Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Two New Art Blogs begin tomorrow
ONE HUNDRED PAINTINGS EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW
http://onehundredpaintingseveryoneshouldknow.blogspot.com
and
THE ART OF JOHN WILLIAM GODWARD
http://theartofjohnwilliamgodward.blogspot.com

THERE IS ANOTHER SKY
Emily Dickinson 1830-86

There is another sky,
Ever serene and fair,
And there is another sunshine,
Though it be darkness there; 
Never mind faded forests, Austin,
Never mind silent fields - 
Here is a little forest,
Whose leaf is ever green; 
Here is a brighter garden,
Where not a frost has been; 
In its unfading flowers
I hear the bright bee hum:
Prithee, my brother,
Into my garden come! 

-o=0=o-

Monday, May 30, 2016

DAFFODILS
William Wordsworth 1770-1850

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils; 
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed - and gazed - but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude; 
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils. 

-o=0=o-

Sunday, May 29, 2016

THE HAIKU PAGE

into the cavern
following the torchlight beam
a sudden chill

placing her coin
in the slot, the little girl
pats the stone dog

from the summit
the village is lost in mist
just the church spire

-o=0=o-

Saturday, May 28, 2016

SATURDAY WITH THOMAS HARDY

BEST TIMES

We went a day's excursion to the stream,
Basked by the bank, and bent to the ripple-gleam,
And I did not know
That life would show,
However it might flower, no finer glow.

I walked in the Sunday sunshine by the road
That wound towards the wicket of your abode,
And I did not think
That life would shrink
To nothing ere it shed a rosier pink.

Unlooked for I arrived on a rainy night,
And you hailed me at the door by the swaying light,
And I full forgot
That life might not
Again be touching that ecstatic height.

And that calm eve when you walked up the stair,
After a gaiety prolonged and rare,
No thought soever
That you might never
Walk down again, struck me as I stood there.

Poems by Thomas Hardy are now being posted here every Saturday.

-o=0=o-

Friday, May 27, 2016

A DAUGHTER OF EVE
Christina Georgina Rossetti 1830-94

 A fool I was to sleep at noon,
         And wake when night is chilly
     Beneath the comfortless cold moon;
     A fool to pluck my rose too soon,
         A fool to snap my lily.

     My garden-plot I have not kept;
         Faded and all-forsaken,
     I weep as I have never wept:
     Oh it was summer when I slept,
         It's winter now I waken.

     Talk what you please of future spring
         And sun-warm'd sweet to-morrow -
     Stripp'd bare of hope and everything,
     No more to laugh, no more to sing,
         I sit alone with sorrow.

The new Art Blogs begin on Wednesday 1st June
ONE HUNDRED PAINTINGS EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW
and
THE ART OF JOHN WILLIAM GODWARD

-o=0=o-

Thursday, May 26, 2016

SO DEEP IS THE NIGHT
Sonny Miller

So deep is the night
No Moon tonight
No friendly star
To guide me with its light

Be still my heart
Silent lest my love should be returning
From the world, far apart

So deep is the night
O, lonely night
On broken wings
My heart has taken flight
And left a dream

In my dream our lips are blending
Will my dream be never ending
Will your memory haunt me 'til I die

Alone am I, deep into the night
Waiting for the light
Alone am I, I wonder why
I wonder why.

-o=0=o-

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

THE BLIND MAN AT THE FAIR
Joseph Campbell 1881-1944

O to be blind! 
To know the darkness that I know. 
The stir I hear is empty wind, 
The people idly come and go. 

The sun is black, tho’ warm and kind, 
The horsemen ride, the streamers blow 
Vainly in the fluky wind, 
For all is darkness where I go. 

The cattle bellow to their kind, 
The mummers dance, the jugglers throw, 
The thimble-rigger speaks his mind -
But all is darkness where I go. 

I feel the touch of womankind, 
Their dresses flow as white as snow; 
But beauty is a withered rind 
For all is darkness where I go. 

Last night the moon of Lammas shined, 
Rising high and setting low; 
But light is nothing to the blind -
All, all is darkness where they go. 

White roads I walk with vacant mind, 
White cloud-shapes round me drifting slow, 
White lilies waving in the wind - 
And darkness everywhere I go. 

-o=0=o-

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

I HEARD A LINNET COURTING
Robert Bridges 1844-1930

I heard a linnet courting
His lady in the spring:
His mates were idly sporting,
Nor stayed to hear him sing
His song of love. -
I fear my speech distorting
His tender love.

The phrases of his pleading
Were full of young delight;
And she that gave him heeding
Interpreted aright
His gay, sweet notes, -
So sadly marred in the reading, -
His tender notes.

And when he ceased, the hearer
Awaited the refrain,
Till swiftly perching nearer
He sang his song again,
His pretty song: -
Would that my verse spake clearer
His tender song!

Ye happy, airy creatures!
That in the merry spring
Think not of what misfeatures
Or cares the year may bring;
But unto love
Resign your simple natures,
To tender love.

TWO NEW ART BLOGS
are coming soon
ONE HUNDRED PAINTINGS EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW
will replace
NOW THAT'S WHAT I CALL ART
and
THE ART OF JOHN WILLIAM GODWARD
will replace
THE PAINTINGS OF EDVARD MUNCH

-o=0=o-

Monday, May 23, 2016

I AM IN NEED OF MUSIC
Elizabeth Bishop 1911-79

I am in need of music that would flow
Over my fretful, feeling fingertips,
Over my bitter-tainted, trembling lips,
With melody, deep, clear, and liquid-slow.
Oh, for the healing swaying, old and low,
Of some song sung to rest the tired dead,
A song to fall like water on my head,
And over quivering limbs, dream flushed to glow!
There is a magic made by melody:
A spell of rest, and quiet breath, and cool
Heart, that sinks through fading colours deep
To the subaqueous stillness of the sea,
And floats forever in a moon-green pool,
Held in the arms of rhythm and of sleep.

-o=0=o-

Sunday, May 22, 2016

ANYONE FOR HAIKU?

From now on two or three haiku will be posted here on Sundays

still in the silence
the shadow of the wind chimes
on the garden wall

smell of burning wood
wisps of smoke above the trees
the sound of an axe

the farmer's gun fills the sky
with a flock of birds
and my dog with fear

-o=0=o-


Saturday, May 21, 2016

SATURDAY WITH THOMAS HARDY

From now on the poem posted here each Saturday will be one of Thomas Hardy's.

A WEEK

On Monday night I closed my door,
And thought you were not as heretofore,
And little cared if we met no more.

I seemed on Tuesday night to trace
Something beyond mere commonplace
In your ideas, and heart, and face.

On Wednesday I did not opine
Your life would ever be one with mine,
Though if it were we should well combine.

On Thursday noon I liked you well,
And fondly felt that we must dwell
Not far apart, whatever befell.

On Friday it was with a thrill
In gazing towards your distant vill*
I owned you were my dear one still.

I saw you wholly to my mind
On Saturday even one who shrined
All that was best of womankind.

As wing-clipt sea-gull for the sea
On Sunday night I longed for thee,
Without whom life were waste to me!

* a territorial division under the feudal system in England

-o=0=o-

Friday, May 20, 2016

THOSE WINTER SUNDAYS
Robert Hayden 1913-80

Sundays too my father got up early
And put his clothes on in the blueblack cold,
then with cracked hands that ached
from labour in the weekday weather made
banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.

I'd wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.
When the rooms were warm, he'd call,
and slowly I would rise and dress,
fearing the chronic angers of that house,

Speaking indifferently to him,
who had driven out the cold
and polished my good shoes as well.
What did I know, what did I know
of love's austere and lonely offices?

-o=0=o-

Thursday, May 19, 2016

IS MY TEAM PLOUGHING?
A.E. Housman 1859-1936

Is my team ploughing, 
That I was used to drive 
And hear the harness jingle 
When I was man alive?

Ay, the horses trample, 
The harness jingles now; 
No change though you lie under 
The land you used to plough. 

Is football playing 
Along the river shore, 
With lads to chase the leather, 
Now I stand up no more? 

Ay, the ball is flying, 
The lads play heart and soul; 
The goal stands up, the keeper 
Stands up to keep the goal. 

Is my girl happy, 
That I thought hard to leave, 
And has she tired of weeping 
As she lies down at eve? 

Ay, she lies down lightly, 
She lies not down to weep, 
Your girl is well contented. 
Be still, my lad, and sleep. 

Is my friend hearty, 
Now I am thin and pine, 
And has he found to sleep in 
A better bed than mine? 

Yes, lad, I lie easy, 
I lie as lads would choose; 
I cheer a dead man's sweetheart, 
Never ask me whose. 

-o=0=o-

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

THE FOUR MARYS 

Last night there were four Marys,
Tonight there'll be but three,
There was Mary Seaton and Mary Beaton
And Mary Carmichael and me.

Oh, often have I dressed my Queen
And put on her braw silk gown,
But all the thanks I've got tonight
Is to be hanged in Edinburgh Town.

Full often have I dressed my Queen,
Put gold upon her hair,
But I have got for my reward
The gallows to be my share.

Oh, little did my mother know
The day she cradled me
The land I was to travel in,
The death I was to dee.

Oh, happy, happy is the maid
That's born of beauty free,
Oh, it was my rosy, dimpled cheeks
That's been the devil to me.

They'll tie a kerchief around my eyes
That I may not see to dee
And they'll never tell my father or mother
But that I'm across the sea.

The four Marys were all the Queen of Scots' ladies-in-waiting and their names were Mary Seton, Mary Beaton, Mary Fleming and Mary Livingston. There was no Mary Carmichael but the poem above has been traced back to the court of the Tsar. The ballad dates between 1719 and 1764 and tells the story of Mary Hamilton, a Scottish maid of Peter the Great's wife Catherine, who was executed for the murder of her illegitimate child, the product of an affair with the Tsar Peter. It appears that the two stories of Mary Hamilton and Mary, Queen of Scots were grafted on to each other.


-o=0=o-

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

A BAREFOOT BOY
James Whitcomb Riley 1849-1916

A barefoot boy! I mark him at his play — 
      For May is here once more, and so is he, — 
      His dusty trousers, rolled half to the knee, 
    And his bare ankles grimy, too, as they: 
    Cross-hatchings of the nettle, in array 
      Of feverish stripes, hint vividly to me 
      Of woody pathways winding endlessly 
    Along the creek, where even yesterday 
    He plunged his shrinking body — gasped and shook — 
     Yet called the water "warm," with never lack 
   Of joy. And so, half enviously I look 
     Upon this graceless barefoot and his track, — 
     His toe stubbed — ay, his big toe-nail knocked back 
   Like unto the clasp of an old pocketbook.

-o=0=o-

Monday, May 16, 2016

A FAREWELL
Alfred, Lord Tennyson 1809-92

Flow down, cold rivulet, to the sea,
    Thy tribute wave deliver:
No more by thee my steps shall be,
    For ever and for ever.

Flow, softly flow, by lawn and lea,
    A rivulet then a river:
Nowhere by thee my steps shall be
    For ever and for ever.

But here will sigh thine alder tree
    And here thine aspen shiver;
And here by thee will hum the bee,
    For ever and for ever.

A thousand suns will stream on thee,
    A thousand moons will quiver;
But not by thee my steps shall be,
    For ever and for ever.

-o=0=o-

Sunday, May 15, 2016

THE SWING
Robert Louis Stevenson 1850-94

How do you like to go up in a swing, 
Up in the air so blue? 
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing 
Ever a child can do! 

Up in the air and over the wall, 
Till I can see so wide, 
River and trees and cattle and all 
Over the countryside -

Till I look down on the garden green, 
Down on the roof so brown -
Up in the air I go flying again, 
Up in the air and down!

-o=0=o-

Saturday, May 14, 2016

THOUGHTS BY A SECLUDED POND
Brenda Quin

Would that I were young
again, and able to seize 
and capture the passing years, 
slow them in their 
race with time.

If I were young again and
had the gift of words that
once came easily. Words and 
time to share my stories,
perhaps, my hopes and my 
desires.

Time to rest upon the mossy 
bank, above the small secluded
pond. A place of peace
and beauty, the sunlight
filtering through the trees above,
the pond so still, no ripples 
disturb its surface.

But time passes in a flash, and
all we have is now, and
all tomorrows soon become 
today.

If I were young again, could
I make the past years ones 
of laughter, love and continuity,
without the present knowing?
If I were young again.

These verses are in a collection of poems available at - http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B006HIR3YU

-o=0=o-

Friday, May 13, 2016

TO DAFFODILS
Robert Herrick 1591-1674

Fair daffodils, we weep to see
You haste away so soon;
As yet the early-rising sun
Has not attain'd his noon.
Stay, stay,
Until the hasting day
Has run
But to the even-song;
And, having pray'd together, we
Will go with you along.

We have short time to stay, as you,
We have as short a spring;
As quick a growth to meet decay,
As you, or anything.
We die
As your hours do, and dry
Away,
Like to the summer's rain;
Or as the pearls of morning's dew,
Ne'er to be found again. 

-o=0=o-

Thursday, May 12, 2016

GRANNY
Spike Milligan 1918-2002

Through every nook and every cranny
The wind blew in on poor old Granny
Around her knees, into each ear
(And up nose as well, I fear)

All through the night the wind grew worse
It nearly made the vicar curse
The top had fallen off the steeple
Just missing him (and other people)

It blew on man, it blew on beast
It blew on nun, it blew on priest
It blew the wig off Auntie Fanny -
But most of all, it blew on Granny! 

-o=0=o-

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

 A BROKEN APPOINTMENT
Thomas Hardy 1840-1928

You did not come,
And marching Time drew on, and wore me numb. -
Yet less for loss of your dear presence there
Than that I thus found lacking in your make
That high compassion which can overbear
Reluctance for pure lovingkindness' sake
Grieved I, when, as the hope-hour stroked its sum,
You did not come.

You love not me,
And love alone can lend you loyalty;
- I know and knew it. But, unto the store
Of human deeds divine in all but name,
Was it not worth a little hour or more
To add yet this: Once, you, a woman, came
To soothe a time-torn man; even though it be
You love not me?

-o=0=o-

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

SUMMER
John Clare 1793-1864

Come we to the summer, to the summer we will come, 
For the woods are full of bluebells and the hedges full of bloom,
And the crow is on the oak a-building of her nest,
And love is burning diamonds in my true lover's breast;
She sits beneath the whitethorn a-plaiting of her hair,
And I will to my true lover with a fond request repair;
I will look upon her face, I will in her beauty rest,
And lay my aching weariness upon her lovely breast.

The clock-a-clay is creeping on the open bloom of May,
The merry bee is trampling the pinky threads all day,
And the chaffinch it is brooding on its grey mossy nest
In the whitethorn bush where I will lean upon my lover's breast;
I'll lean upon her breast and I'll whisper in her ear
That I cannot get a wink o'sleep for thinking of my dear;
I hunger at my meat and I daily fade away
Like the hedge rose that is broken in the heat of the day. 

-o=0=o-

Monday, May 9, 2016

HOME THOUGHTS FROM ABROAD
Robert Browning 1812-89

Oh, to be in England
Now that April's there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
In England - now!
And after April, when May follows,
And the whitethroat builds, and all the swallows!
Hark, where my blossom'd pear-tree in the hedge
Leans to the field and scatters on the clover
Blossoms and dewdrops - at the bent spray's edge -
That's the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over,
Lest you should think he never could recapture
The first fine careless rapture!
And though the fields look rough with hoary dew,
All will be gay when noontide wakes anew
The buttercups, the little children's dower
- Far brighter than this gaudy melon-flower!

-o=0=o-

Sunday, May 8, 2016

I REMEMBER IT WELL 
Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe

We met at nine.
We met at eight.
I was on time.
No, you were late.
Ah, yes, I remember it well,
We dined with friends.
We dined alone.
A tenor sang.
 A baritone.
Ah, yes, I remember it well,
That dazzling April moon!
There was none that night
And the month was June.
That's right. That's right.
It warms my heart to know that you
remember still the way you do.
Ah, yes, I remember it well
How often I've thought of that Friday.
Monday.
The night when we had our last rendezvous
And somehow I foolishly wondered if you might
By some chance be thinking of it too?
That carriage ride. 
You walked me home.
You lost a glove.
I lost a comb.
Ah, yes, I remember it well,
That brilliant sky.
We had some rain.
Those Russian songs.
From sunny Spain.
You wore a gown of gold.
I was all in blue.
Am I getting old?
Oh, no, not you.
How strong you were,
How young and gay,
A prince of love
In every way.
Ah, yes, I remember it well.

-o=0=o-

Saturday, May 7, 2016

WOMAN WORK
Maya Angelou 1928-2014

I've got the children to tend
The clothes to mend
The floor to mop
The food to shop
Then the chicken to fry
The baby to dry
I got company to feed
The garden to weed
I've got shirts to press
The tots to dress
The cane to be cut
I gotta clean up this hut
Then see about the sick
And the cotton to pick.

Shine on me, sunshine
Rain on me, rain
Fall softly, dewdrops
And cool my brow again.

Storm, blow me from here
With your fiercest wind
Let me float across the sky
Till I can rest again.

Fall gently, snowflakes
Cover me with white
Cold icy kisses and
Let me rest tonight.

Sun, rain, curving sky
Mountain, oceans, leaf and stone
Star shine, moon glow
You're all that I can call my own. 

-o=0=o-

Friday, May 6, 2016

WE WEAR THE MASK
Paul Laurence Dunbar 1872-1906
(This poet was the first African-American to gain widespread critical acclaim in the States)

We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes, -
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subtleties.

Why should the world be overwise,
In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us, while
    We wear the mask.

We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries
To thee from tortured souls arise.
We sing, but oh the clay is vile
Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
But let the world dream otherwise,
    We wear the mask!

-o=0=o-

Thursday, May 5, 2016

OZYMANDIAS
Percy Bysshe Shelley 1792-1822

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal these words appear
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that collossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

-o=0=o-

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

CARPE DIEM
William Shakespeare 1564-1616

O mistress mine, where are you roaming? 
O stay and hear! your true-love's coming 
That can sing both high and low; 
Trip no further, pretty sweeting, 
Journey's end in lovers' meeting - 
Every wise man's son doth know. 

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.

-o=0=o-

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

I CRY
Tupac Shakur 1971-96

Sometimes when I'm alone
I cry,
Cause I am on my own.
The tears I cry are bitter and warm.
They flow with life but take no form
I cry because my heart is torn.
I find it difficult to carry on.

If I had an ear to confiding,
I would cry among my treasured friends,
but who do you know that stops that long,
to help another carry on.

The world moves fast and it would rather pass by.
Then to stop and see what makes one cry,
so painful and sad.
And sometimes . . .
I cry
and no one cares about why.

THE PAINTINGS OF EDVARD MUNCH blog is now being updated every day

-o=0=o-

Monday, May 2, 2016

UNKNOWN
Edward Thomas 1878-1917

She is most fair,
And when they see her pass
The poets' ladies
Look no more in the glass
But after her.

On a bleak moor
Running under the moon
She lures a poet,
Once proud or happy, soon
Far from his door.

Beside a train,
Because they saw her go,
Or failed to see her,
Travellers and watchers know
Another pain.

The simple lack
Of her is more to me
Than others' presence,
Whether life splendid be
Or utter black.

I have not seen,
I have no news of her;
I can tell only
She is not here, but there
She might have been.

She is to be kissed
Only perhaps by me;
She may be seeking
Me and no other; she
May not exist. 

From now on THE PAINTINGS OF EDVARD MUNCH will be updated every day

-o=0=o-

Sunday, May 1, 2016

TO A FAT LADY SEEN FROM THE TRAIN
Frances Cornford  1886-1960
and
THE FAT WOMAN SPEAKS
G.K. Chesterton 1874-1936

O why do you walk through the fields in gloves,
Missing so much and so much?
O fat white woman whom nobody loves,
Why do you walk through the fields in gloves,
When the grass is soft as the breast of doves
And shivering sweet to the touch?
O why do you walk through the fields in gloves,
Missing so much and so much?

-o-

Why do you rush through the field in trains,
Guessing so much and so much?
Why do you flash through the flowery meads,
Fat-head poet that nobody reads;
And why do you know such a frightful lot
About people in gloves as such?
And how the devil can you be sure,
Guessing so much and so much,
How do you know but what someone who loves
Always to see me in nice white gloves
At the end of the field you are rushing by,
Is waiting for his Old Dutch?

-o=0=o-