Spring may be on the way, but there is still angst, self-reflection and grief to be explored, with Tom Jones as our humorous antidote.
Gentle Lady Do Not Sing, by James Joyce
Read by Diane Havens
Irish poet James Joyce is perhaps better known for his novels and it amuses me that the writer of the weighty “Ulysses” writes such beautifully spare poetry.
Underscored with the early music of Jon Sayles.
Cold, by Peter Davey
Read by Sonia Vilim
– recorded with permission of the author, Peter Davey.
A revealed piece from the treasury chest of the lonely bard from Winchelsea 🙂
the sense of never knowing how another sees;
though each human eye can fold about the stars,
project a kind of homespun order on the void
and though our features flow in other veins,
still remains the cold sense that,
even skin to skin,
a space divides us wider than the sky;
is this shade of blue
your shade of green?
Each child alone in darkness
father, daughter, son
conjoined by love while every sight and scent
is formed by memories of what alone is ours
Photo: Morning View by Peter Davey
Silence, by D. H. Lawrence
Read by Xe Sands
Last month, I lost someone. And in that grief, I turned to poetry, trying to find solace among the words of grieving poets. And I did find solace, as well as all the other bits and pieces death throws at you: misery, anger, tears that you squeeze out despite your best efforts.
I sat down soon after his death to try and record something, something that could somehow express – literally express it out of me, like an exorcism of sorts – this ripping sensation I was feeling in my heart. Most of those recordings are useless to anyone but me…lots of choked up words and sniffling and swearing. But several came through. One, released earlier, expressed the immediate shock and lack of a way forward.
This one just didn’t ring true at the time…it felt like it would be true at some point, but it wasn’t sufficiently suffused with the agony of fresh loss. But in listening to it this morning, I felt a resonance with it. Lawrence start out with:
“Since I lost you I am silence-haunted…”
…and I thought, “Yes – this is what comes after shock and agony and crying – a sort of numbness, as if everything is swathed in cotton – your heart, your mind.”
Sound and color eventually return…or rather, we eventually recognize that they never left. But in the interim, between loss and living, is silence.
Tom Jones – Book 4, Chapter 2, by Henry Fielding
Read by Mark Turetsky
Book 4 Chapter 2 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.
Fielding’s description of Sophia Western attempts to out-sublime the Sublime. In addition to calling the literary movement by name, he over-writes his description to the point of parody. Each component of Sophia Western’s body is the paragon of all things, and in order to introduce her, he summons the wind gods Zephyrus, Eurus and Boreas, not to mention the goddess Flora herself. This has traces of the mock-epic, one of Fielding’s preferred styles, wherein a poet would call upon his muse directly as an invocation of inspiration for the words to come.
As you can probably tell from my narration of this chapter, I had a ton of fun with it, making sure that I said “Sophia” always in a mock-awed hush.
And speaking of “Sophia,” that’s how her name is to be pronounced. Not quite like you’d hear it today, but it’s accurate to the time period.