Parnassian Moments 30 July: Jeff Green

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Jeff Green

Jeff Green

 

Poet: Jeff Green

Dates: 30 July 1958

Nationality: English

Title of Poem: The Moon pours White Wine

At a table in the garden, on a soft, sweet, summer’s night
Two friends are sitting talking by the moon’s reflected light.
On the table in the garden there are glasses but no drink
And the friends are sitting talking, though they often stop to think.
The topics that they cover seem to range so far and wide
And the glasses sit there empty, since they left the drink inside.
The night is getting cooler but the friends stay close and warm,
The moon just looks down calmly, she has magic to perform.
As he leans across to kiss her, and she kisses him as well,
The friendship starts to blossom into something more to tell.
The tension in the garden needs assistance to decline
So the silver crescent of the moon leans down to pour white wine.

 

Brief Biography: Green is a poet and writer of metric verse. He lives in London and loves cricket. Happy Birthday to a great poet and a very dear friend!

Artistic Memories 30 July: Henry Spencer Moore

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Henry Spencer Moore

Henry Spencer Moore

 

Artist: Henry Spencer Moore

Dates: 30 July 1898 – 31 August 1986

Nationality: English

Title of Piece: Three Forms: Vertebrae

Three Forms Vertebrae by Henry Spencer Moore

Three Forms Vertebrae by Henry Spencer Moore

Brief Biography: Moore was a sculptor and artist. His work was usually abstractions of the human figure. Most of Moore’s earnings went towards endowments for the Henry Moore Foundation which still supports education and promotion of the arts.

Literary Memories 30 July: Emily Jane Brontë

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Emily Jane Brontë

Emily Jane Brontë

 

Author: Emily Jane Brontë

Dates: 30 July 1818 – 19 December 1848

Nationality: English

Title: The Night-wind

In summer’s mellow midnight,
A cloudless moon shone through
Our open parlour window,
And rose-trees wet with dew.

I sat in silent musing;
The soft wind waved my hair;
It told me heaven was glorious,
And sleeping earth was fair.

I needed not its breathing
To bring such thoughts to me;
But still it whispered lowly,
How dark the woods will be!

“The thick leaves in my murmur
Are rustling like a dream,
And all their myriad voices
Instinct with spirit seem.”

I said, “Go, gentle singer,
Thy wooing voice is kind:
But do not think its music
Has power to reach my mind.

“Play with the scented flower,
The young tree’s supple bough,
And leave my human feelings
In their own course to flow.”

The wanderer would not heed me;
Its kiss grew warmer still.
“O come!” it sighed so sweetly;
“I’ll win thee ‘gainst thy will.

“Were we not friends from childhood?
Have I not loved thee long?
As long as thou, the solemn night,
Whose silence wakes my song.

“And when thy heart is resting
Beneath the church-aisle stone,
I shall have time for mourning,
And THOU for being alone.”

In these stanzas a louder gale has roused the sleeper on her
pillow: the wakened soul struggles to blend with the storm by
which it is swayed:–

Ay–there it is! it wakes to-night
Deep feelings I thought dead;
Strong in the blast–quick gathering light–
The heart’s flame kindles red.

“Now I can tell by thine altered cheek,
And by thine eyes’ full gaze,
And by the words thou scarce dost speak,
How wildly fancy plays.

“Yes–I could swear that glorious wind
Has swept the world aside,
Has dashed its memory from thy mind
Like foam-bells from the tide:

“And thou art now a spirit pouring
Thy presence into all:
The thunder of the tempest’s roaring,
The whisper of its fall:

“An universal influence,
From thine own influence free;
A principle of life–intense–
Lost to mortality.

“Thus truly, when that breast is cold,
Thy prisoned soul shall rise;
The dungeon mingle with the mould–
The captive with the skies.
Nature’s deep being, thine shall hold,
Her spirit all thy spirit fold,
Her breath absorb thy sighs.
Mortal! though soon life’s tale is told;
Who once lives, never dies!”

 

Brief Biography: Brontë was a novelist and poet. She is best known for her novel Wuthering Heights. Brontë wrote under the pen name Ellis Bell.

Parnassian Moments 30 July: Francesco Petrarca (Petrarch)

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Francesco Petrarca (Petrarch)

Francesco Petrarca (Petrarch)

 

Poet: Francesco Petrarca (Petrarch)

Dates: 30 July 1304 – 19 July 1374

Nationality: Italian

Title of Poem: Soleasi Nel Mio Cor

She ruled in beauty o’er this heart of mine,
A noble lady in a humble home,
And now her time for heavenly bliss has come,
‘Tis I am mortal proved, and she divine.
The soul that all its blessings must resign,
And love whose light no more on earth finds room,
Might rend the rocks with pity for their doom,
Yet none their sorrows can in words enshrine;
They weep within my heart; and ears are deaf
Save mine alone, and I am crushed with care,
And naught remains to me save mournful breath.
Assuredly but dust and shade we are,
Assuredly desire is blind and brief,
Assuredly its hope but ends in death.

 

Translated by Thomas Wentworth Higginson.

 

Brief Biography: Petrarca was a scholar and poet. He is often credited with initiating the 14th Century’s Renaissance. Petrarca is often referred to as the father of Humanism. His sonnets were imitated throughout Europe and became the model of lyrical poetry.

Flashbacks of Rock and Pop 30 July: Catherine “Kate” Bush

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Catherine (Kate) Bush

Catherine (Kate) Bush

 

Artist: Catherine “Kate” Bush

Dates: 30 July 1958

Nationality: English

Title of Song: In Search of Peter Pan

Brief Biography: Bush is a singer-songwriter, musician and record producer. Her eclectic and idiosyncratic style has made her one of the most popular female performers of her time. Bush received the C.B.E. in 2013 for her services to music.

Classical Memories 29 July: Sigmund Romberg

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Sigmund Romberg

Sigmund Romberg

 

Composer: Sigmund Romberg

Dates: 29 July 1887 – 9 November 1951

Nationality: Hungarian

Title of Piece: Softly as the Morning Sunrise

Brief Biography: Romberg was a composer. He spent most of his adult life working in the United States. Romberg is best known for his musicals and operettas.

Classical Memories 29 July: Robert Alexander Schumann

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Robert Alexander Schumann

Robert Alexander Schumann

 

Composer: Robert Alexander Schumann

Dates: 8 June 1810 – 29 July 1856

Nationality: German

Title of Piece: Piano Concerto in A Minor

Brief Biography: Schumann was a composer and music critic. He is considered to be one of the greatest composes of the Romantic era. Schumann originally studied law but gave up his studies to pursue a career as a pianist then a composer.

Parnassian Moments 28 July: Gerard Manley Hopkins

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Gerard Manley Hopkins

Gerard Manley Hopkins

 

Poet: Gerard Manley Hopkins

Dates: 28 July 1844 – 8 June 1889

Nationality: English

Title of Poem: Moonrise

I awoke in the Midsummer not to call night, in the white and the walk of the morning:
The moon, dwindled and thinned to the fringe of a finger-nail held to the candle,
Or paring of paradisaical fruit, lovely in waning but lustreless,
Stepped from the stool, drew back from the barrow, of dark Maenefa the mountain;

A cusp still clasped him, a fluke yet fanged him, entangled him, not quite utterly.
This was the prized, the desirable sight, unsought, presented so easily,
Parted me leaf and leaf, divided me, eyelid and eyelid of slumber.

 

Brief Biography: Hopkins was a poet, Roman Catholic convert and Jesuit priest. He is considered to be one of the leading Victorian poets. Hopkins’ experimentation in sprung rhythm and imagery established him as a daring innovator during a period of copious traditional verse.

Literary Memories 28 July: Beatrix Potter

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Beatrix Potter

Beatrix Potter

 

Author: Beatrix Potter

Dates: 28 July 1866 – 22 December 1943

Nationality: English

Title of Book: The Tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher

“I will get some worms and go fishing and catch a dish of minnows for my dinner,” said Mr. Jeremy Fisher. “If I catch more than five fish, I will invite my friends Mr. Alderman Ptolemy Tortoise and Sir Isaac Newton. The Alderman, however, eats salad.”

Mr. Jeremy put on a mackintosh, and a pair of shiny galoshes; he took his rod and basket, and set off with enormous hops to the place where he kept his boat.

The boat was round and green, and very like the other lily-leaves. It was tied to a water-plant in the middle of the pond.

Mr. Jeremy took a reed pole, and pushed the boat out into open water. “I know a good place for minnows,” said Mr. Jeremy Fisher.

Mr. Jeremy stuck his pole into the mud and fastened the boat to it.

Brief Biography: Potter was an author, illustrator, natural scientist and conservationist. She is best known for her imaginative children’s books featuring animals. Potter was also a prize-winning breeder of Herdwick sheep.

Classical Memories 28 July: Antonio Lucio Vivaldi

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Antonio Lucio Vivaldi

Antonio Lucio Vivaldi

 

Composer: Antonio Lucio Vivaldi

Dates: 4 March 1678 – 28 July 1741

Nationality: Italian

Title of Piece: Concerto en la Menor

Brief Biography: Vivaldi is one of the most popular and widely recorded Baroque composers, second only to JS Bach.  His red hair and ordination as a Catholic Priest earned him the nickname il Prete Rosso or the Red Priest. Many of Vivaldi’s compositions were written for a home for orphaned and abandoned children, Ospedale della Pietà.

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