Monday, October 20, 2014

Hungarian March

"A Viennese music-lover, well acquainted with the ways of the country I was about to visit, had come to see me a few days earlier with a volume of old tunes. 'If you want to please the Hungarians, he said, write a piece on one of their national themes; they will be delighted...' I followed the advice and chose the Rákóczy theme, on which I wrote the grand march which you know."
~Berlioz, who received "a silver crown of exquisite workmanship" from a group of young Hungarians as thanks for the march

Music from The Damnation of Faust this Music Monday. It was composed by Louis Hector Berlioz, inspired by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Faust (and by a Hungarian national tune).

YouTube Symphony Orchestra:

A bonus: the trailer for Terry Gilliam (of Monty Python)'s The Damnation of Faust:

Terry Gilliam

Friday, October 17, 2014

Ode to Lucy's Ears

“The greatest pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him, and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself, too.”
~Samuel Butler

Zeno poems are everywhere, have you noticed? J. Patrick Lewis invented this form based on the hailstone sequence (8,4,2,1,4,2,1,4,2,1 syllables that rhyme abcdefdghd), which Michelle has been featuring on her blog in October. I wanted to try it, but was nervous because it looks impossible.

photo by Ariana Y

Recently when my son and I were walking our puppy, I told him, "I could write a poem about Lucy's ears," to which he replied, "I could write a whole anthology about Lucy's ears." I don't know when his collection will be available, but here's my zeno:

Ode to Lucy's Ears
by Tabatha Yeatts

Sleek black waves bounce so charmingly
as she bounds a-
long. Her
is so fancy-
free, we
widely while her
ears be-


Michelle is our Poetry Friday host at Today's Little Ditty.

Calling myself out here for naming it "Ode to Lucy's Ears" when clearly it should be "Zeno (for? to?) Lucy's Ears." I meant it in the sense of a poem "expressive of exalted or enthusiastic emotion," but really.

Addendum the second: The first thing Lucy's ears reminded us of was Dobby. When Lucy is in trouble, here's what she looks like:

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Cameos and Intaglios

Carving is easy. You just go down to the skin and stop.

Carved gemstones, shells, and chocolate today.

What is an intaglio? A carved gem used to imprint sealing wax. Cameos have layers — they are sculpted in one layer with another contrasting layer serving as the background.

photo by Amanda Krueger

Cameo vase, Hercules restoring Alcestis to her husband Admetus
Artist: Alphonse Lechevrel (carver)
photo by Black Country Museums

Cameo , Sanibel Shell Museum
photo by Corinne Loomer

Cameo Ring with Marie Antoinette and the Dauphin
This sardonyx cameo features portrait busts of Queen Marie Antoinette of France (1755-93) and her son the Dauphin (1785-95).
Walters Art Museum

Sasanian intaglio with the portrait of a king and a Pahlavi inscription: “the Mazdaean lord Shapur, king of kings of Eran”

Portrait of Roman Emperor Caracalla, amethyst intaglio, ca. 212
From the treasury of the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris

Top Hat Skeleton Gentleman
by Daniel Proulx

White Chocolate Cameos
photo by A Forest Frolic

Monday, October 13, 2014

An Occasion of Wild Revelry

Classical music isn't just music. It's a personal diary. An uncensored confession in the dead of night. A baring of the soul.
~Marisha Pessl

My younger daughter's orchestra is rehearsing the bacchanale from Samson et Dalila by Camille Saint-Saëns. It's a wonderful piece. In the video below, the Youth Orchestra of Caracas plays the heck out of it:

P.S. What's a "bacchanale"? It's an occasion of wild revelry, named for Bacchus, the Greek god of wine.

Friday, October 10, 2014

With Stomachs Rumbling

Did you hear about the Chinese poet Wang Zang who was arrested on October 1 for a Twitter post supporting the Hong Kong protests and their Umbrella Movement? (Many headlines about it have been along the lines of "Chinese poet faces jail for possession of umbrella." Read the PEN article about it here.)

Blue Umbrella by Don2G

Today, we have a poem by Hong Kong poet Leung Ping-kwan:

Leung Ping-kwan

by Leung Ping-kwan
Translated by John Minford and Chan Oi-sum 1996

As the Zhou Dynasty rebuilt the Empire
and celebrated the unity of All-Under-Heaven
courtiers were honoured, ceremonial music composed,
metals melted, vessels cast, new injunctions set in bronze, power revalidated.
The grand banquet commenced, noblemen and elders took the places of honour;
while savage fauna bubbled restlessly in the cauldron,
a sober phoenix motif replaced the gruesome mask of the Beast

Our humble bellies have ingested a surfeit of treachery
eaten their fill of history, wolfed down legends --
and still the banquet goes on, leaving
an unfilled void in an ever-changing structure.
Constantly we become food for our own consumption.
For fear of forgetting, we swallow our loved ones,
we masticate our memories and our stomachs rumble as we look outwards.

Read the rest on Leung Ping-kwan's site (look at "Archives" and search for "Cauldron")


You can find the Poetry Friday round-up at The Miss Rumphius Effect.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

By the Sea

...all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.
~John Masefield

Heading down to the water today:

What freedom!
by Ilya Repin

View from Dosseringen
by Christen Købke

The Battle of the U.S.S. "Kearsarge" and the C.S.S. "Alabama"
by Édouard Manet

Autumn Sea
by Gustave Courbet

Four-Masted Barque
by Henry Scott Tuke

Innseilingen Til Christiania
by Hans Gude

by Casases (not really sure of the painting name or artist)

In Finskom Bay
by Lev Feliksovich Lagorio

Moorage in Gurzuf
by Lev Orekhov

by August Schaeffer von Wienwald (1833-1912)