Sunday, September 13, 2015

Post-911 Music 

by

FREDERIC CHOPIN

NOCTURNE in C-Minor, Opus 48, # 1

performed by 

VALENTINA LISITISKA


20 comments:

  1. Why so serious, Mr. FT? Be Happy, be a Gay, be an Obama Democrat Today!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "History repeats. first as tragedy, second as farce". - Karl Marx, "The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte"

      Delete
    2. Our lives, FJ, are what we MAKE of them by dint of Faith enforced and reinforced by Will.

      Knowing the Truth is ALL the battle –– the work of a lifetime.

      Faith, if you want to call it that, in Cynicism, Negativity, Sarcasm, Depravity, Ruin, Decay and Denigration sends us reeling and staggering farther and farther AWAY from TRUTH and ever closer towards the ABYSS.

      Delete
    3. _______ Only A Decade Ago _______

      One bright morning, now ten years ago,
      No one dreamt, while going off to work,
      Lunatics had planned to go berserk
      Yielding fury like a lava flow.

      A scant ten years –– an amplitude of woe ––
      Denial since that demons near us lurk
      Enraptured by sheer rage –– sharp like a dirk ––
      Craftily whetted in hellfire’s glow.

      A grim corrosion followed the attack.
      Demented perverts scheme to have us think
      Euro-centric values are at fault ––

      American prosperity is black ––
      Greed and gall have brought us to the brink
      Of seeing all we have come to a halt.


      ~ FreeThinke - 9/11/11

      Delete
  2. __________ SONNET XXX __________

    When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
    I summon up remembrance of things past,
    I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,
    And with old woes new wail my dear time’s waste:
    Then can I drown an eye, unused to flow,
    For precious friends hid in death’s dateless night,
    And weep afresh love’s long since cancelled woe,
    And moan the expense of many a vanished sight:
    Then can I grieve at grievances foregone,
    And heavily from woe to woe tell o’er
    The sad account of fore-bemoanèd moan,
    Which I new pay as if not paid before.
    But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,
    All losses are restored and sorrows end.


    ~ William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

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  3. _______ The Paradigm Shift _______

    To start where everyone would love to go
    Exerts a pressure on the one so blest,
    Nurtured in privilege, sheltered from the low
    And desperate, untoward struggling of the rest.
    Foisted on us, guilt at our good luck
    Lets loose a sense of deep unworthiness
    Yielding urges to immerse in muck
    Our untried selves, and live on earth with less.
    Unravelling the stitches parents sewed
    Released a spring propelling downward thrust
    Helping once safe havens to implode.
    Our heritage betrayed then turned to dust.
    Maniacally would our forebears laugh to see
    Everything they won lost –– willfully.


    ~ FreeThinke

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  4. I measure every Grief I meet
    With narrow, probing, eyes –– 
    I wonder if It weighs like Mine –– 
    Or has an Easier size.

    I wonder if They bore it long ––
    Or did it just begin –– 
    I could not tell the Date of Mine ––
    It feels so old a pain –– 

    I wonder if it hurts to live –– 
    And if They have to try –– 
    And whether –– could They choose between –– 
    It would not be –– to die –– 

    I note that Some –– gone patient long –– 
    At length, renew their smile –– 
    An imitation of a Light
    That has so little Oil –– 

    I wonder if when Years have piled –– 
    Some Thousands –– on the Harm –– 
    That hurt them early –– such a lapse
    Could give them any Balm ––

    Or would they go on aching still
    Through Centuries of Nerve –– 
    Enlightened to a larger Pain –– 
    In Contrast with the Love ––

    The Grieved –– are many –– I am told ––
    There is the various Cause –– 
    Death –– is but one ––  and comes but once ––
    And only nails the eyes ––

    There’s Grief of Want –– and grief of Cold  –– 
    A sort they call “Despair” –– 
    There’s Banishment from native Eyes ––
    In sight of Native Air –– 

    And though I may not guess the kind –– 
    Correctly –– yet to me
    A piercing Comfort it affords
    In passing Calvary –– 

    To note the fashions –– of the Cross –– 
    And how they’re mostly worn ––
    Still fascinated to presume
    That Some –– are like my own ––


    ~ Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

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  5. _______ RELUCTANCE _______


    Out through the fields and the woods 

    And over the walls I have wended; 

    I have climbed the hills of view
    
And looked at the world and descended;
    
I have come by the highway home,
    
And lo, it is ended.

    
The leaves are all dead on the ground, 

    Save those that the oak is keeping 

    To ravel them one by one
    
And let them go scraping and creeping
    
Out over the crusted snow,
    
When others are sleeping.

    
And the dead leaves lie huddled and still, 

    No longer blown hither and thither; 

    The last lone aster is gone;
    
The flowers of the witch-hazel wither;
    
The heart is still aching to seek,
    
But the feet question 'Whither?'

    
Ah, when to the heart of man 

    Was it ever less than a treason
    
To go with the drift of things, 

    To yield with a grace to reason, 

    And bow and accept the end 

    Of a love or a season?


    ~ Robert Frost (1874-1963)

    "The end of a love, a season," –– a COUNTRY, a WAY of LIFE, a FAITH, an IDENTITY!

    ReplyDelete
  6. ______ Death to Defeatism ______

    Has life defeated you? I rather hope
    Defeatist rhetoric will die aborning,
    Though seen by many merely as a warning,
    Each bitter word will serve to weave a rope

    By which we’ll hang ourselves when the despair
    We manufacture with denunciation
    Of all the grievous faults that plague the nation
    Convinces us our world’s beyond repair.

    What good could we expect to come from that?
    Affirmation is the only answer
    To the questions posed by social cancer.
    Get up and dance –– don’t bellow through your hat.

    Although The Axe inevitably must fall,
    Cringing will produce no good at all.


    ~ FreeThinke

    ReplyDelete
  7. __________ BANQUET __________


    Generously spread with gracious living
    The table beckons. Lace and candlelight
    Mingle with fine chine. I am diving
    Into the tureen, which is a sight

    All white and warm while guarding snowy chowder.
    Savory is a casserole of brains.
    Sparkling wine has made our talk much louder ––
    Louder than the voices of our pains.

    Drink has numbed our virtues and our faults
    While food has warmed our anxious, craving hearts.
    Later, we will step into a waltz ––
    Whose cycle whirls till every fear departs

    Leaving us quite buoyant –– out of breath ––
    Saddened that this night must end in death.


    ~ FreeThinke - New York 1963

    ReplyDelete
  8. ____________ THE HILL ____________

    Where are Elmer, Herman, Bert, Tom and Charley,
    The weak of will, the strong of arm, the clown, the boozer, the fighter?
    All, all, are sleeping on the hill.

    One passed in a fever,
    One was burned in a mine,
    One was killed in a brawl,
    One died in a jail,
    One fell from a bridge toiling for children and wife—
    All, all are sleeping, sleeping, sleeping on the hill.

    Where are Ella, Kate, Mag, Lizzie and Edith,
    The tender heart, the simple soul, the loud, the proud, the happy one?—
    All, all, are sleeping on the hill.

    One died in shameful child-birth,
    One of a thwarted love,
    One at the hands of a brute in a brothel,
    One of a broken pride, in the search for heart’s desire,
    One after life in far-away London and Paris
    Was brought to her little space by Ella and Kate and Mag—
    All, all are sleeping, sleeping, sleeping on the hill.

    Where are Uncle Isaac and Aunt Emily,
    And old Towny Kincaid and Sevigne Houghton,
    And Major Walker who had talked
    With venerable men of the revolution?—
    All, all, are sleeping on the hill.

    They brought them dead sons from the war,
    And daughters whom life had crushed,
    And their children fatherless, crying—
    All, all are sleeping, sleeping, sleeping on the hill.

    Where is Old Fiddler Jones
    Who played with life all his ninety years,
    Braving the sleet with bared breast,
    Drinking, rioting, thinking neither of wife nor kin,
    Nor gold, nor love, nor heaven?
    Lo! he babbles of the fish-frys of long ago,
    Of the horse-races of long ago at Clary’s Grove,
    Of what Abe Lincoln said
    One time at Springfield.


    ~ Edgar Lee Masters (1868–1950).
    .. Spoon River Anthology, 1916.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Where I come from
    Nobody knows
    Where I'm going
    Everyone goes.
    The wind blows.
    The sea flows,
    And nobody knows.


    ~ Robert Nathan - *Portrait of Jenny)

    ReplyDelete
  10. When the time has passed to prune the rose or caress the cat,
    When the sunset torching the lawn and the full moon icing it down
    No longer appear, not every man knows what he’ll discover instead.
    When the weight of the past leans against nothing, and the sky

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Jessie.

      Are these words you wrote, or were you quoting someone else?

      PS: I thought your limerick was very funny, but not appropriate for this solemn post. (I've saved it, however, and will put it in my permanent Funny File. ;-)

      Delete
    2. Thanks, It's by Mark Strand

      Delete
    3. Thank you, Jessie. I found the entire poem, and posted it below. It well befits the the Tragic Event of 9/11/01. thank you again for bringing it to my attention. Now that you've discovered him for me, I'm looking forward to exploring much more of Mr. Strand's work.

      Delete
  11. Magnificent tone control and interpretation by this pianist!

    The piece is so plaintive. Suits our post 9/11 era.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is an epic grandeur, a noble solemnity, an infinite sadness and an aura of wistful resignation in that the most singular of Chopin's Nocturnes.

      I thought it especially fitting for this occasion.

      There are many wonderful performances of the work available on YouTube. Some I like even better than Lisitska's fine version. I chose this particular video for two reasons:

      1. Lisitska's face beautifully mirrors the pensive, broken-hearted quality, and reckless abandon to despair that characterizes the piece.

      2. Because it was one of the few versions available not besmirched by hideous, nerve jarring commercials most of which completely defeat the purpose of the music involved.

      Delete
  12. ___________ THE END ___________

    Not every man knows what he shall sing at the end,
    Watching the pier as the ship sails away,
    _____ or what it will seem like
    When he’s held by the sea’s roar, motionless,
    _____ there at the end,
    Or what he shall hope for once it is clear
    _____ that he’ll never go back.

    When the time has passed to prune the rose
    _____ or caress the cat,
    When the sunset torching the lawn and the full moon
    _____ icing it down
    No longer appear, not every man knows
    _____ what he’ll discover instead.
    When the weight of the past leans against nothing,
    _____ and the sky

    Is no more than remembered light,
    _____ and the stories of cirrus
    And cumulus come to a close, and all the birds
    _____ are suspended in flight,
    Not every man knows what is waiting for him,
    _____ or what he shall sing
    When the ship he is on slips into darkness,
    _____ there at the end.


    ~ Mark Strand (1934-2014)

    ReplyDelete

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