Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Nightingale's Song

Chew-chew chew-chew" and higher still,
"Cheer-cheer cheer-cheer" more loud and shrill,
"Cheer-up cheer-up cheer-up"—and dropped
Low—"Tweet tweet jug jug jug"—and stopped
One moment just to drink the sound
Her music made, and then a round
Of stranger witching notes was heard
As if it was a stranger bird:
"Wew-wew wew-wew chur-chur chur-chur
Woo-it woo-it"—could this be her?
"Tee-rew tee-rew tee-rew tee-rew
Chew-rit chew-rit"—and ever new—
"Will-will will-will grig-grig grig-grig."
- John Clare, "The Progress of Rhyme"

Who is Calling the Tune Today?

"A poet is a nightingale who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds; his auditors are as men entranced by the melody of an unseen musician, who feel that they are moved and softened, yet know not whence or why.”
- Percy Shelly, "Defense of Poetry"

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Reflecting Symmetry

He knows that any want of measure and symmetry in any mixture whatever must always of necessity be fatal, both to the elements and to the mixture, which is then not a mixture, but only a confused medley which brings confusion on the possessor of it.
--Plato, "Philebus"

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Price of Losing the Wager...

Thomas Morley (1557-1602/3), "Madrigal":
Though Philomela lost her love
fresh note she warbleth yes again
Fa la la la fa la la la...

He is a fool that lovers prove
and leaves to sing, to live in pain
Fa la la la fa la la ...

Split Personalities

...and other engines of metamorphoses
He heard a voice none else could hear
From centred and from errant sphere.