November Music – Part I of III: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
A Poem for Today
“Leonids Over Us,”
By Marge Piercy
The sky is streaked with them
burning holes in black space –
like fireworks, someone says
all friendly in the dark chill
of Newcomb Hollow in November,
friends known only by voices.
We lie on the cold sand and it
embraces us, this beach
where locals never go in summer
and boast of their absence. Now
we lie eyes open to the flowers
of white ice that blaze over us
“But there is always a November space after the leaves have fallen when she felt it was almost indecent to intrude on the woods…for their glory terrestrial had departed and their glory celestial of spirit and purity and whiteness had not yet come upon them.” – Lucy Maud
November Music – Part II of III: George Kartsonakis
A Second Poem for Today
“The Crazy Woman,”
By Gwendolyn Brooks
I shall not sing a May song.
A May song should be gay.
I’ll wait until November
And sing a song of gray.
I’ll wait until November
That is the time for me.
I’ll go out in the frosty dark
And sing most terribly.
From the Music Archives: The Beatles
1 November 1969 – The Beatles’ album “Abbey Road” reaches the number one spot on music charts in the United States and remains there for eleven weeks.
Born 1 November 1887 – Laurence Stephen Lowry, an English artist known for painting both scenes of life in the industrial districts of northwest England and landscapes devoid of human presence.
A Third Poem for Today
By Elizabeth Coatsworth
And November goes,
With the last red berries
And the first white snows.
With night coming early,
And dawn coming late,
And ice in the bucket
And frost by the gate.
November Music – Part III of III: Antonio Vivaldi
1 November 1611 – Shakespeare’s play “The Tempest” is first performed at the Globe Theater in London.
1 November 1995 – “The Tempest” is performed at the Broadhurst Theater in New York City, with Patrick Stewart in the role of Prospero.
A Fourth Poem for Today
“How happy I was if I could forget,”
By Emily Dickinson
How happy I was if I could forget
To remember how sad I am
Would be an easy adversity
But the recollecting of Bloom
“The wind that makes music in November corn is in a hurry. The stalks hum, the loose husks whisk skyward in half-playing swirls, and the wind hurries on.” – Aldo Leopold
A Fifth Poem for Today
“Fog in November,”
By Leonard Clark
Fog in November, trees have no heads,
Streams only sound, walls suddenly stop
Half-way up hills, the ghost of a man spreads
Dung on dead fields for next year’s crop.
I cannot see my hand before my face,
My body does not seem to be my own,
The world becomes a far-off, foreign place,
People are strangers, houses silent, unknown.
“A man said to the universe: ‘Sir, I exist!’
‘However,’ replied the universe,
‘The fact has not created in me
A sense of obligation.’” – Stephen Crane, American novelist, short story writer, poet, and author of “The Red Badge of Courage,” who was born 1 November 1871.
Some quotes from the work of Stephen Crane:
“When it occurs to a man that nature does not regard him as important, and that she feels she would not maim the universe by disposing of him, he at first wishes to throw bricks at the temple, and he hates deeply the fact that there are no bricks and no temples.”
“Half of tradition is a lie.”
“Sometimes, the most profound of awakenings come wrapped in the quietest of moments.”
“The man had arrived at that stage of drunkenness where affection is felt for the universe.”
“Perhaps an individual must consider his own death to be the final phenomenon of nature.”
“‘But’ he said, in substance, to himself that ‘if the earth and moon were about to clash, many persons would doubtless plan to get upon the roofs to witness the collision.’”
“A serious prophet upon predicting a flood should be the first man to climb a tree. This would demonstrate that he was indeed a seer.”
Born 1 November 1896 – Edmund Blunden, an English poet, critic, and author of “Undertones of War,” in which he wrote about some of his experiences as a combatant in World War I.
I heard the challenge ‘Who goes there?’
Close kept but mine through midnight air
I answered and was recognized
And passed, and kindly thus advised;
‘There’s someone crawling though the grass
By the red ruin, or there was,
And them machine guns been a firin’
All the time the chaps was wirin’,
So Sir if you’re goin’ out
You’ll keep you ‘ead well down no doubt.’
When will the stern fine ‘Who goes there?’
Meet me again in midnight air?
And the gruff sentry’s kindness, when
Will kindness have such power again?
It seems as, now I wake and brood,
And know my hour’s decrepitude,
That on some dewy parapet
the sentry’s spirit gazes yet,
Who will not speak with altered tone
When I am last am seem and known.
A Sixth Poem for Today
By Dorothy Parker
I never may turn the loop of a road
Where sudden, ahead, the sea is lying,
But my heart drags down with an ancient load-
My heart, that a second before was flying.
I never behold the quivering rain-
And sweeter the rain than a lover to me-
But my heart is wild in my breast with pain;
My heart, that was tapping contentedly.
There’s never a rose spreads new at my door
Nor a strange bird crosses the moon at night
But I know I have known its beauty before,
And a terrible sorrow along with the sight.
The look of a laurel tree birthed for May
Or a sycamore bared for a new November
Is as old and as sad as my furtherest day-
What is it, what is it, I almost remember?
A Seventh Poem for Today
By Adelaide Crapsey