Sunday, 25 January 2009

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Pome: I am

Pacific Grey Coast with a Cloud Swirl, Pillar ...

Image by Wonderlane via Flickr

I am

i am with friends i lie.
when i think to
myself, this is starting
to get
on the top layer i tell
him "hello muddy" his
tail wags with might, i love
you even though you
don't seem to make the right

she looks so great
but she
doesn't know
forgiveness, her world is just a baseball
all of your
defenders and still no
penalty you
atempt to save them!

i told you pehaps
it would be spent with
you. tears fall like rain upon the
grass they
floated in the other side of me.
when i see it was fear c is for the
bad times.

you are my
love, will i go? i
hope its love and
joy so that i may have guessed she
is the body?
what am i? a bird soarin the air?
why is
it easy, or a beam.
thats what it is not enough
time, to
truly say,
"i love you"

and her smile
that enlightened every one who
helps me stay safe so when
people start
to hate they are not,
they're there to listen,
you're there to help you


Poem (including spelling errors) composed by the adolescent angst poetry generator.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Play the Game -- Queen cover by Nataly Dawn

This girl is unbelievable. I found her by chance, via Graham Linehan's tumbleblog (he of The IT Crowd and Father Ted). She's something very special, mark my words. Very sweet voice, reminiscent of the young Joni Mitchell, and a quirky taste in music. She sings this Queen song as if she wasn't aware how enormous Freddie is, which is great. There's a Queen clip of the same song on YouTube, and as with many Queen songs, you think to yourself, WTF? It simply isn't right that a monster chart-topping band should release such songs, but that was the magic of Freddie, and that's another blog post.

Also on YouTube: covers of Rufus Wainwright and Joni, yes, how could I not love her?

Turns out she used to live in Belgium. I've been in touch for an interview. We'll see. In the meantime, follow the link to her MySpace page where you can d/l free mp3s of her performances.

UPDATE: How could you not love an artist who does this?

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To Chloris

Reynaldo Hahn, photo by Félix Nadar.

Image via Wikipedia

My breath was taken away today by this song from a CD of songs of the French Belle Epoque, composed by Reynaldo Hahn, who was German-Venezuelan, born in Caracas, but worked in France. He was a great friend of Proust, studied under Massenet and Gounod, made Verlaine weep, and was immortalised in verse by Mallarmé. However his work is strangely old-fashioned, firmly from the school of mélodie at a time when people like Ravel (who was a fellow student) were breaking new ground.

Still, that’s neither here nor there, because what struck me about the song À Chloris were the words. The song has the structure of three statements, each consisting of three lines (the first makes space for a clarification) and all three affirm the wonderful sense that comes of being loved.

The words are not Hahn’s own (he set the words of many poets, among them Hugo and Verlaine, as well as RL Stevenson) but those of Théophile Viau, who lived from 1590-1626. That’s right in the middle of the time when melancholy was all the rage among Europe’s poets and songwriters, if we can imagine such a thing. The great John Dowland, for example, lived from 1563-1626, and is the supreme example of melancholy songs.

Viau’s lyric, however, speaks in another tone entirely. Here’s the French:

S'il est vrai, Chloris, que tu m'aimes,
Mais j'entends, que tu m'aimes bien,
Je ne crois point que les rois mêmes
Aient un bonheur pareil au mien.
Que la mort serait importune
De venir changer ma fortune
A la félicité des cieux!
Tout ce qu'on dit de l'ambroisie
Ne touche point ma fantaisie
Au prix des grâces de tes yeux.

And in English:

If it be true, Chloris, that you love me,
By which I mean, that you like me,
I don't believe even kings
Could know such happiness as mine.
How unwelcome if death
Were to change my current lot
For the joys of heaven!
Whatever they say of ambrosia
It's nothing to the favour
Bestowed by your eyes.

That’s far from melancholia, just a short poem on the joy of being in love. As such, it’s a rarity. As I point it out to you, you’ll think the idea challenging. But try it out for yourself: try to find a poem where the poet is happy about being in love.

There are far fewer than you’d think.

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Beethoven sky over Budapest

Our other Hungarian reader and sometime commenter nn sent these pics:




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Monday, 5 January 2009


Parc Josaphat is not only a city park based on the Josaphat valley in then-Palestine, it’s also an arboretum. I have no idea if these trees are prime specimens, but it intrigues me how their branches grow, almost as if they were life-sized bonsai. In some cases, the perverse pointlessness of the human hand is the only conclusion to be arrived at. And if that makes me a tree-hugging teleologist, so be it.

The bridge over the water is closed while the paths are repaired.

Which is not a barrier to all.

Pictures taken at twilight with flash used to light immediate foreground. That had an effect on the white balance, I think, which is why things look so blue. The flash produced one nice effect and one bizarre effect:

Mad flare of solarisation or something here, looks like a ghost, according to Oscar. The second shot from the top is the same position with no flash. I can’t explain it. Could it be no more than an exhalation before pressing the button?