Monday, August 29, 2011

Maine's Great Clepsydra

Clepsydra” is really a meditation on how time feels as it is passing.
—John Ashbery

John Ashbery’s poem, Clepsydra, begins with the phrase “Hasn’t the sky?”  The question, opening out to anywhere, lured me into the poem.
Hasn’t the sky?  Returned from moving the other
Authority recently dropped, wrested as much of
That severe sunshine as you need now on the way
You go. . . .
Clepsydra is the Greek word for water clock.  John Steinbeck used it also, to describe the action of the tides:  "Time is more complex near the sea than in any other place, for in addition to the circling of the sun and the turning of the seasons, the waves beat out the passage of time on the rocks and the tides rise and fall as a great clepsydra."

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

High Noon with a Great Blue Heron

Dateline Thursday, July 14, 2011, 12PM.

Just back from the Adirondacks, I set out for Innisfree Garden with my camera, too-short telephoto zoom lens, and binoculars, a bottle of water, floppy hat, and all-important three-legged folding stool ready to be stashed in the pockets of my photog vest.  I figured, with my luck of late, the camera would stay slung over my shoulder and the stool stashed, but I consoled myself that Innisfree is always a nice place for a walk.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Waltzing to Eurydice

You don’t have to review.  Just respond.
—David Bloom

A couple posts back, I asked, “Does Anyone Still Compose a Waltz?’  I feared that, for 21st century composers and performers who (understandably) thrill to the challenge of playing rhythms like 5 against 4 against 3 against 2 (just try clapping that one out!), 
the waltz’s plain old one-two-three, one-two-three might be the exclusive province of those of us who wear our trousers rolled.  I realized, though, that I hadn’t really been listening for that and made a mental note to try.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

But the Danube Isn't Blue

A journey is always a rescue operation, the documentation and harvesting of something that is becoming extinct and will soon disappear, the last landing on an island that is sinking beneath the waves.
—Claudio Magris

I’ve never seen the Danube, yet the notion of it has long appealed to me.  One source for my fascination must surely have been Johann Strauss, Jr.’s eponymous waltz, for in my imagination, the Danube was unalterably blue.
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