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Tag: Elizabeth Bishop

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)

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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

Thursday, March 2nd

tonight in Chicago

These guys, from Australia, are playing at Constellation.

The Necks, live, London, 2016


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lagniappe

reading table

The Imaginary Iceberg
by Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979)

We’d rather have the iceberg than the ship,
although it meant the end of travel.
Although it stood stock-still like cloudy rock
and all the sea were moving marble.
We’d rather have the iceberg than the ship;
we’d rather own this breathing plain of snow
though the ship’s sails were laid upon the sea
as the snow lies undissolved upon the water.
O solemn, floating field,
are you aware an iceberg takes repose
with you, and when it wakes may pasture on your snows?

This is a scene a sailor’d give his eyes for.
The ship’s ignored. The iceberg rises
and sinks again; its glassy pinnacles
correct elliptics in the sky.
This is a scene where he who treads the boards
is artlessly rhetorical. The curtain
is light enough to rise on finest ropes
that airy twists of snow provide.
The wits of these white peaks
spar with the sun. Its weight the iceberg dares
upon a shifting stage and stands and stares.

The iceberg cuts its facets from within.
Like jewelry from a grave
it saves itself perpetually and adorns
only itself, perhaps the snows
which so surprise us lying on the sea.
Good-bye, we say, good-bye, the ship steers off
where waves give in to one another’s waves
and clouds run in a warmer sky.
Icebergs behoove the soul
(both being self-made from elements least visible)
to see them so: fleshed, fair, erected indivisible.

Wednesday, February 8th

not the same old stuff

Maja S. K. Ratkje, live (performance begins at 1:30), Norway (Kristiansand), 2013


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lagniappe

reading table

Happy (106th) Birthday, Elizabeth

From the few states I have seen I should now immediately select Florida as my favorite. I don’t know whether you have been here or not—it is so wild, and what there is of cultivation seems rather dilapidated and about to become wild again. On the way down we took a very slow train from Jacksonville here. All day long it went through swamps and turpentine camps and palm forests and in a beautiful pink evening it began stopping at several little stations. The stations were all off at a tangent from the main track and it necessitated first going by, then stopping, backing up, stopping, starting again—with many puffs of white smoke, blowing of the whistle, advice from the loiterers around the station—all to throw off one limp bag of mail.

—Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979), letter to Marianne Moore, January 5, 1937

Tuesday, August 16th

If I could dance like this, I’d never sit down.

Jimmy Slyde (1927-2008) and Bob Moses, dancing, playing, talking


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lagniappe

reading table

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

—Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979), “One Art”

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