Saturday, February 16, 2013

Poems about Night and Longing: Playlist for February 15, 2013

Be Music, Night

By Kenneth Patchen 1911–1972 

Be music, night,

That her sleep may go

Where angels have their pale tall choirs 

Be a hand, sea,

That her dreams may watch

Thy guidesman touching the green flesh of the world 

Be a voice, sky,

That her beauties may be counted  

And the stars will tilt their quiet faces  

Into the mirror of her loveliness 


Be a road, earth,

That her walking may take thee

Where the towns of heaven lift their breathing spires  


O be a world and a throne, God,

That her living may find its weather

And the souls of ancient bells in a child's book  

Shall lead her into Thy wondrous house
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: The Valley of The Bells by Maurice Ravel

I Have Longed to Move Away
by Dylan Thomas (1914-1953)

I have longed to move away
From the hissing of the spent lie
And the old terrors’ continual cry
Growing more terrible as the day
Goes over the hill into the deep sea;
I have longed to move away
From the repetition of salutes,
For there are ghosts in the air
And ghostly echoes on paper,
And the thunder of calls and notes.

I have longed to move away but am afraid;
Some life, yet unspent, might explode
Out of the old lie burning on the ground,
And, crackling into the air, leave me half-blind.
Neither by night’s ancient fear,
The parting of hat from hair,
Pursed lips at the receiver,
Shall I fall to death’s feather.
By these I would not care to die,
Half convention and half lie.

REFLECTIVE MUSIC: I Have Longed to Move Away by Don Saco (not available)


On the Beach at Night Alone

By Walt Whitman 1819–1892  

On the beach at night alone,

As the old mother sways her to and fro singing her husky song,

As I watch the bright stars shining, I think a thought of the clef of the universes and of the future. 


A vast similitude interlocks all,

All spheres, grown, ungrown, small, large, suns, moons, planets,

All distances of place however wide,

All distances of time, all inanimate forms,

All souls, all living bodies though they be ever so different, or in different worlds,

All gaseous, watery, vegetable, mineral processes, the fishes, the brutes,

All nations, colors, barbarisms, civilizations, languages,

All identities that have existed or may exist on this globe, or any globe,

All lives and deaths, all of the past, present, future,

This vast similitude spans them, and always has spann’d,

And shall forever span them and compactly hold and enclose them.
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: The Sea by Alexander Glazunov



by Dylan Thomas (1914-1953)
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night by Don Saco (not available)


The Beauty of Things

By Robinson Jeffers 1887–1962

To feel and speak the astonishing beauty of things—earth, stone and water,

Beast, man and woman, sun, moon and stars—

The blood-shot beauty of human nature, its thoughts, frenzies and passions,

And unhuman nature its towering reality—

For man’s half dream; man, you might say, is nature dreaming, but rock

And water and sky are constant—to feel

Greatly, and understand greatly, and express greatly, the natural

Beauty, is the sole business of poetry.

The rest’s diversion: those holy or noble sentiments, the intricate ideas,

The love, lust, longing: reasons, but not the reason.
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Spiegel Im Spiegel by Arvo Part

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