The acorn and the human heart are similar.
Time is of the essence.
It keeps going faster and faster until it is
The speed of light and then it will start to go backwards.
What is it that a drawing dog does with his tongue?
I must, I must, I must, but do I want to?
An empty metallic taste reminds
Me
Of a time I once let go.
The vulture eats the hearts of the ones who went before.
Christiane Cegavske, A Raven Went Out Walking
-
Tuesday, 7th September
Image of an unused title piece for Les Fleurs du Mal by Felix Bracquemond.
The Two Good Sisters
Debauchery and Death are two lovable girls, Lavish with their kisses and rich with health, Whose ever-virgin loins, draped with tattered clothes and Burdened with constant work, have never given birth.
To the sinister poet, foe of families, Poorly paid courtier, favorite of hell, Graves and brothels show beneath their bowers A bed in which remorse has never slept.
The bier and the alcove, fertile in blasphemies Like two good sisters, offer to us in turn Terrible pleasures and frightful sweetness.
When will you bury me, Debauch with the filthy arms? Death, her rival in charms, when will you come To graft black cypress on her infected myrtle?
- Charles Baudelaire
I’m teaching selections from Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du Mal today.  Sometimes I really do have the best job.

Image of an unused title piece for Les Fleurs du Mal by Felix Bracquemond.

The Two Good Sisters

Debauchery and Death are two lovable girls, 
Lavish with their kisses and rich with health, 
Whose ever-virgin loins, draped with tattered clothes and 
Burdened with constant work, have never given birth.

To the sinister poet, foe of families, 
Poorly paid courtier, favorite of hell, 
Graves and brothels show beneath their bowers 
A bed in which remorse has never slept.

The bier and the alcove, fertile in blasphemies 
Like two good sisters, offer to us in turn 
Terrible pleasures and frightful sweetness.

When will you bury me, Debauch with the filthy arms? 
Death, her rival in charms, when will you come 
To graft black cypress on her infected myrtle?

- Charles Baudelaire

I’m teaching selections from Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du Mal today.  Sometimes I really do have the best job.

Image of Morticia and Gomez Addams by Bob Lizarraga.
And an accompanying poem from an episode of The Addams Family:
"When the blazing sun has turned to mud 
And the moon lies dead in a pool blood
When the tom-tom beat of eternity starts
Whom will I love in my heart of hearts?”

Image of Morticia and Gomez Addams by Bob Lizarraga.

And an accompanying poem from an episode of The Addams Family:

"When the blazing sun has turned to mud 

And the moon lies dead in a pool blood

When the tom-tom beat of eternity starts

Whom will I love in my heart of hearts?”

-
Tuesday, 30th November

Sopor Aeternus & the Ensemble of Shadows, “Alone II”

"Alone II" is based on the poem "Alone," one of my favorites by E.A. Poe:

From childhood’s hour I have not been
As others were—-I have not seen
As others saw—-I could not bring
My passions from a common spring.
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow; I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone;
And all I lov’d, I loved alone.
Then—-in my childhood—-in the dawn
Of a most stormy life—-was drawn
From ev’ry depth of good and ill
The mystery which binds me still:
From the torrent, or the fountain,
From the red cliff of the mountain,
From the sun that ‘round me roll’d
In its autumn tint of gold—-
From the lightning in the sky
As it pass’d me flying by—-
From the thunder and the storm,
And the cloud that took the form
(When the rest of Heaven was blue)
Of a demon in my view.

I also have such fond memories of hearing this song played at Tenebrae in London.

0 plays
-
Thursday, 9th December
H.P. Lovecraft, Fungi from Yuggoth.
Did you know that H.P. Lovecraft also wrote poetry?  It’s…different.

H.P. Lovecraft, Fungi from Yuggoth.

Did you know that H.P. Lovecraft also wrote poetry?  It’s…different.

Because he seemed to walk with an intent
I followed him; who, shadowlike and frail,
Unswervingly though slowly onward went,
Regardless, wrapt in thought as in a veil:
Thus step for step with lonely sounding feet
We travelled many a long dim silent street.

At length he paused: a black mass in the gloom,
A tower that merged into the heavy sky;
Around, the huddled stones of grave and tomb:
Some old God’s-acre now corruption’s sty:
He murmured to himself with dull despair,
Here Faith died, poisoned by this charnel air.

Then turning to the right went on once more
And travelled weary roads without suspense;
And reached at last a low wall’s open door,
Whose villa gleamed beyond the foliage dense:
He gazed, and muttered with a hard despair,
Here Love died, stabbed by its own worshipped pair.

James Thomson, The City of Dreadful Night
So disasters come not singly;
But as if they watched and waited,
Scanning one another’s motions,
When the first descends, the others
Follow, follow, gathering flock-wise
Round their victim, sick and wounded,
First a shadow, then a sorrow,
Till the air is dark with anguish.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, “The Song of Hiawatha” 

Do not lay such heavy burdens
In the graves of those you bury,
Not such weight of furs and wampum,
Not such weight of pots and kettles,
For the spirits faint beneath them.
Only give them food to carry,
Only give them fire to light them.


Four days is the spirit’s journey
To the land of ghosts and shadows,
Four its lonely night encampments;
Four times must their fires be lighted.
Therefore, when the dead are buried,
Let a fire, as night approaches,
Four times on the grave be kindled,
That the soul upon its journey
May not lack the cheerful firelight,
May not grope about in darkness.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, “The Song of Hiawatha”
Ezra Pound

Ezra Pound

-
Wednesday, 21st September

from Canto I by Ezra Pound

Poured we libations unto each the dead,
First mead and then sweet wine, water mixed with white flour.
Then prayed I many a prayer to the sickly death’s-head;
As set in Ithaca, sterile bulls of the best
For sacrifice, heaping the pyre with goods,
A sheep to Tiresias only, black and a bell-sheep.
Dark blood flowed in the fosse,
Souls out of Erebus, cadaverous dead, of brides
Of youths and at the old who had borne much;
Souls stained with recent tears, girls tender,
Men many, mauled with bronze lance heads,
Battle spoil, bearing yet dreory arms,
These many crowded about me; with shouting,
Pallor upon me, cried to my men for more beasts;
Slaughtered the heards, sheep slain of bronze;
Poured ointment, cried to the gods,
To Pluto the strong, and praised Proserpine;
Unsheathed the narrow sword,
I sat to keep off the impetuous impotent dead,
Till I should hear Tiresias.

-
Wednesday, 21st September