Sunday, October 6, 2019

Siegfried Sassoon: Thrushes

Tossed on the glittering air they soar and skim,   
Whose voices make the emptiness of light   
A windy palace. Quavering from the brim   
Of dawn, and bold with song at edge of night,   
They clutch their leafy pinnacles and sing   
Scornful of man, and from his toils aloof
Whose heart's a haunted woodland whispering;   
Whose thoughts return on tempest-baffled wing;   
Who hears the cry of God in everything,   
And storms the gate of nothingness for proof.

Edward Hilton Young: Return

This was the way that, when the war was over,
we were to pass together. You, it’s lover,
would make me love your land, you said, no less,
its shining levels and their loneliness,
the reedy windings of the silent stream,
your boyhood’s playmate, and your childhood’s dream.

The war is over now: and we can pass
this way together.  Every blade of grass
is you: you are the ripples on the river:
you are the breeze in which they leap and quiver.
I find you in the evening shadows falling
athwart the fen, you in the wildfowl calling:
and all the immanent vision cannot save
my thoughts from wandering to your unknown grave.

Johannes Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 2 - Edwin Fischer and Wilhelm Furtwängler

Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 8 "Pathetique" - Edwin Fischer

Emil Cioran: Morte e Umiliazione

Da Laureto Rodoni

Milan Kundera: Hate

Ayn Rand: Decisions

Alda Merini: Terra d'Amore

Io non ho bisogno di denaro.
Ho bisogno di sentimenti.

Di parole, di parole scelte sapientemente,
di fiori, detti pensieri,
di rose, dette presenze,
di sogni, che abitino gli alberi,
di canzoni che faccian danzar le statue,
di stelle che mormorino all'orecchio degli amanti...

Ho bisogno di poesia,
questa magia che brucia le pesantezza delle parole,
che risveglia le emozioni e dà colori nuovi.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Leoš Janáček - Věc Makropulos - Sir Charles Mackerras conducting

Emilia Marty - Elisabeth Söderström
Albert Gregor - Petr Dvorský
Vítek - Vladimir Krejcik
Kristina (Krista) - Anna Czaková
Jaroslav Prus - Václav Zítek
Janek - Zdenek Svehla
Kolenatý - Dalibor Jedlicka
Strojnik - Jiří Joran
Poklízečka - Ivana Mixová
Hauk-Sendorf - Beno Blachut
Komorná - Blanka Vitková

Wiener Philharmoniker feat. conductor: Sir Charles Mackerras

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Jordan Peterson: The Way, The Truth and The Life

James Lyons: A Shell-wrecked Village at Evening

So bleak they stand against the twilit sky,
Those shattered walls that once held love and light.
No gleaming window greets the falling night,
But doubtful shadows on the pathways lie,
To shelter unseen things that start and fly,
Waking these selfsame echoes in their flight
That once caught children’s voices shrill and bright.
Ghosts keep those tumbled ruins – how they sigh! –
Or is but the night wind’s low lament,
Borne from a hundred places scattered wide,
Whence the poor exiles from the village went?
No eye observes the wan moon upward ride,
The place stands  in her pale light scarred and rent,
The silent witness of war’s crucified.

Nicholas Herbert Todd: Angels Church in Occold

Dear Geoff I wonder if you'd like to be
A soldier of King George, the same as me.
To live in Huts arranged in long straight rows,
Or if you'd rather, call them Bungalows.
Your bed, three boards, on which you rest at night,
Which you're required by order to keep white.
To rise at six-or usually much later
And wash, and dress, and shave at such a rate, a
Bedroom at the P.S.S. would hardly equal,
Then marching; about for hours as a sequel.

To listen to advice from N.C.O's
How to stick bayonets inside your foes,
And many other military jaws,
And all the mysteries of forming fours.

A change indeed from that old room I sat in
Trying to teach the elements of Latin,
And bringing boys, whose names I will not mention,
In army parlance " to strict attention."
I hope when I return, if e'er I do,
You'll know your Latin Grammar all right through!
And have no trouble, when I am a civvy,
In reading off at sight a page Livy.
Meanwhile I wander sometimes up and down,
Along the ridges circling, Winton Town
Finding the orchids bending to the breeze,
Or lying on the wild thyme at my ease,
Or hearing ill the Minster's giant pile,
The throb of glory thrilling up the aisle,
And Dreaming of the Princess Who, years past,
Built their memorials, and only asked
Those who came after just one prayer to say
For those who went into the eternal day
For ever, where the tracery of I heaven
Lets in the light from all file planets seven.

And so farewell much love, and may we meet,
Where the swift Rawthey splashes round the feet
Of laughing boys, and Winder's dear old crest
Catches the sunlight dying in the West.
And laden with the spoils, the P.S.S.
Return with shouting in the usual mess.

Written while at Hazeley Down training camp near Winchester in August 1916

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Robert Graves: Sullen Moods

Breaking the ties that hold it here.

If I speak gruffly, this mood is
Mere indignation at my own
Shortcomings, plagues, uncertainties;
I forget the gentler tone.

'You,' now that you have come to be
My one beginning, prime and end,
I count at last as wholly 'me,'
Lover no longer nor yet friend.

Friendship is flattery, though close hid;
Must I then flatter my own mind?
And must (which laws of shame forbid)
Blind love of you make self-love blind?

... Do not repay me my own coin,
The sharp rebuke, the frown, the groan;
No, stir my memory to disjoin
Your emanation from my own.

Help me to see you as before
When overwhelmed and dead, almost,
I stumbled on that secret door
Which saves the live man from the ghost.

Be once again the distant light,
Promise of glory not yet known
In full perfection — -wasted quite
When on my imperfection thrown.

Alun Lewis: All Day it has Rained

All day it has rained, and we on the edge of the moors
Have sprawled in our bell-tents, moody and dull as boors,
Groundsheets and blankets spread on the muddy ground
And from the first grey wakening we have found

No refuge from the skirmishing fine rain
And the wind that made the canvas heave and flap
And the taut wet guy-ropes ravel out and snap,
All day the rain has glided, wave and mist and dream,
Drenching the gorse and heather, a gossamer stream
Too light to stir the acorns that suddenly
Snatched from their cups by the wild south-westerly
Pattered against the tent and our upturned dreaming faces.
And we stretched out, unbuttoning our braces,
Smoking a Woodbine, darning dirty socks,
Reading the Sunday papers – I saw a fox
And mentioned it in the note I scribbled home;

And we talked of girls and dropping bombs on Rome,
And thought of the quiet dead and the loud celebrities
Exhorting us to slaughter, and the herded refugees;
-Yet thought softly, morosely of them, and as indifferently
As of ourselves or those whom we
For years have loved, and will again
Tomorrow maybe love; but now it is the rain
Possesses us entirely, the twilight and the rain.

And I can remember nothing dearer or more to my heart
Than the children I watched in the woods on Saturday
Shaking down burning chestnuts for the schoolyard’s merry play
Or the shaggy patient dog who followed me
By Sheet and Steep and up the wooded scree
To the Shoulder o’ Mutton where Edward Thomas brooded long
On death and beauty – till a bullet stopped his song.

Richard Aldington: Bombardment

Four days the earth was rent and torn
By bursting steel,
The houses fell about us;
Three nights we dared not sleep,
Sweating, and listening for the imminent crash
Which meant our death.

The fourth night every man,
Nerve-tortured, racked to exhaustion,
Slept, muttering and twitching,
While the shells crashed overhead.

The fifth day there came a hush;
We left our holes
And looked above the wreckage of the earth
To where the white clouds moved
 in silent lines

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Rupert Brooke: Mary and Gabriel

Young Mary, loitering once her garden way,
Felt a warm splendour grow in the April day,
As wine that blushes water through. And soon,
Out of the gold air of the afternoon,
One knelt before her: hair he had, or fire,
Bound back above his ears with golden wire,
Baring the eager marble of his face.
Not man's nor woman's was the immortal grace
Rounding the limbs beneath that robe of white,
And lighting the proud eyes with changeless light,
Incurious. Calm as his wings, and fair,
That presence filled the garden.
  She stood there,
Saying, "What would you, Sir?"
    He told his word,
"Blessed art thou of women!" Half she heard,
Hands folded and face bowed, half long had known,
The message of that clear and holy tone,
That fluttered hot sweet sobs about her heart;
Such serene tidings moved such human smart.
Her breath came quick as little flakes of snow.
Her hands crept up her breast. She did but know
It was not hers. She felt a trembling stir
Within her body, a will too strong for her
That held and filled and mastered all. With eyes
Closed, and a thousand soft short broken sighs,
She gave submission; fearful, meek, and glad. . . .

She wished to speak. Under her breasts she had
Such multitudinous burnings, to and fro,
And throbs not understood; she did not know
If they were hurt or joy for her; but only
That she was grown strange to herself, half lonely,
All wonderful, filled full of pains to come
And thoughts she dare not think, swift thoughts and dumb,
Human, and quaint, her own, yet very far,
Divine, dear, terrible, familiar . . .
Her heart was faint for telling; to relate
Her limbs' sweet treachery, her strange high estate,
Over and over, whispering, half revealing,
Weeping; and so find kindness to her healing.
'Twixt tears and laughter, panic hurrying her,
She raised her eyes to that fair messenger.
He knelt unmoved, immortal; with his eyes
Gazing beyond her, calm to the calm skies;
Radiant, untroubled in his wisdom, kind.
His sheaf of lilies stirred not in the wind.
How should she, pitiful with mortality,
Try the wide peace of that felicity
With ripples of her perplexed shaken heart,
And hints of human ecstasy, human smart,
And whispers of the lonely weight she bore,
And how her womb within was hers no more
And at length hers
Being tired, she bowed her head;
And said, "So be it!"
The great wings were spread
Showering glory on the fields, and fire.
The whole air, singing, bore him up, and higher,
Unswerving, unreluctant. Soon he shone
A gold speck in the gold skies; then was gone.

The air was colder, and grey. She stood alone.

(Autumn 1912)

Rupert Brooke: Song

All suddenly the wind comes soft,
   And Spring is here again;
And the hawthorn quickens with buds of green,
   And my heart with buds of pain.

My heart all Winter lay so numb,
   The earth so dead and frore,
That I never thought the Spring would come,
   Or my heart wake any more.

But Winter's broken and earth has woken,
   And the small birds cry again;
And the hawthorn hedge puts forth its buds,
   And my heart puts forth its pain.


Thursday, September 19, 2019

Franck: Symphony in D minor - Carlo Maria Giulini

Zbigniew Preisner: Love at First Sight

The original title is "Miłość od Pierwszego Wejrzenia". The singer is Zbigniew Zamachowski and the lyrics is taken from a poem by the Polish poet, Wisława Szymborska. This is the first track of the soundtrack album to the award-winning film Three Colors: Red. The music was recorded by Rafal Paczkowski at Studio S4, Polish Radio, Warsaw and the soundtrack album was first released in 1994 on Virgin. The music is performed by the Sinfonia Varsovia (Beata Rybotycka, Elżbieta Towarnicka, Jacek Ostaszewski, Konrad Mastyło, Silesian Filharmonic Choir, Sinfonia Varsovia, Wojciech Michniewski - conductor)

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Eugenio Montale: Ripenso il tuo Sorriso (12-S)

Ripenso il tuo sorriso, ed è per me un'acqua limpida
scorta per avventura tra le petraie d'un greto,
esiguo specchio in cui guardi un'ellera i suoi corimbi;
e su tutto l'abbraccio d'un bianco cielo quieto.

Codesto è il mio ricordo; non saprei dire, o lontano,
se dal tuo volto s'esprime libera un'anima ingenua,
o vero tu sei dei raminghi che il male del mondo estenua
e recano il loro soffrire con sé come un talismano.

Ma questo posso dirti, che la tua pensata effigie
sommerge i crucci estrosi in un'ondata di calma,
e che il tuo aspetto s'insinua nella mia memoria grigia
schietto come la cima d'una giovinetta palma...

Alda Merini: 11-S (O New York Notturna...)

O New York notturna del nostro amore
così decapitata, ogni tua luce
è stata il vagito della nostra poesia.
Tu non puoi morire quando sogni
poiché noi italiani ti abbiamo
cullato tra le nostre braccia.
Penso che l’amore sia una grande torre
una torre addormentata nel cuore della notte.
Ma questi giganti che ormai non parlano più
hanno sepolto sotto le loro macerie
anche i nostri sospiri d’amore,
”quando la sera si stendeva sopra un tavolo
come un paziente in preda alla narcosi”

Wisława Szymborska: 11-S (Saltarono dai piani di fiamme...)

Saltarono dai piani in fiamme, giù
…uno, due, altri ancora
più in alto, più in basso.
Una fotografia li ha colti mentre erano vivi
e ora li preserva
sopra il suolo, diretti verso il suolo.
Ognuno di loro ancora intero
con il proprio volto
e il sangue ben nascosto.
C’è ancora tempo,
perché i loro capelli siano scompigliati,
e perché chiavi e spiccioli
cadano dalle loro tasche.
Essi si trovano ancora nel reame dell’aria,
entro i luoghi
che hanno appena aperto.
Ci sono soltanto due cose che posso fare per loro
…descrivere questo volo
e non aggiungere una parola finale.

Emil Cioran: Ecceso

Marie Curie: Curiosity

George Eliot: Music and Poetry