This week, love and recovery seem to be in the air…
Eingang (Entrance), by R.M. Rilke
Read in German and English by Sonia Vilim
A wonderful poem on embracing the unknown and overcome fear by setting foot on new soil in order to flourish and thrive.
Eingang (the beginning poem of “The Book of Images”/”Das Buch der Bilder” 1902)
Wer du auch seist: am Abend tritt hinaus
aus deiner Stube, drin du alles weißt;
als letztes vor der Ferne liegt dein Haus:
wer du auch seist.
Mit deinen Augen, welche müde kaum
von der verbrauchten Schwelle sich befrein,
hebst du ganz langsam einen schwarzen Baum
und stellst ihn vor den Himmel: schlank, allein.
Und hast die Welt gemacht. Und sie ist groß
und wie ein Wort, das noch im Schweigen reift.
Und wie dein Wille ihren Sinn begreift,
lassen sie deine Augen zärtlich los…
Whovever you are: step out in to the evening
out of your living room, where everything is so known;
your house stands as the last thing before great space:
Whoever you are.
With your eyes, which in their fatigue can just barely
free themselves from the worn-out thresholds,
very slowly, lift a single black tree
and place it against the sky, slender and alone.
With this you have made the world. And it is large
and like a word that is still ripening in silence.
And, just as your will grasps their meaning,
they in turn will let go, delicately, of your eyes . . .
Homecoming, by Anonymous
Read by Xe Sands
…partnered with “remember”
This piece is loosely connected to and paired with “remember,” written by my oldest and best friend. They asked that it be released in tandem with the former, as it’s perhaps best considered as part of a cycle, a progression.
Of course, which direction the progression is moving is up to the listener.
Forget-Me-Not, by William Topaz McGonagall
Read by Mark Turetsky
Today, I’ve got a special treat for all you lovers out there, a poem by the Victorian Scottish poet and weaver William Topaz McGonnagall, considered by many to be the worst poet ever!
This is a poem about love, and the lengths that gallant knights will go to for their loves. It is also about unreasonable requests made by petulant lovers.
What makes this a bad poem? I’m glad you asked. First off, consider this quatrain:
So he leap’d into the river wide,
And swam across to the other side,
To fetch a flower for his young bride,
Who watched him eagerly on the other side.
It doesn’t really scan well. McGonnagall seems to not really care about the scansion of his verse, and yet he feels the need to turn “leaped” into “leap’d,” which is usually done to cut down on the number of syllables in order to preserve the meter. But “leaped” and “leap’d” both have only one syllable. Why’d he do that? My best guess is because it looked more poetic.
He also consistently uses the exact same rhymes over and over (“wide,” “side,” and “bride”) which would be fine if it were a refrain, but it isn’t in this case. Not to mention that he refers to both sides of the river as “the other side,” making the whole situation confusing. Did the knight make it to the other side? He sure did, but he didn’t come back to the other other side.
Anyway, I hope you all enjoy this little moral tale, and take its lesson to heart, “don’t forget the knight who did a blazingly stupid thing.”
Many thanks to McGonnagall Online, the chief preserver of William Topaz’ works: http://www.mcgonagall-online.org.uk/
Love Letters, by Anne Boleyn & Henry VIII
Letters written by famous or infamous characters of history are endlessly fascinating to me, since they remind us that history is made by human beings, fallible and feeling.
An historical romance as unhappy as it gets. The true story of Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII. Especially tragic for Anne who began her flirtation with Henry while he was married to Katherine of Aragon. This letter, thought to be written in the summer of 1526, her first love letter to him. Most of her subsequent letters to him in response to his, have been lost.
Henry’s letters to Anne were found in the Vatican Library. They were thought to have been stolen and sent to the papacy as evidence in Henry’s plea for an annulment of his marriage to Katherine.
Underscored with the gorgeous Early Music of Jon Sayles.
Tom Jones – Book 3, Chapter 8, by Henry Fielding
Read by Mark Turetsky
Book 3 Chapter 8 of Tom Jones.
This is part of an ongoing project in which I will record and post one chapter per week of Henry Fielding’s Tom Jones over the course of four years.
So, even though Tom was 18 years old a few chapters ago, we’re now “above half a year” after the incident with the gamekeeper and the neighboring squire. I guess that Fielding really isn’t all that keen on his chronology, after all.
This short chapter continues the story of Tom’s selflessness toward his friends, supporting Black George the gamekeeper and his family by selling the little horse that Allworthy gave to him. We once again see Thwackum’s utter lack of human decency, as well.