Friday, October 28, 2016


Musical compositions, it should be remembered, do not inhabit certain countries, certain museums, like paintings and statues. The Mozart Quintet is not shut up in Salzburg: I have it in my pocket.
~Henri Rabaud

Two things going on here today...last call for the Winter Poem Swap and first call for the Orchestral Etsy giveaway! I'm going to be giving away a $50 gift card to Etsy. To enter, tell me two of your favorite musical compositions that use orchestral instruments (probably they will be played by orchestras, but maybe they will be played by chamber ensembles, brass quintets, trios, etc.). You can enter up to five times, as long as you share different compositions each time.

I have posted many favorites myself, so you are welcome to explore those. (And here's a list of orchestral instruments, if you are wondering what they are.)

I am trying to time the giveaway to help somebody with their holiday shopping, so I will close the entry collection on November 15th and announce the winner that Friday (the 18th).

Here's a poem to go with our theme:

by Chayym Zeldis

The violin

kept its notes
to itself

like birds
in a cage...

The man
kept his heart
to himself
like a hound
on a leash...

one day

the man
left the room
where he slept

and walked
into the room

where the violin

He picked up
the bow
lifted the violin
cradled it in
the hollow of
a shoulder,
and played...

The notes
were freed.

So was his


Sharing another favorite composition today -- I love Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's Capriccio Espagnol, and this Danish orchestra does a lovely job with it. The French horns gave me goosebumps.


Don't forget to sign up for the Winter Poem Swap by Halloween if you want to give and receive a poem in December! More info in last week's post.

TeacherDance has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Linda!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Here comes trouble

Never trust a demon. He has a hundred motives for anything he does ... Ninety-nine of them, at least, are malevolent.
~Neil Gaiman

A Halloween-inspired theme today!

The demon Asmath from Henry VI
George Romney (1734–1802)


photo by Lou Schwartz

The Demon with the Matted Hair

John D. Batten

Illustration du Dictionnaire infernal
by Louis Le Breton, 1863

Dimoni de Badalona del 2012
photo by Vcarceler

Apollyon from the Book "The Magus" (1801)
by Francis Barrett

Raining In Demon Town

by Philip Kirk

Cover Demons In Moss
photo by Maria Kanno

More Halloween-related posts

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Beastly music

I would like to take this opportunity to reassure Muggle purchasers that the amusing creatures described hereafter are fictional and cannot hurt you. To wizards, I say merely: Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus.
~J.K. Rowling

Been waiting a loonng time to see some fantastic beasts...

P.S. Never tickle a sleeping dragon.

Monday, October 24, 2016

The sound of your voice

I think I can see in your face
There's a lot you can teach me

There's a lot Anna-Maria Hefele can teach us. If you aren't familiar with overtone singing (creating the sound of two notes at the same time), prepare to have your mind blown.

I have a list of "Liked Videos" and this one was near the overtone one. It's not much of a reason to put them together, but this song is good for a Monday. They are certainly joyful...

Friday, October 21, 2016

The Soul selects the Winter Poem Swap

logo by Elena

Winter Poem Swap information follows today's poetry. "The Soul selects her own Society" is one of my favorite Emily Dickinson poems. It resonated with me as a teen and stayed with me ever after. As you will see, Alicia Ostriker feels the same way!

The Soul selects her own Society (303)
by Emily Dickinson, 1830-1886

The Soul selects her own Society —
Then — shuts the Door —
To her divine Majority —
Present no more —

Unmoved — she notes the Chariots — pausing —
At her low Gate —
Unmoved — an Emperor be kneeling
Upon her Mat —

I’ve known her — from an ample nation —
Choose One —
Then — close the Valves of her attention —
Like Stone —


An Acrostic for Emily
by Alicia Ostriker

This is one of ED's smartest or wisest poems.
Her insight here tickles; it also encourages.
Even before I knew I was a poet,
Something was promising me that my choice, not
Only of whom but of what (beauty, art, poetry) to love would be valid; that however
Unclear most things were in my world,
Love would be clear and
Simple. And soulful. Don't you love the s's in that first line?
Ever notice there are four of them? And how they slow the line up? Then
Look how the next line snaps shut!
Emily reproduces, rhythmically, the careful intentionality of selection and its
Then she brings politics into it, but sideways. Divinely,
"Soul" outvotes all opposition. Majority rules. Soul as majority? How improbable!

read the rest here


I've shared this before, but it fits here so nicely:

Portrait of the Dickinson Children
by J.R. Solonche

Even if you did not already know, you would know.
It's the ten-year-old redhead on the left.
It's the one with her head on fire.
It's the one with the faraway look in her eyes.
It's the one with the open book and the rose in her hand.
It's the one with the one thousand seven hundred seventy-five secrets in her smile.


Now, about the Winter Poem Swap!

What is the swap? If you choose to participate, you will send an original poem and small gift by December 12, and you will receive one as well! To participate, send me your name, mailing address, and anything I should know, such as your allergies. If you would like to be paired for your swap (instead of potentially giving your poem to one person and receiving a poem from another), let me know. Drop me a line at tabatha (at) by Halloween.

You can find the Poetry Friday round-up at The Miss Rumphius Effect. Thanks, Tricia!

Thursday, October 20, 2016


Now I got a time machine at home. It only goes forward at regular speed. It's essentially a cardboard box and on the outside I wrote "Time Machine" in sharpie.
~Demetri Martin

Pizza boxes and other cardboard art:

Pizza box art I
Newtown graffiti

Pizza box 10, oil on pizza box
Kirsi Karppinen

Lonely Planet
Sharon Hinchliffe

JAM Project, Cardboard City exhibition at Soldiers Rd gallery

Era tan bueno (He was so good)

"Echo of The Cave" Exhibition, Tel-Aviv, by the StyleMustDie crew
photo by Nir

Fish 8
Jacque Davis

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Musical triumph

I feel so entirely in my element with a full orchestra; even if my mortal enemies were marshalled before me, I could lead them, master them, surround them, or repulse them.
~Robert Schumann

Hooray for the power of musicians playing together! I was so moved by Al-Nour Wal Amal (Light and Hope) Chamber Orchestra, composed of a group of visually-impaired girls and women from Egypt. Their music is translated into braille, which they memorize. The musicians have to maintain the beats and their entrances, etc. on their own since they cannot see a conductor.