The Lover’s Almanac 5 September – Immensity – Sting – art by Caspar David Friedrich – verse by Marian Osborne

Dear Zazie,  Here is today’s Lover’s Almanac from Mac Tag dedicated to his muse.  Follow us on twitter @cowboycoleridge.  Have you lost the fragrance of love’s ways?  Have you felt the sting of anguish?  Rhett

The Lover’s Almanac

Dear Muse,

on this clear night
in the bright moolight,
a long walk in order,
we arrive at the bridge
deserted at this time of night

we start across arm in arm
midway we stop to look
over the rail at the river below,
uniformly gray under the nocturnal sky

the water appears to vanish
into an empty space beyond
we turn to each other,
strip our clothes, and disappear
in the depths beneath

a fall with the dizzy
rapidity of a dream
we surface
from the cool water
and cling to each other
in the pale moonlight

we take a deep breath
and descend to the bottom
lost now in the darkness,
in the immensity of life,
in each other

© copyright 2017 mac tag/cowboy Coleridge all rights reserved

Come to me,
come before
it is too late
you alone can draw
the sting of anguish

© copyright 2012 mac tag/cowboy Coleridge all rights reserved

Portrait of Caspar David Friedrich, Gerhard von Kügelgen c. 1810–20

Wanderer above the Sea of Fog (1818). 94.8 × 74.8 cm, Kunsthalle Hamburg.

Today is the birthday of Caspar David Friedrich (Greifswald, Swedish Pomerania, on the Baltic coast of Germany; 5 September 1774 – 7 May 1840); German Romantic landscape painter, perhaps the most important German artist of his generation.  He is best known for his mid-period allegorical landscapes which typically feature contemplative figures silhouetted against night skies, morning mists, barren trees or Gothic ruins.


The chalk drawing Self-portrait, 1800, which portrays the artist at 26, was completed while he was studying at the Royal Academy in Copenhagen. Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Copenhagen 

 The Tetschen Altar, or The Cross in the Mountains (1807). 115 × 110.5 cm. Galerie Neue Meister, Dresden.

Rocky Landscape in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains by Caspar David Friedrich, between 1822 and 1823 

Chalk Cliffs on Rügen (1818). 90.5 × 71 cm. Museum Oskar Reinhart am Stadtgarten, Winterthur, Switzerland.
On 21 January 1818, Friedrich married Caroline Bommer, the twenty-five-year-old daughter of a dyer from Dresden.  Physiologist and painter Carl Gustav Carus notes in his biographical essays that marriage did not impact significantly on either Friedrich’s life or personality, yet his canvasses from this period, including Chalk Cliffs on Rügen—painted after his honeymoon—display a new sense of levity, while his palette is brighter and less austere.

Georg Friedrich Kersting, Caspar David Friedrich in his Studio (1819) Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin. Kersting portrays an aged Friedrich holding a maulstick at his canvas. 

Friedrich: Cemetery Entrance Galerie Neue Meister, Dresden 


The Abbey in the Oakwood (1808–10). 110.4 × 171 cm. Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin.

The Sea of Ice (1823–24), Kunsthalle Hamburg.

Man and Woman Contemplating the Moon (1830–35). 34 × 44 cm. Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin. 

Caspar David Friedrich, oil on canvas, by Carl Johann Baehr, 1836, New Masters Gallery, Dresden 

On this day in 1840 – Premiere of Giuseppe Verdi’s Un giorno di regno at La Scala of Milan.

Un giorno di regno, ossia il finto Stanislao (A One-Day Reign, or The Pretend Stanislaus, but often translated into English as King for a Day) is an operatic melodramma giocoso in two acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto written in 1818 by Felice Romani.  Originally written for the Bohemian composer Adalbert Gyrowetz, the libretto was based on the play Le faux Stanislas written by the Frenchman Alexandre Vincent Pineu-Duval in 1808.

After the success of his first opera, Oberto in 1839, Verdi received a commission from La Scala impresario Merelli to write three more operas.  Un giorno was first of the three, but he wrote the piece during a period when first his children and then his wife died and its failure in 1840 caused the young composer to almost abandon opera.  It was not until he was enticed to write the music for the existing libretto of what became Nabucco that Verdi restarted his career.

On this day in 1857 French philosopher Auguste Comte died in Paris.  His muse was Clotilde de Vaux.  They met in October 1844 and Comte fell in love with her.  Clotilde was married but her husband had abandoned her.  Yet bein’ a devote Catholic, she firmly rejected Comte.  She agreed to follow up with their correspondence and Comte’s passionate love kept growin’ until Clotilde suddenly died of tuberculosis a year later.  Comte was highly impressed by her moral superiority and he was inspired to form the secular religion, Religion of Humanity.

And on this day in 1931 Canadian poet Marian Osborne died.  From her we get the Poem of the Day:

Love’s Anguish

Shall I with lethal draughts drowse every thought
And let the days pass by with silent tread,–
Dream that the vanished hour I long have sought
Is once more mine, and you no longer dead?
How shall I grasp the skirts of happy chance
And calm my spirit in adventurous ways,
Like bold Don Quixote hold aloft my lance
Against the world without thy meed of praise?
How can I live through long discordant days,
How cheat despair, or speed Time’s lagging feet,
Since I have lost the fragrance of love’s ways
That turned life’s winter into springtime sweet?
Come to me, Death, come, ere it be too late;
Thy kiss alone can draw the sting of Fate.

We shall carry on the anguish theme and rock out with The Song of the Day from the Italian rock band Shide – Anguish”.

Come to me, come before it is too late.  Thy kiss alone can draw the sting of anguish.

Mac Tag

L’amour pour principe et l’ordre pour base; le progrès pour but (Love as a principle and order as the basis; Progress as the goal).Auguste Comte

Isn’t that the way all love affairs run—from dream and cloud-journey to earth-firmness?Leon Edel

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