Projecting them along that substantial life,
Bequeathing hence types of athletic love,
Afternoon this delicious Ninth-month in my forty-first year,
I proceed for all who are or have been young men,
To tell the secret my nights and days,
To celebrate the need of comrades.


REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Symphony No. 5 (3rd movement) by Ralph Vaughan Williams




 TO AUTUMN by John Keats


               1. 
SEASON of mists and mellow fruitfulness, 
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun; 
Conspiring with him how to load and bless 
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run; 
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees, 
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core; 
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells 
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more, 
And still more, later flowers for the bees, 
Until they think warm days will never cease, 
For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells. 



2. 
Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store? 
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find 
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor, 
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind; 
Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep, 
Drows’d with the fume of poppies, while thy hook 
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers: 
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep 
Steady thy laden head across a brook; 
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look, 
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours. 



3. 
Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they? 
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,— 
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day, 
And touch the stubble plains with rosy hue; 
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn 
Among the river sallows, borne aloft 
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies; 
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn; 
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft 
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft; 
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies. 



REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Clarinet Quintet (1st movement) by Johannes Brahms








 HE WISHES FOR CLOTHS OF HEAVEN 
by William Butler Yeats

Had I the heaven's embroidered cloths,
 Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,

I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

REFELECTIVE MUSIC: To The Edge of Dream by Toru Takemitsu




 WHAT LIPS MY LIPS HAVE KISSED...
     by Edna St. Vincent Millay

What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why,
I have forgotten, and what arms have lain
Under my head till morning; but the rain
Is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh
Upon the glass and listen for reply,
And in my heart there stirs a quiet pain
For unremembered lads that not again
Will turn to me at midnight with a cry.
Thus in winter stands the lonely tree,
Nor knows what birds have vanished one by one,
Yet knows its boughs more silent than before:
I cannot say what loves have come and gone,
I only know that summer sang in me
A little while, that in me sings no more.

REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Eclogue, Op.10 by Gerald Finzi