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Tag: Elizabeth Bishop

Saturday, April 25th

never enough

How many musicians talk as well as they play?

Jeremy Denk (1970-, piano), playing, and talking about, Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier (excerpts), live, 4/7/20

 

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lagniappe

reading table

North Haven
by Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979)

In Memoriam: Robert Lowell

I can make out the rigging of a schooner
a mile off; I can count
the new cones on the spruce. It is so still
the pale bay wears a milky skin; the sky
no clouds except for one long, carded horse’s tail.

The islands haven’t shifted since last summer,
even if I like to pretend they have—
drifting, in a dreamy sort of way,
a little north, a little south, or sidewise—
and that they¹re free within the blue frontiers of bay.

This month our favorite one is full of flowers:
buttercups, red clover, purple vetch,
hackweed still burning, daisies pied, eyebright,
the fragrant bedstraw’s incandescent stars,
and more, returned, to paint the meadows with delight.

The goldfinches are back, or others like them,
and the white-throated sparrow’s five-note song,
pleading and pleading, brings tears to the eyes.
Nature repeats herself, or almost does:
repeat, repeat, repeat; revise, revise, revise.

Years ago, you told me it was here
(in 1932?) you first “discovered girls”
and learned to sail, and learned to kiss.
You had “such fun,” you said, that classic summer.
(“Fun”—it always seemed to leave you at a loss . . .)

You left North Haven, anchored in its rock,
afloat in mystic blue . . . And now—you’ve left
for good. You can’t derange, or rearrange,
your poems again. (But the sparrows can their song.)
The words won’t change again. Sad friend, you cannot change.

Saturday, December 14th

sounds of Ecuador and all over

Nicola Cruz (DJ), live, Argentina (Iguazú Falls), published 12/12/19

 

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lagniappe

random sights

yesterday, Chicago

*****

reading table

We’d rather have the iceberg than the ship,
although it meant the end of travel.

—Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979), from “The Imaginary Iceberg”

Saturday, December 7th

mesmerizing

If I could move like this, I’d never stand still.

Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards (1976-), live, Stockholm, 2013

 

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lagniappe

random sights

other day, Chicago (Columbus Park)

*****

reading table

Topography displays no favorites; North’s as near as West.

—Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979), from “The Map”

Friday, August 16th

summer in the city

black midi, live, Chicago, 7/21/19

“Ducter”

 

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“bmbmbm”

 

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lagniappe

reading table

Why should I be my aunt, / or me, or anyone?

—Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979), from “In the Waiting Room”

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”

Friday, March 30th

basement jukebox

Tyrone Davis (1938-2005), “Can I Change My Mind,” 1969

 

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lagniappe

random sights

other day, Oak Park, Ill. (Oak Park Conservatory)

*****

reading table

Nature repeats itself, or almost does . . .

—Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979), “North Haven”

Thursday, January 25th

never enough

If I could play like this, I’d never stand up.

Johann Sebastian Bach, Cello Suite No. 2 in D minor, Prelude; Eva Lymenstull (baroque cello), 2017

 

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lagniappe

reading table

I like this story from the N.Y. Times—a composition by a child in the third grade: ‘I told my little brother that when you die you cannot breathe and he did not say a word. He just kept on playing.’

—Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979), Letter to Robert Lowell, September 8, 1948

Saturday, June 24th

sounds of Mali

Salif Keita, live, Germany (Stuttgart), 1995

 

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lagniappe

reading table

[C]ommunication is an undependable but sometimes marvelous thing.

—Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979), letter to Randall Jarrell, December 26, 1955

Friday, March 17th

sounds of Mali

Salif Keita, live, London, c. 2002


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lagniappe

reading table

What one seems to want in art, in experiencing it, is the same thing that is necessary for its creation, a self-forgetful, perfectly useless concentration.

—Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979), letter

Thursday, March 16th

more

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), Piano Concerto No. 26 in D major (“Coronation”); Munich Philharmonic Orchestra with Friedrich Gulda (conducting, piano), live, 1986


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lagniappe

reading table

How I wish I’d been a painter . . . that must really be the best profession—none of this fiddling around with words—there are a couple of Daumiers at the Phillips that make me feel my whole life has been wasted.

—Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979), letter, 1977

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