Monday, October 31, 2016

Linus and Lucy

A person should always choose a costume which is in direct contrast to her own personality.
~Lucy Van Pelt

Each year, the Great Pumpkin rises out of the pumpkin patch that he thinks is the most sincere. He's gotta pick this one. He's got to. I don't see how a pumpkin patch can be more sincere than this one. You can look around and there's not a sign of hypocrisy. Nothing but sincerity as far as the eye can see.
~Linus Van Pelt

I share all kinds of music, but I particularly like to share upbeat music on Monday mornings. Can't really top this! (The name of what I always thought of as the Charlie Brown theme song is actually "Linus and Lucy." Surprise!)

The Piano Guys

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.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

500 plants

A place becomes a home when it sustains you, when it feeds you in body as well as spirit.
~Robin Wall Kimmerer

This person's apartment has 500 plants! I wouldn't really want to deal with all their care, but I would get a huge kick out of hanging out there!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Shakespeare Lives!

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
~William Shakespeare, As You Like It

The British Council is marking the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death in 2016. These two videos came from that celebration of his work, Shakespeare Lives:

Under the greenwood tree
Who loves to lie with me,
And tune his merry note
Unto the sweet bird's throat —
Come hither, come hither, come hither!
Here shall he see
No enemy
But winter and rough weather.

A seize-the-day quote from Twelfth Night:

What is love? 'Tis not hereafter;
Present mirth hath present laughter;
What's to come is still unsure:
In delay there lies no plenty;
Then come kiss me, sweet-and-twenty:
Youth's a stuff will not endure.

Helena Bonham Carter in Twelfth Night

And here's a Romeo and Juliet bonus:

Live Your Poem has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Irene!

Thursday, October 13, 2016


Right now, in the amazing moment that to us counts as the present, we are deciding, without quite meaning to, which evolutionary pathways will remain open and which will forever be closed.
~Elizabeth Kolbert

When I took the Harry Potter (Pottermore) "Discover Your Patronus" quiz, they said my patronus was an anteater. My response was basically "?" but maybe they were talking about scaly anteaters, also known as pangolins. In which case, I can see that...aren't they cool? The bad news: all species of pangolin are endangered.

Manis temminckii
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters
Photo credit to Maria Diekmann of Rare and Endangered Species Trust

Four feet, wings, and fins
by Mrs. A. E. Anderson Maskell
from Internet Archive Book Images

Pangolin (II)
Steve Loya

Manis temminckii
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters
Photo credit to Tikki Hywood Trust

by Esther Simpson

A long tailed manis (scaly ant-eater) standing on a rock, etching
Wellcome Images, operated by Wellcome Trust, a global charitable foundation based in the United Kingdom

Manis tetradactyla
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters
Photo credit to Rod Cassidy / Sangha Lodge

by Brian Dewey

Monday, October 10, 2016

Feed your fire

Everybody got their reason
Everybody got their way
We're just catching and releasing
What builds up throughout the day
-Matt Simons

Upbeat music from Matt Simons this Monday morning.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Poetry memories

I bring you with reverent hands
The books of my numberless dreams.
~W.B. Yeats

Another poem from the archives (for Linda Mitchell, who requested one!).

by Tabatha Yeatts
for J.C.

My husband offers me his arm
in the brisk December air
and we cross the crowded lot to the
bookstore, where the line is almost
out the door, almost, but not quite,
and I am grateful for the mercy
of an indoor line and places to lean against
as I hold your book in one hand
and my heavy belly with the other.

I shift my weight uncomfortably as I wait,
too tired to be truly impatient,
in the long line that winds slowly to you.
I am one strangely-shapen leg
in a lengthy human caterpillar that flows up
the stairs to the table where you are signing books.
We cannot linger but must continue past you,
the leaf that we all want a bite of.

I wait, my teal sweater stretching
over the baby who is nearly here,
my hair pulled back in a ponytail
away from a face that is round
even when it isn't nine months pregnant.
You seem both frail and stalwart,
signing your name over and over,
over and over again,
dedicated to this crazy proposition -- poetry --
and I sag against the wall, stubbornly determined
to support you in this strange endeavor.

What pushes you, whose exterior
was analyzed so deeply and relentlessly,
to offer your inner workings, your
edges, your long breaths, reaching for the sun? Perhaps
you know that among politicians, there are many
who can understand deception, but few who
can fathom an honest verse.

I watch your purple-haired
smiling as she also signs the books,
see your pride as you glance over.
Finally, I reach you and you look at me,
at the signs of the butterfly
that won't stay long in this chrysalis,
and surprise flickers across your face
that I waited for you. Mr President,
how could I not come bear witness
to your paper-baby, fluttering away
with your heart as fast
as you can sign your name?



The soon-to-arrive baby in the poem is Ariana.

I sent "President-Poet" to the poem's subject, and he replied: "To Tabatha, Thanks for bringing back fond memories so beautifully! Best wishes, Jimmy C."

Violet Nesdoly has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Violet!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Musical Sculpture

Turn, turn, my wheel! Turn round and round
Without a pause, without a sound:
So spins the flying world away!
This clay, well mixed with marl and sand,
Follows the motion of my hand;
For some must follow, and some command,
Though all are made of clay!
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I saw Ken Jensen's pottery in person and knew I wanted to share it with you. Most of these are from his musical sculpture line (the exception being the last work). He says, "They sound like bugles, conch shells, fog horns, and didgeridoos." Thanks, Ken, for giving me permission to post these!

The Twister
by Ken Jensen

The Dragon
by Ken Jensen

The Maze
by Ken Jensen

The Tornado
by Ken Jensen

The Blue Note
by Ken Jensen

Three One Notes
by Ken Jensen

Yin Yang Set in Copper with Trees
by Ken Jensen

Monday, October 3, 2016

Consisting almost entirely of semiquavers

Who's a chicken's favorite classical composer?

Every so often, we have Bach.