Scholars who analyze poetry seem to have a problem with To Earthward by Robert Frost. Frost, by most accounts at least, was an imminently respectable fellow. And yet even critics agree that something is going on here. Some will go as far as to speak of passion. A few will mention something like an undercurrent of eroticism. Some dare go as far as to suggest that perhaps Frost is speaking of … [Read more...] about To Earthward by Robert Frost
echo: A Pagan Hymnal
What’s does it mean to be pagan? It’s not just the hoary old gods, created to explain the mysteries of nature and humanity. It’s those mysteries themselves. Questions humans have pondered as long as we’ve been here.
As such, this is a pagan hymnal, written by people long ago who asked the same questions, found the same answers, in nature itself.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote our Genesis, Robert Herrick our psalms. William Wordsworth pens the Epistles. Percy Shelly’s words drip the same prophetic fire that went into Revelations.
The old gods are here too. William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe echo the loving hearts of Venus and Aphrodite. Christina Rossetti and Poe explore the darkness, William Butler Yeats the light. And you can hear the echo of Pan in Robert Frost and Lord Byron.
Musically this is all over the map. It’s our laboratory, where we synthesized the sounds that shaped who we are, and searched for the notes that tell that story. Where we learned the craft of music and recording, part alchemy, part witchcraft and part black magic.
The old gods never died, nor do poets. The lines they wrote were mirrors into the soul that still reflect to this day, for those who choose to turn their gaze that direction. So much has been left behind in this world, these words shouldn’t suffer that same fate.
This is our pagan nature, drug out into the light.
I seem to have loved you in numberless forms, numberless times… In life after life, in age after age, forever. My spellbound heart has made and remade the necklace of songs, That you take as a gift, wear round your neck in your many forms, In life after life, in age after age, forever. Whenever I hear old chronicles of love, its age-old pain, Its ancient tale of being apart or … [Read more...] about Unending Love by Rabindranath Tagore
Whenas in silks my Julia goes, Then, then (methinks) how sweetly flows That liquefaction of her clothes. Next, when I cast mine eyes, and see That brave vibration each way free, O how that glittering taketh me! https://youtu.be/jQyJRWP7lNA Dear H., I was talking to a friend about recording poems from the romantic era as songs, and he suggested this … [Read more...] about Upon Julia’s Clothes by Robert Herrick
https://youtu.be/PxMVIAA3tUM I heard a thousand blended notes, While in a grove I sate reclined, In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts Bring sad thoughts to the mind. To her fair works did Nature link The human soul that through me ran; And much it grieved my heart to think What man has made of man. Through primrose tufts, in that green bower, The periwinkle trailed … [Read more...] about Lines Written In Early Spring by William Wordsworth (1770–1850)
https://youtu.be/Cwy7n9ddiY8 Lyrics excerpted from Frost at Midnight by Samuel Taylor Coleridge Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee, Whether the summer clothe the general earth With greenness, or the redbreast sit and sing Betwixt the tufts of snow on the bare branch Of mossy apple-tree, while the night-thatch Smokes in the sun-thaw; whether the eave-drops fall Heard only in … [Read more...] about Prelude to the Seasons
https://youtu.be/l4iwqWug6A0 Blow, blow, thou winter wind, Thou art not so unkind As man’s ingratitude; Thy tooth is not so keen, Because thou art not seen, Although thy breath be rude. Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly: Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly: Then, heigh-ho, the holly! This life is most jolly.Freeze, freeze, thou bitter sky, That dost not bite … [Read more...] about Blow Blow Thou Winter Wind by William Shakespeare (1564–1616)
https://youtu.be/JmjvIKnsoUg Spring Quiet By Christina Rossetti Gone were but the Winter, Come were but the Spring, I would go to a covert Where the birds sing; Where in the whitethorn Singeth a thrush, And a robin sings In the holly-bush. Full of fresh scents Are the budding boughs Arching high over A cool green house; Full of sweet scents, And … [Read more...] about For a Dream’s Sake: The Poetry of Christina Rossetti Pt. 1 (Spring Quiet)
https://youtu.be/tq0CDa6rEv0 Adapted from Introductory poems written for Alice in Wonderland and Through The Looking Glass, by Lewis Carroll (1832-1898) All in the golden afternoon Full leisurely we glide; For both our oars, with little skill, By little hands are plied, While little hands make vain pretense, Our wanderings to guide. Anon, to sudden silence won, In fancy they … [Read more...] about Epigraph to Alice/The Lobster’s Quadrille, poetry by Lewis Carroll
https://youtu.be/4L-yQGBPZ4g I O wild West Wind, thou breath of Autumn's being, Thou, from whose unseen presence the leaves dead Are driven, like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing, Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic red, Pestilence-stricken multitudes: O thou, Who chariotest to their dark wintry bed The winged seeds, where they lie cold and low, Each like a corpse … [Read more...] about Ode to the West Wind by Percy Bysshe Shelley
https://youtu.be/QEzEfRTx2vk Go and catch a falling star, Get with child a mandrake root, Tell me where all past years are, Or who cleft the devil's foot, Teach me to hear mermaids singing, Or to keep off envy's stinging, And find What wind Serves to advance an honest mind. If thou be'st born to strange sights, Things invisible to see, Ride ten thousand days and nights, … [Read more...] about Go and Catch A Falling Star by John Donne
https://youtu.be/tW3YXi4RlLk Come to me in the silence of the night; Come in the speaking silence of a dream; Come with so rounded cheeks and eyes as bright As sunlight on a stream; Come back in tears, O memory, hope, love of finished years. Oh dream how sweet, too sweet, too bitter sweet, Whose wakening should have been in Paradise, Where souls brimfull of love abide and … [Read more...] about Echo: The Poetry of Christina Rossetti Pt. 2 (echo)
https://youtu.be/3MoDdd9PhEM When I Am Dead, My Dearest By Christina Rossetti When I am dead, my dearest, Sing no sad songs for me; Plant thou no roses at my head, Nor shady cypress tree: Be the green grass above me With showers and dewdrops wet; And if thou wilt, remember, And if thou wilt, forget. I shall not see the shadows, I shall not feel the rain; I shall not hear the … [Read more...] about For A Dream’s Sake: The Poetry of Christina Rossetti Pt. 3 (When I Am Dead My Dearest)
https://youtu.be/5XGJyxZTT4g Lord Byron, or his real name, George Gordon, wrote this poem at the ripe old age of 29, included in a letter to Thomas Moore. Byron had been carousing of late as it was carnival season and there was a lot of diversion to be had. He was recovering during Lent, and thinking he was living a bit too quick. Which he was. He only lived another seven years, dying of fever … [Read more...] about So We’ll Go No More A Roving by Lord Byron