The Lovers’ Almanac 1 November – Imagine – Shakespeare’s Othello & The Tempest -William Merritt Chase – Stephen Crane – Konrad Magi

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

The Lovers’ Almanac

Dear Muse,

“Every day
is Día de Muertos
if it’s spent without the one
who makes you feel alive.”

remember when you wrote, imagine…
i believe i wrote back,
that would be a dream come true
so far, it has been a dream
and a pleasure
and i thank you

snow yesterday
but the sun came out
and melted it all away
still chilly though,
so there is a fire
in the wood stove

now imagine a man
pourin’ dark red wine
listenin’ to Lou Reed
and writin’ verse
in solitude
a man with so much
and yet without

a man with feelin’s
as cold as the snow
waitin’ for a thaw
a man imaginin’
a perfect day
with the one

© copyright 2017 mac tag/cowboy Coleridge all rights reserved

On this day in 1604 – William Shakespeare’s tragedy Othello is performed for the first time, at Whitehall Palace in London.

The Russian actor and theatre practitioner Konstantin Stanislavski as Othello in 1896

Othello (The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice) is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1603.  It is based on the story Un Capitano Moro (“A Moorish Captain”) by Cinthio, a disciple of Boccaccio, first published in 1604.  The story revolves around four central characters: Othello, a Moorish general in the Venetian army; his beloved wife, Desdemona; his loyal lieutenant, Cassio; and his trusted but ultimately unfaithful ensign, Iago.  Given its varied and enduring themes of racism, love, jealousy, betrayal, revenge and repentance, Othello is still often performed in professional and community theatre alike, and has been the source for numerous operatic, film, and literary adaptations.

Desdemona and Othello, by Antonio Muñoz Degrain

Othello costume – illustration by Percy Anderson for Costume Fanciful, Historical and Theatrical, 1906

Painting by William Salter of Othello weeping over Desdemona’s body. Oil on canvas, ca. 1857.

Portrait of Abd el-Ouahed ben Messaoud ben Mohammed Anoun,Moorish ambassador to Queen Elizabeth I in 1600, sometimes suggested as the inspiration for Othello

Artist William Mulready portrays African-American actor Ira Aldridgeas Othello. The Walters Art Museum.

The American Revels 1979 production shows Clayton Corbin and Caryn West as Othello and Desdemona; in the second plate, West is seen with Marie Goodman Hunter, an African American actress, as Emilia.

Poster for an 1884 American production starring Thomas. W. Keene.

Photographic portrait of Paul Robeson as Othello by Carl Van Vechten.

The 1943 run of Othello, starring Paul Robeson and Uta Hagen, holds the record for the most performances of any Shakespeare play

Maria Malibran as Rossini’s Desdemona by François Bouchot, 1834

Laurence Fishburne and Kenneth Branagh as Othello and Iago respectively, in a scene from the 1995 version of Othello.

Act I

  • In following him, I follow but myself.
    • Iago, scene I
  • Heaven is my judge, not I for love and duty,
    But seeming so, for my peculiar end:
    For when my outward action doth demonstrate
    The native act and figure of my heart
    In compliment extern, ’tis not long after
    But I will wear my heart upon my sleeve
    For daws to peck at: I am not what I am.

    • Iago, scene I
  • Even now, now, very now, an old black ram
    Is tupping your white ewe.

    • Iago, scene I
  • Your daughter and the Moor are now making the beast with two backs.
    • Iago, scene I
  • Keep up your bright swords, for the dew will rust them.
    • Othello, scene II
  • Most potent, grave, and reverend signiors,
    My very noble and approved good masters,
    That I have ta’en away this old man’s daughter,
    It is most true; true, I have married her:
    The very head and front of my offending
    Hath this extent, no more. Rude am I in my speech,
    And little bless’d with the soft phrase of peace:
    For since these arms of mine had seven years’ pith,
    Till now some nine moons wasted, they have used
    Their dearest action in the tented field,
    And little of this great world can I speak,
    More than pertains to feats of broil and battle,
    And therefore little shall I grace my cause
    In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,
    I will a round unvarnish’d tale deliver
    Of my whole course of love; what drugs, what charms,
    What conjuration and what mighty magic,
    For such proceeding I am charged withal,
    I won his daughter.

    • Othello, scene III
  • Her father loved me; oft invited me;
    Still question’d me the story of my life,
    From year to year, the battles, sieges, fortunes,
    That I have passed.
    I ran it through, even from my boyish days,
    To the very moment that he bade me tell it;
    Wherein I spake of most disastrous chances,
    Of moving accidents by flood and field
    Of hair-breadth scapes i’ the imminent deadly breach,
    Of being taken by the insolent foe
    And sold to slavery, of my redemption thence
    And portance in my travels’ history:
    Wherein of antres vast and deserts idle,
    Rough quarries, rocks and hills whose heads touch heaven
    It was my hint to speak,–such was the process;
    And of the Cannibals that each other eat,
    The Anthropophagi and men whose heads
    Do grow beneath their shoulders. This to hear
    Would Desdemona seriously incline:
    But still the house-affairs would draw her thence:
    Which ever as she could with haste dispatch,
    She’ld come again, and with a greedy ear
    Devour up my discourse: which I observing,
    Took once a pliant hour, and found good means
    To draw from her a prayer of earnest heart
    That I would all my pilgrimage dilate,
    Whereof by parcels she had something heard,
    But not intentively: I did consent,
    And often did beguile her of her tears,
    When I did speak of some distressful stroke
    That my youth suffer’d. My story being done,
    She gave me for my pains a world of sighs:
    She swore, in faith, twas strange, ’twas passing strange,
    ‘Twas pitiful, ’twas wondrous pitiful:
    She wish’d she had not heard it, yet she wish’d
    That heaven had made her such a man: she thank’d me,
    And bade me, if I had a friend that loved her,
    I should but teach him how to tell my story.
    And that would woo her. Upon this hint I spake:
    She loved me for the dangers I had pass’d,
    And I loved her that she did pity them.
    This only is the witchcraft I have used:
    Here comes the lady; let her witness it.

    • Othello, scene III
  • That I did love the Moor to live with him,
    My downright violence and storm of fortunes
    May trumpet to the world: my heart’s subdued
    Even to the very quality of my lord:

    • Desdemona, scene III
  • But he bears both the sentence and the sorrow
    That, to pay grief, must of poor patience borrow.

    • Duke, scene III
  • The robb’d that smiles, steals something from the thief;
    He robs himself that spends a bootless grief.

    • Duke of Venice, scene III
  • Look to her, Moor, if thou hast eyes to see:
    She has deceived her father, and may thee.

    • Brabantio, scene III
  • Thus do I ever make my fool my purse.
    • Iago, scene III
  • I hate the Moor;
    And it is thought abroad, that ‘twixt my sheets
    He has done my office: I know not if ‘t be true;
    But I, for mere suspicion in that kind, will do as if for surety.

    • Iago, scene III
  • The Moor is of a free and open nature,
    That thinks men honest that but seem to be so,
    And will as tenderly be led by the nose
    As asses are.

    • Iago, scene III

Act II

  • If after every tempest come such calms,
    May the winds blow till they have waken’d death!

    • Othello, scene i
  • She never yet was foolish that was fair; For even her folly help’d her to an heir.
    • Iago, scene I
  • Knavery’s plain face is never seen till us’d.
    • Iago, scene i
  • Reputation is an idle and most false imposition; oft got without merit and lost without deserving.
    • Iago, scene iii
  • Now, by heaven,
    My blood begins my safer guides to rule;
    And passion, having my best judgment collied,
    Assays to lead the way. ‘Zounds, if I stir,
    Or do but lift this arm, the best of you
    Shall sink in my rebuke. Give me to know
    How this foul rout began, who set it on;
    And he that is approv’d in this offence,
    Though he had twinn’d with me, both at a birth,
    Shall lose me. What! in a town of war,
    Yet wild, the people’s hearts brimful of fear,
    To manage private and domestic quarrel?
    In night, and on the court and guard of safety?
    ‘Tis monstrous. Iago, who began’t?

    • Othello, scene iii
  • And what’s he then that says I play the villain?
    When this advice is free I give and honest,
    Probal to thinking and indeed the course
    To win the Moor again? For ’tis most easy
    The inclining Desdemona to subdue
    In any honest suit: she’s framed as fruitful
    As the free elements. And then for her
    To win the Moor — were’t to renounce his baptism,
    All seals and symbols of redeemed sin,
    His soul is so enfetter’d to her love,
    That she may make, unmake, do what she list,
    Even as her appetite shall play the god
    With his weak function. How am I then a villain
    To counsel Cassio to this parallel course,
    Directly to his good? Divinity of hell!
    When devils will the blackest sins put on,
    They do suggest at first with heavenly shows,
    As I do now: for whiles this honest fool
    Plies Desdemona to repair his fortunes
    And she for him pleads strongly to the Moor,
    I’ll pour this pestilence into his ear,
    That she repeals him for her body’s lust;
    And by how much she strives to do him good,
    She shall undo her credit with the Moor.
    So will I turn her virtue into pitch,
    And out of her own goodness make the net
    That shall enmesh them all.

    • Iago, scene iii

Act III

  • Then put up your pipes in your bag, for I’ll away. Go, vanish into air, away!
    • Clown, scene i
  • Excellent wretch! Perdition catch my soul,
    But I do love thee; and when I love thee not,
    Chaos is come again.

    • Othello, scene iii
  • Men should be what they seem;
    Or those that be not, would they might seem none!

    • Iago, scene iii
  • Good name in man and woman, dear my lord,
    Is the immediate jewel of their souls:
    Who steals my purse steals trash; ’tis something, nothing;
    ’Twas mine, ’tis his, and has been slave to thousands;
    But he that filches from me my good name,
    Robs me of that which not enriches him,
    And makes me poor indeed.

    • Iago, scene iii
  • O! beware, my lord, of jealousy;
    It is the green-ey’d monster which doth mock
    The meat it feeds on.

    • Iago, scene iii
  • Think’st thou I’d make a life of jealousy,
    To follow still the changes of the moon
    With fresh suspicions? No; to be once in doubt,
    Is once to be resolved.

    • Othello, scene iii
  • She did deceive her father, marrying you;
    And when she seem’d to shake and fear your looks
    She lov’d them most.

    • Iago, scene iii
  • Othello: I do not think but Desdemona’s honest.
    Iago: Long live she so, and long live you to think so!
    Othello: And, yet, how nature erring from itself,—
    Iago: Ay, there’s the point.

    • Scene iii
  • If she be false, O! then heaven mocks itself.
    I’ll not believe’t.

    • Othello, scene iii
  • O! now, for ever
    Farewell the tranquil mind; farewell content!

    • Othello, scene iii
  • Villain, be sure thou prove my love a whore,
    Be sure of it; give me the ocular proof;
    Or, by the worth of mine eternal soul,
    Thou hadst been better have been born a dog
    Than answer my wak’d wrath.

    • Othello, scene iii
  • There are a kind of men so loose of soul,
    That in their sleeps will mutter their affairs.

    • Iago, scene iii
  • ‘Tis not a year or two shows us a man:
    They are all but stomachs, and we all but food;
    They eat us hungerly, and when they are full,
    They belch us.

    • Emilia, scene iv

Act IV

  • Do it not with poison, strangle her in her bed.
    • Iago, scene i
  • Who would not make her husband a cuckold to make him a monarch?
    • Emilia, scene iii
  • Heaven me such uses send,
    Not to pick bad from bad, but by bad mend.

    • Desdemona, scene iii

Act V

  • O damn’d Iago! O inhuman dog!
    • Roderigo, scene i
  • Put out the light, and then put out the light.
    • Othello, scene ii
  • [He kisses her]
    O balmy breath, that dost almost persuade
    Justice to break her sword. One more, one more!
    Be thus when thou art dead, and I will kill thee,
    And love thee after. One more, and that’s the last!
    So sweet was ne’er so fatal. I must weep,
    But they are cruel tears. This sorrow’s heavenly;
    It strikes where it doth love. She wakes.

    • Othello, scene ii
  • What noise is this? Not dead — not yet quite dead?
    I that am cruel am yet merciful;
    I would not have the linger in thy pain
    So, so.

    • Othello, scene ii
  • It is the very error of the moon;
    She comes more near the earth than she was wont;
    And makes men mad.

    • Othello, scene ii
  • I hold my peace, sir? no;
    No, I will speak as liberal as the north;
    Let heaven and men and devils, let them all,
    All, all, cry shame against me, yet I’ll speak.

    • Emilia, scene ii
  • Demand me nothing: what you know, you know:
    From this time forth I never will speak word.

    • Iago, scene ii
  • I pray you, in your letters,
    When you shall these unlucky deeds relate,
    Speak of me as I am; nothing extenuate,
    Nor set down aught in malice: then, must you speak
    Of one that lov’d not wisely but too well;
    Of one not easily jealous, but, being wrought,
    Perplex’d in the extreme; of one whose hand,
    Like the base Indian, threw a pearl away
    Richer than all his tribe; of one whose subdu’d eyes
    Albeit unused to the melting mood,
    Drop tears as fast as the Arabian trees
    Their med’cinable gum. Set you down this;
    And say besides, that in Aleppo once,
    Where a malignant and a turban’d Turk
    Beat a Venetian and traduc’d the state,
    I took by the throat the circumcised dog,
    And smote him thus.

    • Othello, scene ii
  • I kissed thee ere I killed thee, no way but this,
    Killing myself, to die upon a kiss.

    • Othello, scene ii

1611 – Shakespeare’s play The Tempest is performed for the first time, at Whitehall Palace in London.

The shipwreck in Act I, Scene 1, in a 1797 engraving by Benjamin Smith after a painting by George Romney

The Tempest is a play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1610–11.  It is set on a remote island, where the sorcerer Prospero, rightful Duke of Milan, plots to restore his daughter Miranda to her rightful place using illusion and skillful manipulation.  He conjures up a storm, the eponymous tempest, to lure his usurping brother Antonio and the complicit King Alonso of Naples to the island. There, his machinations bring about the revelation of Antonio’s lowly nature, the redemption of the King, and the marriage of Miranda to Alonso’s son, Ferdinand.

 

Prospero and Miranda from a painting by William Maw Egley; ca. 1850

 

Miranda by John William Waterhouse

 

A depiction from Nicholas Rowe’s 1709 edition of Shakespeare’s plays of the stage direction of the opening of the 1674 adaptation

 

 

 

The first page of The Tempest, printed in the First Folio of 1623

 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits and
Are melted into air, into thin air;
And—like the baseless fabric of this vision—
The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,
And like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep. …

 —Prospero 

Ariel (Fuseli, c.1800–1810) 

Ferdinand Lured by Ariel by John Everett Millais, 1850 

Prospero, Ariel and sleeping Miranda from a painting by William Hamilton 

Oil sketch of Emma Hart, as Miranda, by George Romney 

A playbill for a 1757 production of The Tempest at the Drury Lane Theatre Royal 

Miranda and Ferdinand by Angelica Kauffman, 1782 

A charcoal drawing by Charles Buchel of Herbert Beerbohm Tree as Caliban in the 1904 production. 

Caliban rants at Prospero while Ariel looks on, in a 2014 production by OVO theatre company, St Albans, UK 

Caliban, Stephano and Trinculo dancing, detail of a painting by Johann Heinrich Ramberg 

“Miranda” by Frederick Goodall, from the Graphic Gallery of Shakespeare’s Heroines 

William Hogarth’s painting of The Tempest ca. 1735.

Fyodor Paramonov as Caliban, Maly Theatre (Moscow), 1905

Act I

  • Antonio: Where is the master, boatswain?
    Boatswain: Do you not hear him? You mar our labour: keep your cabins; you do assist the storm.
    Gonzalo: Nay, good, be patient.
    Boatswain: When the sea is. Hence! What cares these roarers for the name of king? To cabin! silence! Trouble us not.
    Gonzalo: Good, yet remember whom thou hast aboard.
    Boatswain: None that I more love than myself. You are counsellor; — if you can command these elements to silence, and work the peace of the present, we will not hand a rope more. Use your authority; if you cannot, give thanks you have liv’d so long, and make yourself ready in your cabin for the mischance of the hour, if it so hap.

    • Scene i
  • I have great comfort from this fellow. Methinks he hath no drowning mark upon him; his complexion is perfect gallows.
    • Gonzalo, scene i
  • A pox o’ your throat, you bawling, blasphemous,
    incharitable dog!

    • Sebastian, scene i
  • All lost! to prayers, to prayers! All lost!
    • Mariners, scene i
  • Now would I give a thousand furlongs of sea for an acre of barren ground — long heath, brown furze, anything. The wills above be done, but I would fain die a dry death.
    • Gonzalo, scene i
  • Miranda: If by your art, my dearest father, you have
    Put the wild waters in this roar, allay them.
    The sky, it seems, would pour down stinking pitch,
    But that the sea, mounting to the welkin’s cheek,
    Dashes the fire out. O, I have suffered
    With those that I saw suffer! A brave vessel,
    Who had, no doubt, some noble creatures in her,
    Dash’d all to pieces! O, the cry did knock
    Against my very heart! Poor souls, they perish’d!
    Had I been any god of power, I would
    Have sunk the sea within the earth, or e’er
    It should the good ship so have swallow’d, and
    The fraughting souls within her.
    Prospero: Be collected;
    No more amazement; tell your piteous heart
    There’s no harm done.
    Miranda: O, woe the day!
    Prospero: No harm.
    I have done nothing but in care of thee —
    Of thee, my dear one! thee, my daughter.

    • Scene ii
  • Miranda: You have often
    Begun to tell me what I am; but stopp’d,
    And left me to a bootless inquisition,
    Concluding, Stay; not yet.
    Prospero: The hour’s now come;
    The very minute bids thee ope thine ear.

    • Scene ii
  • What see’st thou else
    In the dark backward and abysm of time?

    • Prospero, scene ii
  • The government I cast upon my brother,
    And to my state grew stranger, being transported
    And rapt in secret studies.

    • Prospero, scene ii
  • I, thus neglecting worldly ends, all dedicated
    To closeness, and the bettering of my mind

    • Prospero, scene ii
  • Like one
    Who having unto truth, by telling of it,
    Made such a sinner of his memory,
    To credit his own lie.

    • Prospero, scene ii
  • My library
    Was dukedom large enough.

    • Prospero, scene ii
  • Knowing I lov’d my books, he furnish’d me,
    From mine own library, with volumes that
    I prize above my dukedom.

    • Prospero, scene ii
  • Know thus far forth:
    By accident most strange, bountiful Fortune —
    Now my dear lady — hath mine enemies
    Brought to this shore; and by my prescience
    I find my zenith doth depend upon
    A most auspicious star, whose influence
    If now I court not, but omit, my fortunes
    Will ever after droop.

    • Prospero, scene ii
  • All hail, great master! grave sir, hail! I come
    To answer thy best pleasure; be’t to fly,
    To swim, to dive into the fire, to ride
    On the curl’d clouds. To thy strong bidding task
    Ariel, and all his quality.

    • Ariel, scene ii
  • Ferdinand,
    With hair up-staring, — then like reeds, not hair, —
    was the first man that leapt; cried Hell is empty,
    And all the devils are here.

    • Ariel, scene ii
  • From the still-vex’d Bermoothes.
    • Ariel, scene ii
  • I will be correspondent to command,
    And do my spriting gently.

    • Ariel, scene ii
  • Caliban: As wicked dew as e’er my mother brush’d
    With raven’s feather from unwholesome fen,
    Drop on you both! a south-west blow on ye,
    And blister you all o’er!
    Prospero: For this, be sure, to-night thou shalt have cramps,
    Side-stitches that shall pen thy breath up; urchins
    Shall, for that vast of night that they may work,
    All exercise on thee; thou shalt be pinch’d
    As thick as honeycomb, each pinch more stinging
    Than bees that made ’em.

    • Scene ii
  • This island’s mine, by Sycorax my mother,
    Which thou tak’st from me. When thou cam’st first,
    Thou strok’st me and made much of me, wouldst give me
    Water with berries in’t, and teach me how
    To name the bigger light, and how the less,
    That burn by day and night; and then I lov’d thee,
    And show’d thee all the qualities o’ the isle,
    The fresh springs, brine-pits, barren place and fertile.
    Curs’d be I that did so! All the charms
    Of Sycorax, toads, beetles, bats, light on you!
    For I am all the subjects that you have,
    Which first was mine own king.

    • Caliban, scene ii
  • You taught me language, and my profit on’t
    Is, I know how to curse. The red plague rid you,
    For learning me your language!

    • Caliban, scene ii
  • If thou neglect’st, or dost unwillingly
    What I command, I’ll rack thee with old cramps,
    Fill all thy bones with aches, make thee roar,
    That beasts shall tremble at thy din.

    • Prospero, scene ii
  • Come unto these yellow sands,
    And then take hands;
    Curt’sied when you have and kiss’d,
    The wild waves whist,
    Foot it featly here and there,
    And, sweet sprites, the burden bear.

    • Ariel, scene ii
  • Full fathom five thy father lies;
    Of his bones are coral made;
    Those are pearls that were his eyes;
    Nothing of him that doth fade,
    But doth suffer a sea-change
    Into something rich and strange.

    Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell:
    Ding-dong.
    Hark! now I hear them — Ding-dong, bell.

    • Ariel, scene ii
  • The fringed curtains of thine eye advance,
    And say what thou seest yond.

    • Prospero, scene ii
  • This
    Is the third man that e’er I saw; the first
    That e’er I sigh’d for.

    • Miranda, scene ii
  • There’s nothing ill can dwell in such a temple:
    If the ill spirit have so fair a house,
    Good things will strive to dwell with ’t.

    • Miranda, scene ii
  • My spirits, as in a dream, are all bound up.
    My father’s loss, the weakness which I feel,
    The wreck of all my friends, nor this man’s threats,
    To whom I am subdu’d, are but light to me,
    Might I but through my prison once a day
    Behold this maid. All corners else o’ th’ earth
    Let liberty make use of; space enough
    Have I in such a prison.

    • Ferdinand, scene ii

Act II

  • Gonzalo: Here is everything advantageous to life.
    Antonio: True; save means to live.

    • Scene i
  • Alonso: You cram these words into mine ears against
    The stomach of my sense. Would I had never
    Married my daughter there! for, coming thence,
    My son is lost; and, in my rate, she too,
    Who is so far from Italy remov’d
    I ne’er again shall see her. O thou mine heir
    Of Naples and of Milan, what strange fish
    Hath made his meal on thee?
    Francesco: Sir, he may live:
    I saw him beat the surges under him,
    And ride upon their backs; he trod the water,
    Whose enmity he flung aside, and breasted
    The surge most swol’n that met him; his bold head
    ‘Bove the contentious waves he kept, and oar’d
    Himself with his good arms in lusty stroke
    To the shore, that o’er his wave-worn basis bow’d,
    As stooping to relieve him; I not doubt
    He came alive to land.

    • Scene i
  • Sebastian: Well, I am standing water.
    Antonio: I’ll teach you how to flow.

    • Scene i
  • We all were sea-swallow’d, though some cast again:
    And, by that destiny, to perform an act,
    Whereof what’s past is prologue, what to come
    In yours and my discharge.

    • Antonio, scene I
  • While you here do snoring lie,
    Open-ey’d Conspiracy
    His time doth take.
    If of life you keep a care,
    Shake off slumber, and beware.
    Awake, awake!

    • Ariel, scene i
  • All the infections that the sun sucks up
    From bogs, fens, flats, on Prosper fall, and make him
    By inch-meal a disease! His spirits hear me,
    And yet I needs must curse; but they’ll nor pinch,
    Fright me with urchin-shows, pitch me i’ the mire,
    Nor lead me, like a firebrand, in the dark
    Out of my way, unless he bid ’em; but
    For every trifle are they set upon me;
    Sometime like apes, that moe and chatter at me,
    And after, bite me; then like hedgehogs, which
    Lie tumbling in my barefoot way, and mount
    Their pricks at my footfall; sometime am I
    All wound with adders, who, with cloven tongues,
    Do hiss me into madness.

    • Caliban, scene ii
  • A very ancient and fish-like smell.
    • Trinculo, scene ii
  • Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows.
    • Trinculo, scene ii
  • The master, the swabber, the boatswain, and I,
    The gunner, and his mate,
    Lov’d Mall, Meg, and Marian, and Margery,
    But none of us car’d for Kate;
    For she had a tongue with a tang,
    Would cry to a sailor
    Go hang!
    She lov’d not the savour of tar nor of pitch,
    Yet a tailor might scratch her where’er she did itch.
    Then to sea, boys, and let her go hang!

    This is a scurvy tune too; but here’s my comfort. [Drinks]

    • Stephano, scene ii
  • Stephano: Here; swear then how thou escapedst.
    Trinculo: Swam ashore man, like a duck; I can swim like a duck, I’ll be sworn.
    Stephano: Here, kiss the book. Though thou canst swim like a duck, thou art made like a goose.

    • Scene ii
  • Caliban: Hast thou not dropp’d from heaven?
    Stephano: Out o’ th’ moon, I do assure thee; I was the Man i’ th’ Moon, when time was.
    Caliban: I have seen thee in her, and I do adore thee.
    My mistress show’d me thee, and thy dog and thy bush.

    • Scene ii
  • I prithee, be my god.
    • Caliban, scene ii

Act III

  • There be some sports are painful, and their labour
    Delight in them sets off; some kinds of baseness
    Are nobly undergone; and most poor matters
    Point to rich ends. This my mean task
    Would be as heavy to me as odious, but
    The mistress which I serve quickens what’s dead,
    And makes my labours pleasures.

    • Ferdinand, scene i
  • Full many a lady
    I have ey’d with best regard; and many a time
    The harmony of their tongues hath into bondage
    Brought my too diligent ear; for several virtues
    Have I lik’d several women, never any
    With so full soul, but some defect in her
    Did quarrel with the noblest grace she ow’d,
    And put it to the foil; but you, O you,
    So perfect and so peerless, are created
    Of every creature’s best!

    • Ferdinand, scene i
  • Miranda: Do you love me?
    Ferdinand: O heaven! O earth! Bear witness to this sound,
    And crown what I confess with kind event,
    If I speak true! If hollowly, invert
    What best is boded me to mischief! I,
    Beyond all limit of what else i’ the world
    Do love, prize, honour you.

    • Scene i
  • Ferdinand: Wherefore weep you?
    Miranda: At mine unworthiness, that dare not offer
    What I desire to give, and much less take
    What I shall die to want.

    • Scene i
  • I am your wife, if you will marry me;
    If not, I’ll die your maid. To be your fellow
    You may deny me; but I’ll be your servant,
    Whether you will or no.

    • Miranda, scene i
  • Ferdinand: Here ’s my hand.
    Miranda: And mine, with my heart in ’t.

    • Scene i
  • Servant-monster! the folly of this island! They say there’s but five upon this isle: we are three of them; if th’ other two be brain’d like us, the state totters.
    • Trinculo, scene ii
  • How does thy honour? Let me lick thy shoe.
    I’ll not serve him, he is not valiant.

    • Caliban, scene ii
  • Ariel: Thou liest.
    Caliban: Thou liest, thou jesting monkey, thou: I would my
    valiant monster would destroy thee: I do not lie.
    Stephano: Trinculo, if you trouble him any more in’s tale, by this hand, I will supplant some of your teeth.

    • Scene ii
  • Why, as I told thee, ’tis a custom with him
    I’ the afternoon to sleep; there thou mayst brain him,
    Having first seiz’d his books; or with a log
    Batter his skull, or paunch him with a stake,
    Or cut his wezand with thy knife. Remember,
    First to possess his books; for without them
    He’s but a sot, as I am, nor hath not
    One spirit to command: they all do hate him,
    As rootedly as I — burn but his books.

    • Caliban, scene ii
  • Flout ’em and scout ’em, and scout ’em and flout ’em;
    Thought is free.

    • Stephano, scene ii
  • He that dies pays all debts: I defy thee. Mercy upon us!
    • Stephano, scene ii
  • Be not afeard. The isle is full of noises,
    Sounds, and sweet airs, that give delight, and hurt not.
    Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments
    Will hum about mine ears; and sometimes voices,
    That, if I then had wak’d after long sleep,
    Will make me sleep again; and then, in dreaming,
    The clouds methought would open and show riches
    Ready to drop upon me, that, when I wak’d,
    I cried to dream again.

    • Caliban, scene ii
  • Alonso: Give us kind keepers, heavens! What were these?
    Sebastian: A living drollery. Now I will believe
    That there are unicorns; that in Arabia
    There is one tree, the phoenix’ throne, one phoenix
    At this hour reigning there.
    Antonio: I’ll believe both;
    And what does else want credit, come to me,
    And I’ll be sworn ’tis true; travellers ne’er did lie,
    Though fools at home condemn ’em.

    • Scene iii
  • A kind
    Of excellent dumb discourse.

    • Alonso, scene iii
  • You are three men of sin, whom Destiny, —
    That hath to instrument this lower world
    And what is in’t, —the never-surfeited sea
    Hath caus’d to belch up you; and on this island
    Where man doth not inhabit, you ‘mongst men
    Being most unfit to live. I have made you mad;
    And even with such-like valour, men hang and drown
    Their proper selves.
    [Alonso, Sebastian, etc., draw their swords]
    You fools! I and my fellows
    Are ministers of Fate; the elements,
    Of whom your swords are temper’d may as well
    Wound the loud winds, or with bemock’d-at stabs
    Kill the still-closing waters, as diminish
    One dowle that’s in my plume.

    • Ariel, scene iii
  • O, it is monstrous, monstrous!
    Methought the billows spoke, and told me of it;
    The winds did sing it to me; and the thunder,
    That deep and dreadful organ-pipe, pronounc’d
    The name of Prospero; it did bass my trespass.
    Therefore my son i’ the ooze is bedded; and,
    I’ll seek him deeper than e’er plummet sounded,
    And with him there lie mudded.

    • Alonso, scene iii

Act IV

  • The strongest oaths are straw
    To th’ fire i’ the blood. Be more abstemious,
    Or else good night your vow!

    • Prospero, scene i
  • Ceres: Hail, many-coloured messenger, that ne’er
    Dost disobey the wife of Jupiter;
    Who, with thy saffron wings, upon my flow’rs
    Diffusest honey drops, refreshing show’rs;
    And with each end of thy blue bow dost crown
    My bosky acres and my unshrubb’d down,
    Rich scarf to my proud earth; — why hath thy Queen
    Summon’d me hither to this short-grass’d green?
    Iris: A contract of true love to celebrate,
    And some donation freely to estate
    On the blest lovers.

    • Scene i
  • Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
    As I foretold you, were all spirits, and
    Are melted into air, into thin air;
    And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
    The cloud-capp’d towers, the gorgeous palaces,
    The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
    Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,
    And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
    Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
    As dreams are made on; and our little life
    Is rounded with a sleep.

    • Prospero, scene i
  • Pray you, tread softly, that the blind mole may not
    Hear a foot fall; we now are near his cell.

    • Caliban, scene i
  • Trinculo: Ay, but to lose our bottles in the pool —
    Stephano: There is not only disgrace and dishonor in that, monster, but an infinite loss.

    • scene i
  • With foreheads villainous low.
    • Caliban, scene i

Act V

  • Though with their high wrongs I am struck to the quick,
    Yet, with my nobler reason ‘gainst my fury
    Do I take part; the rarer action is
    In virtue than in vengeance.

    • Prospero, scene i
  • Ye elves of hills, brooks, standing lakes, and groves;
    And ye that on the sands with printless foot
    Do chase the ebbing Neptune, and do fly him
    When he comes back; you demi-puppets that
    By moonshine do the green sour ringlets make,
    Whereof the ewe not bites; and you whose pastime
    Is to make midnight mushrooms, that rejoice
    To hear the solemn curfew; by whose aid —
    Weak masters though ye be — I have be-dimm’d
    The noontide sun, call’d forth the mutinous winds,
    And ‘twixt the green sea and the azur’d vault
    Set roaring war. To the dread rattling thunder
    Have I given fire, and rifted Jove’s stout oak
    With his own bolt; the strong-bas’d promontory
    Have I made shake, and by the spurs pluck’d up
    The pine and cedar. Graves at my command,
    Have wak’d their sleepers, op’d, and let ’em forth,
    By my so potent art. But this rough magic
    I here abjure; and, when I have requir’d
    Some heavenly music — which even now I do, —
    To work mine end upon their senses that
    This airy charm is for, I’ll break my staff,
    Bury it certain fathoms in the earth,
    And, deeper than did ever plummet sound,
    I’ll drown my book.

    • Prospero, scene i
  • Where the bee sucks, there suck I;
    In a cowslip’s bell I lie;
    There I couch when owls do cry.
    On the bat’s back I do fly
    After summer merrily.
    Merrily, merrily, shall I live now,
    Under the blossom that hangs on the bough.

    • Ariel, scene i
  • O, wonder!
    How many goodly creatures are there here!
    How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world,
    That has such people in’t!

    • Miranda, scene i
    • It is this statement by Miranda which provided Aldous Huxley the title of his dystopian novel, Brave New World, in which “The Savage” quotes this passage.

Epilogue

  • Now my charms are all o’erthrown,
    And what strength I have’s mine own,
    Which is most faint: now, ’tis true,
    I must be here confin’d by you,
    Or sent to Naples. Let me not,
    Since I have my dukedom got
    And pardon’d the deceiver, dwell
    In this bare island by your spell;
    But release me from my bands
    With the help of your good hands.
    Gentle breath of yours my sails
    Must fill, or else my project fails,
    Which was to please. Now I want
    Spirits to enforce, art to enchant;
    And my ending is despair,
    Unless I be reliev’d by prayer,
    Which pierces so that it assaults
    Mercy itself, and frees all faults.
    As you from crimes would pardon’d be,
    Let your indulgence set me free.

    • Prospero

 

William Merritt Chase
William Merritt Chase.jpg

William Merritt Chase in 1900

Today is the birthday of William Merritt Chase (Nineveh, Indiana; November 1, 1849 – October 25, 1916 New York City); American painter, known as an exponent of Impressionism and as a teacher.  He is also responsible for establishing the Chase School, which later would become Parsons The New School for Design.

Gallery 

Self portrait, 1915–16, oil on canvas, Richmond Art Museum

 “Keying Up” – The Court Jester, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts 

Studio Interior, c. 1882, Brooklyn Museum

Lydia Field Emmet, 1892, oil on canvas, Brooklyn Museum

Mrs. Chase in Pink, Figge Art Museum 

A Friendly Call, 1895. National Gallery of Art 

Landscape: Shinnecock, Long Island, c. 1896, Princeton University Art Museum

Still Life, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston 

Stephen Crane
SCrane2.JPG

Formal portrait of Stephen Crane taken in Washington, D.C., about March 1896

Today is the birthday of Stephen Crane (Newark, New Jersey; November 1, 1871 – June 5, 1900 Badenweiler, German Empire); American poet, novelist, and short story writer. Prolific throughout his short life, he wrote notable works in the Realist tradition as well as early examples of American Naturalism and Impressionism.  In my opinion, one of the most innovative writers of his generation.

In 1896, Crane endured a highly publicized scandal after appearing as a witness in the trial of a suspected prostitute, an acquaintance named Dora Clark.  Late that year he accepted an offer to travel to Cuba as a war correspondent.  As he waited in Jacksonville, Florida, for passage, he met Cora Taylor, with whom he began a lasting relationship.  En route to Cuba, Crane’s vessel the SS Commodore, sank off the coast of Florida, leaving him and others adrift for 30 hours in a dinghy.  Crane described the ordeal in “The Open Boat”.  During the final years of his life, he covered conflicts in Greece (accompanied by Cora, recognized as the first woman war correspondent) and later lived in England with her.  He was befriended by writers such as Joseph Conrad and H. G. Wells.  Plagued by financial difficulties and ill health, Crane died of tuberculosis in a Black Forest sanatorium in Germany at the age of 28.

Crane’s writing is characterized by vivid intensity, distinctive dialects, and irony.  Common themes involve fear, spiritual crises and social isolation.  Although recognized primarily for The Red Badge of Courage, which has become an American classic, Crane is also known for his poetry, journalism, and short stories such as “The Open Boat”, “The Blue Hotel”, “The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky”, and The Monster.  His writing made a deep impression on 20th-century writers, most prominent among them Ernest Hemingway, and is thought to have inspired the Modernists and the Imagists.

Verse 

  • Unwind my riddle.
    Cruel as hawks the hours fly;
    Wounded men seldom come home to die;
    The hard waves see an arm flung high;
    Scorn hits strong because of a lie;
    Yet there exists a mystic tie.
    Unwind my riddle.

    • Epigraph in “The Clan of No Name” (1899); published in the anthology Wounds in the Rain (1900)

The Black Riders and Other Lines (1895)

  • In the desert
    I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
    Who, squatting upon the ground,
    Held his heart in his hands,
    And ate of it.
    I said, “Is it good, friend?”
    “It is bitter—bitter,” he answered;
    “But I like it
    Because it is bitter,
    And because it is my heart.”

    • III
  • If there is a witness to my little life,
    To my tiny throes and struggles,
    He sees a fool;
    And it is not fine for gods to menace fools.

    • XIII
  • I saw a man pursuing the horizon;
    Round and round they sped.

    I was disturbed at this;
    I accosted the man.
    “It is futile,” I said,
    “You can never—”
  • “You lie,” he cried,
    And ran on.

    • XXIV

War Is Kind and Other Lines (1899)

  • Do not weep, maiden, for war is kind.
    Because your lover threw wild hands toward the sky
    And the affrighted steed ran on alone,
    Do not weep.
    War is kind.

    • Do Not Weep, Maiden, For War is Kind, No. 1, st. 1
  • Hoarse, booming drums of the regiment,
    Little souls who thirst for fight,
    These men were born to drill and die.
    The unexplained glory flies above them,
    Great is the battle-god, great, and his kingdom —
    A field where a thousand corpses lie.

    • Do Not Weep, Maiden, For War is Kind, st. 2
  • Do not weep, babe, for war is kind.
    Because your father tumbled in the yellow trenches,
    Raged at his breast, gulped and died,
    Do not weep.
    War is kind.

    • Do Not Weep, Maiden, For War is Kind, st. 3
  • Swift blazing flag of the regiment,
    Eagle with crest of red and gold,
    These men were born to drill and die.
    Point for them the virtue of slaughter,
    Make plain to them the excellence of killing
    And a field where a thousand corpses lie.

    • Do Not Weep, Maiden, For War is Kind, st. 4
  • The wayfarer,
    Perceiving the pathway to truth,
    Was struck with astonishment.
    It was thickly grown with weeds.
    “Ha,” he said,
    “I see that none has passed here
    In a long time.”
    Later he saw that each weed
    Was a singular knife.
    “Well,” he mumbled at last,
    “Doubtless there are other roads.”

    • The Wayfarer, No. 13
  • A man said to the universe:
    “Sir I exist!”
    “However,” replied the universe,
    “The fact has not created in me
    A sense of obligation.”

    • A Man Said to the Universe, No. 20

Louis Dewis
DewisPhoto.jpg

Today is the birthday of Louis Dewis (Mons 1872– 5 December 1946 Biarritz, France); Belgian Post-Impressionist painter, who lived most of his adult life in France.[4]

Gallery

 

Dyle Bridge at Mechelen, Belgium (c. 1919) 

The Old Beggar, 1916

Louis Dewachter married Elisabeth Florigni (1873 – 25 August 1952).  Elisabeth was a Bordeaux socialite and the daughter of Joseph Jules Florigni (1842 – 14 April 1919) and Rose Lesfargues Palmyre Florigni (1843 – 11 September 1917). 

Valley in the Belgian Ardennes, c. 1920

Andrée, the Little Fisherwoman, 1922 

Notre Dame, 1919 

The Village Road – Auvergne, c. 1929 

Morning Landscape, 1926

Port of Villefranche, 1930 

Snow in Biarritz, 1942

The Garden at Villa Pat, 1940 

Konrad Mägi
Konrad Mägi.jpg

Konrad Mägi (photo c. 1898-1905)

Today is the birthday of Konrad Vilhelm Mägi (Hellenurme Manor, Rõngu Parish, Tartu County (now in Palupera Parish, Valga County); 1 November 1878 – 15 August 1925 Tartu); Estonian painter, primarily known for his landscape work.  He was one of the most colour-sensitive Estonian painters of the first decades of the 20th century, and Mägi’s works on motifs of the island of Saaremaa are the first modern Estonian nature paintings.

Gallery

Portrait of a Woman (1908)
A Landscape with a Bell Tower (1913-1914)
Landscape with a Red Cloud (1913-1914)
Vilsandi Motif (1913-1914)
Rannamaastik (Beach landscape) (1914)
Landscape with Rocks (1913-1914)
Landscape of Norway (1908-1910)
Motif from Saaremaa (date unknown)
Capri Island (1922-1923)
Italian Landscape. (1922-1923)
Venice (1922-1923)

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The Lovers’ Almanac 31 October – Without – verse by John Keats – art by Marie Laurencin

Dear Zazie,  First, Happy Halloween!  Here is today’s Lovers’ Almanac from Mac Tag dedicated to his muse.  Has love left you without mercy?  Rhett

The Lovers’ Almanac

Dear Muse,

needless to say
what is so needed
to be said

what ails thee
on all hallows’ eve
are you without
the only one
who can make you
feel alive

the only one
who can take
your hand and calm
your wanderin’ spirit

on this, all hallows’ eve
are you without
the one

© copyright 2017 mac tag/cowboy Coleridge all rights reserved

John Keats
John Keats by William Hilton.jpg

Portrait of John Keats by William Hilton. National Portrait Gallery, London

Today is the birthday of John Keats (Moorgate, London; 31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821 Rome); English Romantic poet.  He was one of the main figures of the second generation of Romantic poets, along with Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley, despite his work having been in publication for only four years before his death.

Although his poems were not generally well received by critics during his lifetime, his reputation grew after his death, and by the end of the 19th century, he had become one of the most beloved of all English poets.  He had a significant influence on a diverse range of poets and writers.  Jorge Luis Borges stated that his first encounter with Keats’s work was the most significant literary experience of his life.

The poetry of Keats is characterised by sensual imagery, most notably in the series of odes.  This is typical of romantic poets, as they aimed to accentuate extreme emotion through the emphasis of natural imagery.  Today his poems and letters are some of the most popular and most analysed in English literature.

Life mask of Keats by Benjamin Haydon, 1816 

On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer

Much have I travell’d in the realms of gold,
And many goodly states and kingdoms seen;
Round many western islands have I been
Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold.
Oft of one wide expanse had I been told
That deep-browed Homer ruled as his demesne;
Yet did I never breathe its pure serene
Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold:
Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
When a new planet swims into his ken;
Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes
He star’d at the Pacific — and all his men
Look’d at each other with a wild surmise —
Silent, upon a peak in Darien.

The sonnet “On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer”
October 1816
 

My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains
My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,
Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains
One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk:
‘Tis not through envy of thy happy lot,
But being too happy in thine happiness,—
That thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees,
In some melodious plot
Of beechen green, and shadows numberless,
Singest of summer in full-throated ease.

First stanza of “Ode to a Nightingale”,
May 1819

Keats befriended Isabella Jones in May 1817, while on holiday in the village of Bo Peep, near Hastings.  She is described as beautiful, talented and widely read, not of the top flight of society yet financially secure, an enigmatic figure who would become a part of Keats’s circle.  Throughout their friendship Keats never hesitates to own his sexual attraction to her, although they seem to enjoy circling each other rather than offering commitment.  He writes that he “frequented her rooms” in the winter of 1818–19, and in his letters to George says that he “warmed with her” and “kissed her”.  The themes of “The Eve of St. Agnes” and “The Eve of St Mark” may well have been suggested by her, the lyric Hush, Hush! [“o sweet Isabel”] was about her, and that the first version of “Bright Star” may have originally been for her.  In 1821, Jones was one of the first in England to be notified of Keats’s death.[49]

Letters and drafts of poems suggest that Keats first met Frances (Fanny) Brawne between September and November 1818.  She shared her first name with both Keats’s sister and mother, and had a talent for dress-making and languages as well as a natural theatrical bent.  During November 1818 she developed an intimacy with Keats.

Ambrotype of Fanny Brawne taken circa 1850 (photograph on glass)

Keats began to lend Brawne books, such as Dante’s Inferno, and they would read together.  He gave her the love sonnet “Bright Star” (perhaps revised for her) as a declaration.  It was a work in progress which he continued at until the last months of his life, and the poem came to be associated with their relationship.  From this point there is no further documented mention of Isabella Jones.  Sometime before the end of June, he arrived at some sort of understanding with Brawne, far from a formal engagement as he still had too little to offer, with no prospects and financial stricture.  Keats endured great conflict knowing his expectations as a struggling poet in increasingly hard straits would preclude marriage to Brawne.  Their love remained unconsummated. Darkness, disease and depression surrounded him, reflected in poems such as “The Eve of St. Agnes” and “La Belle Dame sans Merci” where love and death both stalk. “I have two luxuries to brood over in my walks;” he wrote to her, “…your loveliness, and the hour of my death”.

In one of his many hundreds of notes and letters, Keats wrote to Brawne on 13 October 1819: “My love has made me selfish. I cannot exist without you – I am forgetful of every thing but seeing you again – my Life seems to stop there – I see no further. You have absorb’d me. I have a sensation at the present moment as though I was dissolving – I should be exquisitely miserable without the hope of soon seeing you … I have been astonished that Men could die Martyrs for religion – I have shudder’d at it – I shudder no more – I could be martyr’d for my Religion – Love is my religion – I could die for that – I could die for you.”

Tuberculosis took hold and he was advised by his doctors to move to a warmer climate.  In September 1820 Keats left for Rome knowing he would probably never see Brawne again.  After leaving he felt unable to write to her or read her letters.  He died there five months later.  None of Brawne’s letters to Keats survive.

It took a month for the news of his death to reach London, after which Brawne stayed in mourning for six years.  In 1833, more than 12 years after his death, she married.  She outlived Keats by more than 40 years.

Keats was buried in the Protestant Cemetery, Rome.  His last request was to be placed under a tombstone bearing no name or date, only the words, “Here lies One whose Name was writ in Water.”  Severn and Brown erected the stone, which under a relief of a lyre with broken strings, includes the epitaph:

“This Grave / contains all that was Mortal / of a / Young English Poet / Who / on his Death Bed, in the Bitterness of his Heart / at the Malicious Power of his Enemies / Desired / these Words to be / engraven on his Tomb Stone: / Here lies One / Whose Name was writ in Water. 24 February 1821″

The text bears an echo from Catullus LXX

“Sed mulier cupido quod dicit amanti / in vento et rapida scribere oportet aqua” (What a woman says to a passionate lover / should be written in the wind and the running water). 
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.

First stanza of “To Autumn”,
September 1819

The final stanza “To Autumn”:

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,-
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;[79]

 In honour of Keats, here is “La Belle Dame Sans Merci” (Beautiful Woman Without Mercy):

La Belle Dame Sans Merci

Ah, what can ail thee, wretched wight,
Alone and palely loitering?
The sedge is withered from the lake,
And no birds sing.

Ah, what can ail thee, wretched wight,
So haggard and so woe-begone
The squirrel’s granary is full,
And the harvest’s done.

I see a lily on thy brow
With anguish moist and fever dew,
And on thy cheek a fading rose
Fast withereth too.

I met a lady in the meads,
Full beautiful, a faery’s child:
Her hair was long, her foot was ligh,
And her eyes were wild.

I set her on my pacing steed,
And nothing else saw all day long;
For sideways would she lean, and sing
A faery’s song.

I made a garland for her head,
And bracelets too, and fragrant zone;
She looked at me as she did love,
And made sweet moan.

She found me roots of relish sweet,
And honey wild, and manna dew,
And sure in language strange she said,
“I love thee true!”

She took me to her elfin grot,
And there she gazed and sighed deep,
And there I shut her wild, sad eyes—
So kissed to sleep.

And there we slumbered on the moss,
And there I dreamed, ah! woe betide,
The latest dream I ever dreamed
On the cold hill side.

I saw pale kings, and princes too,
Pale warriors, death-pale were they all;
Who cried—“La belle Dame sans merci
Hath thee in thrall!”

I saw their starved lips in the gloam,
With horrid warning gaped wide,
And I awoke and found me here,
On the cold hill side.

And that is why I sojourn here,
Alone and palely loitering,
Though the sedge is withered from the lake,
And no birds sing.

The Song of the Day is “La Belle Dame Sans Merci” music by Charles Villiers Stanford sung by Ian Bostridge.

Marie Laurencin
Marie Laurencin, c.1912, Paris.jpg

Marie Laurencin, c. 1912, Paris

Today is the birthday of Marie Laurencin (Paris 31 October 1883 – 8 June 1956 Paris); French painter and printmaker.  She became an important figure in the Parisian avant-garde as a member of the Cubists associated with the Section d’Or.

Gallery 

Marie Laurencin, 1909, Réunion à la campagne (Apollinaire et ses amis), oil on canvas, 130 x 194 cm, Musée Picasso, Paris. Reproduced in The Cubist Painters, Aesthetic Meditations (1913)

She became romantically involved with the poet Guillaume Apollinaire, and has often been identified as his muse.  Laurencin had important connections to the salon of the American expatriate and famed lesbian writer Natalie Clifford Barney.  She had heterosexual and lesbian affairs.

During the First World War, Laurencin left France for exile in Spain with her German-born husband, Baron Otto von Waëtjen, since through her marriage she had automatically lost her French citizenship.  The couple subsequently lived together briefly in Düsseldorf.

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The Lovers’ Almanac 30 October – One – Alfred Sisley – Paul Valéry – Ezra Pound

Dear Zazie,  Here is today’s Lovers’ Almanac from Mac Tag dedicated to his muse.  Tell me your dreams and desires.  Rhett

The Lovers’ Almanac

Dear Muse,

the luckiest ones
are ones who find
each other

this quiet room, where words and notes,
between images and visions, come to one
long quelled emotions flame once again

the dream startin’ and re-startin’
when thoughts entwine, how dear,
these long vistas of two as one

© copyright 2017 mac tag/cowboy Coleridge all rights reserved

Alfred Sisley
Alfred Sisley photo full.jpg

Alfred Sisley: 1882

Today is the birthday of Alfred Sisley (Paris; 30 October 1839 – 29 January 1899 Moret-sur-Loing); Impressionist landscape painter who was born and spent most of his life in France, but retained British citizenship.  Perhaps the most consistent of the Impressionists in his dedication to painting landscape en plein air (i.e., outdoors).  He deviated into figure painting only rarely and, unlike Renoir and Pissarro, found that Impressionism fulfilled his artistic needs.

Among his important works are a series of paintings of the River Thames, mostly around Hampton Court, executed in 1874, and landscapes depicting places in or near Moret-sur-Loing.  The notable paintings of the Seine and its bridges in the former suburbs of Paris are like many of his landscapes, characterized by tranquillity, in pale shades of green, pink, purple, dusty blue and cream.

Gallery

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley and his wife

Molesey Weir – Morning, one of the paintings executed by Sisley on his visit to Britain in 1874

Rest along the Stream. Edge of the Wood, 1878, Musée d’Orsay

In 1866, Sisley began a relationship with Eugénie Lesouezec (1834–1898; also known as Marie Lescouezec), a Breton living in Paris.  Sisley died at the age of 59, a few months after the death of his wife.

Avenue of Chestnut Trees near La Celle-Saint-Cloud, 1865

La Seine au point du jour, 1877, Musée Malraux, Le Havre 

The Terrace at Saint-Germain, Spring, 1875. The Walters Art Museum

Flood at Port-Marly, 1876. Musée d’Orsay
  •  
  • St. Martin Canal, 1870

  • Early Snow at Louveciennes, c. 1871-1872

  • Bridge at Villeneuve-la-Garenne 1872

  • Sentier de la Mi-cote, Louveciennes, 1873

  • Fog, Voisins, 1874

  • Among the Vines Louveciennes, 1874

  • Bridge at Hampton Court, 1874

  • Regatta at Hampton Court, 1874

  • Regatta at Molesey, 1874

  • Snow on the Road Louveciennes, 1874

  • Under the Bridge at Hampton Court, 1874

  • Meadow, 1875

  • Le Pont de Moret, effet d’orage, 1887, Musée Malraux, Le Havre

  • Small Meadows in Spring, c. 1881

  • View of Saint-Mammès, (circa 1880). The Walters Art Museum.

  • A path at Les Sablons, 1883

  • Women Going to the Woods, 1886

  • Seaside, Langland , 1887

  • Church in Moret, 1889

  • Saint-Mammès am Morgen, 1890

    Paul Valéry.

    Today is the birthday of Ambroise Paul Toussaint Jules Valéry (Sète, Hérault, Occitanie, France; 30 October 1871 – 20 July 1945 Paris); French poet, essayist, and philosopher. In addition to his poetry and fiction (drama and dialogues), his interests included aphorisms on art, history, letters, music, and current events. Valéry was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 12 different years.

    Perhaps best known as a poet, he is sometimes considered to be the last of the French symbolists. He published fewer than a hundred poems. On the night of 4 October 1892, during a heavy storm, Valéry underwent an existential crisis, an event that impacted his writing career. Around 1898, he quit writing altogether, publishing not a word for nearly twenty years. This hiatus was in part due to the death of his mentor, Stéphane Mallarmé. When, in 1917, he finally broke his ‘great silence’ with the publication of La Jeune Parque; he was forty-six years of age.

    This sublimely musical masterpiece, of 512 alexandrine lines in rhyming couplets, took him four years to complete, and it secured his fame. With “Le Cimetière marin” and “L’Ébauche d’un serpent,” it is, in my opinion, one of the greatest French poems of the twentieth century.

    The title refers to the youngest of the three Parcae (the minor Roman deities also called The Fates). The poem is written in the first person, and is the soliloquy of a young woman contemplating life and death, engagement and withdrawal, love and estrangement, in a setting dominated by the sea, the sky, stars, rocky cliffs, and the rising sun.

    In 1900, he married Jeannie Gobillard, a friend of Mallarmé’s family, who was also a niece of the painter Berthe Morisot. The wedding was a double ceremony in which the bride’s cousin, Morisot’s daughter, Julie Manet married the painter, Ernest Rouart.

    Valéry died in Paris in 1945. He is buried in the cemetery of his native town, Sète, the same cemetery celebrated in his famous poem, Le Cimetière marin.

    Verse 

    Charmes ou poèmes (1922)

    • Ce toit tranquille, où marchent des colombes,
      Entre les pins palpite, entre les tombes;
      Midi le juste y compose de feux
      La mer, la mer, toujours recommencée
      O récompense après une pensée
      Qu’un long regard sur le calme des dieux!

      • This quiet roof, where dove-sails saunter by,
        Between the pines, the tombs, throbs visibly.
        Impartial noon patterns the sea in flame —
        That sea forever starting and re-starting.
        When thought has had its hour, oh how rewarding
        Are the long vistas of celestial calm!

        • Le Cimetière Marin
      • Variant translations:
      • The sea, the ever renewing sea!
    • Quel pur travail de fins éclairs consume
      Maint diamant d’imperceptible écume,
      Et quelle paix semble se concevoir!
      Quand sur l’abîme un soleil se repose,
      Ouvrages purs d’une éternelle cause,
      Le temps scintille et le songe est savoir.

      • What grace of light, what pure toil goes to form
        The manifold diamond of the elusive foam!
        What peace I feel begotten at that source!
        When sunlight rests upon a profound sea,
        Time’s air is sparkling, dream is certainty —
        Pure artifice both of an eternal Cause.

        • As translated by by C. Day Lewis
    • Beau ciel, vrai ciel, regarde-moi qui change!
      Après tant d’orgueil, après tant d’étrange
      Oisiveté, mais pleine de pouvoir,
      Je m’abandonne à ce brillant espace,
      Sur les maisons des morts mon ombre passe
      Qui m’apprivoise à son frêle mouvoir.

      • Beautiful heaven, true heaven, look how I change!
        After such arrogance, after so much strange
        Idleness — strange, yet full of potency —
        I am all open to these shining spaces;
        Over the homes of the dead my shadow passes,
        Ghosting along — a ghost subduing me.

        • As translated by by C. Day Lewis
    • Ici venu, l’avenir est paresse.
      L’insecte net gratte la sécheresse;
      Tout est brûlé, défait, reçu dans l’air
      A je ne sais quelle sévère essence . . .
      La vie est vaste, étant ivre d’absence,
      Et l’amertume est douce, et l’esprit clair.

      • Now present here, the future takes its time.
        The brittle insect scrapes at the dry loam;
        All is burnt up, used up, drawn up in air
        To some ineffably rarefied solution . . .
        Life is enlarged, drunk with annihilation,
        And bitterness is sweet, and the spirit clear.

        • As translated by by C. Day Lewis
    • Allez! Tout fuit! Ma présence est poreuse,
      La sainte impatience meurt aussi!

      • All perishes. A thing of flesh and pore
        Am I. Divine impatience also dies.

        • As translated by by C. Day Lewis
    • Le vent se lève! . . . il faut tenter de vivre!
      L’air immense ouvre et referme mon livre,
      La vague en poudre ose jaillir des rocs!
      Envolez-vous, pages tout éblouies!
      Rompez, vagues! Rompez d’eaux rejouies
      Ce toit tranquille où picoraient des focs!

      • The wind is rising! . . . We must try to live!
        The huge air opens and shuts my book: the wave
        Dares to explode out of the rocks in reeking
        Spray. Fly away, my sun-bewildered pages!
        Break, waves! Break up with your rejoicing surges
        This quiet roof where sails like doves were pecking.

        • As translated by by C. Day Lewis
      • Variant translations:
      • The wind is rising … we must attempt to live.

photograph of Ezra H. Pound

Ezra Pound photographed in 1913 by Alvin Langdon Coburn

Today is the birthday of Ezra Weston Loomis Pound (Hailey, Idaho Territory 30 October 1885 – 1 November 1972 Venice); expatriate American poet and critic, and a major figure in the early modernist movement.  His contribution to poetry began with his development of Imagism, a movement derived from classical Chinese and Japanese poetry, stressing clarity, precision and economy of language.  His best-known works include Ripostes (1912), Hugh Selwyn Mauberley (1920) and the unfinished 120-section epic, The Cantos (1917–1969).

Working in London in the early 20th century as foreign editor of several American literary magazines, Pound helped discover and shape the work of contemporaries such as T. S. Eliot, James Joyce, Robert Frost and Ernest Hemingway.  This included arranging for the publication in 1915 of Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” and the serialization from 1918 of Joyce’s Ulysses.

Pound lost faith in England and blamed the WWI on usury and international capitalism.  He moved to Italy in 1924, and throughout the 1930s and 1940s he embraced Benito Mussolini’s fascism and wrote for publications owned by the British fascist Oswald Mosley.  During World War II, he was paid by the Italian government to make hundreds of radio broadcasts criticizing the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Jews, as a result of which he was arrested in 1945 by American forces in Italy on charges of treason.  He spent months in detention in a U.S. military camp in Pisa, including three weeks in a six-by-six-foot outdoor steel cage, which he said triggered a mental breakdown: “when the raft broke and the waters went over me”.  Deemed unfit to stand trial, he was incarcerated in St. Elizabeths psychiatric hospital in Washington, D.C., for over 12 years.

While in custody in Italy, Pound had begun work on sections of The Cantos.  These were published as The Pisan Cantos (1948), for which he was awarded the Bollingen Prize in 1949 by the Library of Congress, triggering enormous controversy.  Largely due to a campaign by his fellow writers, he was released from St. Elizabeths in 1958 and returned to live in Italy until his death.  His political views ensure that his work remains as controversial now as it was during his lifetime.  Hemingway wrote: “The best of Pound’s writing—and it is in the Cantos—will last as long as there is any literature.”

At a literary salon in January 1909, Pound met the novelist Olivia Shakespear and her daughter Dorothy, who became his wife in 1914.  Through Olivia Shakespear he was introduced to her former lover W. B. Yeats.  Pound had sent Yeats a copy of A Lume Spento the previous year, before he left for Venice, and Yeats had apparently found it charming.  The men became close friends, although Yeats was older by 20 years.

Pound was 36 when he met the 26-year-old American violinist Olga Rudge in Paris in the fall of 1922, beginning a love affair that lasted 50 years.  Biographer John Tytell believes Pound had always felt that his creativity and ability to seduce women were linked, something Dorothy had turned a blind eye to over the years.  Shortly after arriving in Paris, he complained that he had been there for three months without having managed to find a mistress.  He was introduced to Olga at a musical salon hosted by American heiress Natalie Barney in her home at 20 Rue Jacob, near the Boulevard Saint-Germain.  The two moved in different social circles: Olga was the daughter of a wealthy Youngstown, Ohio, steel family, living in her mother’s Parisian apartment on the Right Bank, socializing with aristocrats, while his friends were mostly impoverished writers of the Left Bank.  They spent the following summer in the south of France, where Pound worked with George Antheil to apply the concept of Vorticism to music, and managed to write two operas, including Le Testament de Villon. He wrote pieces for solo violin, which Olga performed.

On his 87th birthday, 30 October 1972, he was too weak to leave his bedroom.  The next night he was admitted to the Civil Hospital of Venice, where he died in his sleep of an intestinal blockage on 1 November, with Olga at his side.  Dorothy was unable to travel to the funeral.  Four gondoliers dressed in black rowed the body to the island cemetery, Isola di San Michele, where he was buried near Diaghilev and Stravinsky.  Dorothy died in England the following year.  Olga died in 1996 and was buried next to Pound.

Verse  

The Cantos

  • If a man have not order within him
    He can not spread order about him
    ;
    And if a man have not order within him
    His family will not act with due order;
    And if the prince have not order within him
    He can not put order in his dominions.

    • Canto XIII
  • And even I can remember
    A day when the historians left blanks in their writings,
    I mean, for things they didn’t know,
    But that time seems to be passing.

    • Canto XIII
  • Without character you will
    be unable to play on that instrument

    • Canto XIII
  • The blossoms of the apricot
    blow from the east to the west,
    And I have tried to keep them from falling.

    • Canto XIII
  • With usura hath no man a house of good stone
    each block cut smooth and well fitting
    […]
    with usura
    hath no man a painted paradise on his church wall
    […]
    no picture is made to endure nor to live with
    but it is made to sell and sell quickly

    • Canto XLV
      • Note: Regarding usura, in 1972 Pound wrote in the foreword to “Selected Prose, 1909-1965”:

“re USURY
I was out of focus, taking a symptom for a cause.
The cause is AVARICE.”

  • What thou lovest well remains,
    the rest is dross
    What thou lov’st well shall not be reft from thee
    What thou lov’st well is thy true heritage

    • Canto LXXXI
  • Pull down thy vanity, it is not man
    Made courage, or made order, or made grace,
    Pull down thy vanity, I say pull down.
    Learn of the green world what can be thy place

    • Canto LXXXI
  • How mean thy hates
    Fostered in falsity

    […]
    Rathe to destroy, niggard in charity

    • Canto LXXXI
  • To have gathered from the air a live tradition
    or from a fine old eye the unconquered flame
    This is not vanity.
    Here error is all in the not done,
    all in the diffidence that faltered . . .

    • Canto LXXXI
  • “You damn sadist!” said mr. cummings,
    “you try to make people think.”

    • Canto LXXXIX
  • The temple is holy because it is not for sale.
    • Canto XCVII
  • Pride, jealousy and possessiveness
    3 pains of hell

    • Canto CXIII
  • And of man seeking good,
    doing evil.

    • Canto CXV
  • But the beauty is not the madness
    Tho’ my errors and wrecks lie about me.
    And I am not a demigod,
    I cannot make it cohere.

    • Canto CXVI
  • Many errors,
    a little rightness.

    • Canto CXVI
  • I have tried to write Paradise
    Do not move
    Let the wind speak.
    that is paradise.
    Let the Gods forgive what I
    have made
    Let those I love try to forgive
    what I have made.

    • Canto CXX (the concluding Canto of the 1975 edition of The Cantos’)

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The Lovers’ Almanac 29 October – In Wait – All That Matters – Don Giovanni – art by Ryabushkin

Dear Zazie,  Here is today’s Lovers’ Almanac from Mac Tag dedicated to his muse.  What or who matters to you?  Rhett

The Lovers’ Almanac

Dear Muse,

how do you become a lover
you must be chosen
and how does it feel
like bein’ born

Just got home
From watchin’
The Mountain Between Us
And all I can think about
Is you

Now I lay me
Down to sleep
To dream of you

But sleep will not come
Cold outside but calm
From my bed,
I can see stars
Through the windows

The only sounds;
The cracklin’ fire,
A train whistle
In the distance
The only light;
The candles,
The woodstove
In the corner

So I lie here and wait
For dreams to remove
The mountain between us

© copyright 2017 mac tag/cowboy Coleridge all rights reserved

Muse, you shined a light into my darkness and gave me back my words.  For that I am ever grateful.  I am glad you walked into my life.  My words are dedicated to you.

All That Matters

Takin’ chances, lettin’ my verse
Ride it’s luck on the ardent breath
Of a lovely, fervent woman
Just lettin’ go, lettin’ it fly
Gamblin’ on sure nuff abandon
Seekin’ beauty where it may lie
That my friend, is all that matters
That is all that I can hope for

© copyright 2016 mac tag/Cowboy Coleridge all rights reserved

The Song of the Day is “All That Matters” by Kölsch featuring Troels Abrahamsen

 

On this day in 1787 – Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni receives its first performance in Prague.

Don Giovanni
Max Slevogt - Der Sänger Francisco d'Andrade als Don Giovanni in Mozarts Oper - Google Art Project.jpg

Portrait of Francisco D’Andrade in the title role by Max Slevogt, 1912
 

Don Giovanni (K. 527; complete title: Il dissoluto punito, ossia il Don Giovanni, literally The Rake Punished, namely Don Giovanni or The Libertine Punished) is an opera in two acts with music by Mozart and Italian libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte.  It is based on the legends of Don Juan, a fictional libertine and seducer.  It was premiered by the Prague Italian opera at the Teatro di Praga (now called the Estates Theatre).  Da Ponte’s libretto was billed as dramma giocoso, a term that denotes a mixing of serious and comic action.  Mozart entered the work into his catalogue as an opera buffa.  Although sometimes classified as comic, it blends comedy, melodrama and supernatural elements.

A staple of the standard operatic repertoire.  It has also proved a fruitful subject for writers and philosophers.

 

Original playbill for the Vienna premiere of Don Giovanni

Libretto

English quotations here are cited from Robert Pack and Marjorie Lelash (trans.) Three Mozart Libretti (New York: Dover, 1993).

  • Notte e giorno faticar,
    Per chi nulla sa gradir,
    Piova e vento sopportar,
    Mangiar male e mal dormir.
    Voglio far il gentiluomo
    E non voglio più servir.

    • I must work night and day for someone who doesn’t appreciate me; I must bear the wind and rain, scarcely eating or sleeping! I, too, would like to be a gentleman, and no longer a servant.
    • Leporello, Act I, sc. i; translation p. 135.
  • Madamina, il catalogo è questo
    Delle belle che amò il padron mio;
    un catalogo egli è che ho fatt’io;
    Osservate, leggete con me.
    In Italia seicento e quaranta;
    In Almagna duecento e trentuna;
    Cento in Francia, in Turchia novantuna;
    Ma in Ispagna son già mille e tre.

    • My dear lady! This is the catalogue of the women my master has loved. It’s a list that I’ve compiled – look at it; read it over with me! In Italy, six hundred and forty; in Germany, two hundred and thirty-one; a hundred in France; ninety-one in Turkey – but in Spain there are already a thousand and three.
    • Leporello, Act I, sc. v; translation p. 145.
  • Nella bionda egli ha l’usanza
    Di lodar la gentilezza,
    Nella bruna la costanza,
    Nella bianca la dolcezza.

    • With blondes, it’s his habit to praise their sweetness; with brunettes, their constancy; with old women, their tenderness.
    • Leporello, Act I, sc. v; translation p. 147.
  • Delle vecchie fa conquista
    Pel piacer di porle in lista;
    Sua passion predominante
    È la giovin principiante.
    Non si picca – se sia ricca,
    Se sia brutta, se sia bella;
    Purché porti la gonnella,
    Voi sapete quel che fa.

    • He even seduces the old women, simply for the pleasure of adding them to his list. But his preference is really for the young beginners. He never thinks of whether she’s rich, ugly or beautiful – as long as she wears a skirt, you know very well what he does!
    • Leporello, Act I, sc. v; translation p. 147.
  • Don Giovanni: Là ci darem la mano,
    Là mi dirai di sì.
    Vedi, non è lontano;
    Partiam, ben mio, da qui.

    Zerlina: Vorrei e non vorrei,
    Mi trema un poco il cor.
    Felice, è ver, sarei,
    Ma può burlarmi ancor.

    • Don Giovanni:
    • There we will take each other’s hands,
    • there you will tell me “yes”.
    • See; it is not far off;
    • let us go my love from here!
      Zerlina:
    • I’d like to, and yet I’m afraid – something within me holds back. Perhaps I would be happy – but still he may be deceiving me!
    • Act I, sc. ix, translation p. 153.
  • Ah! la mia lista
    Doman mattina
    D’una decina
    Devi aumentar!

    • Ah, my list
    • tomorrow morning
    • of a dozen
    • you have to increase!
    • Don Giovanni, Act I, sc. xv, translation pp. 163-5.
  • Di rider finirai pria dell’aurora!
    • By dawn your laughter will be ended.
    • La Statua, Act II, sc. xv, translation p. 203.
  • Vivan le femmine,
    Viva il buon vino!
    Sostegno e gloria
    d’umanità!

    • Long live women!
    • Long live good wine!
    • Support and glory
    • of humanity!
    • Don Giovanni, Act II, sc. xviii, translation p. 211.

Andrei Ryabushkin by Vasily Mathe

Today is the birthday of Andrei Petrovich Ryabushkin (Stanichnaya sloboda, Borisoglebskiy uezd, Tambov gubernia; 29 October [O.S. 17 October] 1861 – 10 May [O.S. 27 April] 1904 Didvino); Russian painter. His major works were devoted to life of ordinary Russians of the 17th century.

Gallery

The Deacon

Tea-drinking 

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The Lovers’ Almanac 28 October – The One – Embrace – prose by Evelyn Waugh – art by Francis Bacon

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

The Lovers’ Almanac

Dear Muse,

thanks Karen…

“You know the kind;
the kind worth seeking
with the purpose
of finding.
Once found,
it’s impossible to forget.”

i have never been one
to doubt a bright, funny,
pretty woman,
so i believe you,
though i have never
known that kind first hand

it has not been
for a lack of seekin’,
trust me on this one
and i thought i had found it
on more than one occasion

but only to be found
sadly mistaken
perhaps i sought too hard,
was too earnest
like i deserved it
or it was owed to me

was i too eager,
blinded by lust
into not seein’
what was obvious
so caught up in fallin’
that i could not see
there was no stayin’

is it possible
that my fault lies
in lovin’ the fallin’ part
but bein’ afraid
of the stayin’ part

or is it just that I never
found the one
where the fallin’ and stayin’
are one in the same

© copyright 2017 mac tag/cowboy Coleridge all rights reserved

you try to turn away
but I will not let you
I take your arm
and turn you to face me
you start to speak
but i put my finger on your lips
we stand, lookin’
into each other’s eyes for a moment
A moment that lengthens and lingers
A moment that becomes somethin’
Somethin’ we both need
I know it
you know it
Then I take you
in my arms and hold you
and you allow yourself
to flow into the strength
of this embrace,
our embrace,
an embrace that from now on
will always be there

© copyright 2016 mac tag/cowboy Coleridge all rights reserved

 

Evelyn Waugh
Evelynwaugh.jpeg

Evelyn Waugh, circa 1940

Today is the birthday of Arthur Evelyn St. John Waugh (London; 28 October 1903 – 10 April 1966 Combe Florey, Somerset); English writer of novels, biographies and travel books.  He was also a prolific journalist and reviewer of books.  His most famous works include the early satires Decline and Fall (1928) and A Handful of Dust (1934), the novel Brideshead Revisited (1945) and the Second World War trilogy Sword of Honour (1952–61).  In my opinion, one of the great prose stylists of the English language in the 20th century.

In 1927 Waugh met and fell in love with Evelyn Gardner, the daughter of Lord and Lady Burghclere.  In December, Waugh and Gardner became engaged, despite the opposition of Lady Burghclere, who felt that Waugh lacked moral fibre and kept unsuitable company.  Among their friends, they quickly became known as “He-Evelyn” and “She-Evelyn.  They were married in St Paul’s Church, Portman Square, on 27 June 1928, with only Acton, Alec Waugh and the bride’s friend Pansy Pakenham present.  The couple made their home in a small flat in Canonbury Square, Islington.  The first months of the marriage were overshadowed by a lack of money, and by Gardner’s poor health, which persisted into the autumn.

Waugh was commissioned to write travel articles in return for a free Mediterranean cruise, which he and Gardner began in February 1929, as an extended, delayed honeymoon.  The trip was disrupted when Gardner contracted pneumonia and was carried ashore to the British hospital in Port Said.  The couple returned home in June, after her recovery.  A month later, without warning, Gardner confessed that their mutual friend, John Heygate, had become her lover.  After an attempted reconciliation failed, a shocked and dismayed Waugh filed for divorce on 3 September 1929.

In October 1933, he began proceedings for the annulment of the marriage on the grounds of “lack of real consent”.  The case was heard by an ecclesiastical tribunal in London, but a delay in the submission of the papers to Rome meant that the annulment was not granted until 4 July 1936.  In the meantime, following an initial encounter in Portofino, Waugh had fallen in love with Laura Herbert.  He proposed marriage, by letter, in spring 1936.  There were initial misgivings from the Herberts, an aristocratic Catholic family; as a further complication, Laura Herbert was a cousin of Evelyn Gardner.  Despite some family hostility the marriage took place on 17 April 1937 at the Church of the Assumption in Warwick Street, London.

Brideshead Revisited (1945)

  • When I reached C Company lines, which were at the top of the hill, I paused and looked back at the camp, just coming into full view below me through the grey mist of early morning.
    • First lines of Prologue
  • “I have been here before,” I said; I had been there before; first with Sebastian more than twenty years ago on a cloudless day in June, when the ditches were creamy with meadowsweet and the air heavy with all the scents of summer; it was a day of peculiar splendour, and though I had been there so often, in so many moods, it was to that first visit that my heart returned on this, my latest.
    • First lines part 1, chapter 1
  • But I was in search of love in those days, and I went full of curiousity and the faint, unrecognized apprehension that here, at last, I should find that low door in the wall, which others, I knew, had found before me, which opened on an enclosed and enchanted garden, which was somewhere, not overlooked by any window, in the heart of that grey city.
    • Part 1, Chapter 1
  • To know and love one other human being is the root of all wisdom.
    • Part 1, Chapter 1
  • ‘…Conversation should be like juggling; up go the balls and the plates, up and over, in and out, good solid objects that glitter in the footlights and fall with a bang if you miss them. But when dear Sebastian speaks it is like a little sphere of soapsud drifting off the end of an old clay pipe, anywhere, full of rainbow light for a second and then – phut! vanished, with nothing left at all, nothing.’
    • Part 1, Chapter 2
  • How ungenerously in later life we disclaim the virtuous moods of our youth, living in retrospect long, summer days of unreflecting dissipation. There is no candour in a story of early manhood which leaves out of account the home-sickness for nursery morality, the regrets and resolutions of amendment, the black hours which, like zero on the roulette table, turn up with roughly calculable regularity.”
  • The trouble with modern education is you never know how ignorant they are
    • Part 1, Chapter 3
  • “It is typical of Oxford,” I said, “to start the new year in autumn.”
    • Part 1, start of chapter 4
  • O God, make me good, but not yet
    • Part 1, start of chapter 5
  • ‘…I wonder if you remember the story mummy read us the evening Sebastian first got drunk – I mean the bad evening. “Father Brown” said something like “I caught him” (the thief) “with an unseen hook and and invisible line which is long enough to let him wander to the ends of the world and still to bring him back with a twitch upon the thread.”‘
    • This quotes The Queer Feet by G. K. Chesterton
    • Part 2, Chapter
  • It doesn’t matter what people call you unless they call you pigeon pie and eat you up.
    • Part 2, Chapter 3
  • My theme is memory, that winged host that soared about me one grey morning of war-time.
  • We possess nothing certainly except the past.
    • Part 3, start of chapter 1
  • ‘perhaps all our loves are merely hints and symbols; vagabond-language scrawled on gate-posts and paving-stones along the weary road that others have tramped before us; perhaps you and I are types and this sadness which sometimes falls between us springs from disappointment in our search, each straining through and beyond the other, snatching a glimpse now and then of the shadow which turns the corner always a pace or two ahead of us.’
  • She seemed to say “Look at me. I have done my share. I am beautiful. It is something quite out of the ordinary, this beauty of mine. I am made for delight. But what do I get out of it? Where is my reward?”

That was the change in her from ten years ago; that, indeed, was her reward, this haunting, this magical sadness which spoke straight to the heart and struck silence; it was the completion of her beauty.”

    • Part 3, Chapter 4
  • I have lived carefully, sheltered myself from the cold winds, eaten moderately of what was in season, drunk fine claret, slept in my own sheets; I shall live long.
    • Part 3, chapter 5, Lord Marchmain’s dying soliloquy.
  • O God, if there is a God, forgive him his sins, if there is such a thing as sin.
  • ‘…But I saw today there was one thing unforgivable – like things in the school-room, so bad they were unpunishable, that only mummy could deal with – the bad thing I was on the point of doing, that I’m not quite bad enough to do; to set up a rival good to God’s.’
    • Part 3, near end of chapter 5
  • Quomondo sedet sola civitas. Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.
    • Epilogue

 

Francis Bacon
Francis Bacon by John Dekin.jpg

Bacon, photographed in the early 1950s
Born 28 October 1909
Dublin, Ireland
Died 28 April 1992(1992-04-28) (aged 8

Today is the birthday of Francis Bacon (28 October 1909 – 28 April 1992 Madrid); Irish-born British figurative painter known for his bold, grotesque, emotionally charged, raw imagery. He is best known for his depictions of popes, crucifixions and portraits of close friends. His abstracted figures are typically isolated in geometrical cage like spaces, set against flat, nondescript backgrounds. Bacon said that he saw images “in series”, and his work typically focuses on a single subject for sustained periods, often in triptych or diptych formats. His output can be broadly described as sequences or variations on a single motif; beginning with the 1930s Picasso-informed Furies, moving on to the 1940s male heads isolated in rooms or geometric structures, the 1950s screaming popes, and the mid-to-late 1950s animals and lone figures, the 1960s portraits of friends, the nihilistic 1970s self-portraits, and the cooler more technical 1980s late works.

Bacon took up painting in his late 30s, having drifted as an interior decorator, bon vivant and gambler. He said that his artistic career was delayed because he spent too long looking for subject matter that could sustain his interest. His breakthrough came with the 1944 triptych Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion, which sealed his reputation as a uniquely bleak chronicler of the human condition. From the mid-1960s he mainly produced portraits of friends and drinking companions, either as single or triptych panels. Following the 1971 suicide of his lover George Dyer, his art became more sombre, inward-looking and preoccupied with the passage of time and death. The climax of this later period is marked by masterpieces, including his 1982’s “Study for Self-Portrait” and Study for a Self-Portrait Triptych, 1985-86.

Despite his bleak existentialist outlook, Bacon in person was highly engaging and charismatic, articulate, well-read and unapologetically gay. He was a prolific artist, but nonetheless spent many of the evenings of his middle age eating, drinking and gambling in London’s Soho.

After Dyer’s suicide, he settled into a platonic and somewhat fatherly relationship with his eventual heir, John Edwards. The art critic Robert Hughes described him as “the most implacable, lyric artist in late 20th-century England, perhaps in all the world” and along with Willem de Kooning as “the most important painter of the disquieting human figure in the 50’s of the 20th century.” Francis Bacon was the subject of two Tate retrospectives and a major showing in 1971 at the Grand Palais. Since his death his reputation and market value have grown steadily, and his work is among the most acclaimed, expensive and sought-after. In the late 1990s a number of major works, previously assumed destroyed, including early 1950s popes and 1960s portraits, reemerged to set record prices at auction. In 2013 his Three Studies of Lucian Freud set the world record as the most expensive piece of art sold at auction.

A baby in a carriage falling down the “Odessa Steps”

Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion, 1944. Oil and pastel on Sundeala board. Tate Britain, London

Head VI, 1949

Three Studies for a Portrait of Henrietta Moraes, 1963

Triptych, May–June 1973, oil on canvas, 198 × 147 cm. Collection of Esther Grether

Dyer photographed by John Deakin, retouched by Bacon, who often folded or creased, or spattered with paint, photographs of friend so as to find distortions he could exploit in his paintings. Although Dyer was handsome and charming in his own raw way, he was out of his depth when dealing with both Bacon’s wasp-tongued Soho set and intellectual art world friends

Study for a Self-Portrait Triptych, 1985-86, Marlborough Fine Art, London

While holidaying in Madrid in 1992, Bacon was admitted to the Handmaids of Maria, a private clinic, where he was cared for by Sister Mercedes. His chronic asthma, which had plagued him all his life, had developed into a respiratory condition and he could not talk or breathe very well.

He died of a heart attack on 28 April 1992, attempts to resuscitate him having failed. He had bequeathed his estate to John Edwards and Brian Clark, executor of the Estate. In 1998 the director of the Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin secured the donation of the contents of Bacon’s chaotic studio at 7 Reece Mews, South Kensington. The contents of his studio were moved and reconstructed in the gallery. The relocated studio opened to the public in 2001. The entire contents of the studio have been catalogued: approximately 570 books, 1,500 photographs, 100 slashed canvases, 1,300 leaves from torn books, 2,000 artist materials, and 70 drawings. Other categories include artists correspondence, magazines, newspapers and vinyl records.

 Still from Sergei Eisenstein’s 1925 silent film The Battleship Potemkin

Bacon’s relocated studio in situ, Dublin

 

Mac Tag

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The Lovers’ Almanac 27 October – The Reason – art by Sigrid Hjertén – verse by Dylan Thomas & Sylvia Plath

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

The Lovers’ Almanac

Dear Muse,

how do you figure,
well you cannot
there ain’t no figurin’
when somethin’ good
comes along
you gotta roll with it

where is it gonna go
who the hell knows
but answer me this,
you got somethin’
better to do
…exactly

do you remember
what your hands are for
why you started sketchin’
why you began writin’ verse
do you remember
the best use of your heart

© copyright 2017 mac tag/cowboy Coleridge all rights reserved

1827 – Bellini’s third opera, Il pirata, is premiered at Teatro alla Scala di Milano.

Il pirata
Opera by Vincenzo Bellini
Rubini as Gualtiero-IL PIRATA -Oct 1827.jpg

Rubini as Gualtiero in the premiere production
 

Il pirata (The Pirate) is an opera in two acts by Vincenzo Bellini to an Italian libretto by Felice Romani which was based on a three-act mélodrame from 1826, Bertram, ou le Pirate (Bertram, or The Pirate) by Charles Nodier and “Raimonde” (actually Isidore Justin Séverin Taylor).  This play was itself based upon a French translation of the “five-act verse tragedy” Bertram, or The Castle of St Aldobrando by Charles Maturin which appeared in London in 1816.

The original play has been compared with Bellini’s opera and the influence of Il pirata on Gaetano Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor has been noted.

Vincenzo Bellini, painted by Carlo Arienti before 1827

Librettist Felice Romani 

Tamburini as Ernesto in Il pirata 1827

Tenor Giovanni
Battista Rubini,
sang Gualtiero

Soprano Henriette Méric-Lalande,
sang Imogene
Sigrid Hjertén
SigridHjerten.jpg

Sigrid Hjertén at work

Today is the birthday of Sigrid Hjertén (Sundsvall 27 October 1885 – 24 March 1948 Stockholm); Swedish modernist painter.  She worked as an artist for 30 years before dying of complications from a botched lobotomy for schizophrenia.

Ateljéinterior

Ateljéinteriör 1916 – One of Sigrid Hjerténs most iconic works.

Ateljéinteriör (Studio interior) from 1916 shows how radical Hjertén was for her time.  The painting describes the roles she played as artist, woman, and mother: different identities in different worlds.  Hjertén sits on the sofa between two artists – her husband, Isaac Grünewald, and, perhaps, Einar Jolin – who talk to each other over her head.  Her large blue eyes stare into the distance.  In the foreground a woman dressed in black – a sophisticated alter ego – leans against a male figure who might be the artist Nils von Dardel.  Her son Ivàn crawls out of the right-hand corner.  In the background we glimpse one of Hjertén’s paintings of the period, Zigenarkvinna (Gypsy woman).  Studio Interior and Den röda rullgardinen (The red blind), from 1916, have given rise in recent years to new interpretations based on contemporary gender studies and reveal information about the artist’s private life.

 

Dylan Thomas
A black and white photo of Thomas in a book shop, he is wearing a suit with a white spotted bow tie.

Thomas at the Gotham Book Shop,
in New York City, 1952

Today is the birthday of Dylan Marlais Thomas (Uplands, Swansea, Glamorgan 27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953 New York City); Welsh poet and writer whose works include the poems “Do not go gentle into that good night” and “And death shall have no dominion”; the ‘play for voices’ Under Milk Wood; and stories and radio broadcasts such as A Child’s Christmas in Wales and Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog.  He became widely popular in his lifetime and remained so after his premature death at the age of 39 in New York City.  By then, he had acquired a reputation, which he had encouraged, as a “roistering, drunken and doomed poet”.  Many of his works appeared in print while he was still a teenager; however, it was the publication of “Light breaks where no sun shines,” in 1934, that caught the attention of the literary world.

While living in London, Thomas met Caitlin Macnamara, whom he married in 1937.  Their relationship was defined by alcoholism and apparently was mutually destructive.

Thomas first traveled to the United States in the 1950s. This is where his readings brought him a level of fame while his erratic behaviour and drinking worsened.  His time in America cemented Thomas’s legend.  During his fourth trip to New York in 1953, Thomas became gravely ill and fell into a coma, from which he never recovered.  His body was returned to Wales where he was interred at the village churchyard in Laugharne on 25 November 1953.

Though Thomas wrote exclusively in the English language, in my opinion, he is one of the most important Welsh poets of the 20th century.  He is noted for his original, rhythmic and ingenious use of words and imagery.  Thomas’s position as one of the great modern poets has been much discussed, and his popularity remains.

Verse

  • Light breaks where no sun shines;
    Where no sea runs, the waters of the heart
    Push in their tides
    ;
    And, broken ghosts with glow-worms in their heads,
    The things of light
    File through the flesh where no flesh decks the bones.

    • “Light Breaks Where No Sun Shines”, st. 1 (1934), st. 1
  • Dawn breaks behind the eyes;
    From poles of skull and toe the windy blood
    Slides like a sea;
    Nor fenced, nor staked, the gushers of the sky
    Spout to the rod
    Divining in a smile the oil of tears.

    • Light Breaks Where No Sun Shines, st. 1 (1934), st. 3
  • Light breaks on secret lots,
    On tips of thought where thoughts smell in the rain;
    When logics die,
    The secret of the soil grows through the eye,
    And blood jumps in the sun;
    Above the waste allotments the dawn halts.

    • Light Breaks Where No Sun Shines, st. 1 (1934), st. 5)
  • When all my five and country senses see,
    The fingers will forget green thumbs and mark
    How, through the halfmoon’s vegetable eye,
    Husk of young stars and handfull zodiac,
    Love in the frost is pared and wintered by.

    • “When All My Five And Country Senses See” (1939)
  • They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
    Though they go mad they shall be sane,
    Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
    Though lovers be lost love shall not;
    And death shall have no dominion.

    • “And Death Shall Have No Dominion”, st. 1 (1943)
  • After the first death, there is no other.
    • “A Refusal To Mourn The Death, By Fire, Of A Child In London”, st. 4 (1946))
  • Do not go gentle into that good night,
    Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    • “Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night” (1952)

 

Fern Hill (1946)

  • Now as I was young and easy under the apple boughs
    About the lilting house and happy as the grass was green,
    The night above the dingle starry,
    Time let me hail and climb
    Golden in the heydays of his eyes.
    And honoured among wagons I was prince of the apple towns.

    • St. 1
  • In the sun that is young once only,
    Time let me play and be
    Golden in the mercy of his means.

    • St. 2
  • And the sabbath rang slowly
    In the pebbles of the holy streams.

    • St. 2
  • And honoured among foxes and pheasants by the gay house
    Under the new made clouds and happy as the heart was long,
    In the sun born over and over,
    I ran my heedless ways.

    • St. 5
  • Time held me green and dying
    Though I sang in my chains like the sea.

    • St. 6

And death shall have no dominion.
Dead men naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.

From “And death shall have no dominion”
Twenty-five Poems (1936)

 

Not for the proud man apart
From the raging moon I write
On these spindrift pages
Nor for the towering dead
With their nightingales and psalms
But for the lovers, their arms
Round the griefs of the ages,
Who pay no praise or wages
Nor heed my craft or art.

From “In my Craft or Sullen Art”
Deaths and Entrances, 1946

Sylvia Plath
Sylvia_Plath

Plath in 1961

 

 

 

 

 

 


Today is the birthday of Sylvia Plath (Boston October 27, 1932 – February 11, 1963 London); in my opinion, one of the most renowned and influential poets, novelists, and short story writers of the 20th century.  She was married to fellow poet Ted Hughes from 1956 until they separated in September 1962.  They lived together in the United States and then England and had two children.  Plath was clinically depressed for most of her adult life.  She committed suicide in 1963.

Plath is credited with advancing the genre of confessional poetry and is best known for her two published collections, The Colossus and Other Poems, and Ariel.  She also wrote The Bell Jar, a semi-autobiographical novel published shortly before her death.  In 1982, she won a posthumous Pulitzer Prize for The Collected Poems.

Verse 

  • How frail the human heart must be —
    a mirrored pool of thought.

    • “I Thought I Could Not Be Hurt,” quoted in the introduction to Letters Home: Correspondence 1950–1963 (1975) as Plath’s first poem, written at age 14
  • I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;
    I lift my lids and all is born again.

    • “Mad Girl’s Love Song” (1953) from Collected Poems (1981)
  • What did my fingers do before they held him?
    What did my heart do, with its love?

    • “Three Women: A Poem for Three Voices” (1962), a radio play published in 1968

The Colossus (1960)[edit]

  • So many of us!
    So many of us!We are shelves, we are
    Tables, we are meek,
    We are edible,Nudgers and shovers
    In spite of ourselves.
    Our kind multiplies:We shall by morning
    Inherit the earth.
    Our foot’s in the door.

    • “Mushrooms”

The Bell Jar (1963)

  • “It’s a tango.” Marco maneuvered me out among the dancers. “I love tangos.” “I can’t dance.” “You don’t have to dance. I’ll do that dancing.” Marco hooked an arm around my waist and jerked me up against his dazzling white suit. Then he said, “Pretend you are drowning.” I shut my eyes, and the music broke over me like a rainstorm. Marco’s leg slid forward against mine and my leg slid back and I seemed to be riveted against him, limb for limb, moving as he moved, without any will or knowledge of my own, and after a while I thought, “It doesn’t take two to dance, it only takes one,” and I let myself blow and bend like a tree in the wind. “What did I tell you?” Marco’s breath scorched my ear. “You’re a perfectly respectable dancer.”
    • Ch. 9
  • “Does she know you love her?” “Of course.” I paused. The obstacle seemed unreal to me. “If you love her,” I said, “you’ll love somebody else someday.”
    • Ch. 9
  • When they asked some old Roman philosopher or other how he wanted to die, he said he would open his veins in a warm bath. I thought it would be easy, lying in the tub and seeing the redness flower from my wrists, flush after flush through the clear water, till I sank to sleep under a surface gaudy as poppies.  But when it came right down to it, the skin of my wrist looked so white and defenseless that I couldn’t do it.  It was as if what I wanted to kill wasn’t in that skin or the thin blue pulse that jumped under my thumb, but somewhere else, deeper, more secret, and a whole lot harder to get at.
    • Ch. 12

Ariel (1965)

  • Now your head, excuse me, is empty.
    I have the ticket for that.
    Come here, sweetie, out of the closet.
    Well, what do you think of that?
    Naked as paper to start
  • But in twenty-five years she’ll be silver,
    In fifty, gold.
    A living doll, everywhere you look.
    It can sew, it can cook,
    It can talk, talk, talk.It works, there is nothing wrong with it.
    You have a hole, it’s a poultice.
    You have an eye, it’s an image.
    My boy, it’s your last resort.
    Will you marry it, marry it, marry it.

    • “The Applicant”
  • Dying
    Is an art, like everything else.
    I do it exceptionally well.

    • “Lady Lazarus”
  • Herr God, Herr Lucifer,
    Beware.
    Beware. Out of the ash
    I rise with my red hair
    And I eat men like air.

    • “Lady Lazarus”
  • I am inhabited by a cry.
    Nightly it flaps out
    Looking, with its hooks, for something to love.
  • I am terrified by this dark thing
    That sleeps in me;
    All day I feel its soft, feathery turnings, its malignity.

    • “Elm”
  • I am incapable of more knowledge.
    What is this, this face
    So murderous in its strangle of branches? —Its snaky acids hiss.
    It petrifies the will. These are the isolate, slow faults,
    That kill, that kill, that kill.

    • “Elm”
  • This is the light of the mind, cold and planetary.
    The trees of the mind are black. The light is blue.

    • “The Moon and the Yew Tree”
  • The moon is no door. It is a face in its own right,
    White as a knuckle and terribly upset.
    It drags the sea after it like a dark crime; it is quiet
    With the O-gape of complete despair. I live here.

    • “The Moon and the Yew Tree”
  • You do not do, you do not do
    Any more, black shoe
    In which I have lived like a foot
    For thirty years, poor and white,
    Barely daring to breathe or Achoo.

    • “Daddy”
  • There’s a stake in your fat black heart
    And the villagers never liked you.
    They are dancing and stamping on you.
    They always knew it was you.
    Daddy, daddy, you bastard, I’m through.

    • “Daddy”
  • Darling, all night
    I have been flickering, off, on, off, on.
    The sheets grow heavy as a lecher’s kiss.

    • “Fever 103”
  • Perfection is terrible, it cannot have children.
    • “The Munich Mannequins”
  • The blood jet is poetry,
    There is no stopping it.

    • “Kindness”
  • The woman is perfected
    Her dead
  • Body wears the smile of accomplishment,
    The illusion of a Greek necessityFlows in the scrolls of her toga,
    Her bareFeet seem to be saying:
    We have come so far, it is over.Each dead child coiled, a white serpent,
    One at each littlePitcher of milk, now empty.
    She has foldedThem back into her body as petals
    Of a rose close when the gardenStiffens and odors bleed
    From the sweet, deep throats of the night flower.The moon has nothing to be sad about,
    Staring from her hood of bone.She is used to this sort of thing.
    Her blacks crackle and drag.

    • “Edge”
  • Axes
    After whose stroke the wood rings,
    And the echoes!
    Echoes travelling
    Off from the centre like horses.

    • “Words”

Crossing the Water (1971)

  • These hills are too green and sweet to have tasted salt.
    I follow the sheep path between them. A last hook brings me
    To the hills’ northern face, and the face is orange rock
    That looks out on nothing, nothing but a great space
    Of white and pewter lights, and a din like silversmiths
    Beating and beating at an intractable metal.

    • “Blackberrying”
  • These poems do not live: it’s a sad diagnosis.
    They grew their toes and fingers well enough,
    Their little foreheads bulged with concentration.
    If they missed out on walking about like people
    It wasn’t for any lack of mother-love.

    • “Stillborn”
  • Now I am a lake. A woman bends over me,
    Searching my reaches for what she really is.
    Then she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon.
    I see her back, and reflect it faithfully.
    She rewards me with tears and an agitation of hands.
    I am important to her. She comes and goes.
    Each morning it is her face that replaces the darkness.
    In me she has drowned a young girl, and in me an old woman
    Rises toward her day after day, like a terrible fish.

    • “Mirror”
  • I’m a riddle in nine syllables,
    An elephant, a ponderous house,
    A melon strolling on two tendrils.
    O red fruit, ivory, fine timbers!
    This loaf’s big with its yeasty rising.
    Money’s new-minted in this fat purse.
    I’m a means, a stage, a cow in calf.
    I’ve eaten a bag of green apples,
    Boarded the train there’s no getting off.

    • “Metaphors”

Winter Trees (1972)

  • You said you would kill it this morning.
    Do not kill it. It startles me still,
    The jut of that odd, dark head, pacing
  • Through the uncut grass on the elm’s hill.
    It is something to own a pheasant,
    Or just to be visited at all.I am not mystical: it isn’t
    As if I thought it had a spirit.
    It is simply in its element.That gives it a kingliness, a right.

    • “Pheasant”

And I
Am the arrow,

The dew that flies
Suicidal, at one with the drive
Into the red

Eye, the cauldron of morning.

from the poem Ariel, October 12, 1962

 

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The Lovers’ Almanac 26 October – Reflection of You – Birth of Charlotte de Sauve

Dear Zazie,  Here is today’s Lovers’ Almanac from Mac Tag dedicated to his muse.  Who is a reflection of you?  Rhett

The Lovers’ Almanac

Dear Muse,

thanks Karen…

i ain’t talkin ’bout romance
romance is for pikers
“You’re talking about
something rare.”
yes

“The kind that floods your blood
with emotions, the kind
that reshapes you,
defines you
and elevates you.”

yes!
“The kind that is worth
everything you have…”
yes!
“…with the one
you cannot be without!”
yes!

© copyright 2017 mac tag/cowboy Coleridge all rights reserved

Today, a “once upon a time” conversation between two friends who want to be more than friends.  Hope you enjoy.

Dear Muse,
Song lines of the day.  Hope this resonates with you, it does with me; Bon Jovi “Bed of Roses”;
I wanna lay you down in a bed of roses
For tonight I’ll sleep on a bed of nails
I wanna be just as close as your Holy Ghost is
And lay you down in a bed of roses.
Mac

Dear Mac,

This resonates on many levels.  I will see you at lunch tomorrow!

M

Dear Muse,

I shall be awaitin’ each passin’ moment with greater anticipation.
Mac

Dear Mac,

I do not believe there is a woman in the world
immune to your charm!
M

Dear Muse,
Regardin’ my so called charm: It matters not a whit to me whether others think I am charmin’.  It matters to me only that you think so.  I also think that what you call my charm, I call merely my reflection of you; my response to you.
Mac

Dear Mac,
I’m totally at a loss for words and I’m quite sure I can’t take the credit you so graciously extend to me!
I had a feeling you were going to address your “charm” at some point.
You are, by all accounts, a gentleman and a cowboy which inherently means you are a discriminating man.
It’s all good.
M

Dear Muse,
Just a quick note to let you know I enjoyed our lunch and that I am findin’ our time together ever more enjoyable.  I regret but one thing about our time together; that it ends.  Please be safe.
Until,
Mac

thank you Mac
I feel very fortunate to be able to spend time with you
m
Dear Muse,
Have I mentioned lately how much I enjoy our correspondence!  Love havin’ an outlet for when inspiration strikes.  It is nice to not have to worry about quellin’ the spirit.  It just feels so good to have someone to share my musin’s with.  It helps me feel like I am doin’ somethin” about my first best destiny; to write, to create words for someone special.  The Song of the Day is “You’ll Accompany Me” Bob Seger.
Mac
Mac,
First, always trust your inspiration!  You’re doing just fine with it!!  Second, regarding the SOD, well played sir!
M
Dear Muse,
My charm, my inspiration, my words; all a reflection of you.
Still,
Mac
The Song of the Day is “Reflection of You” Bear in Heaven (Lovelock Remix).
Charlotte de Sauve
CharlottedeBeauneSemblancay.jpg

Portrait of Charlotte de Sauve, painted by an unknown artist

Today is the birthday of Charlotte de Beaune Semblançay, Viscountess of Tours, Baroness de Sauve, Marquise de Noirmoutier (France 26 October 1551 – 30 September 1617 France); French noblewoman, courtesan and a mistress of King Henry of Navarre, who later ruled as King Henry IV of France. She was a member of Queen Mother Catherine de’ Medici’s notorious “Flying Squadron” (L’escadron volant in French), a group of beautiful female spies and informants recruited to seduce important men at Court, and thereby extract information to pass on to the Queen Mother.

Charlotte was sent to court where she was educated in the household of the Queen Mother, Catherine de’ Medici. Blonde-haired, and described as having been “beautiful, intelligent, and immoral”, she was married to Simon de Fizes, Baron de Sauve, secretary of state first to King Charles IX and afterwards King Henry III, in 1569 when she was eighteen years old. Her marriage was arranged by the powerful Guise family. In the words of historian Jean Heritier, her background meant that “at twenty-one, she knew all there was to be known about politics”. Author Mark Strage described Charlotte as having had a face that was “more agreeable and animated than sensuous”.

She was appointed maid-of-honour to Marguerite de Valois. She is recorded as taking part in some of the extravagant pageants and ballets which Catherine de’ Medici produced in abundance. She helped Catherine mount an outdoor banquet and lavish show depicting the Apotheosis of Woman on 9 June 1577 at the château of Chenonceau. During the banquet the male guests were served by Catherine’s most beautiful ladies-in-waiting who wore topless gowns and their hair flowing loose as was the custom of brides on their wedding night.

On 27 November 1579 Baron de Sauve died. Charlotte then married Francois de La Tremoille, Marquis de Noirmoutier on 18 October 1584.

Charlotte later became the mistress of Henry’s greatest adversary, Henry I, Duke of Guise, with whom she spent the night at Blois on 22 December 1588, before his assassination by “the Forty-five”, Henry III’s bodyguards, the following morning. She had other lovers, including the Duc d’Épernon and the Seigneur d’Avrilly.

Vasily Vereshchagin
Vasili Vereshchagin.jpg

Vasily Vereshchagin

Today is the birthday of Vasily Vasilyevich Vereshchagin (Cherepovets, Novgorod Governorate, October 26, 1842 – April 13, 1904; Port Arthur, Manchuria); Russian artist.  The graphic nature of his realist scenes led many of them to never be printed or exhibited.

Gallery

At the Fortress Walls: Let Them In! (1871).

The Apotheosis of War (1871)

Vasily Vereshchagin (Russian, 1842-1904). The Road of the War Prisoners, 1878-1879. Oil on canvas. Brooklyn Museum

Suppression of the Indian Revolt by the English (1884). 

In 1902

Fakir (1874–1876)
Guillermo Kahlo
Guillermo Kahlo - Self-portrait - Google Art Project.jpg

Guillermo Kahlo in 1920

Today is the birthday of Guillermo Kahlo (born Carl Wilhelm Kahlo; Pforzheim, Grand Duchy of Baden 26 October 1871 – 14 April 1941 Mexico City); German Mexican photographer. He documented important architectural works, churches, streets, landmarks, as well as industries and companies in Mexico at the beginning of the 20th century.

Construcción del Palacio Legislativo, 12 June 1912. The image shows work on the building before it was halted as a result of the Mexican Revolution.

 

Guillermo Kahlo and Matilde Calderón

Kahlo married María Cardena in August, 1893. The night she died giving birth to their third child, he asked Antonio Calderón for his daughter Matilde’s hand in marriage. After the marriage, Kahlo sent his and Maria’s daughters away to be raised in a convent.

Kahlo and Calderón were the parents of painter Frida Kahlo.

He died on 14 April 1941 in Coyoacán, Mexico City.

Beryl Markham
Beryl Markham 1936.jpg

Beryl Markham in 1936

Today is the birthday of Beryl Markham (née Clutterbuck, Ashwell, Rutland, United Kingdom 26 October 1902 – 3 August 1986 Nairobi, Kenya, Africa); British-born Kenyan aviator (one of the first bush pilots), adventurer, racehorse trainer and author. She was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic from east to west. She wrote about her adventures in her memoir, West with the Night.

On her family’s farm, she developed her knowledge of and love for horses. Barely an adult, she became the first licensed female racehorse trainer in Kenya and rapidly became a successful and renowned figure among the racing community of Kenya.

Impetuous, single-minded and beautiful, Markham was admired and described as a noted non-conformist, even in a colony known for its colourful eccentrics. She was married three times, taking the name Markham from her second husband, the wealthy Mansfield Markham. She is believed to have had an openly public affair in 1929 with Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, the son of George V, but the Windsors allegedly cut the romance short. She also had an affair with Hubert Broad, who was later named by Mansfield Markham as a co-respondent in his 1937 divorce from Beryl. After her Atlantic crossing, she returned to be with Broad, who was also a great influence in her flying career.

She befriended the Danish writer Karen Blixen during the years that Baroness Blixen was managing her family’s coffee farm in the Ngong hills outside Nairobi. When Blixen’s romantic connection with the hunter and pilot Denys Finch Hatton was winding down, Markham started her own affair with him. He invited her to tour game lands on what turned out to be his fatal flight, but Markham supposedly declined because of a premonition of her flight instructor, British pilot Tom Campbell Black.

Largely inspired by Black, with whom she had a long-term affair, Markham took up flying. She worked for some time as a bush pilot, spotting game animals from the air and signaling their locations to safaris on the ground. She also mingled with the notorious Happy Valley set, a group of hedonistic, largely British and Anglo-Irish aristocrats and adventurers who settled in the “Happy Valley” region of the Wanjohi Valley, near the Aberdare mountain range, in colonial Kenya and Uganda between the 1920s and the 1940s. In the 1930s, the group became infamous for its decadent lifestyles and exploits, following reports of drug use and sexual promiscuity. The area around Naivasha was one of the first to be settled in Kenya by white people and was one of the main hunting grounds of the ‘set’. The colonial town of Nyeri, Kenya, to the east of the Aberdare Range, was the centre of Happy Valley settlers. Some of the notable members of the Happy Valley set were: The 3rd Baron Delamere and his son and heir the 4th Baron Delamere; Denys Finch Hatton; Sir Jock Delves Broughton and wife Diana Delves Broughton; Josslyn Hay, 22nd Earl of Erroll; Lady Idina Sackville; Alice de Janzé (cousin of J. Ogden Armour) and her husband Frédéric de Janzé.

Beryl Markham, circa 1930.

Beryl Markham, circa 1930.

Markham chronicled her many adventures in her memoir, West with the Night, published in 1942.

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The Lovers’ Almanac 25 October – Find It – verse by Chaucer – art by Bonington, Picasso & Dardel

Dear Zazie,  Here is today’s Lovers’ Almanac from Mac Tag dedicated to his muse.  Have you been pierced by love?  Has beauty been chased from your heart?    Rhett

The Lovers’ Almanac

Dear Muse,

turn this way and that,
hearts comin’ undone
chased away or lost,
forgot and abandoned
Picasso said…
Je ne cherche pas, je trouve

maybe that is the key
do not seek… find it
do not give up
do not settle
whatever it takes
however long it takes
find it

you are out there
and i will find you

© copyright 2017 mac tag/cowboy Coleridge all rights reserved

Geoffrey_Chaucer_(17th_century)On this day, probably, in 1400 the great English poet Geoffrey Chaucer died in London.  In 1366, Chaucer married Phillipa Pan, a “damsel of the queen’s bedchamber.”  From his writin’s, one can find an invective against naggin’ and scoldin’ wives, so it seems that Chaucer’s married life was not particularly happy, that he was cynical about marriage and apparently in love with another woman. Our pal Jett says; “In other words, a typical marriage!”

For today’s Poem of the Day, I offer my translation, from Middle English, of Chaucer’s “Merciless Beauty”:

Merciless Beauty

Your eyes pierce me suddenly
I may the beauty of them not sustain,
So wounds me and my heart keen

Unless your words heal hastily
My heart’s wound while that it grieves
Your eyes pierce me suddenly

Upon my troth I say to you faithfully,
You have been of my life and death the queen;
For with my death the truth shall be seen
Your eyes pierce me suddenly
I may the beauty of them not sustain,
So wounds me and my heart keen

So has your beauty from my heart chased
Pity, that it avails not to complain:
For fate holds your mercy in his chain

Guiltless my death have you purchased;
I say to you so, I need not feign:
So has your beauty from my heart chased

Alas, that nature has in you composed
So great beauty, that no man may attain
To mercy, though he starve for the pain
So has your beauty from your heart chased
Pity, that it avails not to complain
For fate holds your mercy in his chain

Since I from love escaped it yet,
I never plan to be in his prison;
Since I am free, I will not wait

He may answer and say this and that,
I care not, I speak right as I mean;
Since I from love escaped it yet

Love has my name struck from his slate,
And he is struck from my books clean:
For evermore, is my curse,
Since I from love escaped it yet

Your eyes pierce me suddenly
So has your beauty from my heart chased
Since I from love escaped it yet

The Song of the Day is Ralph Vaughan Williams‘ “So Hath Your Beauty”.

Portrait of Richard Parkes Bonington by Alexandre-Marie Colin

Today is the birthday of Richard Parkes Bonington (Arnold (near Nottingham) 25 October 1802 – 23 September 1828 London); English Romantic landscape painter, who moved to France at the age of 14.  He brought aspects of English style to France.  Becoming after his very early death one of the most influential British artists of his time, the facility of his style was inspired by the old masters, yet was entirely modern in its application.  His landscapes were mostly of coastal scenes, with a low horizon and large sky, showing a brilliant handling of light and atmosphere.  He also painted small historical cabinet paintings in a freely-handled version of the troubadour style.

Gallery 

François I and Marguerite de Navarre (45.7 by 34.5 cm), based on the discovery of a scratched inscription on a window at the Château de Chambord 

Landscape near Quilleboeuf, c. 1824–1825. Yale Center for British Art 

Pablo Picasso
Portrait de Picasso, 1908.jpg

Picasso in 1908
 

Today is the birthday of Pablo Ruiz y Picasso, also known as Pablo Picasso (Málaga; 25 October 1881 – 8 April 1973 Mougins, France); Spanish painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, stage designer, poet and playwright.  In my opinion, one of the greatest and most influential artists of the 20th century.  He is known for co-founding the Cubist movement, the invention of constructed sculpture, the co-invention of collage, and for the wide variety of styles that he helped develop and explore.  Among his most famous works are the proto-Cubist Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907), and Guernica (1937), a portrayal of the Bombing of Guernica by the German and Italian air forces at the behest of the Spanish nationalist government during the Spanish Civil War.

Exceptionally prolific throughout the course of his long life, Picasso achieved universal renown and fortune for his revolutionary artistic accomplishments, and became one of the best-known figures in 20th-century art.

Gallery 

Pablo Picasso, 1901, Old Woman (Woman with Gloves), oil on cardboard, 67 × 52.1 cm, Philadelphia Museum of Art

Pablo Picasso, 1901-02, Femme au café (Absinthe Drinker), oil on canvas, 73 × 54 cm, Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia 

Picasso in 1904. Photograph by Ricard Canals. 
La Vie (1903), Cleveland Museum of Art
The Old Guitarist (1903), Chicago Art Institute 

Pablo Picasso, 1905, Au Lapin Agile (At the Lapin Agile) (Arlequin tenant un verre), oil on canvas, 99.1 × 100.3 cm, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Pablo Picasso, 1905, Garçon à la pipe, (Boy with a Pipe), private collection, Rose Period

Portrait of Gertrude Stein, 1906, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City. When someone commented that Stein did not look like her portrait, Picasso replied, “She will”. 

Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907), Museum of Modern Art, New York 

 

Pablo Picasso and scene painters sitting on the front cloth for Léonide Massine’s ballet Parade, staged by Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes at the Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris, 1917

Portrait d’Olga dans un fauteuil (Olga in an Armchair), 1918, Musée Picasso, Paris, France

Portrait of Igor Stravinsky, c. 1920

In the summer of 1918, Picasso married Olga Khokhlova, a ballerina with Sergei Diaghilev’s troupe, for whom Picasso was designing a ballet, Erik Satie’s Parade, in Rome; they spent their honeymoon near Biarritz in the villa of glamorous Chilean art patron Eugenia Errázuriz.  Khokhlova’s insistence on social propriety clashed with Picasso’s bohemian tendencies and the two lived in a state of constant conflict.

In 1927 Picasso met 17-year-old Marie-Thérèse Walter and began a secret affair with her.  Picasso’s marriage to Khokhlova soon ended in separation rather than divorce, as French law required an even division of property in the case of divorce, and Picasso did not want Khokhlova to have half his wealth.  The two remained legally married until Khokhlova’s death in 1955.  Picasso carried on the affair with Walter and fathered a daughter with her, named Maya. Walter lived in the vain hope that Picasso would one day marry her, and hanged herself four years after Picasso’s death.  Throughout his life Picasso maintained several mistresses in addition to his wife or primary partner.  Photographer and painter Dora Maar was also a constant companion and lover of Picasso.  The two were closest in the late 1930s and early 1940s, and it was Maar who documented the painting of Guernica. 

Pablo Picasso, 1918, Pierrot, oil on canvas, 92.7 × 73 cm, Museum of Modern Art, New York

Pablo Picasso, 1919, Sleeping Peasants, gouache, watercolor and pencil on paper, 31.1 × 48.9 cm, Museum of Modern Art 

Guernica, 1937, Museo Reina Sofia 

Pablo Picasso photographed in 1953 by Paolo Monti during an exhibition at Palazzo Reale in Milan (Fondo Paolo Monti, BEIC) 

Stanisław Lorentz guides Pablo Picasso through the National Museum in Warsaw in Poland during exhibition Contemporary French Painters and Pablo Picasso’s Ceramics, 1948. Picasso gave Warsaw’s museum over a dozen of his ceramics, drawings and color prints

In 1944, after the liberation of Paris, Picasso, then 63 years old, began a romantic relationship with a young art student named Françoise Gilot, who was 40 years younger than he was.  In her 1964 book Life with Picasso, Gilot describes his abusive treatment and myriad infidelities which led her to leave him.

Picasso had affairs with women of an even greater age disparity than his and Gilot’s.  While still involved with Gilot, in 1951 Picasso had a six-week affair with Geneviève Laporte, who was four years younger than Gilot.  By his 70s, many paintings, ink drawings and prints have as their theme an old, grotesque dwarf as the doting lover of a beautiful young model.  Jacqueline Roque (1927–1986) worked at the Madoura Pottery in Vallauris on the French Riviera, where Picasso made and painted ceramics.  She became his lover, and then his second wife in 1961.  The two were together for the remainder of Picasso’s life.

Pablo Picasso died on 8 April 1973 in Mougins, France, while he and his wife Jacqueline entertained friends for dinner.  He was interred at the Chateau of Vauvenargues near Aix-en-Provence, a property he had acquired in 1958 and occupied with Jacqueline between 1959 and 1962.  Devastated and lonely after the death of Picasso, Jacqueline Roque killed herself by gunshot in 1986 when she was 59 years old. 

Massacre in Korea, 1951

 

Nils Dardel
Nils von Dardel.jpeg

Nils Dardel in Tokyo 1917
 
 

Today is the birthday of Nils Dardel (Nils Elias Kristofer von Dardel, Bettna, Södermanland 25 October 1888 – 25 May 1943 New York City sometimes known as Nils de Dardel);  Swedish Post-Impressionist painter, grandson to Swedish painter Fritz von Dardel.

Gallery

John Blund (1927), on display at the Stockholm Public Library. 
Portrait of Nita Wallenberg in 1917, when Dardel met her in Japan.

In 1919 he proposed to Nita Wallenberg, but her father, a Swedish diplomat, disapproved of Dardel and the marriage was not to be.

Nils Dardel married the author Thora Dardel (1899–1995 – née Klinckowström), which lasted between 1921–1934.

After the marriage to Thora, sometime in the 1930s Nils meets Edita Morris (1902–1988, née Toll), a Swedish writer with whom he shares his remaining life. 

Dardels 1913 work Begravning i Senlis (Funeral in Senlis) 

Crime passionel – One of Dardel’s paintings from the Ballets Suédois era, depicting a violent scene said to be indicative of Dardel’s hectic personal life of the era. 

Japanska (med rygg mot betraktaren)Japanese woman (with back towards the viewer), shows influences of Dardels 1917 visit to Japan, including the medium, silk. 

Ekerö Church outside Stockholm, where Nils lies buried. 

“Vattenfallet”, 1921 – sold in 2012 for a record-breaking 25 million kronor. 

 

 

 

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The Lovers’ Almanac 24 October – All That is Left – art by Konstantin Yuon

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

The Lovers’ Almanac

Dear Muse,

A lady friend:
“I’m heading back from my trip
right now, single. Shit sucks.
For being a logical person,
this shouldn’t be difficult.”

“How in the hell a body
needs a head and a heart
to function, yet they give
such conflicting signals.”

you can only do so much
to save those who are lost
and you gotta make sure
you do not lose yourself

comes down to this…
only you can answer
is it worth your all,
everything you have
cuz that is pro’bly
what it will take

and make sure
you ask yourself this…
can you live
with not tryin’ anymore,
with walkin’ away

it might be
all you have left
it was all I had left

© copyright mac tag/cowboy Coleridge all rights reserved

March Sun, 1915

Today is the birthday of Konstantin Fyodorovich Yuon or Juon (Moscow October 24 [O.S. October 12] 1875 – April 11, 1958; Moscow); Russian painter and theatre designer associated with the Mir Iskusstva.  Later, he co-founded the Union of Russian Artists and the Association of Artists of Revolutionary Russia.

Gallery

View of the Troitse-Sergiyeva Lavra from Vokzalnaya Street, 1911

New Planet 1921 

 

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The Lovers’ Almanac 23 October – In Dreams – verse by Théophile Gautier – art by Zazie 

Dear Zazie,  Here is today’s Lovers’ Almanac from Mac Tag dedicated to his muse.  What would poets write of your dreams?  Rhett

The Lovers’ Almanac

Dear Muse,

zaziemuse,
let your eyes close
by dreams caress
unto your breast,
upon your pillow lay
here, a world away
with no fears or tears

have I come and will I stay
a vision by your side
nothin’ claim I
nor touch, nor word,
but a lonely sigh,
to be near you,
my only care

who would not go as I have gone
a poet on this dream could rhyme,
‘Here lies a dream, one for all time;
Enter and succumb to the bliss’

© copyright 2017 mac tag/cowboy Coleridge all rights reserved

For you a busy day here at TLA: A day in history story, a poem, lyircs and a song.  All for you.

Zane_GreyOn this day in 1939, author Zane Grey died in Altadena, California.  Grey married Dolly Roth, an apparently fine and forgivin’ woman.  Durin’ his courtship of Dolly, Grey still saw previous girlfriends and warned her frankly, “But I love to be free. I cannot change my spots. The ordinary man is satisfied with a moderate income, a home, wife, children, and all that….But I am a million miles from being that kind of man and no amount of trying will ever do any good”.  He added, “I shall never lose the spirit of my interest in women.”  It was in Altadena that he spent time with his mistress Brenda Montenegro.  The two met while hikin’ Eaton Canyon in California.  Of her he wrote, “I saw her flowing raven mane against the rocks of the canyon. I have seen the red skin of the Navajo, and the olive of the Spaniards, but her…her skin looked as if her Creator had in that instant molded her just for me. I thought it was an apparition. She seemed to be the embodiment of the West I portray in my books, open and wild.”  Just as I felt that you muse, had been molded for me.

Théophile_Gautier_by_Nadar_c1856-1And on this day in 1872, French poet Théophile Gautier died in Paris.  From TG we get the Poem of the Day which inspired me to write the lyrics of the day.  To borrow from Shakespeare: Once more unto the dreams we go dear muse.  And talk of phantoms as Halloween approaches.  First the poem, then the lyrics:

The Phantom of the Rose

Sweet lady, let your lids unclose.–
Those lids by maiden dreams caressed;
I am the phantom of the rose
You wore last night upon your breast.
Like pearls upon my petals lay
The weeping fountain’s silver tears,
Ere in the glittering array
You bore me proudly ‘mid your peers.

O lady, ’twas for you I died–
Yet have I come and will I stay;
My rosy phantom by your side
Will linger till the break of day.
Yet fear not, lady; naught claim I–
Nor mass, nor hymn, or funeral prayer;
My soul is but a perfumed sigh,
Which pure from Paradise I bear.

My death is as my life was–sweet;
Who would not die as I have done?
A fate like mine who would not meet,
Your bosom fair to lie upon?
A poet on my sentient tomb
Engraved this legend with a kiss:
‘Here lies a rose of fairest bloom;
E’en kings are jealous of its bliss.

The Phantom of the Dream

Muse, let your eyes unclose and gleam
Those lovely eyes by dreams caressed
I am the phantom of the dream
You held last night unto your breast,
Like love upon your pillow lay
I heard your weepin’, saw your tears,
Here in the other world array,
I came to keep at bay your fears

My dear sweet muse, for you I died
Yet have I come and will I stay
My vivid vision by your side
Will linger till the break of day.
Yet fear not, muse; nothin’ claim I
Nor touch, nor word, or mournful prayer
My soul is but a lonely sigh,
To be near you, my only care

My death is as my life was… sweet
Who would not go as I have gone
A fate like mine who would not meet,
Your fantasies to live upon
A poet on this dream could rhyme,
Engrave this legend with a kiss
‘Here lies a dream, one for all time;
Enter and succumb to its bliss’

© copyright 2012 mac tag/Cowboy Coleridge all rights reserved

The Song of the Day is “Dreams of Sanity” from Andrew Lloyd Webber‘s The Phanton of the Opera as performed by Sarah Brightman and Michael Crawford.

Mac Tag

Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing. – Syvia Plath

If . . . I myself can understand what I’ve written, I feel the day hasn’t been totally wasted.S. J. Perelman

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