Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving (II)

In the spirit of Mr. Vertucci's list:

1) Gerard Manley Hopkins, Pied Beauty

Glory be to God for dappled things—
        For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
            For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
    Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
        Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
            And áll trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

    All things counter, original, spáre, strange;
        Whatever is fickle, frecklèd (who knows how?)
            With swíft, slów; sweet, sóur; adázzle, dím;
    He fathers-forth whose beauty is pást change:
      Praise him.

2)  Josquin des Prez, Ave Maria Virgo Serena

3) Willa Cather, Death Comes for the Archbishop

Father Latour's recreation was his garden. He grew such fruit as was hardly to be found even in the old orchards of California: cherries and apricots, apples and quinces, and the peerless pears of France--even the most delicate varieties. He urged the new priests to plant fruit tress wherever they went, and to encourage the Mexicans to add fruit to their starchy diet. Wherever there was a French priest, there should be a garden of fruit trees and vegetables and flowers. He often quoted to his students that passage from their fellow Auvergnat, Pascal: that Man was lost and saved in a garden.

He domesticated and developed the native wild flowers. He had one hill-side solidly clad with that low-growing purple verbena which mats over the hills of New Mexico. It was like a great violet velvet mantle thrown down in the sun; all the shades that the dyers and weavers of Italy and France strove for through centuries, the violet that is full of rose colour and is yet no lavender; the blue that becomes almost pink and then retreats again into sea-dark purple--the true Episcopal colour and countless variations of it.

4) Henri Matisse, The Plum Blossoms & Blue Nude II


5) Richard Wagner, Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg

Act 3

6) Dante, The Divine Comedy

Paradiso, Canto 33

O Light Eterne, sole in thyself that dwellest,
Sole knowest thyself, and, known unto thyself
And knowing, lovest and smilest on thyself!
That circulation, which being thus conceived
Appeared in thee as a reflected light,
When somewhat contemplated by mine eyes,
Within itself, of its own very colour
Seemed to me painted with our effigy,
Wherefore my sight was all absorbed therein.
As the geometrician, who endeavours
To square the circle, and discovers not,
By taking thought, the principle he wants,
Even such was I at that new apparition;
I wished to see how the image to the circle
Conformed itself, and how it there finds place;
But my own wings were not enough for this,
Had it not been that then my mind there smote
A flash of lightning, wherein came its wish.
Here vigour failed the lofty fantasy:
But now was turning my desire and will,
Even as a wheel that equally is moved,
The Love which moves the sun and the other stars.

7)  Johann Sebastian Bach, Cello Suites

Suite No. 1 Prelude

8)  John Constable, Wivenhoe Park

9) James Boswell, Life of Johnson

BOSWELL. 'Pray, Sir, did you ever play on any musical instrument?' JOHNSON. ' No, Sir, I once bought me a flagelet ; but I never made out a tune.' BOSWELL. A flagelet. Sir! — so small an instrument''? I should have liked to hear you play on the violoncello. That should have been your instrument.' JOHNSON. 'Sir, I might as well have played on the violoncello as another ; but I should have done nothing else. No, Sir ; a man would never undertake great things, could he be amused with small. I once tried knotting. Dempster's sister undertook to teach me ; but I could not learn it.'

10) Giovanni Palestrina, Missa Papae Marcelli


1 comment:

  1. Yours is quite a fine list also. I came close to choosing that very same piece of Bach! You get to choose next year's theme.