Category Archives: Arts

A Million Little Pieces

Don’t care what Oprah had to say about James Frey and his book, A Million Little Pieces. It was an incredible story. I totally accept that he used creative license, and I don’t have any ill-will towards him. Oprah needs to get over herself…

I am almost dead. It’s a happy fucking day…
Humans are said to seek only food, shelter and sex. Humans are said to have only these as their primary urges. I have lived in a state where I went without all, sought none. I do not know what that makes me.

…Must say that it was a little strange to read a book totally written in lowercase.

The Art of Music

Those who dance are thought mad by those who hear not the music.

Music is soul embodied in sound.

Without music life would be a mistake. Friedrich Nietsche

Whether the angels play only Bach in praising God I am not quite sure; I am sure, however, that en famille they play Mozart. Karl Barth

The power of music is so great, that in the legends of all nations, the invention of the art is ascribed to the Gods. Karl Merz

Music and rhythm find their way into the secret places of the soul. Plato

Music is well said to be the speech of angels. Thomas Carlyle

Most of us go to our graves with our music still inside of us. Oliver Wendell Holmes

…A miserable, self-destructive, death rocker…better to burn out than to fade away. Kurt Cobain‘s Suicide Note

When Joni Mitchell was asked how she could retire from music when it was such a huge part of herself, she replied, “Easy, it’s just like a wind that blew through me that stopped blowing. It’s gone.”

Seven Ages of Man

From As You Like It

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.
Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slippered pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

~William Shakespeare~

We Are Many

An excerpt from the translation of the poem…

While I am writing, I am far away;
and when I come back, I have already left.
I should like to see if the same thing happens
to other people as it does to me,
to see if as many people are as I am,
and if they seem the same way to themselves.
When this problem has been thoroughly explored,
I am going to school myself so well in things
that, when I try to explain my problems,
I shall speak, not of self, but of geography.

~Pablo Neruda~

Painting A Picture

Some books leave us free. Some books make us free. Ralph Waldo Emerson

I love the imagery that is created by writers. It is a true talent to create a picture only with the use of words…

He sat…like some poor sad rustic angel confined to hell. MERCY AMONG THE CHILDREN, David Adams Richards

That tent city looked like a railroad accident without a railroad track. THE MAN FROM THE CREEKS, Robert Kroetsch

He turned on to the boardwalk and felt the full impact of the stinging blast from the ocean. ON THE STREET WHERE YOU LIVE, Mary Higgins Clark

The infecting bacteria came in a swift gush as if flushed from a sewer. VITAL SIGNS, Robin Cook

 

 

 

The Charade

Found in a 19th century book entitled Enquire Within Upon Everything – a how to book for domestic life…

The Charade is a poetical or other composition founded upon a word, each syllable of which constitutes a noun, and the whole of which word constitutes another noun of a somewhat different meaning from those supplied by its separate syllables.

Words which fully answer these conditions are the best for the purposes of charades; though  many other words are employed.  In writing, the first syllable is termed, ‘my first’, the second syllable is termed, ‘my second’ and the complete word, ‘my whole.’

The following is an example of a Poetical Charade:

The breath of the morning is sweet;
The earth is bespangled with flowers;
And buds in a countless array
Have ope’d at the touch of the showers.
The birds, whose glad voices are ever
A music delightful to hear,
Seem to welcome the joy of the morning,
As the hour of the bridal draws near.
What is that which now steals on my first
Like a sound from the dreamland of love,
And seems wand’ring the valleys among,
That they may be the nuptials approve?
‘Tis a sound which my second explains,
And it comes from a sacred abode
And it merrily brills as the villagers throng
To greet the fair bride on her road.
How meek is her dress, now befitting a bride
So beautiful, spotless  and pure!
When she weareth my second, oh, long may it be
Ere her heart shall a sorrow endure.
See the glittering gem that shines forth form her hair –
‘Tis my whole, which a good father gave;
‘Twas worn by  her mother with honour before –
But she sleepeth in peace in her grave.
‘Twas her earnest request, as she bade them adieu,
That when her dear daughter the altar drew near,
She should wear the same gem that her mother had worn
When she as a bride full of promise stood there.

The answer is ear-ring.
The bells ring, the sound steals upon the ear, and the bride wears an ear-ring.

365

On April 20th I posted my 365th item. It took me just over a year as I missed a few days. Having almost exhausted my personal trove, I hope I can continue to find literary items that will both amuse and entertain.

Read, learn, work it up, go to the literature. Information is control.
…From The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion

Poetry

April is poetry month and this poem by the gifted Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda, defines what it means to him…

And it was at that age…Poetry arrived
in search of me. I don’t know, I don’t know where
it came from, from winter or a river.
I don’t know how or when,
no, they were not voices, they were not
words, nor silence,
but from a street I was summoned,
from the branches of night,
abruptly from the others,
among violent fires
or returning alone,
there I was without a face
and it touched me.

I did not know what to say, my mouth
had no way
with names
my eyes were blind,
and something started in my soul,
fever or forgotten wings,
and I made my own way,
deciphering
that fire
and I wrote the first faint line,
faint, without substance, pure
nonsense,
pure wisdom
of someone who knows nothing,
and suddenly I saw
the heavens
unfastened
and open,
planets,
palpitating planations,
shadow perforated,
riddled
with arrows, fire and flowers,
the winding night, the universe.

And I, infinitesmal being,
drunk with the great starry
void,
likeness, image of
mystery,
I felt myself a pure part
of the abyss,
I wheeled with the stars,
my heart broke free on the open sky.

~Pablo Neruda~

The Essays of Montaigne

…And though nobody should have read me, have I wasted time in entertaining myself so many idle hours in so pleasing and useful thoughts? In moulding this figure upon myself, I have been so often constrained to temper and compose myself in a right posture, that the copy is truly taken, and has in some sort formed itself; painting myself for others, I represent myself in a better colouring than my own natural complexion. I have no more made my book than my book has made me: ‘tis a book consubstantial with the author, of a peculiar design, a parcel of my life, and whose business is not designed for others, as that of all other books is.
Translated by Charles Cotton, edited by William Carew Hazlitt, 1877

Death Waits Not For Storm Nor Sunshine

This eloquent passage with no comma or period was often used as an example of grammar and punctuation in 1894…

Death waits not for storm nor sunshine. Within a dwelling in one of the upper streets, respectable in appearance, and furnished with such conveniences as distinguish the habitations of those who rank among the higher classes of society, a man of middle age lay on his last bed, momently awaiting the final summons. All that the most skilful medical attendance – all that love, warm as the glow that fires an angel’s bosom, could do, had been done; by day and night, for many long weeks, had ministering spirits, such as a devoted wife and loving children are done all within their power to ward off the blow. But there he lay, his raven hair smoothed off from his noble brow, his dark eyes lighted with un-natural brightness, and contrasting strongly with the pallid hue which marked him as an expectant of the dread messenger.

Paul Dobraszczyk

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