Easy Listening

I was listening to the Thistle and Shamrock on the way home from work on Sunday and caught some wonderful music. See below for the whole playlist via the show’s website, and a link to the lyrics. Prompted me to buy the original album that this song came on – what a treasure.

April 27, 2017

Program 1770: Singer Songwriters (April 27, 2017) Week 17

An abundance of songwriting talent on this week’s show takes us on a tour around the landscapes that inspire their music.
Vanity’s Child…by Aine Furey from Celtic Woman 2 (Celtic Woman Records)
The Mermaid of Galloway…by Emily Smith from Too Long Away (Shoeshine Records)
Glint of Silver…by Eddie and Luc from Tirade (EdLucCD)
Nottamun…by Bert Jansch from Jack Orion (Transatlantic Records)
As the Day Grows Longer Now…by Bert Jansch from Sketches (Temple)
The Fairy Queen…by Ailie Robertson from Little Lights (Lorimer Records)
[ID excerpt] Ellen’s Dreams …by Battlefield Band from Beg & Borrow (Temple)
All the Fun of the Fair…by Eamon Friel from Phone Tapping (Thran Records)
Gnossienne #1…by Tony McManus from Mysterious Boundaries (Greentrax)
King of Birds…by Karine Polwart from Traces (Borealis)
Eternity…by Dougie MacLean from Essential Too (Dunkeld)
The Japanese Hornpipe…by Hanz Araki and Kathryn Claire from The Emigtrant’s Song (Celtic Conspiracy)
Both Sides the Tweed…by Dick Gaughan from Favourite Scottish Songs (Greentrax)
Sporan Dhomhnaill/Mist on the Glen/Miss Monaghan…by Battlefield Band from Beg & Borrow (Temple)

Found the words

Visiting Emily’s Bedroom

This very cool 360 experience from the NYTimes

https://static01.nyt.com/video/players/offsite/index.html?videoId=100000005045504

NaPoWriMo Day Eight

Based on a real-life encounter.

To R. who’ll not read this
because we only met once

During a pause you asked,
how do you handle fear?
and that stopped me in mid-breath.
I mean, fear’s the big one, right?
I sputtered for a bit
trying to come up with something
meaningful, without knowing what
might be helpful to you.
I ask questions. You are a musician.
You want to write music, put up videos —
your family doesn’t understand.
I tried to be encouraging.
Now days later I still hear your question
and think – what artist is without fear?
How can I go on? What if no idea comes?
What if everyone laughs?
What if no one cares at all?
What if the page is always blank?
So some of what I said was true –
you have to follow your dream,
do your work, show by example
that this is your life.
This is important.
This is why I live.

NaPoWriMo Day Five

This was a stretch and I know, before the editing is done, there will be even more alternate ending couplets than I have already….

Clean out the closet, the drawer-fuls of things
making room, space, to welcome in the new
Throw out the ratty, the tattered and worn
the last decade’s style, the no-longer-fits.
Perhaps these can be re-purposed, perhaps
they can be donated, gifted, elsewhere
but it’s as likely that they must go out,
out in big black bags, or some old boxes
to a donation bin, or a thrift shop
maybe to the annual rummage sale.
The same is true of words, writing poems,
words and fashions come and go, like seasons
I’ll put on my own clothes, comfortably
and use my own words to write a sonnet

From William Carlos Williams

Footnote 151.22 re Sappho (From William Carlos Williams, Selected Poems, Edited by Robert Pinsky)

This is a translation of Sappho’s Fragment 71. When it was published in Poems in Folio (1957), Williams included this note:

I am 73 years old. I’ve gone on living as I could as a doctor and writing poetry on the side. I practiced to get money to live as I please, and what pleases me is to write poetry.

I don’t speak English, but the American idiom. I don’t know how to write anything else, and I refuse to learn. I’m writing and planning something all the time. I have nothing to do——a retired doctor who can’t use his right hand anymore. But my coco (my head, you know) goes on spinning and maybe occasionally I work it pretty hard. It goes on day and night. All my life I’ve never stopped thinking. I think all writing is a disease. You can’t stop it.

I have worked with two or three friends in making the translation for I am no Greek scholar but have been veritably shocked by the official British translations of a marvelous poem by one of the greatest poets of all time. How their ears can have sanctioned the enormities that they produced is more than I can understand. American scholars must have been scared off by the difficulties of the job not to have done better. Their prosy versions were little better——to my taste. It may be that I also have failed but all I can say is that as far as I have been able to do I have been as accurate as the meaning of the words permitted——always with a sense of our own American idiom to instruct me.

NaPoWriMo, Day 3

For Day 3, NaPoWriMo wrote: “Today I’d like to challenge you to write an elegy – a poem that mourns or honors someone dead or something gone by. And I’d like to ask you to center the elegy on an unusual fact about the person or thing being mourned.” I had a few other ideas but went with this, a first draft for Dad.

Mostly gentle,
hard-working,
devoted to family
and to his work.
Soft-singer by campfires
his voice deep as
we listened to his
unexpected songs in the dark. Continue reading

NaPoWriMo Day 2

Bear with me while I expound a mite. The suggestion from NaPoWriMo/FB was “Today’s Prompt: Write a poem inspired by your favorite painting or piece of art (feel free to post that image with your poem)”

On the website, the challenge was “write a poem inspired by, or in the form of, a recipe! It can be a recipe for something real, like your grandmother’s lemon chiffon cake, or for something imaginary, like a love potion or a spell.”

Sorry, didn’t quite do either of those but was perhaps inspired by the first. I call bonus points for a Latin title!

Nullae apologiae

I am fond of my tools. No apologies.
I have made others swear
not to touch my scissors.
I am loathe to let the unwashed
use my cast iron pans.
This is not to say that I care for all
my tools equally. That would be a lie.
Many tools are just here
because of something broken,
something that required a
larger pry bar or higher step.
But my real tools… Continue reading