"Voyaging through strange seas of thought, alone ..." William Wordsworth

13 August 2022

Happy Birthday, Fogelberg

Dan Fogelberg, the original Mr.-Sensitive-with-a-Ponytail, was born on this day in 1951.

"The Reach" ...

12 August 2022


The interactive tool enables users to home in on a specific location and visualize how it has evolved between the Cryogenian Period and the present ..


The many great gardens of the world, of literature and poetry, of painting and music, of religion and architecture, all make the point as clear as possible: The soul cannot thrive in the absence of a garden. If you don't want paradise, you are not human; and if you are not human, you don't have a soul.

Sir Thomas More

Happy Birthday, Biber

Seel, Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber, 1681

Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber was born on this day in 1644.

Xavier Díaz Latorre plays the Passacaglia ...

Happy Birthday, Metheny

Pat Metheny was born on this day in 1954.

"(Cross The) Heartland / Airstream" with the Pat Metheny Group ...


I received my first skateboarding offense as a quinquagenarian yesterday. 
What have I done?

11 August 2022

Steve Winwood, "Night Train"

Joe Jackson, "Look Sharp"



"Hang care!" exclaimed he. "This is a delicious evening; the wine has a finer relish here than in the house, and the song is more exciting and melodious under the tranquil sky than in the close room, where the sound is stifled. Come, let us have a bacchanalian chant—let us, with old Sir Toby, make the welkin dance and rouse the night-owl with a catch! I am right merry. Pass the bottle, and tune your voices—a catch, a catch! The lights will be here anon."

Charles Ollier, from "The Haunted Manor-House of Paddington" 

For best results, listen to this ... The Police, "When The World Is Running Down, You Make The Best Of What's Still Around" ...

The euphony transformed me and inundated my soul in a roguish countenance, the likes of which I had know well in younger days. Such impishness soon drove out the complaints of the day. 

Umberto Limongiello

The Psychedelic Furs, "Into You Like a Train"

Happy Birthday, Jackson

Joe Jackson was born on this day in 1954.

"Fools in Love" ...


Obata, Morning at Mono Lake, 1930

Thanks, Jess.


From Shakespeare's Troilus and CressidaAct V, Scene VII ...

Margarelon:  Turn, slave, and fight.

Thersites:  What art thou?         

Margarelon:  A bastard son of Priam’s.

Thersites:  I am a bastard too; I love bastards: I am a bastard begot, bastard instructed, bastard in mind, bastard in valour, in every thing illegitimate. One bear will not bite another, and wherefore should one bastard? Take heed, the quarrel’s most ominous to us: if the son of a whore fight for a whore, he tempts judgment. Farewell, bastard.  [Exit.

Margarelon:  The devil take thee, coward!  [Exit.

Sean Bean's pronunciation ...

Mozart, Exsultate, jubilate, K. 165

Catherine Trottmann performs with the Orchestre du Palais Royal, under the direction of Jean Philippe Sarcos ...


Learn the rules, 
Then forget them. 



 Jáuregui (attrib.), Cervantes, 1600

The knowledge of yourself will preserve you from vanity. 

Miguel de Cervantes


Reynolds, Self-Portrait, 1780

Could we teach taste and genius by rules, they would be no longer taste and genius. 

Sir Joshua Reynolds

10 August 2022

Happy Birthday, Anderson

Ian Anderson was born on this day in 1947.

"The Secret Language of Birds" with Jethro Tull ...

09 August 2022

Happy Birthday, Dryden

Kneller, John Dryden, 1697

Calm was the even, and clear was the sky,
      And the new budding flowers did spring,
When all alone went Amyntas and I
      To hear the sweet nightingale sing;
I sate, and he laid him down by me;
      But scarcely his breath he could draw;
For when with a fear, he began to draw near,
      He was dash'd with A ha ha ha ha!

He blush'd to himself, and lay still for a while,
      And his modesty curb'd his desire;
But straight I convinc'd all his fear with a smile,
      Which added new flames to his fire.
O Silvia, said he, you are cruel,
      To keep your poor lover in awe;
Then once more he press'd with his hand to my breast,
      But was dash'd with A ha ha ha ha!

I knew 'twas his passion that caus'd all his fear;
      And therefore I pitied his case:
I whisper'd him softly, there's nobody near,
      And laid my cheek close to his face:
But as he grew bolder and bolder,
      A shepherd came by us and saw;
And just as our bliss we began with a kiss,
      He laugh'd out with A ha ha ha ha!

John Dryden, born on this day in 1631


Hillers, Big Navajo, 1879

Rollins Band, "Shine"

No such thing as spare time
No such thing as free time
No such thing as down time
All you got is life time
Go ...

Happy Birthday, Piaget

Jean Piaget was born on this day in 1896.

Pssst!  Public education!  Are you listening?

Happy Birthday, Shaw

My favorite actor, Robert Shaw, was born on this day in 1927.

Quint's tale of the USS Indianapolis ...
Japanese submarine slammed two torpedoes into her side, Chief. We was comin' back from the island of Tinian to Leyte. We'd just delivered the bomb. The Hiroshima bomb. Eleven hundred men went into the water. Vessel went down in 12 minutes. Didn't see the first shark for about a half-hour. Tiger. 13-footer. You know how you know that in the water, Chief? You can tell by lookin' from the dorsal to the tail.

What we didn't know, was that our bomb mission was so secret, no distress signal had been sent. They didn't even list us overdue for a week. Very first light, Chief, sharks come cruisin' by, so we formed ourselves into tight groups. It was sorta like you see in the calendars, you know the infantry squares in the old calendars like the Battle of Waterloo and the idea was the shark come to the nearest man, that man he starts poundin' and hollerin' and sometimes that shark he go away... but sometimes he wouldn't go away.

Sometimes that shark looks right at ya. Right into your eyes. And the thing about a shark is he's got lifeless eyes. Black eyes. Like a doll's eyes ...

Anyway ... we delivered the bomb.

Happy Birthday, Walton

Huysmans, Portrait of Walton, 1672

Rivers and the inhabitants of the watery elements are made for wise men to contemplate and for fools to pass by without consideration. 

Izaak Walton

08 August 2022

Rossini, The Barber of Seville

Catherine Trottmann performs "Una voce poco fa" with L’Olympia Symphonique, conducted Yvan Cassard ...

Morrissey, "How Soon is Now"

Gin, rocks, anchovy olives.

Siouxsie & The Banshees, "Spellbound"

You hear laughter
Cracking through the walls
It sends you spinning
You have no choice ...

"Shoplifters of the World Unite"

If you wish to glimpse inside a human soul and get to know a man, don't bother analyzing his ways of being silent, of talking, of weeping, of seeing how much he is moved by noble ideas; you will get better results if you just watch him laugh. If he laughs well, he's a good man.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

The Smiths, 1986 ...

Morrissey, 2005 ...

Happy Birthday, Renbourn

John Renbourn was born on this day in 1944.

"Rosslyn" ...



First, I would have her be beautiful,
and walking carefully up on my poetry
at the loneliest moment of an afternoon,
her hair still damp at the neck
from washing it. She should be wearing
a raincoat, an old one, dirty
from not having money enough for the cleaners.
She will take out her glasses, and there
in the bookstore, she will thumb
over my poems, then put the book back
up on its shelf. She will say to herself,
“For that kind of money, I can get
my raincoat cleaned.” And she will.

Ted Kooser


Over the past few months I spent many hours in the library of my childhood.  


Back in Ohio ...

Bach, Sonata in E minor, BWV 1034

Kristine West, recorder, Stina Petersson, cello, and Marcus Mohlin, clanger, perform the Andante and Allegro...

Happy Birthday, Bulfinch

Bulfinch, Tontine Crescent, 1794

Charles Bulfinch was born on this day in 1763.

"Building Boston: The Architecture of Charles Bulfinch," a lecture presented by Joseph Cornish, architectural historian and director of Design Review of the Boston Landmarks Commission ...

06 August 2022

Vivaldi: Dixit Dominus, R. 807

Sara Mingardo performs the "De torrente in via bibet" with the Dresden Instrumental-Concert, directed by Peter Kopp ...


Happy Birthday, Tennyson

Cameron, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, 1866

Alfred, Lord Tennyson was born on this date in 1809.


Sunset and evening star,
      And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
      When I put out to sea,

   But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
      Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
      Turns again home.

   Twilight and evening bell,
      And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
      When I embark;

   For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place
      The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
      When I have crost the bar.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson

04 August 2022

Keith, "Eileen"


"Hang care!" exclaimed he. "This is a delicious evening; the wine has a finer relish here than in the house, and the song is more exciting and melodious under the tranquil sky than in the close room, where the sound is stifled. Come, let us have a bacchanalian chant—let us, with old Sir Toby, make the welkin dance and rouse the night-owl with a catch! I am right merry. Pass the bottle, and tune your voices—a catch, a catch! The lights will be here anon."

Charles Ollier, from "The Haunted Manor-House of Paddington"

For best results, listen to this ... Eddie Money, "Gamblin' Man" ...

The euphony transformed me and inundated my soul in a roguish countenance, the likes of which I had know well in younger days. Such impishness soon drove out the complaints of the day.

Umberto Limongiello

Aretha Franklin, "Don't Play that Song"


Friedrich, Monk by the Sea, 1810

Art comes to you proposing frankly to give nothing but the highest quality to your moments as they pass.

Walter Pater


Severn, Posthumous Portrait of Shelley, 1845

[Poetry] awakens and enlarges the mind itself by rendering it the receptacle of a thousand unapprehended combinations of thought. Poetry lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the world, and makes familiar objects be as if they were not familiar; it reproduces all that it represents, and the impersonations clothed in its Elysian light stand thenceforward in the minds of those who have once contemplated them as memorials of that gentle and exalted content which extends itself over all thoughts and actions with which it coexists. The great secret of morals is love; or a going out of our own nature, and an identification of ourselves with the beautiful which exists in thought, action, or person, not our own. A man, to be greatly good, must imagine intensely and comprehensively; he must put himself in the place of another and of many others; the pains and pleasures of his species must become his own. The great instrument of moral good is the imagination.

Percy Bysshe Shelley, from "A Defence of Poetry"

Marini, Passacaglia

Performed by the Laussane Bach Ensemble ...

Happy Birthday, Pater

The charm ... of what is classical, in art or literature, is that of the well-known tale, to which we can nevertheless listen over and over again, because it is told so well. To the absolute beauty of its artistic form is added the accidental, tranquil charm of familiarity. There are times, indeed, at which these charms fail to work on our spirits at all, because they fail to excite us. “Romanticism,” says Stendhal, “is the art of presenting to people the literary works which, in the actual state of their habits and beliefs, are capable of giving them the greatest possible pleasure; classicism, on the contrary, of presenting them with that which gave the greatest possible pleasure to their grandfathers.” But then, beneath all changes of habits and beliefs, our love of that mere abstract proportion—of music—which what is classical in literature possesses, still maintains itself in the best of us, and what pleased our grandparents may at least tranquilize us. The “classic” comes to us out of the cool and quiet of other times, as the measure of what a long experience has shown will at least never displease us. And in the classical literature of Greece and Rome, as in the classics of the last century, the essentially classical element is that quality of order in beauty, which they possess indeed in a pre-eminent degree, and which impresses some minds to the exclusion of everything else in them.

It is the addition of strangeness to beauty, that constitutes the romantic character in art; and the desire of beauty being a fixed element in every artistic organization, it is the addition of curiosity to this desire of beauty, that constitutes the romantic temper. Curiosity, and the desire of beauty, have each their place in art, as in all true criticism. When one’s curiosity is deficient, when one is not eager enough for new impressions and new pleasures, one is liable to value mere academical properties too highly, to be satisfied with worn-out or conventional types, with the insipid ornament of Racine, or the prettiness of that later Greek sculpture which passed so long for true Hellenic work; to miss those places where the handiwork of nature, or of the artist, has been most cunning; to find the most stimulating products of art a mere irritation. 

Walter Pater, from "The Classic and Romantic in Literature", born on this day in 1839

Yes, "Magnification"


I think that the self, in its quest to be free and solitary, ultimately reads with one aim only: to confront greatness. That confrontation scarcely masks the desire to join greatness, which is the basis of the aesthetic experience once called the Sublime: the quest for a transcendence of limits.

Harold Bloom, from The Western Canon

Happy Birthday, Shelley


From the seas and the streams; 
I bear light shade for the leaves when laid 
In their noonday dreams. 
From my wings are shaken the dews that waken 
The sweet buds every one, 
When rocked to rest on their mother's breast, 
As she dances about the sun. 
I wield the flail of the lashing hail, 
And whiten the green plains under, 
And then again I dissolve it in rain, 
And laugh as I pass in thunder.

I sift the snow on the mountains below, 
And their great pines groan aghast; 
And all the night 'tis my pillow white, 
While I sleep in the arms of the blast. 
Sublime on the towers of my skiey bowers, 
Lightning my pilot sits; 
In a cavern under is fettered the thunder, 
It struggles and howls at fits; 
Over earth and ocean, with gentle motion, 
This pilot is guiding me, 
Lured by the love of the genii that move 
In the depths of the purple sea; 
Over the rills, and the crags, and the hills, 
Over the lakes and the plains, 
Wherever he dream, under mountain or stream, 
The Spirit he loves remains; 
And I all the while bask in Heaven's blue smile, 
Whilst he is dissolving in rains.

The sanguine Sunrise, with his meteor eyes, 
And his burning plumes outspread, 
Leaps on the back of my sailing rack, 
When the morning star shines dead; 
As on the jag of a mountain crag, 
Which an earthquake rocks and swings, 
An eagle alit one moment may sit 
In the light of its golden wings. 
And when Sunset may breathe, from the lit sea beneath, 
Its ardours of rest and of love, 
And the crimson pall of eve may fall 
From the depth of Heaven above, 
With wings folded I rest, on mine aëry nest, 
As still as a brooding dove.

That orbèd maiden with white fire laden, 
Whom mortals call the Moon, 
Glides glimmering o'er my fleece-like floor, 
By the midnight breezes strewn; 
And wherever the beat of her unseen feet, 
Which only the angels hear, 
May have broken the woof of my tent's thin roof, 
The stars peep behind her and peer; 
And I laugh to see them whirl and flee, 
Like a swarm of golden bees, 
When I widen the rent in my wind-built tent, 
Till calm the rivers, lakes, and seas, 
Like strips of the sky fallen through me on high, 
Are each paved with the moon and these.

I bind the Sun's throne with a burning zone, 
And the Moon's with a girdle of pearl; 
The volcanoes are dim, and the stars reel and swim, 
When the whirlwinds my banner unfurl. 
From cape to cape, with a bridge-like shape, 
Over a torrent sea, 
Sunbeam-proof, I hang like a roof, 
The mountains its columns be. 
The triumphal arch through which I march 
With hurricane, fire, and snow, 
When the Powers of the air are chained to my chair, 
Is the million-coloured bow; 
The sphere-fire above its soft colours wove, 
While the moist Earth was laughing below.

I am the daughter of Earth and Water, 
And the nursling of the Sky; 
I pass through the pores of the ocean and shores; 
I change, but I cannot die. 
For after the rain when with never a stain 
The pavilion of Heaven is bare, 
And the winds and sunbeams with their convex gleams 
Build up the blue dome of air, 
I silently laugh at my own cenotaph, 
And out of the caverns of rain, 
Like a child from the womb, like a ghost from the tomb, 
I arise and unbuild it again. 

Percy Bysshe Shelley, born on this day in 1792

03 August 2022

The Cars, "Touch and Go"

Oh-oh-oh ...


It's later on a Wednesday, the sun is going down
I'm standing naked by a swimming pool, there's no one around
My imagination wanders back, red dust is always there
We lay together in the jungle, and love was in the air

As I dive into the water, both time and motion freeze
I'm hanging there suspended like a feather in the breeze
Below is your reflection, like an image from the past
But I can't be sure if it's really you, because you're wearing a tribal mask ...

Roger Glover, from "The Mask"

Lambert, Hendricks, & Ross, "Four"

Marcus King, "Hard Working Man"

Thanks, Jess.


Martini-time, time to draw the curtains and
Choose a composer we should like to hear from

W.H. Auden