Artistic Memories 30 August: Antony Mark David Gormley

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Antony Mark David Gormley

Antony Mark David Gormley

 

Artist: Antony Mark David Gormley

Dates: 30 August 1950

Nationality: British

Title of Piece: Horizon Field

Horizon Field by Antony Mark David Gormley

Horizon Field by Antony Mark David Gormley

Brief Biography: Gormley is a sculptor. He won the Turner Prize in 1994.

Artistic Memories 30th August: Evelyn De Morgan

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Evelyn De Morgan

Evelyn De Morgan

 

Artist: Evelyn De Morgan

Dates: 30 August 1855 – 2 May 1919

Nationality: English

Title of Piece: The Sleeping Earth and Wakening Moon

The Sleeping Earth and Wakening Moon by Evelyn De Morgan

The Sleeping Earth and Wakening Moon by Evelyn De Morgan

Brief Biography: De Morgan was a painter. She was involved in the Pre-Raphaelite movement. De Morgan studied art at the Slade School of Art.

Parnassian Moments 30 August: Seamus Justin Heaney

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Seamus Justin Heaney

Seamus Justin Heaney

 

Poet: Seamus Justin Heaney

Dates: 13 April 1939 – 30 August 2013

Nationality: Irish

Title of Poem: Requiem for the Croppies

The pockets of our greatcoats full of barley…
No kitchens on the run, no striking camp…
We moved quick and sudden in our own country.
The priest lay behind ditches with the tramp.
A people hardly marching… on the hike…
We found new tactics happening each day:
We’d cut through reins and rider with the pike
And stampede cattle into infantry,
Then retreat through hedges where cavalry must be thrown.
Until… on Vinegar Hill… the final conclave.
Terraced thousands died, shaking scythes at cannon.
The hillside blushed, soaked in our broken wave.
They buried us without shroud or coffin
And in August… the barley grew up out of our grave.

Brief Biography: Heaney was a multiple award winning poet, playwright and translator. He was also a lecturer. Heaney was a professor and Poet in Residence at Harvard. His work depicts cultural and social issues of his surroundings in Northern Ireland.

Literary Memories 30 August: Mary Shelley

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Mary Shelley

Mary Shelley

 

Author: Mary Shelley

Dates: 30 August 1797 – 1 February 1851

Nationality: English

Title of Book: Frankenstein

As the circumstances of his marriage illustrate his character, I cannot refrain from relating them. One of his most intimate friends was a merchant who, from a flourishing state, fell, through numerous mischances, into poverty. This man, whose name was Beaufort, was of a proud and unbending disposition and could not bear to live in poverty and oblivion in the same country where he had formerly been distinguished for his rank and magnificence. Having paid his debts, therefore, in the most honourable manner, he retreated with his daughter to the town of Lucerne, where he lived unknown and in wretchedness. My father loved Beaufort with the truest friendship and was deeply grieved by his retreat in these unfortunate circumstances. He bitterly deplored the false pride which led his friend to a conduct so little worthy of the affection that united them. He lost no time in endeavouring to seek him out, with the hope of persuading him to begin the world again through his credit and assistance. Beaufort had taken effectual measures to conceal himself, and it was ten months before my father discovered his abode. Overjoyed at this discovery, he hastened to the house, which was situated in a mean street near the Reuss. But when he entered, misery and despair alone welcomed him. Beaufort had saved but a very small sum of money from the wreck of his fortunes, but it was sufficient to provide him with sustenance for some months, and in the meantime he hoped to procure some respectable employment in a merchant’s house. The interval was, consequently, spent in inaction; his grief only became more deep and rankling when he had leisure for reflection, and at length it took so fast hold of his mind that at the end of three months he lay on a bed of sickness, incapable of any exertion.

His daughter attended him with the greatest tenderness, but she saw with despair that their little fund was rapidly decreasing and that there was no other prospect of support. But Caroline Beaufort possessed a mind of an uncommon mould, and her courage rose to support her in her adversity. She procured plain work; she plaited straw and by various means contrived to earn a pittance scarcely sufficient to support life.

Several months passed in this manner. Her father grew worse; her time was more entirely occupied in attending him; her means of subsistence decreased; and in the tenth month her father died in her arms, leaving her an orphan and a beggar. This last blow overcame her, and she knelt by Beaufort’s coffin weeping bitterly, when my father entered the chamber. He came like a protecting spirit to the poor girl, who committed herself to his care; and after the interment of his friend he conducted her to Geneva and placed her under the protection of a relation. Two years after this event Caroline became his wife.

Brief Biography: Shelley was a novelist and writer. She is best known for her Gothic novel Frankenstein. She was married to the Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. Shelley’s life was dogged by illness caused by a brain tumour which eventually killed her at the age of 53.

 

© Jem Farmer 2013

Classical Memories 29 August: Charles “Charlie” Parker, Jr

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Charles (Charlie) Parker, Jr

Charles (Charlie) Parker, Jr

 

Composer: Charles “Charlie” Parker, Jr

Dates: 29 August 1920 – 12 March

Nationality: American

Title of Piece: Autumn In New York

Brief Biography: Parker was a jazz musician, saxophonist and composer. He was a leading figure in the development of bebop. Parker was an icon of the hipster culture and Beat generation.

Artistic Memories 29 August: Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres

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Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres

Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres

 

Artist: Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres

Dates: 29 August 1780 – 14 January 1867

Nationality: French

Title of Piece: Jupiter and Thetis

Jupiter and Thetis by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres

Jupiter and Thetis by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres

Brief Biography: Ingres was a Neoclassical painter. He was deeply respectful of the past and assumed the role of a guardian of academic orthodoxy against Romanticism. Ingres’ paintings show a suavity of outline and controlled hatchings to make brushstrokes almost invisible. Among his friends was the composer Paganini with whom he would play the violin.

Artistic Memories 28 August; Edward Coley Burne-Jones

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Edward Coley Burne-Jones

Edward Coley Burne-Jones

 

Artist: Edward Coley Burne-Jones

Dates: 28 August 1833 – 17 June 1898

Nationality: British

Title of Piece: Hesperus. The Evening Star

Hesperus. The Evening Star by Edward Coley Burne-Jones

Hesperus. The Evening Star by Edward Coley Burne-Jones

 

Brief Biography: Burne-Jones was an artist, and designer. He was closely associated with the Pre-Raphaelite movement. Burne-Jones was involved in rejuvenation of traditional stained-glass art.

Parnassian Moments 28 August: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

 

Poet: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Dates: 28 August 1749 – 22 March 1832

Nationality: German

Title of Poem: A Pupil In Magic

I am now,–what joy to hear it!–
Of the old magician rid;
And henceforth shall ev’ry spirit
Do whate’er by me is bid;
I have watch’d with rigour
All he used to do,
And will now with vigour
Work my wonders too.

Wander, wander
Onward lightly,
So that rightly
Flow the torrent,
And with teeming waters yonder
In the bath discharge its current!

And now come, thou well-worn broom,
And thy wretched form bestir;
Thou hast ever served as groom,
So fulfil my pleasure, sir!
On two legs now stand,
With a head on top;
Waterpail in hand,
Haste, and do not stop!

Wander, wander
Onward lightly,
So that rightly
Flow the torrent,
And with teeming waters yonder
In the bath discharge its current!

See! he’s running to the shore,
And has now attain’d the pool,
And with lightning speed once more
Comes here, with his bucket full!

Back he then repairs;
See how swells the tide!
How each pail he bears
Straightway is supplied!

Stop, for, lo!
All the measure
Of thy treasure
Now is right!–

Ah, I see it! woe, oh woe!
I forget the word of might.
Ah, the word whose sound can straight
Make him what he was before!
Ah, he runs with nimble gait!

Would thou wert a broom once more!
Streams renew’d for ever
Quickly bringeth he;
River after river
Rusheth on poor me!

Now no longer
Can I bear him;
I will snare him,
Knavish sprite!
Ah, my terror waxes stronger!
What a look! what fearful sight

Oh, thou villain child of hell!
Shall the house through thee be drown’d
Floods I see that wildly swell,
O’er the threshold gaining ground.

Wilt thou not obey,
Oh, thou broom accurs’d?
Be thou still I pray,
As thou wert at first!

Will enough
Never please thee?
I will seize thee,
Hold thee fast,
And thy nimble wood so tough,
With my sharp axe split at last.

See, once more he hastens back!
Now, oh Cobold, thou shalt catch it!
I will rush upon his track;
Crashing on him falls my hatchet.

Bravely done, indeed!
See, he’s cleft in twain!
Now from care I’m freed,
And can breathe again.

Woe, oh woe!
Both the parts,
Quick as darts,
Stand on end,
Servants of my dreaded foe!
Oh, ye gods protection send!

And they run! and wetter still
Grow the steps and grows the hail.
Lord and master hear me call!
Ever seems the flood to fill,

Ah, he’s coming! see,
Great is my dismay!
Spirits raised by me
Vainly would I lay!

“To the side
Of the room
Hasten, broom,
As of old!
Spirits I have ne’er untied
Save to act as they are told.”

 

Brief Biography: Goethe was a writer and statesman. His work includes epic and lyric poetry written in a variety of meters and styles. Goethe was a literary celebrity by the age of 25. He was ennobled by the Duke of Saxe-Weimar in 1782.

Parnassian Moments 28 August: John Betjeman

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John Betjeman

John Betjeman

 

Poet: John Betjeman

Dates: 28 August 1906 – 19 May 1984

Nationality: English

Title of Poem: Business Girls

From the geyser ventilators
Autumn winds are blowing down
On a thousand business women
Having baths in Camden Town

Waste pipes chuckle into runnels,
Steam’s escaping here and there,
Morning trains through Camden cutting
Shake the Crescent and the Square.

Early nip of changeful autumn,
Dahlias glimpsed through garden doors,
At the back precarious bathrooms
Jutting out from upper floors;

And behind their frail partitions
Business women lie and soak,
Seeing through the draughty skylight
Flying clouds and railway smoke.

Rest you there, poor unbelov’d ones,
Lap your loneliness in heat.
All too soon the tiny breakfast,
Trolley-bus and windy street!

 

Brief Biography: Betjeman was a poet, writer and broadcaster. He was the British Poet laureate from 1972 until his death. He was a founder member of the Victorian Society.

Artistic Memories 27 August: Man Ray

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Man Ray

Man Ray

 

Artist: Man Ray

Dates: 27 August 1890 – 18 November 1976

Nationality: American

Title of Piece: Still Life with Red Kettle

Still Life with Red Kettle by Man Ray

Still Life with Red Kettle by Man Ray

Brief Biography: Ray was an artist. He was a modernist and a serious contributor rto the Dada and Surrealist movements.

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