Here are male and female vocal versions of the appropriate song, one from Mairi Campbell & Emily Smith and assorted Celtic type musicians, and the second from a young Scottish singer with the unlikely name of Paolo Nutini, which I ran across over at Pondering life (thanks, thingy).
Because after lifting a mug, one version is just not enough, even if you can't understand a word except the chorus...
It's long past the time for a refresh on the Off the Shelf page, so the excellent Echo, by Christina Rossetti, is placed here for a final viewing, and a selection from the contemporary Canadian author, Margaret Atwood, takes its place. I'm mostly familiar with Atwood from her novel The Handmaid's Tale, a bit of dystopian feminist-ish sci-fi I read back in the early nineties, but I'd never read her poetry until recently. I stumbled on this one quite by accident, and am passing it on.
As always feel free to comment here on either poem, as comments are disabled off the main page. Suggestions for next time are always welcome. Older selections can be accessed by clicking the Off the Shelf Archive label under Tags in the sidebar.
And now, a last look at Echo:
Come to me in the silence of the night;
Come in the speaking silence of a dream;
Come with soft rounded cheeks and eyes as bright
As sunlight on a stream;
Come back in tears,
O memory, hope, love of finished years.
O dream how sweet, too sweet, too bitter sweet,
Whose wakening should have been in Paradise,
Where souls brimfull of love abide and meet;
Where thirsting longing eyes
Watch the slow door
That opening, letting in, lets out no more.
Yet come to me in dreams, that I may live
My very life again though cold in death:
Come back to me in dreams, that I may give
Pulse for pulse, breath for breath:
Speak low, lean low
As long ago, my love, how long ago.
Image: Woodcut Cover illustration for Christina Rossetti's Goblin Market and Other Poems(1862,) by Dante Gabriel Rossetti wikimedia commons
I'm too tired to write today, but never too tired to listen to someone else who can do it like this. There are too many lines in here to pick from but I'm going to quote a few--the woman who's "drifting...like a satellite," the "babe in the arms of a woman in a rage," who "winds back the clock and turns back the page/on a book that nobody can write.." and "..there's a lion in the road/there's a demon escaped..." not to mention, " there's a white diamond moon on the dark side of this room, and a pathway that leads up to the stars/ if you don't believe there's a price for this sweet paradise, just remind me to show you the scars...."
and finally for all you Gemini's (of whom Dylan is one, of course): "I fought with my twin, that enemy within/ ’Till both of us fell by the way.."
Disclaimer: I cannot find any source in Zen Buddhist literature for the saying Mr. Bell has used to create his genre of Dead Man's Poetry. Internet searches on these keywords will return only Mr Bell as a source. While this does not detract in any way from the independent merit of his work, I would take the assumption that it has any real connection to Zen tradition with a grain of salt. It seems more likely to me that this is a corruption of the famous quote attributed to Gandhi: "Live as if you will die tomorrow." But that's just me.
Image of plastic zombie and flowers: yard art by Toscano, public domain Second Image: Duncan Quinn suit ad, public domain
I don't know about anyone else, but I've about had it with the mad rush and the Christmas feeding frenzy. I want to be somewhere warm and soothing clutching a drink with an umbrella in it. This is the closest I can get at the moment, the least frenetic poem every written about Mexico, from Donovan, Sand and Foam.
...and the simple act /of an oar stroke /put diamonds in the sea....
We'll get back to regularly scheduled programming eventually.
a pup or a throat-bite and takes the man's gifts,
always in dreams there’s a fox in my house.
like all wild things from pity’s remorse,
skin is his shelter, my heart his caught mouse.
hounds all pursue him but can’t stay the course.
red-coated Hunt fast becomes a wild rout
dog falls on dog, and the fox beats the horse.
his covert of flesh he hides safe from the clout,
he grows a new tail and chews his way out.
“...In European folklore, the figure of Reynard the Fox symbolizes trickery and deceit. Chinese folk tales tell of fox-spirits…that may have up to nine tails. In Japanese mythology the kitsune are fox-like spirits possessing magical abilities that increase with their age and wisdom.Foremost among these is the ability to assume human form…The more tails a kitsune has…the older, wiser, and more powerful it is. “ ~Wikipedia