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Category: reading table

Tuesday, August 20th

never enough

Frederic Chopin (1810-1849), Nocturne No. 8 in D-flat major, Op. 27, No. 2
Dinu Lipatti (1917-1950, piano), 1947

 

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lagniappe

reading table

Consonants are the body; vowels are breath.

—Sadiqa de Meijer, “The Ebbing Language,” Poetry, 9/19

Wednesday, August 14th

sounds of Nigeria and Chile

Newen Afrobeat feat. Seun Kuti (vocals) and Cheick Tidiane Seck (keyboards), “Opposite People” (F. Kuti), live (studio), Chile (Santiago), 2016

 

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lagniappe

reading table

Should we have stayed at home, / wherever that may be?

—Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979), from “Questions of Travel”

Sunday, August 4th

sounds of Chicago

Vernon Oliver Price, “Change My Name,” live (TV show), Chicago, 1972

 

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lagniappe

reading table

What function hath the Air?

—Emily Dickinson (1830-1886), from 1513 (Franklin)

Wednesday, July 31st

Tenor saxophone and drums—another take.

Ken Vandermark (tenor saxophone), Paal Nilssen-Love (drums), live, Netherlands (Haarlem), 2014

 

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lagniappe

reading table

There came a Wind like a Bugle —
It quivered through the Grass
And a Green Chill upon the Heat
So ominous did pass
We barred the Windows and the Doors
As from an Emerald Ghost —
The Doom’s electric Moccasin
That very instant passed —
On a strange Mob of panting Trees
And Fences fled away
And Rivers where the Houses ran
Those looked that lived — that Day —
The Bell within the steeple wild
The flying tidings told —
How much can come
And much can go,
And yet abide the World!

—Emily Dickinson (1830-1886), 1618 (Franklin)

Saturday, July 27th

more

Andrew Cyrille (1939-, drums) with Tomeka Reid (cello), Beatrice Capote (dance), live, New York, 6/11/19

 

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lagniappe

reading table

dancing butterflies—
my journey forgotten
for a while

—Kobayashi Issa, 1763-1827 (translated from Japanese by David G. Lanoue)

Tuesday, July 16th

He played as if his life depended on it.

Glenn Gould (1932-1982, piano), playing Bach’s Partita No. 2 in C minor (The Art of Piano, 1999)

 

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lagniappe

reading table

Happiness has never been one of my great aspirations.

—poet W.S. Graham (1918-1986, quoted in London Review of Books, 7/18/19)

Monday, July 15th

Need a break from America 2019?

Joseph Haydn (1732-1809), String Quartet in C major, Op. 20, No. 2; Danish String Quartet, live, New York, 2018

 

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lagniappe

reading table

The roaring of the wind is my wife and the Stars through the window pane are my Children.

—John Keats (1795-1821), letter to his brother George Keats, 1818

Monday, July 8th

Why not begin the week with something new?

Anna Thorvaldsdottir (1977-), Fields
International Contemporary Ensemble, 2018

 

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lagniappe

reading table

Wonder – is not precisely knowing
And not precisely knowing not –

—Emily Dickinson (1830-1886), from 1347 (Franklin)

Sunday, July 7th

basement jukebox

Rev. Julius Cheeks and the Sensational Nightingales, “Standing at the Judgement” (J. Cheeks), 1959

 

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lagniappe

reading table

Sunday Morning with the Sensational Nightingales
by Billy Collins (1941-)

It was not the Five Mississippi Blind Boys
who lifted me off the ground
that Sunday morning
as I drove down for the paper, some oranges, and bread.
Nor was it the Dixie Hummingbirds
or the Soul Stirrers, despite their quickening name,
or even the Swan Silvertones
who inspired me to look over the commotion of trees
into the open vault of the sky.

No, it was the Sensational Nightingales
who happened to be singing on the gospel
station early that Sunday morning
and must be credited with the bumping up
of my spirit, the arousal of the mice within.

I have always loved this harmony,
like four, sometimes five trains running
side by side over a contoured landscape––
make that a shimmering, red-dirt landscape,
wildflowers growing along the silver tracks,
lace tablecloths covering the hills,
the men and women in white shirts and dresses
walking in the direction of a tall steeple.
Sunday morning in a perfect Georgia.

But I am not here to describe the sound
of the falsetto whine, sepulchral bass,
alto and tenor fitted snugly in between;
only to witness my own minor ascension
that morning as they sang, so parallel,
about the usual themes,
the garden of suffering,
the beads of blood on the forehead,
the stone before the hillside tomb,
and the ancient rolling waters
we would all have to cross some day.

God bless the Sensational Nightingales,
I thought as I turned up the volume,
God bless their families and their powder blue suits.
They are a far cry from the quiet kneeling
I was raised with,
a far, hand-clapping cry from the candles
that glowed in the alcoves
and the fixed eyes of saints staring down
from their corners.

Oh, my cap was on straight that Sunday morning
and I was fine keeping the car on the road.
No one would ever have guessed
I was being lifted into the air by nightingales,
hoisted by their beaks like a long banner
that curls across an empty blue sky,
caught up in the annunciation
of these high, most encouraging tidings.

Sunday, June 23rd

testify!

Pilgrim Jubilee Singers (aka Pilgrim Jubilees), “Testify” (feat. Cleve Graham), “Old Ship of Zion” (feat. Clay Graham), live, TV Show (Jubilee Showcase), Chicago, 1964

 

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lagniappe

random sights

this morning, Oak Park, Ill.

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a walk, a voice, a poem

“The Door” by Miroslav Holub (1923-1998), translated from Czech by Ian Milner

 

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