Forthwith, five .mp3s from our Sept. 9th session, “Poems of Escape.” Each one of these is less than a minute long, and all of them are available for filmmakers interested in next year’s ANTHOLOGY III.
The full text of the poems and individual links to the files follow:
“When I Heard The Learn’d Astronomer,” by Walt Whitman
When I heard the learn’d astronomer,
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,
When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them,
When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,
Till rising and gliding out I wander’d off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.
“Sun-Up,” by Lola Ridge:
(Shadows over a cradle…
throws something in the fire
and a smaller hand
runs into the flame and out again,
singed and empty…,
settling over a cradle…
and a fire.)
“The Fascination of What’s Difficult,” by W.B. Yeats
The fascination of what’s difficult
Has dried the sap out of my veins, and rent
Spontaneous joy and natural content
Out of my heart. There’s something ails our colt
That must, as if it had not holy blood
Nor on Olympus leaped from cloud to cloud,
Shiver under the lash, strain, sweat and jolt
As though it dragged road metal. My curse on plays
That have to be set up in fifty ways,
On the day’s war with every knave and dolt,
Theatre business, management of men.
I swear before the dawn comes round again
I’ll find the stable and pull out the bolt.
“The Scholars,” by W.B. Yeats
Bald heads forgetful of their sins,
Old, learned, respectable bald heads
Edit and annotate the lines
That young men, tossing on their beds,
Rhymed out in love’s despair
To flatter beauty’s ignorant ear.
All shuffle there; all cough in ink;
All wear the carpet with their shoes;
All think what other people think;
All know the man their neighbour knows.
Lord, what would they say
Did their Catullus walk that way?
“Wall Street At Night,” by Lola Ridge
Long vast shapes… cooled and flushed through with darkness…
Glazed with a flashy luster
From some little pert café chirping up like a sparrow.
And down among iron guts
Throwing gray spatter of light… pale without heat…
Like the pallor of dead bodies.
– Paul Laurence Dunbar, “Ships That Pass In The Night”
[sound not yet edited for posting]
Out in the sky the great dark clouds are massing;
I look far out into the pregnant night,
Where I can hear a solemn booming gun
And catch the gleaming of a random light,
That tells me that the ship I seek is passing, passing.
My tearful eyes my soul’s deep hurt are glassing;
For I would hail and check that ship of ships.
I stretch my hands imploring, cry aloud,
My voice falls dead a foot from mine own lips,
And but its ghost doth reach that vessel, passing, passing.
O Earth, O Sky, O Ocean, both surpassing,
O heart of mine, O soul that dreads the dark!
Is there no hope for me? Is there no way
That I may sight and check that speeding bark
Which out of sight and sound is passing, passing?
All sound recorded by Parallel Octave on Sunday, September 9, 2012, in the Arellano Theater on the JHU campus. Chorus: Bryan Klausmeyer (vox), Sandy Koll (vox), Katie Boyce Jacino (vox, mandolin), Katherine Magruder (oboe, vox), Tamar Nachmany (vox), John Sullivan (guitar, dulcimer), Daniel Schwartz (vox, dir.)