Sunday, April 4, 2021
Friday, April 2, 2021
I think Easter week was barely over last year when I discovered the Lebanese hymn "Wa Habibi" (O My Beloved). There are quite a few lovely settings of it to be had from YouTube, some of which have translations. But at the moment, my favorite of them is this, which I have run out of time to track down a thorough translation for. I only know that the song is written as if sung by Our Lady, who is crying out to her Son in his passion:
It's not a far step from that one to one of my oldest favorites, the Irish "Caoineadh Na dTrí Mhuire" (Lament of the Three Marys). Typing that, I'm not entirely certain that I ever knew why the title refers to three Marys; though there is certainly a reference in the Gospel to three Marys being by the cross, the dialogue in this song seems, like "Wa Habibi," to be written entirely from the point of view of Jesus' mother. (If you click on the video and come to its page on YouTube, you will find a transcription and a translation of the lyrics).
Monday, March 22, 2021
Yes, I didn't post anything for a long time, and then suddenly there was this unexplained file of poems marching by. That all had its beginning in a friend asking me whether I'd happened upon any poetry lately (or words to that effect) a question which reminded me how much of a treat a sudden poem can seem. Thus, sudden poems (regularly scheduled), a custom which will continue until. . . it stops.
Today's was new to me, a piece brought up this week by the same poetry-loving friend whose question initiated the project. I found it a rather unsettling piece to read; maybe in another state of mind I would have found it some of it amusing. At any rate, it has the ability to haunt the imagination long after its conclusion.
Monday, March 15, 2021
One evening last week I owned up to the fact that I had been lapping up far too much of my rest and relaxation from a screen, so during dinner I dipped austerely into a book that happened to be sitting by. I was rewarded for my dedication to study with these timeless lines:
Monday, March 8, 2021
We hear that a picture is worth a thousand words, but if that is so, perhaps words are more potent used in smaller quantities. You couldn't get all this in any picture, at any rate.
Friday, March 5, 2021
Monday, March 1, 2021
Overall, I am not pleased with the stalkerish ways of search engines. For instance, I was very contentedly occupied in watching sean-nós dance videos the other day, and YouTube raised a banner which told me that if I was a single dancer, I could meet other single dancers in my area. Seems a bit presumptuous.
I was, however, not displeased when my "suggested articles" feed on my phone began to assume I was interested in poetry. Well, perhaps I am loathe to give it the satisfaction of being right about me (yes, come to think of it, its being right doesn't make it any less presumptuous), but it has made some actually useful and intriguing suggestions, including a link to Carol Rumens's Poem of the Week in The Guardian. She recently posted this: