Over the wintry
forest, winds howl in rage
with no leaves to blow.
Over the wintry
forest, winds howl in rage
with no leaves to blow.
On the day when the lotus bloomed, alas, my mind was straying,
and I knew it not. My basket was empty and the flower remained unheeded.
Only now and again a sadness fell upon me, and I started up from my
dream and felt a sweet trace of a strange fragrance in the south wind.
That vague sweetness made my heart ache with longing and it seemed to
me that is was the eager breath of the summer seeking for its completion.
I knew not then that it was so near, that it was mine, and that this
perfect sweetness had blossomed in the depth of my own heart.
A sea of foliage girds our garden round,
But not a sea of dull unvaried green,
Sharp contrasts of all colors here are seen;
The light-green graceful tamarinds abound
Amid the mango clumps of green profound,
And palms arise, like pillars gray, between;
And o’er the quiet pools the seemuls lean,
Red—red, and startling like a trumpet’s sound.
But nothing can be lovelier than the ranges
Of bamboos to the eastward, when the moon
Looks through their gaps, and the white lotus changes
Into a cup of silver. One might swoon
Drunken with beauty then, or gaze and gaze
On a primeval Eden, in amaze.
How mutable is every thing that here
Below we do enjoy? with how much fear
And trouble are those gilded Vanities
Attended, that so captivate our eyes?
Oh, who would trust this World, or prize what’s in it,
That gives, and takes, and changes in a minute?
Philip Pain (1667)
If the day is done,
if birds sing no more,
if the wind has flagged tired,
then draw the veil of darkness thick upon me,
even as thou hast wrapt the earth with the coverlet of sleep
and tenderly closed the petals of the drooping lotus at dusk.
I know why the caged bird sings, ah me,
When his wing is bruised and his bosom sore,–
When he beats his bars and he would be free;
It is not a carol of joy or glee,
But a prayer that he sends from his heart’s deep core,
But a plea, that upward to Heaven he flings–
I know why the caged bird sings!
Sympathy – Paul Lawrence Dunbar (1872 – 1906)
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,
And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.
Hope is the Thing with Feathers – Emily Dickinson (1830 – 1886)
When April bends above me
And finds me fast asleep,
Dust need not keep the secret
A live heart died to keep.
When April tells the thrushes,
The meadow-larks will know,
And pipe the three words lightly
To all the winds that blow.
Above his roof the swallows,
In notes like far-blown rain,
Will tell the little sparrow
Beside his window-pane.
O sparrow, little sparrow,
When I am fast asleep,
Then tell my love the secret
That I have died to keep
I Love You – Sara Teasdale (1884 – 1933)
Do you ask what the birds say? The Sparrow, the Dove,
The Linnet and Thrush say, “I love and I love!”
In the winter they’re silent—the wind is so strong;
What it says, I don’t know, but it sings a loud song.
But green leaves, and blossoms, and sunny warm weather,
And singing, and loving—all come back together.
But the Lark is so brimful of gladness and love,
The green fields below him, the blue sky above,
That he sings, and he sings; and for ever sings he—
“I love my Love, and my Love loves me!”
Answer to a Child’s Question – Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772 – 1884)
This month the Sunday Mix is based loosely on the idea of memories and the feeling that can occur of otherworldliness and a kind of a journey that you take, when a memory strikes.
The music reflects that feeling…
The crackle of the palm trees
Over the mooned white roofs of the town…
The shining town…
And the tender fumbling of the surf
On the sulphur-yellow beaches
As we sat…a little apart…in the close-pressing night.
The moon hung above us like a golden mango,
And the moist air clung to our faces,
Warm and fragrant as the open mouth of a child
And we watched the out-flung sea
Rolling to the purple edge of the world,
Yet ever back upon itself…
And mooned white memory
Of a tropic sea…
How softly it comes up
Like an ungathered lily.
A Memory – Lola Ridge (1873 – 1941)
And I gave myself to the poem.
And the poem gave to me.
And I gave myself to the sky.
And the sky gave to me.
And I gave myself to the wind.
And the wind took what I gave
and passed it to the sky.
And I gave myself to women.
And women gave to me.
And I gave myself to the wound.
And the wound gave to me.
And I gave myself to hope.
And hope took what I gave
and passed it to the wound.
And I gave myself to wine.
And wine gave to me.
And I gave myself to candlelight.
And candlelight gave to me.
And I gave myself to memory.
And memory took what I gave
and passed it to candlelight.
And I gave myself to music.
And music gave to me.
And I gave myself to the tree.
And the tree gave to me.
And I gave myself to change.
And change took what I gave
and passed it to the tree.
And I gave myself to silence.
And silence gave to me.
And I gave myself to light.
And light gave to me.
And I gave myself to night.
And night took what I gave
and passed it to the stars.
In Vino Veritas – Howard Altmann (2013)
But with the sentence: “Use your failures for paper.” Meaning, I understood, the backs of failed poems, but also my life. Whose far side I begin now to enter— A book imprinted without seeming season, each blank day bearing on its reverse, in random order, the mad-set type of another. December 12, 1960. April 4, 1981. 13th of August, 1974— Certain words bleed through to the unwritten pages. To call this memory offers no solace. “Even in sleep, the heavy millstones turning.” I do not know where the words come from, what the millstones, where the turning may lead. I, a woman forty-five, beginning to gray at the temples, putting pages of ruined paper into a basket, pulling them out again.
Waking the Morning Dreamless Long Sleep – Jane Hirshfield (1953)
Poetry courtesy of Academy of American Poets
Once a month Feminatronic combines two favourite things, electronic music and poetry, to bring an oasis of calm and this month is no exception as the mix is about Sleep.
Sleep, little pigeon, and fold your wings,
Little blue pigeon with velvet eyes;
Sleep to the singing of mother-bird swinging—
Swinging the nest where her little one lies.
Away out yonder I see a star,—
Silvery star with a tinkling song;
To the soft dew falling I hear it calling—
Calling and tinkling the night along.
In through the window a moonbeam comes,—
Little gold moonbeam with misty wings;
All silently creeping, it asks, “Is he sleeping—
Sleeping and dreaming while mother sings?”
Up from the sea there floats the sob
Of the waves that are breaking upon the shore,
As though they were groaning in anguish, and moaning—
Bemoaning the ship that shall come no more.
But sleep, little pigeon, and fold your wings,—
Little blue pigeon with mournful eyes;
Am I not singing?—see, I am swinging—
Swinging the nest where my darling lies.
Japanese Lullaby – Eugene Field (1892)
Sleep, sleep, beauty bright,
Dreaming in the joys of night;
Sleep, sleep; in thy sleep
Little sorrows sit and weep.
Sweet babe, in thy face
Soft desires I can trace,
Secret joys and secret smiles,
Little pretty infant wiles.
As thy softest limbs I feel
Smiles as of the morning steal
O’er thy cheek, and o’er thy breast
Where thy little heart doth rest.
O the cunning wiles that creep
In thy little heart asleep!
When thy little heart doth wake,
Then the dreadful night shall break.
Cradle Song – William Blake (1757 – 1827)
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?
A Dream within a Dream – Edgar Allan Poe (1809 – 1849)
So, I had a think about the Sunday Mixes…and I think to allow them to breathe and get some space, I am going to post one a month, starting with this month and this is a little different as I am highlighting a Poetry website and SoundCloud page from a Modern Pianist –