November 2015

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

and seem to imprint directly

on our brains. I feel the earth,

rolling beneath as we face out

into the endlessness we usually

ignore. Past the evanescent

meteors, infinity pulls hard.

November Art – John Atkinson Grimshaw: “November Moonlight, 1883”

“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.

And all the little people
Will stare at me and say,
“That is the Crazy Woman
Who would not sing in May.”

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.

Below – “A Manufacturing Town”; “The Sea at Sunderland”; “Barges on a Canal”; “An Accident”; “Britain at Play”; “The Empty House.”

(c) Ms Carol Ann Lowry/DACS; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation



(c) Ms Carol Ann Lowry/DACS; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

(c) Ms Carol Ann Lowry/DACS; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

A Third Poem for Today

By Elizabeth Coatsworth

November comes
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.

The fires burn
And the kettles sing,
And earth sinks to rest
Until next spring.

November Music – Part III of III: Antonio Vivaldi

November Art – Willard Metcalf: “November Mosaic “ (1922)

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.

Below – the play; a sketch of the Globe Theatre; a portrait of Patrick Stewart as Prospero, painted by Elizabeth A. Adams.



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

Keeps making November difficult
Till I who was almost bold
Lose my way like a little Child
And perish of the cold.

“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

Below – Jennifer VonStein: “Winter Sky”

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.

November Art – Peter Fiore: “Fall, November – White Pine Suite: The Seasons”

“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.”

November Art – Joe Mancuso: “November in the Blue Ridge Mountains”

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.

“The Watchers”

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

“Temps Perdu,”
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?

Below – Paul Vigne Pavi: “Le Temps Perdu Dans Le Temps”

A Seventh Poem for Today

“November Night,”
By Adelaide Crapsey


With faint dry sound,
Like steps of passing ghosts,
The leaves, frost-crisp’d, break from the trees
And fall.
November Art – Walter Elmer Schofield: “November.”

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