The Lovers’ Almanac 17 November

Dear Zazie,  Here is today’s Lovers’ Almanac from Mac Tag dedicated to his muse.  Rhett

The Lovers’ Almanac

Dear Muse,

there is a time
when that woulda played
I mean, I still feel it
I am not dead
just numb
incredibly numb

so much time spent chasin’
what was supposed to be
without ever knowin’
it could never be

© copyright 2017 mac tag/cowboy Coleridge all rights reserved

On this day in 1839 – Oberto, Giuseppe Verdi’s first opera, opens at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Italy.

 
Bassano-location of Oberto-detail.jpg

The town and citadel of Bassano
where the opera is set
 

Oberto, Conte di San Bonifacio is an opera in two acts by Verdi to an Italian libretto by Temistocle Solera, based on an existing libretto by Antonio Piazza probably called Rocester.  It was written over a period of four years and was first performed at the Teatro alla Scala, Milan.  The La Scala production enjoyed success and the theatre’s impresario commissioned more operas from Verdi.

Portrait of Verdi, 1839-40 by Molentini

 

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The Lovers’ Almanac 16 November – Denouement – Those Days – À la recherche du temps perdu

Dear Zazie,  Here is today’s Lovers’ Almanac from Mac Tag dedicated to his muse.  Have you wondered if those days would ever come back?  Rhett

The Lovers’ Almanac

Dear Muse,

used to be, all about
searchin’ for what
I thought was lost
for lost coulda, shoulda
a dreadful crime
for certain,
wastin’ so much time

now content to write
and ride the wave
of memories
the voluntary,
the involuntary
the beauty
and the sorrow

after takin’ several readin’s
this is startin’ to feel
more and more
like the denouement
the days fraught with angst
are givin’ way to a sense of peace
that comes with a growin’
acceptance of the inevitable
the meant to be,
the, there never ever
coulda been a shoulda been

© copyright 2017 mac tag/cowboy Coleridge all rights reserved

This one started out with me thinkin’ of the perfect day and you.  Then voilà, the Poem of the Day.

Those Days

We wake early
I bring coffee in bed
We work out, then we eat
I start writin’ on the porch
or in front of the fireplace
You climb the stairs to the studio
to release your inner impressions
We have dinner… we lay down together
We rise and work at other things
We take long walks on the plains
We work again on our visions
And my favorite part;
we prepare supper together,
pasta, fresh produce and herbs
from the garden, grilled meat,
and a good bottle, or two, of pinot noir
After we eat, we talk, read,
sittin’ across from each other
on the porch or in front of the fire
We go to bed… we love we dream…
Year round I dream the same dream
That these days could come again

© copyright 2012 mac tag/Cowboy Coleridge all rights reserved

The Song of the Day is “These Days” by Chantal Kreviazuk.

In Search of Lost Time (Remembrance of Things Past)
MS A la recherche du temps perdu.jpg

A first galley proof of À la recherche du temps perdu: Du côté de chez Swann with Proust’s handwritten corrections

It was on this day in 1913 that the first volume of Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time (French: À la recherche du temps perdu) was published. It is a novel in seven volumes, written by Marcel Proust (1871–1922). In my opinion, his most prominent work, known both for its length and its theme of involuntary memory, the most famous example being the “episode of the madeleine” which occurs early in the first volume. It gained fame in English in translations by C. K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin as Remembrance of Things Past, but the title In Search of Lost Time, a literal rendering of the French, has gained usage since D. J. Enright adopted it for his revised translation published in 1992.

In Search of Lost Time follows the narrator’s recollections of childhood and experiences into adulthood during late 19th century to early 20th century aristocratic France, while reflecting on the loss of time and lack of meaning to the world. Proust began work on the novel in 1909 and continued to work on it until his final illness in the autumn of 1922 forced him to break off. Proust established the structure early on, but even after volumes were initially finished he kept adding new material. The last three of the seven volumes contain oversights and fragmentary or unpolished passages, as they existed only in draft form at his death. The publication of these parts was overseen by his brother Robert.

The work was published in France between 1913 and 1927. Proust paid for the publication of the first volume (by the Grasset publishing house) after it had been turned down by leading editors who had been offered the manuscript in longhand. Many of its ideas, motifs and scenes are foreshadowed in Proust’s unfinished novel, Jean Santeuil (1896–99), though the perspective and treatment there are different, and in his unfinished hybrid of philosophical essay and story, Contre Sainte-Beuve (1908–09).

Illiers, the country town overlooked by a church steeple where Proust spent time as a child and which he described as “Combray” in the novel. The town adopted the name Illiers-Combray in homage.

Portrait of Mme Georges Bizet, née Geneviève Halévy, by Jules-Élie Delaunay, in Musée d’Orsay (1878). She served as partial inspiration for the character of Odette.

The beach at Cabourg, a seaside resort that was the model for Balbec in the novel

Élisabeth, Countess Greffulhe1905, by Philip Alexius de Laszlo, who served as the model for the character of the Duchesse de Guermantes

 

The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, John Martin, 1852. The fourth volume opens with a discussion of the inhabitants of the two Biblical “cities of the plain.”

 

Léontine Lippmann (1844–1910), better known by her married name of Madame Arman or Madame Arman de Caillavet, was the model for Proust’s Madame Verdurin.

 

Robert de Montesquiou, the main inspiration for Baron de Charlus in À la recherche du temps perdu

In Search of Lost Time (1913-1927)

À la recherche du temps perdu. Alternative translation of title: Remembrance of Things Past. The first six volumes were translated by C. K. Scott-Moncrieff from 1922 to 1930, with a revised translation by Terence Kilmartin in 1981 and a further revision by D.J Enright in 1992. The seventh and final volume was translated by Frederick Blossom and published in 1932.

Vol I: Swann’s Way (1913)

Du côté de chez Swann

  • Même au point de vue des plus insignifiantes choses de la vie, nous ne sommes pas un tout matériellement constitué, identique pour tout le monde et dont chacun n’a qu’à aller prendre connaissance comme d’un cahier des charges ou d’un testament; notre personnalité sociale est une création de la pensée des autres.
    • Even in the most insignificant details of our daily life, none of us can be said to constitute a material whole, which is identical for everyone, and need only be turned up like a page in an account-book or the record of a will; our social personality is created by the thoughts of other people.
    • “Overture”
  • Mais, quand d’un passé ancien rien ne subsiste, après la mort des êtres, après la destruction des choses, seules, plus frêles mais plus vivaces, plus immatérielles, plus persistantes, plus fidèles, l’odeur et la saveur restent encore longtemps, comme des âmes, à se rappeler, à attendre, à espérer, sur la ruine de tout le reste, à porter sans fléchir, sur leur gouttelette presque impalpable, l’édifice immense du souvenir.Et dès que j’eus reconnu le goût du morceau de madeleine trempé dans le tilleul que me donnait ma tante (quoique je ne susse pas encore et dusse remettre à bien plus tard de découvrir pourquoi ce souvenir me rendait si heureux), aussitôt la vieille maison grise sur la rue, où était sa chambre, vint comme un décor de théâtre.
    • When from a long-distant past nothing subsists, after the people are dead, after the things are broken and scattered, still, alone, more fragile, but with more vitality, more unsubstantial, more persistent, more faithful, the smell and taste of things remain poised a long time, like souls, ready to remind us, waiting and hoping for their moment, amid the ruins of all the rest; and bear unfaltering, in the tiny and almost impalpable drop of their essence, the vast structure of recollection.And once again I had recognized the taste of the crumb of madeleine soaked in her decoction of lime-flowers which my aunt used to give me (although I did not yet know and must long postpone the discovery of why this memory made me so happy), immediately the old gray house upon the street, where her room was, rose up like the scenery of a theater.
    • “Overture”
  • À partir de cet instant, je n’avais plus un seul pas à faire, le sol marchait pour moi dans ce jardin où depuis si longtemps mes actes avaient cessé d’être accompagnés d’attention volontaire: l’Habitude venait de me prendre dans ses bras et me portait jusqu’à mon lit comme un petit enfant.
    • From that instant I had not to take another step; the ground moved forward under my feet in that garden where, for so long, my actions had ceased to require any control, or even attention, from my will. Custom came to take me in her arms, carried me all the way up to my bed, and laid me down there like a little child.
    • “Combray”
  • They would have preferred for me, instead of Bloch, companions who would have given me no more than it is proper to give according to the laws of middle-class morality, who would not unexpectedly send me a basket of fruit because they happened, that morning, to have thought of me with affection, but who, being incapable of inclining in my favour, by a simple impulse of imagination and sensibility, the exact balance of the duties and claims of friendship, would be equally incapable of loading the scales to my detriment. Even our faults will not easily divert from the path of their duty towards us those conventional natures of which the model was my great-aunt who, estranged for years from a niece to whom she never spoke, yet made no change in the will in which she left that niece the whole of her fortune, because she was her next-of-kin and it was the ‘proper thing to do.’
    • “Combray”
  • Autrefois on rêvait de posséder le cœur de la femme dont on était amoureux; plus tard sentir qu’on possède le cœur d’une femme peut suffire à vous en rendre amoureux.
    • In his younger days a man dreams of possessing the heart of the woman whom he loves; later, the feeling that he possesses the heart of a woman may be enough to make him fall in love with her.
    • “Swann in Love”

Vol II: Within a Budding Grove (1919)

À l’ombre des jeunes filles en fleurs

  • Our virtues themselves are not free and floating qualities over which we retain a permanent control and power of disposal; they come to be so closely linked in our minds with the actions in conjunction with which we make it our duty to practice them, that, if we are suddenly called upon to perform some action of a different order, it takes us by surprise, and without our supposing for a moment that it might involve the bringing of those very same virtues into play.
  • Fashions, being themselves begotten of the desire for change, are quick to change also.
  • Et non seulement on ne retient pas tout de suite les œuvres vraiment rares, mais même au sein de chacune de ces œuvres-là, et cela m’arriva pour la Sonate de Vinteuil, ce sont les parties les moins précieuses qu’on perçoit d’abord… Moins décevants que la vie, ces grands chefs-d’œuvre ne commencent pas par nous donner ce qu’ils ont de meilleur.
    • And not only does one not seize at once and retain an impression of works that are really great, but even in the content of any such work (as befell me in the case of Vinteuil’s sonata) it is the least valuable parts that one at first perceives… Less disappointing than life is, great works of art do not begin by giving us all their best.
    • Ch. I: “Madame Swann at Home”
  • Ce qu’on appelle la postérité, c’est la postérité de l’œuvre.
    • What artists call posterity is the posterity of the work of art.
    • Ch. I: “Madame Swann at Home”
  • Le temps dont nous disposons chaque jour est élastique; les passions que nous ressentons le dilatent, celles que nous inspirons le rétrécissent et l’habitude le remplit.
    • The time which we have at our disposal every day is elastic; the passions that we feel expand it, those that we inspire contract it; and habit fills up what remains.
    • Ch. I: “Madame Swann at Home”
  • Ce n’est jamais qu’à cause d’un état d’esprit qui n’est pas destiné à durer qu’on prend des résolutions définitives.
    • It is always thus, impelled by a state of mind which is destined not to last, that we make our irrevocable decisions.
    • Ch. I: “Madame Swann at Home”
  • Faced with the thoughts, the actions of a woman whom we love, we are as completely at a loss as the world’s first natural philosophers must have been, face to face with the phenomena of nature, before their science had been elaborated and had cast a ray of light over the unknown.
  • Les traits de notre visage ne sont guère que des gestes devenus, par l’habitude, définitifs.
    • The features of our face are hardly more than gestures become, by habit, permanent.
    • Ch. IV: “Seascape, with a Frieze of Girls”
  • On ne reçoit pas la sagesse, il faut la découvrir soi-même après un trajet que personne ne peut faire pour nous, ne peut nous épargner.
    • We are not provided with wisdom, we must discover it for ourselves, after a journey through the wilderness which no one else can take for us, an effort which no one can spare us.
    • Ch. IV: “Seascape, with a Frieze of Girls”
  • [Le bonheur] est, dans l’amour, un état anormal.
    • In love, happiness is an abnormal state.

Vol III: The Guermantes Way (1920)

Le Côté de Guermantes

  • Tout ce que nous connaissons de grand nous vient des nerveux. Ce sont eux et non pas d’autres qui ont fondé les religions et composé les chefs-d’œuvre.
    • Translation: Everything great in the world comes from neurotics. They alone have founded our religions and composed our masterpieces.
    • Volume I

Vol. IV: Cities of the Plain (1921-1922)

Sodome et Gomorrhe

  • Il n’y avait pas d’anormaux quand l’homosexualité était la norme.
    • There was nothing abnormal about it when homosexuality was the norm.
    • Pt. I
  • Comme tous les gens qui ne sont pas amoureux, il s’imaginait qu’on choisit la personne qu’on aime après mille délibérations et d’après des qualités et convenances diverses.
    • Like everybody who is not in love, he imagined that one chose the person whom one loved after endless deliberations and on the strength of various qualities and advantages.
    • Pt. II, Ch. 1
  • La maladie est le plus écouté des médecins: à la bonté, au savoir on ne fait que promettre; on obéit à la souffrance.
    • Illness is the doctor to whom we pay most heed; to kindness, to knowledge, we make promises only; pain we obey.
    • Pt. II, Ch. 1
  • Nous désirons passionnément qu’il y ait une autre vie où nous serions pareils à ce que nous sommes ici-bas. Mais nous ne réfléchissons pas que, même sans attendre cette autre vie, dans celle-ci, au bout de quelques années, nous sommes infidèles à ce que nous avons été, à ce que nous voulions rester immortellement.
    • We passionately long that there may be another life in which we shall be similar to what we are here below. But we do not pause to reflect that, even without waiting for that other life, in this life, after a few years we are unfaithful to what we have been, to what we wished to remain immortally.
    • Pt. II, Ch. 2

Vol. V: The Captive (1923)

La Prisonnière

  • Le seul véritable voyage, le seul bain de Jouvence, ce ne serait pas d’aller vers de nouveaux paysages, mais d’avoir d’autres yeux, de voir l’univers avec les yeux d’un autre, de cent autres, de voir les cent univers que chacun d’eux voit, que chacun d’eux est.
    • The only true voyage of discovery, the only fountain of Eternal Youth, would be not to visit strange lands but to possess other eyes, to behold the universe through the eyes of another, of a hundred others, to behold the hundred universes that each of them beholds, that each of them is.
    • Ch. II: “The Verdurins Quarrel with M. de Charlus”
  • L’amour, c’est l’espace et le temps rendus sensibles au coeur.
    • Love is space and time made tender to the heart.
    • Variant translations:
      • Love is space and time made sensitive to the heart.
      • Love is space and time measured by the heart.
  • L’adultère introduit l’esprit dans la lettre que bien souvent le mariage eût laissée morte.
    • Adultery breathes new life into marriages which have been left for dead.

Vol. VI: The Sweet Cheat Gone (1925)

Albertine disparue. Also known as La fugitive

  • Les liens entre un être et nous n’existent que dans notre pensée. La mémoire en s’affaiblissant les relâche, et, malgré l’illusion dont nous voudrions être dupes et dont, par amour, par amitié, par politesse, par respect humain, par devoir, nous dupons les autres, nous existons seuls. L’homme est l’être qui ne peut sortir de soi, qui ne connaît les autres qu’en soi, et, en disant le contraire, ment.
    • The bonds that unite another person to ourself exist only in our mind. Memory as it grows fainter relaxes them, and notwithstanding the illusion by which we would fain be cheated and with which, out of love, friendship, politeness, deference, duty, we cheat other people, we exist alone. Man is the creature that cannot emerge from himself, that knows his fellows only in himself; when he asserts the contrary, he is lying.
    • Ch. I: “Grief and Oblivion”
  • Nous n’arrivons pas à changer les choses selon notre désir, mais peu à peu notre désir change. La situation que nous espérions changer parce qu’elle nous était insupportable, nous devient indifférente. Nous n’avons pas pu surmonter l’obstacle, comme nous le voulions absolument, mais la vie nous l’a fait tourner, dépasser, et c’est à peine alors si en nous retournant vers le lointain du passé nous pouvons l’apercevoir, tant il est devenu imperceptible.
    • We do not succeed in changing things according to our desire, but gradually our desire changes. The situation that we hoped to change because it was intolerable becomes unimportant. We have not managed to surmount the obstacle, as we were absolutely determined to do, but life has taken us round it, led us past it, and then if we turn round to gaze at the remote past, we can barely catch sight of it, so imperceptible has it become.
    • Ch. I: “Grief and Oblivion”
  • Une femme est d’une plus grande utilité pour notre vie si elle y est, au lieu d’un élément de bonheur, un instrument de chagrin, et il n’y en a pas une seule dont la possession soit aussi précieuse que celle des vérités qu’elle nous découvre en nous faisant souffrir.
    • A woman is of greater service to our life if she is in it, instead of being an element of happiness, an instrument of sorrow, and there is not a woman in the world the possession of whom is as precious as that of the truths which she reveals to us by causing us to suffer.
    • Ch. I: “Grief and Oblivion”
  • On ne guérit d’une souffrance qu’à condition de l’éprouver pleinement.
    • We are healed of a suffering only by experiencing it to the full.
    • Ch. I: “Grief and Oblivion”
  • Il n’y a pas une idée qui ne porte en elle sa réfutation possible, un mot, le mot contraire.
    • There is no idea that does not carry in itself a possible refutation, no word that does not imply its opposite.
    • Ch. II: “Mademoiselle de Forcheville”
  • Aussi, les demeures disposées des deux côtés du chenal faisaient penser à des sites de la nature, mais d’une nature qui aurait créé ses œvres avec une imagination humaine.
    • In this way, the mansions arranged along either bank of the canal made one think of objects of nature, but of a nature which seemed to have created its works with a human imagination.
    • Ch. III: Venise

Vol. VII: The Past Recaptured (1927)

Le temps retrouvé

  • Par l’art seulement, nous pouvons sortir de nous, savoir ce que voit un autre de cet univers qui n’est pas le même que le nôtre et dont les paysages nous seraient restés aussi inconnus que ceux qu’il peut y avoir dans la lune. Grâce à l’art, au lieu de voir un seul monde, le nôtre, nous le voyons se multiplier, et autant qu’il y a d’artistes originaux, autant nous avons de mondes à notre disposition, plus différents les uns des autres que ceux qui roulent dans l’infini et qui, bien des siècles après qu’est éteint le foyer dont il émanait, qu’il s’appelât Rembrandt ou Vermeer, nous envoient encore leur rayon spécial.Ce travail de l’artiste, de chercher à apercevoir sous la matière, sous de l’expérience, sous des mots, quelque chose de différent, c’est exactement le travail inverse de celui que, à chaque minute, quand nous vivons détourné de nous-même, l’amour-propre, la passion, l’intelligence, et l’habitude aussi accomplissent en nous, quand elles amassent au-dessus de nos impressions vraies, pour nous les cacher entièrement, les nomenclatures, les buts pratiques que nous appelons faussement la vie.
    • By art alone we are able to get outside ourselves, to know what another sees of this universe which for him is not ours, the landscapes of which would remain as unknown to us as those of the moon. Thanks to art, instead of seeing one world, our own, we see it multiplied and as many original artists as there are, so many worlds are at our disposal, differing more widely from each other than those which roll round the infinite and which, whether their name be Rembrandt or Vermeer, send us their unique rays many centuries after the hearth from which they emanate is extinguished.This labour of the artist to discover a means of apprehending beneath matter and experience, beneath words, something different from their appearance, is of an exactly contrary nature to the operation in which pride, passion, intelligence and habit are constantly engaged within us when we spend our lives without self-communion, accumulating as though to hide our true impressions, the terminology for practical ends which we falsely call life.
    • Ch. III: “An Afternoon Party at the House of the Princesse de Guermantes”
  • Le bonheur est salutaire pour le corps, mais c’est le chagrin qui développe les forces de l’esprit.
    • Happiness is beneficial for the body but it is grief that develops the powers of the mind.
    • Ch. III: “An Afternoon Party at the House of the Princesse de Guermantes”

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The Lovers’ Almanac 15 November – Darker – Missin’ You – art by Georgia O’Keeffe

Dear Zazie,  Here is today’s Lovers’ Almanac from Mac Tag dedicated to his muse.  Jett misses his friend.  Who are you missin’?  Rhett

The Lovers’ Almanac

Dear Muse,

beauty and sorrow
sorrow and beauty
i grapple with thee,
the one, then the other,
with a vigor
unlike anything
you can imagine

two words
that can mean
so much
yet sometimes
feel so empty
two words
overused
ad nauseam
yet not said enough
two words fraught
with beauty and sorrow
perhaps
that is the attraction
though the effort
to go there feels futile
for far better poets
have written
far better odes
if written again
would it matter
would it convey
this utter, complete
feelin’ of loss
that threatens
to subdue
the last vestige
of hope
yes, that word
can still be written
but is it real
or is it just
layin’ there
for your sake
remember this my friend,
ain’t nothin’
but a candle in the wind,
and it is a far, far better fate
to swathe oneself
in shrouds of sorrow,
than to feel nothin’ at all
that answers
the question
does it not,
for once joy
cannot be felt
then sorrow must
be probed often
to prove
that feelin’s
still exist
“How many more
shades darker
will you have it?”
many, many…
© copyright 2017 mac tag/cowboy Coleridge all rights reserved

This was so easy to write and so hard to read.  I have been playin’ the SOD over and over today.  Miss you.  The Lyrics of the Day:

Missin’ You

Matters not what I do
Matters not where I go
Matters not what I know
I am ever missin’ you

I can go have my fill
I can do whatever
I can be real clever
I am missin’ you still

Whether I continue
Is not up for debate
Whether early or late
I will be missin’ you

Matters not what I touch
Matters not how I feel
Matters not what is real
I am missin’ you so much

I can do somethin’ new
I can do anything
Or I can do nothin’
I am always missin’ you

Whatever comes my way
I can feign or flatter
It just does not matter
Missin’ you, come what may

Ever missin’ you
Missin’ you still
Missin’ you
Missin’ you so much

Always missin’ you
Missin’ you come what may

© copyright 2012 mac tag/Cowboy Coleridge all rights reserved

The Song of the Day is “Missing You” by John Waite and Alison Krauss

 

Marianne Moore
Marianne Moore 1948 hires.jpg

Photograph by Carl Van Vechten (1948)

Today is the birthday of Marianne Craig Moore (Kirkwood, Missouri; November 15, 1887 – February 5, 1972 New York City); American Modernist poet, critic, translator, and editor.  Her poetry is noted for formal innovation, precise diction, irony, and wit.

Verse

  • One may be pardoned, yes I know
    one may, for love for love, undying (Ephesians 6:24)

    • Voracities and Verities Sometimes are Interesting
  • Blessed the man whose faith is different
    from possessiveness – of a kind not framed by ‘things which do appear’ ( Hebrews 11:3)

    • Blessed be the Man
  • There is hate’s crown beneath which all is
    death; there’s love without which none
    is king.
  • There never was a war that was
    not inward; I must
    fight till I conquered in myself what
    causes war

    • In Distrust of Merits
  • In Homer, existence
    is flawed; transcendence, conditional;
    ‘ the journey from sin to redemption, perpetual’,

    • To a Giraffe
  • Tell me, Tell me where might there be a refuge for me
    from egocentricity
    and its propensity to bisect,
    mis-state, misunderstand
    and obliterate continuity?

    • Tell Me, Tell Me
  • O to be a dragon,
    a symbol of the power of Heaven — of silkworm
    size or immense; at times invisible.
    Felicitous phenomenon!

    • “O To Be A Dragon” in O To Be A Dragon (1957)
  • You are not male nor female, but a plan
    deep-set within the heart of man.

    • “Sun” from Tell Me, Tell Me (1966)

 

  • Consume hostility;
    employ your weapon in this meeting-place of surging enmity!
    Insurgent feet shall not outrun
    multiplied flames, O Sun.

    • “Sun” from Tell Me, Tell Me (1966)

Collected Poems (1951)

  • Poetry I too, dislike it: there are things that are important beyond
    all this fiddle,
    Reading it, however, with a perfect contempt for it
    one discovers in
    it after all, a place for the genuine.

    • Poetry
  • If you demand on the other hand,
    the raw material of poetry in
    all its rawness and
    that which is on the other hand
    genuine, you are interested in poetry.

    • Poetry
  • ‘Hebrew poetry is,
    prose with a sort of heightened consciousness’ Ecstasy
    affords
    the occasion expediency, determines the form

    • The Past is the Present

Poetry (1919)

Hands that can grasp, eyes
that can dilate, hair that can rise

if it must, these things are important not because a
high-sounding interpretation can be put upon them but because they are

useful. When they become so derivative as to become unintelligible,
the same thing may be said for all of us, that we

do not admire what
we cannot understand: the bat

holding on upside down or in quest of something to
eat, elephants pushing, a wild horse taking a roll, a tireless wolf under

a tree, the immovable critic twitching his skin like a horse that feels a flea, the base-
ball fan, the statistician —

nor is it valid

to discriminate against “business documents and
school-books; all these phenomena are important. One must make a distinction

however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the result is not poetry,
nor till the poets among us can be

“literalists of
the imagination” — above

insolence and triviality and can present
for inspection, “imaginary gardens with real toads in them,” shall we have

it.In the meantime, if you demand on the one hand,
the raw material of poetry in
all its rawness and

that which is on the other hand
genuine, you are interested in poetry.

The Poems of Marianne Moore (2003)

  • that which is impossible to force, it is impossible
    to hinder.

    • “Radical”
  • My father used to say “Superior people never make long visits.”
    • “Silence”
  • The deepest feeling always shows itself in silence;
    not in silence, but restraint.

    • “Silence”
  • This is a strange fraternity — these sea lions and land lions,
    land unicorns and sea unicorns;
    the lion civilly rampant,
    tame and concessive like the long-tailed bear of Ecuador —
    the lion standing up against this screen of woven air
    which is the forest:
    the unicorn also, on its hind legs in reciprocity.

    • “Sea Unicorns and Land Unicorns”
  • So wary as to disappear for centuries and reappear
    but never caught,
    the unicorn has been preserved
    by an unmatched device
    wrought like the work of expert blacksmiths …

    • “Sea Unicorns and Land Unicorns”
  • He’s not out
    seeing a sight but the rock
    crystal thing to see — the startling El Greco
    brimming with inner light — that
    covets nothing that it has let go. This then you may know
    as the hero.

    • “The Hero”
  • What is our innocence,
    what is our guilt? All are
    naked, none is safe.

    • “What Are Years?”
  • Beauty is everlasting
    and dust is for a time.

    • “In Distrust of Merits” (1944)
  • Some speak of things we know, as new;
    And you, of things unknown as things forgot.

    • “Quoting an Also Private Thought” (this poem is a very slight reworking of an earlier poem “As Has Been Said”)
  • We Call Them the Brave
    who likely were reluctant to be brave.

    • “We Call Them the Brave” (the title of this poem is also obviously meant to be read as its first line, though set apart)
  • What of it? We call them brave
    perhaps? Yes; what if the time should come
    when no one will fight for anything
    and there’s nothing of worth to save.

    • “We Call Them the Brave”
  • Maine should be pleased that its animal
    is not a waverer, and rather
    than fight, lets the primed quill fall.
    Shallow oppressor, intruder,
    insister, you have found a resister.

    • Of the porcupine, in “Apparition of Splendor”
  • A symbol from the first, of mastery,
    experiments such as Hippocrates made
    and substituted for vague
    speculation stayed
    the ravages of plague.

    • “The Staff of Aesculapius”
  • Staff and effigy of the animal
    which by shedding its skin
    is a sign of renewal —
    the symbol of medicine.

    • “The Staff of Aesculapius”
  • The problems is mastered — insupportably
    tiring when it was impending.
    Deliverance accounts for what sounds like axiom.The Gordian knot need not be cut.

    • “Charity Overcoming Envy”
  • Love, ah Love, when your slipknot’s drawn,
    One can but say, “Farewell, good sense.”

    • “The Lion in Love”
  • We are what we were at birth, and each trait has remained
    in conformity with earth’s and with heaven’s logic:
    Be the devil’s tool, resort to black magic,
    None can diverge from the ends which Heaven foreordained.

    • “The Mouse Metamorphosed into a Maid”
Georgia O’Keeffe
O'Keeffe-(hands).jpg

Georgia O’Keeffe, 1918, photograph by Alfred Stieglitz

Today is the birthday of Georgia Totto O’Keeffe (Town of Sun Prairie, Wisconsin; November 15, 1887 – March 6, 1986 Santa Fe, New Mexico); American artist.  She was best known for her paintings of enlarged flowers, New York skyscrapers, and New Mexico landscapes.  O’Keeffe has been recognized as the “Mother of American modernism”.

Gallery

Georgia O’Keeffe as a teaching assistant to Alon Bement at the University of Virginia in 1915

O’Keefe took a job as head of the art department at West Texas State Normal College from late 1916 to February 1918, the fledgling West Texas A&M University in Canyon just south of Amarillo.  While there, she often visited the Palo Duro Canyon, making its forms a subject in her work.

Georgia O’Keeffe, No. 13 Special, 1916-17, Charcoal on paper

Alfred Stieglitz organized O’Keeffe’s first solo show at his 291 art gallery in April 1917, which included oil paintings and watercolors completed in Texas.

Stieglitz and O’Keeffe corresponded frequently beginning in 1916 and, in June 1918, she accepted his invitation to move to New York to devote all of her time to her work.  The two were in love and, shortly after her arrival, they began living together, even though Stieglitz was married and 23 years her senior.  That year, Stieglitz first took O’Keeffe to his family home at the village of Lake George in New York’s Adirondack Mountains.  They spent part of every year there until 1929, when O’Keeffe spent the first of many summers painting in New Mexico.  In 1924, Stieglitz’s divorce was approved by a judge and, within four months, he and O’Keeffe married.  It was a small, private ceremony at John Marin’s house, and afterward the couple went back home.  There was no reception, festivities, or honeymoon.  After the marriage, they both continued working on their individual projects as they had before.  For the rest of their lives together, their relationship was, as biographer Benita Eisler characterized it,

a collusion … a system of deals and trade-offs, tacitly agreed to and carried out, for the most part, without the exchange of a word. Preferring avoidance to confrontation on most issues, O’Keeffe was the principal agent of collusion in their union.

Alfred Stieglitz photograph of O’Keeffe with sketchpad and watercolors, 1918

Stieglitz started photographing O’Keeffe when she visited him in New York City to see her 1917 exhibition.  By 1937, when he retired from photography, he had made more than 350 portraits of her.  Most of the more erotic photographs were made in the 1910s and early 1920s.  In February 1921, forty-five of Stieglitz’s photographs were exhibited in a retrospective exhibition at the Anderson Galleries, including many of O’Keeffe, some of which depicted her in the nude.  It created a public sensation.  She once made a remark to Pollitzer about the nude photographs which may be the best indication of O’Keeffe’s ultimate reaction to being their subject: “I felt somehow that the photographs had nothing to do with me personally.” In 1978, she wrote about how distant from them she had become: “When I look over the photographs Stieglitz took of me-some of them more than sixty years ago—I wonder who that person is. It is as if in my one life I have lived many lives. If the person in the photographs were living in this world today, she would be quite a different person—but it doesn’t matter—Stieglitz photographed her then.”

Blue and Green Music, 1921 

Pineapple Bud, 1939, oil on canvas

By 1929, O’Keeffe acted on her increasing need to find a new source of inspiration for her work and to escape summers at Lake George, where she was surrounded by the Stieglitz family and their friends.  O’Keeffe had considered finding a studio separate from Lake George in upstate New York and had also thought about spending the summer in Europe, but opted instead to travel to Santa Fe, with her friend Rebecca Strand.  The two set out by train in May 1929 and soon after their arrival, Mabel Dodge Luhan moved them to her house in Taos and provided them with studios.  O’Keeffe went on many pack trips exploring the rugged mountains and deserts of the region that summer and later visited the nearby D. H. Lawrence Ranch, where she completed her now famous oil painting, The Lawrence Tree, currently owned by the Wadsworth Athenaeum in Hartford, Connecticut.

Georgia O’Keeffe, Ram’s Head White Hollyhock and Little Hills, 1935, The Brooklyn Museum

Between 1929 and 1949, O’Keeffe spent part of nearly every year working in New Mexico.  She collected rocks and bones from the desert floor and made them and the distinctive architectural and landscape forms of the area subjects in her work.  She also went on several camping trips with friends, visiting important sites in the Southwest, and in 1961, she and others, including photographers Eliot Porter and Todd Webb, went on a rafting trip down the Colorado River about Glen Canyon, Utah.

In August of 1934, she visited Ghost Ranch, north of Abiquiú, for the first time and decided to live there.  In 1940, she moved into a house on the ranch property.  The varicolored cliffs of Ghost Ranch inspired some of her most famous landscapes.  In 1977, O’Keeffe wrote: “[the] cliffs over there are almost painted for you—you think—until you try to paint them.”  Among guests to visit her at the ranch over the years were Charles and Anne Lindbergh, singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell, poet Allen Ginsberg, and photographer Ansel Adams.

Known as a loner, O’Keeffe explored the land she loved often in her Ford Model A, which she purchased and learned to drive in 1929.  She often talked about her fondness for Ghost Ranch and Northern New Mexico, as in 1943, when she explained: “Such a beautiful, untouched lonely feeling place, such a fine part of what I call the ‘Faraway’. It is a place I have painted before … even now I must do it again.”

O’Keeffe’s “White Place,” the Plaza Blanca cliffs and badlands near Abiquiú

Cerro Pedernal, viewed from Ghost Ranch. This was a favorite subject for O’Keeffe, who once said, “It’s my private mountain. It belongs to me. God told me if I painted it enough, I could have it”

As early as 1936, O’Keeffe developed an intense interest in what is called the “Black Place”, which was about 150 miles west of her Ghost Ranch house.  She made an extensive series of paintings of this site in the 1940s.  O’Keeffe said that the Black Place resembled “a mile of elephants with gray hills and white sand at their feet.”  At times the wind was so strong when she was painting there that she had trouble keeping her canvas on the easel. When the heat from the sun became intense, she crawled under her car for shade. The Black Place still remains remote and uninhabited.

She also made paintings of the “White Place”, a white rock formation located near her Abiquiú house.  In 1945, O’Keeffe bought a second house, an abandoned hacienda in Abiquiú, some 18 miles (26 km) south of Ghost Ranch.

Shortly after O’Keeffe arrived for the summer in New Mexico in 1946, Stieglitz suffered a cerebral thrombosis.  She flew to New York to be with him.  He died on July 13, 1946.  She buried his ashes at Lake George.  She spent the next three years mostly in New York settling his estate, and moved permanently to New Mexico in 1949.

O’Keeffe met photographer Todd Webb in the 1940s.  After his move to New Mexico in 1961, he often made photographs of her, as did numerous other important American photographers, who consistently presented O’Keeffe as a “loner, a severe figure and self-made person.”  While O’Keeffe was known to have a “prickly personality”, Webb’s photographs portray her with a kind of “quietness and calm” suggesting a relaxed friendship, and revealing new contours of O’Keeffe’s character.

In 1972, O’Keeffe’s eyesight was compromised by macular degeneration, leading to the loss of central vision and leaving her with only peripheral vision.  She stopped oil painting without assistance in 1972, but continued working in pencil and charcoal until 1984.

O’Keeffe became increasingly frail in her late 90s.  She moved to Santa Fe in 1984, where she died at the age of 98.  In accordance with her wishes, her body was cremated and her ashes were scattered to the wind at the top of Pedernal Mountain, over her beloved “faraway”.

 
Georgia O'Keeffe.jpg

 

Mac Tag

And he called loudly to the stars to bend

From their pale thrones and comfort him, but they

Among themselves laugh on and sing alway:

WB Yeats

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The Lovers’ Almanac 14 November – Two – Random Reveries – art by Claude Monet

Dear Zazie,  Here is today’s Lovers’ Almanac from Mac Tag dedicated to his muse.  What favorite reveries do you return to again and again?  Rhett

The Lovers’ Almanac

Dear Muse,

return and return again, where one ends
another begins; who is dreamin’ who
if one is ardent, the eyes will see
all that can be stretchin’ out
however, different, you like this
the opposite of love’s indifference
at first, and as sacred, we touch
two made whole, a touch
and tenderness did the rest
it means that we can dance,
that we can finally stop searchin’
none too soon in us, we found
for our journey, bodies of mortals
and souls paid for in weights of old
© copyright 2017 mac tag/cowboy Coleridge all rights reserved

Today a poem, on our favoirte topic, and a song, for you.  The Poem of the Day was inspired by readin’ some classic Italian literature.  It really is random and bounces around so I hope you can follow my randomness and I hope you like it.

 Random Reveries

Return and return again, where one ends
Another begins; who is dreamin’ who 
The beauty and Her dark shadows
If one is ardent, the eyes will see,
Loveliness stretched out sensuously
However, different, you like this
It seems that this must be Limbo
At first, and as sacred, we touch,
In rhyme and rhythm and rhapsody
That would go to infinity,
And also in passionate madness
But I say, well, she made me whole
Her touch and tenderness did the rest,
That hot-blooded flesh an invitation
It means that you can dance again,
It is necessary for la bella vita,
And faith, and removin’ doubt
Not so soon in me, she looked,
That adage is one can hardly see,
She left rather than renounce love
When the cold wind blows,
You do not always write the right words

Time vows Her vengeance
To be blunt, bold and liberal
Over the course of many nights
So then let loose those two sinners
Me, and Mal, that Time gave us,
For our journey, bodies of mortals
And souls paid for in weights of old
Because a heart that has little standin’,
Will die soon, if not tenderly treasured
Oh lucky you, that truth and Time, 
With scythe and scales in Her hand,
Sends you back out of the vastness
Beautiful face and fervent feelin’s
That thirst only the adventurous
These reveries swirl in and out,
The mortal enemies of madness

Thus it is to constantly seek sanity,

As the totem continues to spin

© copyright 2012 mac tag/Cowboy Coleridge all rights reserved

The Song of the Day is “Rêverie” by Claude Debussy.

 

Claude Monet
Claude Monet 1899 Nadar crop.jpg

Claude Monet, photo by Nadar, 1899.
 

Today is the birthday of Oscar-Claude Monet (Paris; 14 November 1840 – 5 December 1926 Giverny); founder of French Impressionist painting, and the most consistent and prolific practitioner of the movement’s philosophy of expressing one’s perceptions before nature, especially as applied to plein-air landscape painting.  The term “Impressionism” is derived from the title of his painting Impression, soleil levant (Impression, Sunrise), which was exhibited in 1874 in the first of the independent exhibitions mounted by Monet and his associates as an alternative to the Salon de Paris.  Monet’s ambition of documenting the French countryside led him to adopt a method of painting the same scene many times in order to capture the changing of light and the passing of the seasons.  From 1883 Monet lived in Giverny, where he purchased a house and property, and began a vast landscaping project which included lily ponds that would become the subjects of his best-known works.  In 1899 he began painting the water lilies, first in vertical views with a Japanese bridge as a central feature, and later in the series of large-scale paintings that was to occupy him continuously for the next 20 years of his life.

Gallery 

Impression, Sunrise (Impression, soleil levant), 1872; the painting that gave its name to the style. Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris

The Woman in the Green Dress, Camille Doncieux, 1866, Kunsthalle Bremen

Le déjeuner sur l’herbe (right section), 1865–1866, with Gustave Courbet, Frédéric Bazille and Camille Doncieux, first wife of the artist, Musée d’Orsay, Paris[14]

In January 1865 Monet painted Camille or The Woman in the Green Dress (La femme à la robe verte), one of many works using his future wife, Camille Doncieux, as his model.  The following year Monet used Camille for his model in Women in the Garden, and On the Bank of the Seine, Bennecourt in 1868.  Camille became pregnant 1867.  Monet and Camille married on 28 June 1870, just before the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War, and, after their excursion to London and Zaandam, they moved to Argenteuil, in December 1871.  He and Camille lived in poverty for most of this period.

Madame Monet in a Japanese kimono, 1875, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 

Claude Monet, Camille Monet on her deathbed, 1879, Musée d’Orsay, Paris

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Portrait of Claude Monet, 1875, Musée d’Orsay

In 1876, Camille became ill with tuberculosis.  In the summer of that year, the family moved to the village of Vétheuil where they shared a house with the family of Ernest Hoschedé, a wealthy department store owner and patron of the arts.  In 1878, Camille Monet was diagnosed with uterine cancer, and she died on 5 September 1879 at the age of thirty-two.

Monet made a study in oils of his dead wife.  Many years later, Monet confessed to his friend Georges Clemenceau that his need to analyse colours was both the joy and torment of his life.

While Monet continued to live in the house in Vétheuil, Alice Hoschedé helped Monet to raise his two sons, Jean and Michel.  She took them to Paris to live alongside her own six children.  In the spring of 1880, Alice Hoschedé and all the children left Paris and rejoined Monet at Vétheuil.  In 1881, all of them moved to Poissy.  In April 1883, looking out the window of the little train between Vernon and Gasny, he discovered Giverny in Normandy.  Monet, Alice Hoschedé and the children moved to Vernon, then to the house in Giverny.  Following the death of her estranged husband, Monet married Alice Hoschedé in 1892.

Study of a Figure Outdoors: Woman with a Parasol, facing left, 1886. Musée d’Orsay

 

Monet, right, in his garden at Giverny, 1922

Monet died of lung cancer at the age of 86 and is buried in the Giverny church cemetery.  Monet had insisted that the occasion be simple; thus only about fifty people attended the ceremony.

His home, garden, and waterlily pond were bequeathed by his son Michel, his only heir, to the French Academy of Fine Arts (part of the Institut de France) in 1966.  Through the Fondation Claude Monet, the house and gardens were opened for visits in 1980, following restoration.  In addition to souvenirs of Monet and other objects of his life, the house contains his collection of Japanese woodcut prints.  The house and garden, along with the Museum of Impressionism, are major attractions in Giverny, which hosts tourists from all over the world.

Rouen Cathedral at sunset, 1893, Musée Marmottan Monet. An example of the Rouen Cathedral Series. 

Mac Tag

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The Lovers’ Almanac 13 November – Once Found – Keep Breathin’ – Robert Louis Stevenson & Fanny Osbourne

Dear Zazie,  Here is today’s Lovers’ Almanac from Mac Tag dedicated to his muse.  Whatever comes your way, keep breathin’, keep dreamin’.  Rhett

The Lovers’ Almanac

Dear Muse,

alternate reality stream…
trust your cape
enter the rhapsody

remember when,
from mornin’ break,
beyond the light,
never a day too long
to take time
to make it right

ardent thoughts
often cross the mind,
a time not to forget,
what was once found

© copyright 2017 mac tag/cowboy Coleridge all rights reserved

Cowboy poet from mornin’ break
Wrote ’til the close of light,
Never a day too long to make
One word or sentence right

 

Robert Louis Stevenson
Robert Louis Stevenson Knox Series.jpg

Today is the birthday of Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson (Edinburgh 13 November 1850 – 3 December 1894 Vailima, Samoan Islands); Scottish novelist, poet, essayist, and travel writer.  Perhaps best know for his novels; Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

A literary celebrity during his lifetime, Stevenson now ranks among the most translated authors in the world.  His works have been admired by many other writers, including Jorge Luis Borges, Bertolt Brecht, Marcel Proust, Arthur Conan Doyle, Henry James, Cesare Pavese, Emilio Salgari, Ernest Hemingway, Rudyard Kipling, Jack London, Vladimir Nabokov, J. M. Barrie, and G. K. Chesterton, who said of him that he “seemed to pick the right word up on the point of his pen, like a man playing spillikins.”

fannystevensonFanny_Osbourne_1Stevenson was a sickly, moderately successful poet, essayist and travel writer, livin’ in France, when he fell in love with a woman after one look at her.  (Sounds like a friend of Jett!)  He was passin’ by the window of a house one night when he looked inside and fell instantly in love with a woman he saw eatin’ dinner with a group of her friends.  Stevenson stood there starin’ at her, and then opened the window and leapt inside.  The guests were shocked, but Stevenson just bowed and introduced himself.  The woman was an American named Fanny Osbourne, and she was unhappily married (another friend of Jett!).  After a few months in Europe, she returned to California, and Stevenson decided to drop everything and go persuade her to divorce her husband and marry him.  He collapsed on her doorstep.  She divorced her husband, and they were married and moved back to Scotland.  Stevenson wrote a poem that served as inspiration for the Lyrics of the Day and that inspired the Song of the Day.  First Stevenson’s poem then the lyrics, then the song.  To Stevenson, love at first sight and you.

To the Muse

Resign the rhapsody, the dream,
To men of larger reach;
Be ours the quest of a plain theme,
The piety of speech.

As monkish scribes from morning break
Toiled till the close of light,
Nor thought a day too long to make
One line or letter bright:

We also with an ardent mind,
Time, wealth, and fame forgot,
Our glory in our patience find
And skim, and skim the pot:

Till last, when round the house we hear
The evensong of birds,
One corner of blue heaven appear
In our clear well of words.

Leave, leave it then, muse of my heart!
Sans finish and sans frame,
Leave unadorned by needless art
The picture as it came.

Keep Breathin’

Alternate reality stream:
Trust your cape, take a breath
Enter the rhapsody, the dream
Breathin’ beyond love’s death

Remember when, from mornin’ break,
Lovin’ beyond the light,
Never a day too long to take
Time to make lovin’ right

Ardent thoughts often cross the mind,
A time not to forget,
What was once found then left behind
Now time full of regret

So, within the vision to hear
Breathin’, faster, urgent
To be to that passion so near
Is to know contentment

Leave, leave it then, muse of my heart
Keep breathin’, keep dreamin’,
Leave, take your totem and depart
Enter my dream streamin’

© copyright 2012 mac tag/Cowboy Coleridge all rights reserved

The Song of the Day is “Keep Breathing” by Ingrid Michaelson

Mac Tag

 

Follow mac tag on twitter @cowboycoleridge

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The Lovers’ Almanac 12 November – Moment – Bein’ Embraced

Dear Zazie,  Here is today’s Lovers’ Almanac from Mac Tag dedicated to his muse.  Who do you embrace and who returns to embrace you?  Rhett

The Lovers’ Almanac

Dear Muse,

trapped in the amber
of any moment with you,
suits me just fine

against the backdrop
of another place and time
amidst whisperin’s
of passion and tenderness
bodies embrace
the totem spins…
the purpose grows bright
on this I cannot help but throw myself
in reveries revisited again and again
© copyright 2017 mac tag/cowboy Coleridge all rights reserved
  • “how much do you know
  • about fear”
  • all there is
  • “room service”
  • I did not order anything
  • not even you
  • La forza del destino
  • I know, I know
  • you think I do not know that
  • never said I was not willin’ to pay the price
  • “Think on your sins”
  • Every dang day
  • Do you think
  • you’ll be able to sleep now”
  • I do not think the dead care
  • “I wish I could set you free”
  • Me too
  • Quantum of solace
  • I suppose
  • In the verse
  • In you

Today a vignette, a poem and a song.  All for you.

Embrace
She tried to turn away from him, but he would not let her.  He took her arm and turned her to face him.  She started to speak but he put his finger to her lips. They stood there lookin’ into each other’s eyes for a moment.  A moment that lengthened and lingered.  A moment that became somethin’.  Somethin’ they both needed.  He knew it.  She knew it.  Then he took her in his arms and he held her.  He held her firmly and she allowed herself to flow into the strength of his embrace, their embrace, an embrace that from then on would always be there.  He slowly released her and took her hand and led her down the sidewalk to a bench.  They sat on the bench as one.  As they leaned back they leaned into each other and his arms once again went around her and they gave themselves to the embrace.  All there was, all that mattered was the embrace and their thoughts.  His were there with her and hers took her where she had to go.  They stayed there as if askin’ the world to wait.  They were sustained by each other, by two hearts findin’ unison, by the embrace.

Bein’ Embraced

Against the backdrop of fall; another place and time
Amidst whisperin’s of passion and tenderness
Adored bodies embrace, swellin’ and tremblin’
The totem spins…
Pleasure bursts in the gleamin’ flesh
The purpose of life grows bright,
Shimmerin’ and desperate
In the shadows, around the Vision

Shiverin’s mutter and rise
The furious affect of these feelin’s smolder
With fervent whisperin’ and tender caress
No matter that reality, hurls at this embrace
The totem keeps spinnin’…
Bodies cling, flesh joins

To see your face

To kiss your lips

To be in your embrace

On this I cannot help but throw myself
In reveries revisited again and again

© copyright 2012 mac tag/Cowboy Coleridge all rights reserved

The Song of the Day is “Embrace” by Dazzled Kid.

 

Mac Tag

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The Lovers’ Almanac 11 November – Pinot Night – art by Paul Signac & Édouard Vuillard

Dear Zazie,  Here is today’s Lovers’ Almanac from Mac Tag dedicated to his muse.  Rhett

The Lovers’ Almanac

Dear Muse,

can there be
anything better
than cookin’ a fine meal
with a fine woman…

imagine me and you
in a kitchen
fixin’ this menu…
steak carpaccio
with fresh spinach
and arugula
red wine risotto
with fresh basil
and garlic
and for dessert
raspberry cream cupcakes
with a dark chocolate drizzle
and of course a bottle,
well maybe two,
of pinot noir

after that meal
and drinkin’
sex in a glass
and the way
we look at each other
yeah, the dishes
can wait till mornin’…

© copyright 2017 mac tag/cowboy Coleridge all rights reserved

Paul Signac
Paul Signac, ca. 1883.jpg

Paul Signac with his palette, ca. 1883

Today is the birthday of Paul Victor Jules Signac (Paris; 11 November 1863 – 15 August 1935 Paris); French Neo-Impressionist painter who, working with Georges Seurat, helped develop the Pointillist style.

Gallery 

painting

Paul Signac, Portrait of Félix Fénéon, 1890, oil on canvas, 73.5 × 92.5 cm (28.9 × 36.4 in), Museum of Modern Art, New York

painting

Georges Seurat Portrait of Paul Signac, 1890, conté crayon, private collection

painting

In the Time of Harmony. The Golden Age is not in the Past, it is in the Future, 1893-95, oil on canvas, 310 x 410 cm (122 × 161.4 in), Mairie de Montreuil 

painting

Capo di Noli, 1898, oil on canvas, 93.5 × 75 cm (36.8 × 29.5 in), Wallraf-Richartz Museum, Cologne 

painting

The Port of Saint-Tropez, 1901, oil on canvas, 131 x 161.5 cm (51.6 x 63.6 in) National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo 

painting

Paul Signac, 1893, Femme à l’ombrelle (Woman with Umbrella), oil on canvas, 81 x 65 cm, Musée d’Orsay, Paris; a portrait of Signac’s wife Berthe, painted at Saint-Tropez

On 7 November 1892 Signac married Berthe Roblès at the town hall of the 18th arrondissement of Paris.  Witnesses at the wedding were Alexandre Lemonier, Maximilien Luce, Camille Pissarro and Georges Lecomte.  In November 1897, the Signacs moved to a new apartment in the Castel Béranger, built by Hector Guimard.  In December of the same year, they acquired a house in Saint-Tropez called La Hune, where he had a studio constructed.

In September 1913, Signac rented a house at Antibes, where he settled with Jeanne Selmersheim-Desgrange.  Signac had left La Hune as well as the Castel Beranger apartment to Berthe.  They remained friends for the rest of his life.

Paul Signac died from septicemia at the age of 71.  His body was cremated and buried three days later, on 18 August, at the Père Lachaise Cemetery. 

Édouard Vuillard
Édouard Vuillard 001.jpg

Self-portrait, 1889, oil on canvas

Today is the birthday of Jean-Édouard Vuillard (Cuiseaux, Saône-et-Loire; 11 November 1868 – 21 June 1940 La Baule, Loire-Atlantique); French painter and printmaker associated with the Nabis.

Gallery 

Ker-Xavier Roussel, Édouard Vuillard, Romain Coolus, Félix Vallotton, 1899

Le corsage rayé, 1895, National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon (1983.1.38).

Two Seamstresses in the Workroom

Le Grand Teddy, 1918, glue distemper on canvas, 150 x 290 cm, the largest of the three paintings commissioned from Vuillard in 1918 for the Paris café “Le Grand Teddy”

The Table by Vuillard, 1902 

Breakfast, 1894, oil on cardboard, 26.9 x 22.9 cm. (Zoom)

Mac Tag

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The Lovers’ Almanac 10 November – Dream Noir – William Hogarth – Verdi’s La forza del destino

Dear Zazie,  Here is today’s Lovers’ Almanac from Mac Tag dedicated to his muse.  Rhett

The Lovers’ Almanac

Dear Muse,

or how ’bout this dream…
over shared bottles
of superb pinot noir,
also called the most
romantic of wines,
or sex in a glass,
we laugh and talk
and…

and on this night,
time does not exist

© copyright 2017 mac tag/cowboy Coleridge all rights reserved

William Hogarth
The Painter and His Pug by William Hogarth.jpg

William Hogarth, Painter and his Pug, 1745
 

Today is the birthday of William Hogarth FRSA (London; 10 November 1697 – 26 October 1764 London); English painter, printmaker, pictorial satirist, social critic, and editorial cartoonist who has been credited with pioneering western sequential art.  His work ranged from realistic portraiture to comic strip-like series of pictures called “modern moral subjects”.  Knowledge of his work is so pervasive that satirical political illustrations in this style are often referred to as “Hogarthian”.

Gallery 

William Hogarth by Roubiliac, 1741, National Portrait Gallery, London 

The Assembly at Wanstead House.

Self-Portrait by Hogarth, ca. 1735, Yale Center for British Art. 

A Rake’s Progress, Plate 8, 1735, and retouched by Hogarth in 1763 by adding the Britannia emblem 

Marriage à-la-mode, Shortly After the Marriage (scene two of six).

Marriage à-la-mode, After the old Earl’s funeral (scene four of six) 

Industry and Idleness Plate 1, The Fellow ‘Prentices at their Looms 

Gin Lane 

 

David Garrick as Richard III, 1746

Portrait of a Man, 1741 

 

Eva Marie Veigel and husband David Garrick, c. 1757–1764, Royal Collection at Windsor Castle. 

The Analysis of Beauty plate 1 (1753) 

On 23 March 1729 Hogarth married Jane Thornhill, daughter of artist Sir James Thornhill.

Hogarth died in London on 26 October 1764 and was buried at St. Nicholas Church, Chiswick, London.  His friend, actor David Garrick, composed the following inscription for his tombstone:

Farewell great Painter of Mankind
Who reach’d the noblest point of Art
Whose pictur’d Morals charm the Mind
And through the Eye correct the Heart.
If Genius fire thee, Reader, stay,
If Nature touch thee, drop a Tear:
If neither move thee, turn away,
For Hogarth’s honour’d dust lies here.

  

Engravings

La forza del destino
Opera by Giuseppe Verdi
Alexandre Charles Lecocq - Giuseppe Verdi - La forza del destino.jpg

c. 1870 poster by Charles Lecocq
 

On this day in 1862, La forza del destino (The Power of Fate, or The Force of Destiny); an Italian opera by Giuseppe Verdi had its premiere in the Bolshoi Kamenny Theatre of Saint Petersburg, Russia.  The libretto was written by Francesco Maria Piave based on a Spanish drama, Don Álvaro o la fuerza del sino (1835), by Ángel de Saavedra, 3rd Duke of Rivas, with a scene adapted from Friedrich Schiller’s Wallensteins Lager.

La forza del destino is frequently performed, and there have been a number of complete recordings.  In addition, the overture (to the revised version of the opera) is part of the standard repertoire for orchestras, often played as the opening piece at concerts.

First edition (1862) of the libretto of La forza del destino, Saint Petersburg, with bilingual Italian and Russian text. 
 

 


 

 

1860s postcard showing Act IV. 

Enrico Caruso, Jose Mardones and Rosa Ponselle in a 1918 Metropolitan Opera performance.

Forza is an opera that many old school Italian singers felt was “cursed” and brought bad luck.  The superstitious Luciano Pavarotti avoided the part of Alvaro.

On 4 March 1960 at the Metropolitan Opera, in a performance of La Forza del Destino with Renata Tebaldi and tenor Richard Tucker, the American baritone Leonard Warren was about to launch into the vigorous cabaletta to Don Carlo’s Act 3 aria, which begins “Morir, tremenda cosa” (“to die, a momentous thing”).  Warren either simply went silent and fell face-forward to the floor, or started coughing and gasping, and cried out “Help me, help me!” before falling to the floor, remaining motionless.  A few minutes later he was pronounced dead of a massive cerebral hemorrhage, and the rest of the performance was canceled.  Warren was only 48.

The “Curse” prompted singers and others to do strange things to fend off possible bad luck.  The great Italian tenor Franco Corelli was rumored to have held on to his groin during some of his performances of the opera as “protection.”

Mac Tag

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The Lovers’ Almanac 9 November – Someday; Breathless – verse by Anne Sexton

Dear Zazie,  Here is today’s Lovers’ Almanac from Mac Tag dedicated to his muse.  Has your someday come?  What leaves you breathless?  Rhett

The Lovers’ Almanac

Dear Muse,

have you ever wished
that  someone
would take you away

someday
someone will come and stay
someday……
then you will feel,
À bout de souffle,
at breath’s end

miss feelin’ breathless
when you were near

© copyright 2017 mac tag/cowboy Coleridge all rights reserved

someday came and left
miss feelin’ breathless
when you were near

À_bout_de_souffle_(movie_poster)Today two original poems.  The first inspired by somethin’ you once said to me and the second inspired by a movie I recently watched; the 1960 French film À bout de souffle (Breathless) featurin’ the lovely and talented Jean Seberg and Jean-Paul Belmondo.  Consider this the official notification that this film belongs on the must-see film list.

Do you remember when you said you wished someone would take you away?

Someday

Someday
Love will find a way
Someday
Love will come your way
Someday
Love will take you away
Someday
Love will save the day
Someday
Love will come and stay
Someday……

Then you will feel,

À bout de souffle, at breath’s end,

Breathless

Breathless
All over tremblin’
Breathless

Holdin’ on believin’

Breathless
Carried away gettin’
Breathless
Givin’ in to the feelin’
Breathless
Not fearin’ bein’
Breathless……

© copyright 2012 mac tag/Cowboy Coleridge all rights reserved

The two songs of the day are “Someday” by Tegan and Sara and “Breathless” by The Corrs.

My someday came and left.  I miss feelin’ breathless when you were near.

Anne Sexton
Head and shoulders monochrome portrait photo of Anne Sexton, seated with books in the background

Anne Sexton photographed by Elsa Dorfman

Today is the birthday of Anne Sexton (Newton, Massachusetts; November 9, 1928 – October 4, 1974 Weston); American poet, known for her highly personal, confessional verse.  She won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1967 for her book Live or Die.  Themes of her poetry include her long battle against depression and mania, suicidal tendencies, and various intimate details from her private life, including her relationships with her husband and children.

On October 4, 1974, Sexton had lunch with Maxine Kumin to revise galleys for Sexton’s manuscript of The Awful Rowing Toward God, scheduled for publication in March 1975 (Middlebrook 396).  On returning home she put on her mother’s old fur coat, removed all her rings, poured herself a glass of vodka, locked herself in her garage, and started the engine of her car, committing suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning.

In an interview over a year before her death, she explained she had written the first drafts of The Awful Rowing Toward God in twenty days with “two days out for despair and three days out in a mental hospital.”  She is buried at Forest Hills Cemetery & Crematory in Jamaica Plain, Boston, Massachusetts.

Verse

  • We are all writing God’s poem.
    • As quoted by Erica Jong, in “Into the lion’s den” in The Guardian (26 October 2000)

To Bedlam and Part Way Back (1960)

  • Even so, I must admire your skill.
    You are so gracefully insane.

    • “Elegy in the Classroom”
    • Referring to Robert Lowell
  • Love your self’s self where it lives.
    There is no special God to refer to; or if there is,
    why did I let you grow
    in another place. You did not know my voice
    when I came back to call. All the superlatives
    of tomorrow’s white tree and mistletoe
    will not help you know the holidays you had to miss.

    • “The Double Image”
  • I rot on the wall, my own
    Dorian Gray.

    • “The Double Image”
  • I imitate
    a memory of belief
    that I do not own.

    • “The Division of Parts”
  • I have ridden in your cart, driver,
    waved my nude arms at villages going by,
    learning the last bright routes, survivor
    where your flames still bite my thigh
    and my ribs crack where your wheels wind.
    A woman like that is not ashamed to die.
    I have been her kind.

    • “Her Kind”

All My Pretty Ones (1962)

  • All who love have lied.
    • “The Operation”
  • Fact: death too is in the egg.
    Fact: the body is dumb, the body is meat.
    And tomorrow the O.R. Only the summer was sweet.

    • “The Operation”
  • Need is not quite belief.
    • “With Mercy for the Greedy”
  • Dearest,
    although everything has happened,
    nothing has happened.

    • “Letter Written on a Ferry While Crossing Long Island Sound”
  • A woman who writes feels too much,
    those trances and portents!
    As if cycles and children and islands
    weren’t enough; as if mourners and gossips
    and vegetables were never enough.
    She thinks she can warm the stars.
    A writer is essentially a spy.
    Dear love, I am that girl.

    • “The Black Art”
  • It would be pleasant to be drunk:
    faithless to my tongue and hands,
    giving up the boundaries
    for the heroic gin.
    Dead drunk is the term I think of,
    insensible,
    neither cool nor warm,
    without a head or foot.
    To be drunk is to be intimate with a fool.
    I will try it shortly.

    • “Letter Written During a January Northeaster”
  • And what of the dead? They lie without shoes
    in their stone boats. They are more like stone
    than the sea would be if it stopped. They refuse
    to be blessed, throat, eye and knucklebone.

    • “The Truth the Dead Know”
  • In a dream you are never eighty.
    • “Old”

Live or Die (1966)

  • I was spread out daily
    and examined for flaws.

    • “Those Times…”
  • I grow old on my bitterness.
    • “Two Sons”
  • Love! That red disease —
    • “Menstruation at Forty”
  • Why have your eyes gone into their own room?
    • “Your Face on the Dog’s Neck”
  • But suicides have a special language.
    Like carpenters they want to know which tools.
    They never ask why build.

    • “Wanting to Die”

Love Poems (1969)

  • My mouth blooms like a cut.
    I’ve been wronged all year, tedious
    nights, nothing but rough elbows in them
    and delicate boxes of Kleenex calling crybaby
    crybaby, you fool!

    • “The Kiss”
  • I am alive when your fingers are.
    • “The Breast”
  • As for me, I am a watercolor.
    I wash off.

    • “For My Lover, Returning to His Wife”
  • You said the anger would come back
    just as the love did.

    • Again and Again and Again”
  • He puts his bones back on,
    Turning the clock back an hour.
    She knows flesh, that skin balloon,
    the unbound limbs, the boards,
    the roof, the removable roof.
    She is his selection, part time.
    You know the story too! Look,
    when it is over he places her,
    like a phone, back on the hook.

    • “You All Know the Story of the Other Woman”
  • Catch me. I’m your disease.
    • “Eighteen Days Without You”: December 18th

Transformations (1971)

  • Beauty is a simple passion,
    but, oh my friends, in the end
    you will dance the fire dance in iron shoes.

    • “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”

The Book of Folly (1972)

  • With a tongue like a razor he will kiss
    the mother, the child,
    and we three will color the stars black
    in memory of his mother
    who kept him chained to the food tree
    or turned him on and off like a water faucet
    and made women through all these hazy years
    the enemy with a heart of lies.

    • “The Wifebeater”
  • In my sights I carve him
    like a sculptor. I mold out
    his last look at everyone.
    I carry his eyes and his
    brain bone at every position.
    I know his male sex and I do
    march over him with my index finger.
    His mouth and his anus are one.
    I am at the center of feeling.

    • “The Assassin”
  • My eyes, those sluts, those whores, would play no more.
    • “Killing the Spring”

A Small Journal (1974)

  • It doesn’t matter who my father was; it matters who I remember he was.
    • “The Poet’s Story,” January 1, 1972 entry

The Awful Rowing Toward God (1975)

  • The tongue, the Chinese say,
    is like a sharp knife:
    it kills
    without drawing blood.

    • “The Dead Heart”
  • I am, each day,
    typing out the God
    my typewriter believes in.
    Very quick. Very intense,
    like a wolf at a live heart.

    • “Frenzy”

45 Mercy Street (1976)

  • What can I do with this memory?
    Shake the bones out of it?
    Defoliate the smile?
    Stub out the chin with cigarettes?
    Take the face of the man I love
    and squeeze my foot into it,
    when all the while my heart is making a museum?
    I love you the way the oboe plays.
    I love you the way skinny dipping makes my body feel.
    I love you the way a ripe artichoke tastes.
    Yet I fear you,
    as one in the desert fears the sun.

    • “Waking Alone” from The Divorce Papers
  • I am murdering me, where I kneeled at your kiss.
    I am pushing knives through the hands
    that created two into one.
    Our hands do not bleed at this,
    they lie still in their dishonor.

    • “Killing the Love” from The Divorce Papers
  • I am stuffing your mouth with your
    promises and watching
    you vomit them out upon my face.

    • “Killing the Love”
  • There is rust in my mouth,
    the stain of an old kiss.

    • “The Lost Lie” from The Divorce Papers

Words for Dr. Y (1978)

  • Death,
    I need my little addiction to you.
    need that tiny voice who,
    even as I rise from the sea,
    all woman, all there,
    says kill me, kill me.

    • “Letters to Dr. Y.”
  • I begin again, Dr.Y,
    this neverland journal,
    full of my own sense of filth.
    Why else keep a journal, if not
    to examine your own filth?

    • “Letters to Dr. Y.”
  • God is only mocked by believers.
    • “Letters to Dr. Y.”
  • Blue eyes wash off sometimes.
    • “Letters to Dr. Y.”
  • Here in the hospital, I say,
    that is not my body, not my body.
    I am not here for the doctors
    to read like a recipe.

    • “August 17th” from Scorpio, Bad Spider, Die: The Horoscope Poems

Poems 1971-1973 (1981)

  • We all walk softly away.
    We would stay and be the nurse but
    there are too many of us and we are too worried to help.
    It is love that walks away
    and yet we have terrible mouths
    and soft milk hands.
    We worry with like.
    We walk away like love.

    • “To Like, To Love”
  • Earth, earth
    riding your merry-go-round
    toward extinction,
    right to the roots
    thickening the oceans like gravy,
    festering in your caves,
    you are becoming a latrine.

    • “As It Was Written” from Last Poems
  • To love another is something
    like prayer and it can’t be planned, you just fall
    into its arms because your belief undoes your disbelief.

    • “Admonitions to a Special Person” (1974) from Last Poems

Mac Tag

I bade my heart build these poor rhymes:

It worked at them, day out, day in,

Building a sorrowful loveliness

Out of the battles of old times

WB Yeats

Poetry is my love, my postmark, my hands, my kitchen, my face.Anne Sexton

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The Lovers’ Almanac 8 November – Dreamin’ – prose by Bram Stoker & Margaret Mitchell – art by Demuth

Dear Zazie,  Here is today’s Lovers’ Almanac from Mac Tag dedicated to his muse.  Who is your light?  Do you dream of your light?  Rhett

The Lovers’ Almanac

Dear Muse,

I dream I may
I dream I might
have this dream
I dream tonight…

love how dreams
can take you
from one place
in your life
to the next

my current favorite dream
the one that will take me
to the next stage of my life…

we meet in an airport,
matters not where
we are walkin’ towards
each other, through
the crowd of people
when our eyes lock,
and then we are alone
standin’ there, smilin’
we hurry into
each other’s arms
I lift you in a hug
and time waits
for us

© copyright 2017 mac tag/cowboy Coleridge all rights reserved

by Unknown artist, oil on canvas, feigned oval, circa 1629

by Unknown artist, oil on canvas, feigned oval, circa 1629

Today is the anniversary of the death of poet John Milton, born in London (1608).  His first two wives died from childbirth complications.  His third wife, 31 years his junior, outlived him.  In 1643, he published a pamphlet called Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce.  He wrote: “Marriage is a cov’nant the very beeing wherof consists, not in a forc’t cohabitation, and counterfet performance of duties, but in unfained love and peace.”   Milton wrote a poem, “Light” which served as inspiration for today’s Poem of the Day.  To Milton, unfained love and you.

Dreamin’ Light

This light, offspring of the sun,
Or of the eternal coeternal beam
May I say, you are my light,
Neverendin’ approachable light
Dwelt from eternity, dwelt then in you,
Bright effluence of bright essence
Perhaps a rather pure ethereal stream,
Whose dream who shall tell? Before the sun,
Before me you were, and at your voice,
A sound I thought not to hear, I turned
The advancin’ shadows dark and deep,
Won from the void and formless infinity
You I revisit often with longing and hope,
Escaped the reality, though long detained
In that obscure sojourn, while in my flight
Through utter and through middle darkness
With these words that lead where they may,
I write of lost love and eternal night,
Taught by the Muse of Loss to venture down
The dark descent, and up to reascend,
Though hard and long: you I revisit safe,
And feel your voluptuous light; but you
Revisit not my eyes, that roll in vain
To find your piercin’ light, find no dawn;
Only the sight of you can quell this fear,
Or dim nightmares veiled. Yet not the more
Cease I to wander where the Muses haunt
Clear stream, or mountain slope, or forest hill,
Smit with the love of fervent words; beneath
The sun under the flowin’ waterfall
That pours and washes over tremblin’ flesh
Nightly I visit: this place we created
Where we lose ourselves in each other,
As time halts for us and the totem spins
I feed on these thoughts, that stir me
Harmonious words; as the poet wrote
Sonnets strident, verses verily, rhythmic rhymes
Pen this nocturnal note. Then with time
The world returns, but not to me returns
Day, or the sweet approach of dusk or dawn,
Or sight of you, or the curve of your hip,
Or your lips or eyes, or your face divine;
But clouds instead, and envelopin’ dark
Surrounds me, from the comfortin’ words
Cut off, and from the encroachin’ vastness,
Presentin’ itself with complete emptiness,
Tryin’ as I will as I might to raise myself,
But still at the entrance quite shut out
So much the dream and your lovely light
Shine on me, that alone can save me
To look into your eyes, all else falls away
Return and return again, that I may see
And tell of things invisible to mortal sight

The Song of the Day is “Dreaming Light” by Anathema

 

Bram Stoker
Bram Stoker 1906.jpg

Photograph of Bram Stoker circa 1906
 

 

Today is the birhtday of Abraham “Bram” Stoker (Clontarf, Dublin 8 November 1847 – 20 April 1912 London); Irish author, best known today for his 1897 Gothic novel Dracula.  During his lifetime, he was better known as the personal assistant of actor Henry Irving and business manager of the Lyceum Theatre in London, which Irving owned.

Prose

Dracula (1897)

  • I heard a heavy step approaching behind the great door, and saw through the chinks the gleam of a coming light. Then there was the sound of rattling chains and the clanking of massive bolts drawn back. A key was turned with the loud grating noise of long disuse, and the great door swung back.
    Within, stood a tall old man, clean shaven save for a long white moustache, and clad in black from head to foot, without a single speck of colour about him anywhere. He held in his hand an antique silver lamp, in which the flame burned without a chimney or globe of any kind, throwing long quivering shadows as it flickered in the draught of the open door. The old man motioned me in with his right hand with a courtly gesture, saying in excellent English, but with a strange intonation.
    “Welcome to my house! Enter freely and of your own free will!”

    • Jonathan Harker’s journal
  • I am Dracula, and I bid you welcome, Mr. Harker, to my house. Come in, the night air is chill, and you must need to eat and rest.
    • Count Dracula to Jonathan Harker
  • We are in Transylvania, and Transylvania is not England. Our ways are not your ways, and there shall be to you many strange things.
    • Dracula to Jonathan Harker
  • Listen to them — children of the night. What music they make.
    • Dracula referring to the howling of the wolves to Jonathan Harker.
  • No man knows till he has suffered from the night how sweet and dear to his heart and eye the morning can be.
    • Jonathan Harker
  • Despair has its own calms.
    • Jonathan Harker
  • Nothing is too small. I counsel you, put down in record even your doubts and surmises. Hereafter it may be of interest to you to see how true you guess. We learn from failure, not from success!
    • Professor Abraham Van Helsing to Dr. John Seward
  • He seemed so confident that I, remembering my own confidence two nights before and with the baneful result, felt awe and vague terror. It must have been my weakness that made me hesitate to tell it to my friend, but I felt it all the more, like unshed tears.
    • Dr. John Seward
  • Van Helsing and I came on here. The moment we were alone in the carriage he gave way to a regular fit of hysterics. He has denied to me since that it was hysterics, and insisted that it was only his sense of humour asserting itself under very terrible conditions. He laughed till he cried, and I had to draw down the blinds lest any one should see us and misjudge; and then he cried, till he laughed again; and laughed and cried together, just as a woman does. I tried to be stern with him, as one is to a woman under the circumstances; but it had no effect. Men and women are so different in manifestations of nervous strength or weakness! Then when his face grew grave and stern again I asked him why his mirth, and why at such a time. His reply was in a way characteristic of him, for it was logical and forceful and mysterious. He said:—
    “Ah, you don’t comprehend, friend John. Do not think that I am not sad, though I laugh. See, I have cried even when the laugh did choke me. But no more think that I am all sorry when I cry, for the laugh he come just the same. Keep it always with you that laughter who knock at your door and say, ‘May I come in?’ is not the true laughter. No! he is a king, and he come when and how he like. He ask no person; he choose no time of suitability. He say, ‘I am here.’ Behold, in example I grieve my heart out for that so sweet young girl; I give my blood for her, though I am old and worn; I give my time, my skill, my sleep; I let my other sufferers want that so she may have all. And yet I can laugh at her very grave — laugh when the clay from the spade of the sexton drop upon her coffin and say ‘Thud, thud!’ to my heart, till it send back the blood from my cheek. My heart bleed for that poor boy — that dear boy, so of the age of mine own boy had I been so blessed that he live, and with his hair and eyes the same. There, you know now why I love him so. And yet when he say things that touch my husband-heart to the quick, and make my father-heart yearn to him as to no other man — not even you, friend John, for we are more level in experiences than father and son — yet even at such a moment King Laugh he come to me and shout and bellow in my ear, ‘Here I am! here I am!’ till the blood come dance back and bring some of the sunshine that he carry with him to my cheek. Oh, friend John, it is a strange world, a sad world, a world full of miseries, and woes, and troubles; and yet when King Laugh come, he make them all dance to the tune he play. Bleeding hearts, and dry bones of the churchyard, and tears that burn as they fall — all dance together to the music that he make with that smileless mouth of him. And believe me, friend John, that he is good to come, and kind. Ah, we men and women are like ropes drawn tight with strain that pull us different ways. Then tears come; and, like the rain on the ropes, they brace us up, until perhaps the strain become too great, and we break. But King Laugh he come like the sunshine, and he ease off the strain again; and we bear to go on with our labour, what it may be.

    • Chapter XIV, Dr. Seward’s Diary entry for 22 September
  • “Friend John, forgive me if I pain. I showed not my feeling to others when it would wound, but only to you, my old friend, whom I can trust. If you could have looked into my very heart then when I want to laugh; if you could have done so when the laugh arrived; if you could do so now, when King Laugh have pack up his crown, and all that is to him — for he go far, far away from me, and for a long, long time — maybe you would perhaps pity me the most of all.”
    I was touched by the tenderness of his tone, and asked why.
    “Because I know!”

    • Professor Van Helsing to Dr. John Seward, in Dr. Seward’s Diary entry for 22 September
  • You reason well, and your wit is bold, but you are too prejudiced. You do not let your eyes see nor your ears hear, and that which is outside your daily life is not of account to you. Do you not think that there are things which you cannot understand, and yet which are, that some people see things that others cannot? But there are things old and new which must not be contemplated by men’s eyes, because they know, or think they know, some things which other men have told them. Ah, it is the fault of our science that it wants to explain all, and if it explain not, then it says there is nothing to explain. But yet we see around us every day the growth of new beliefs, which think themselves new, and which are yet but the old, which pretend to be young, like the fine ladies at the opera.
    • Professor Van Helsing to Dr. Seward
  • One and all we felt that the holy calm that lay like sunshine over the wasted face and form was only an earthly token and symbol of the calm that was to reign for ever.
    • Dr. Seward of Lucy Westenra
  • I have always thought that a wild animal never looks so well as when some obstacle of pronounced durability is between us. A personal experience has intensified rather than diminished that idea.
    • The Keeper in the Zoological Gardens
  • You think to baffle me, you with your pale faces all in a row, like sheep in a butcher’s. You shall be sorry yet, each one of you! You think you have left me without a place to rest, but I have more. My revenge is just begun! I spread it over centuries, and time is on my side. Your girls that you all love are mine already. And through them you and others shall yet be mine, my creatures, to do my bidding and to be my jackals when I want to feed. Bah!
    • Dracula, having found Jonathan Harker, Quincey Morris and Arthur Holmwood in his house
  • The sun was almost down on the mountain tops, and the shadows of the whole group fell upon the snow. I saw the Count lying within the box upon the earth, some of which the rude falling from the cart had scattered over him. He was deathly pale, just like a waxen image, and the red eyes glared with the horrible vindictive look which I knew so well. As I looked, the eyes saw the sinking sun, and the look of hate in them turned to triumph. But, on the instant, came the sweep and flash of Jonathan’s great knife. I shrieked as I saw it shear through the throat. Whilst at the same moment Mr. Morris’s bowie knife plunged into the heart. It was like a miracle, but before our very eyes, and almost in the drawing of a breath, the whole body crumbled into dust and passed from our sight. I shall be glad as long as I live that even in that moment of final dissolution, there was in the face a look of peace, such as I never could have imagined might have rested there.
    • Mina Harker
  • Seven years ago we all went through the flames. And the happiness of some of us since then is, we think, well worth the pain we endured.
    • Jonathan Harker

 

Charles Demuth
Charles Demuth- Self-Portrait, 1907.jpg

Self-Portrait, 1907

Today is the birthday of Charles Henry Buckius Demuth (Lancaster, Pennsylvania; November 8, 1883 – October 23, 1935 Lancaster); American watercolorist who turned to oils late in his career, developing a style of painting known as Precisionism.

Gallery

I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold 1928, collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City

In Vaudeville (Dancer with Chorus), 1918, in the Philadelphia Museum of Art 

Margaret Mitchell
Margaret Mitchell NYWTS.jpg

Today is the birthday of Margaret Munnerlyn Mitchell (Atlanta, Georgia; November 8, 1900 – August 16, 1949 Atlanta); American author and journalist.  One novel by Mitchell was published during her lifetime; the epic American Civil War-era novel, Gone with the Wind, for which she won the National Book Award for Most Distinguished Novel of 1936 and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1937.  In more recent years, a collection of Mitchell’s girlhood writings and a novella she wrote as a teenager, Lost Laysen, have been published.

Prose from Gone with the Wind

  • “The trouble with most of us Southerners,” continued Rhett Butler, “is that we either don’t travel enough or we don’t profit enough by our travels…. I have seen many things that you all have not seen. The thousands of immigrants who’d be glad to fight for the Yankees for food and a few dollars, the factories, the foundries, the shipyards, the iron and coal mines &mdash all the things we haven’t got. Why, all we have is cotton and slaves and arrogance. They’d lick us in a month.”
    • Chapter 6
  • Before the war there had been few cotton factories, woolen mills, arsenals and machine shops south of Maryland, a fact of which all Southerners were proud. The South produced statesmen and soldiers, planters and doctors, lawyers and poets, but certainly not engineers or mechanics. Let the Yankees adopt such low callings.
    • Chapter 8
  • “In the end what will happen will be what has happened whenever a civilization breaks up. The people who have brains and courage come through and the ones who haven’t are winnowed out. At least, it has been interesting, if not comfortable, to witness a Gotterdammerung.”
  • “A what?”
  • “A dusk of the gods. Unfortunately, we Southerners did think we were gods.”
    • Chapter 31
  • “It isn’t that I mind splitting logs here in the mud, but I do mind what it stands for. I do mind, very much, the loss of the beauty of the old life I loved. Scarlett, before the war, life was beautiful. There was a glamor to it, a perfection and a completeness and a symmetry to it like Grecian art. Maybe it wasn’t so to everyone. I know that now. But to me, living at Twelve Oaks, there was a real beauty to living. I belonged in that life. I was a part of it. And now it is gone and I am out of place in this new life, and I am afraid. Now, I know that in the old days it was a shadow show I watched. I avoided everything which was not shadowy, people and situations which were too real, too vital. I resented their intrusion. I tried to avoid you too, Scarlett. You were too full of living and too real and I was cowardly enough to prefer shadows and dreams.”
    • Chapter 31
  • I cannot understand why I did not desert. It was all the purest insanity. But it’s in one’s blood. Southerners can never resist a losing cause.
    • Chapter 34
  • There ain’t nothin’ that walks can lick us, any more than it could lick him, not Yankees nor Carpetbaggers nor hard times nor high taxes nor even downright starvation. But that weakness that’s in our hearts can lick us in the time it takes to bat your eye.
    • Chapter 38
  • Hardships make or break people.
    • Chapter 40
  • These women, so swift to kindness, so tender to the sorrowing, so untiring in times of stress, could be as implacable as furies to any renegade who broke one small law of their unwritten code. This code was simple. Reverence for the Confederacy, honor to the veterans, loyalty to old forms, pride in poverty, open hands to friends and undying hatred to Yankees.
    • Chapter 47
  • Drink and dissipation had done their work on the coin-clean profile and now it was no longer the head of a young pagan prince on new-minted gold but a decadent, tired Caesar on copper debased by long usage.
    • Chapter 63
  • She was seeing through Rhett’s eyes the passing, not of a woman but of a legend — the gentle, self-effacing but steel-spined women on whom the South had builded its house in war and to whose proud and loving arms it had returned in defeat.
    • Chapter 63

Mac Tag

Yet is not ecstasy some fulfillment of the soul in itself, some slow or sudden expansion of it like an overflowing well?WB Yeats

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