Tuesday, May 31

matter and spirit

Nothing illustrates this better than the curious phenomenon called art, which transforms the very nature of our perceptions and opens in us a sense of wonder, even of awe. Certain frequencies of vibrations -- colors, shapes, geometric figures, and above all proportions -- evoke corresponding frequencies in us, each of which has a specific quality or flavor. There is, for instance, a proportion within the rectangle called the Golden Section that will invariably produce a sensation of harmony, and here as in many other geometrical figures the psychological experience is inseparable from its mathematical description. Architecture has always observed and followed this marriage between feeling and proportion, and on a more intuitive level the painter and the sculptor are tirelessly correcting and refining their work so that its coarse outer crust can give way to the true inner feeling.

-- Peter Brook, "The Secret Dimension" from Gurdjieff: Essays and Reflections on the Man and His Teaching, edited by Jacob Needleman and George Baker

I unpetalled you, like a rose,
to see your soul,
and I didn't see it.

But everything around
— horizons of lands and of seas —,
everything, out to the infinite,
was filled with a fragrance,
enormous and alive.

-- Juan Ramón Jiménez
Translated by Stephen Mitchell

Monday, May 30


The shadow of a tree on the road is not only a visual phenomenon. It is also audible. The oak, the poplar, the nut tree have their own specific levels of sound. The tone of a plane tree is entered like a room. It indicates a certain order in space, zones of tension, and zones of free passage. The same is true of a wall or a whole landscape.

-- Jacques Lusseyran Blindness, A New Seeing of the World
Translated by Dorothea Winkler

Sunday, May 29

what matters

It doesn't matter whether you're first rate, second rate, or third rate, but it's of vital importance that the water find its own level and that you do the very best you can with the powers that are given you ... It's utterly immoral to be slothful about the qualities you have.

-- Lawrence Durrell


I paint paintings made up of one, two, or three panels. I work from panel to panel. I will paint on one until I arrive at a colour that holds that plane. I move to another panel and paint until something is holding that plane that also interestingly relates to the other panels. I work the third, searching for a colour value that pulls the planes together into a plane that has aesthetic meaning. This process is not as simple as explained. There is much repainting of panels which follows no given order. The ideas of a painting can change quite fast and drastically or they can evolve very slowly. I want to have a dialogue with the painting: it works on me and I work on it.

-- Brice Marden, "Statements, Notes, and Interviews," from Brice Marden: Paintings, Drawings and Prints 1975-1980

Saturday, May 28


Read any play of Shakespeare's, and you'll find him full of clichés -- stock phrases and figures of speech that are so much the common coinage of the language that they possess no particular literary value whatsoever. Let me quote the sort of thing I mean -- these are all phrases from MacBeth:

The milk of human kindness
Even-handed justice
The primrose way
What's done is done
Scotched the snake, not killed it
Can such things be
The slaves of drink
Make assurance doubly sure
The crack of doom

Those are all commonplace enough. Yet, to me, they are the most exciting thing about Shakespeare, because none of them had ever been said until he said them. They are a few out of hundreds of similar phrases that he invented and added to the English language -- so many of them that I doubt whether any English-speaking person can carry on one day's conversation without quoting Shakespeare. They are Shakespeare's immortal contribution. The plays are great; but long after the plays are forgotten, those humble phrases will still be spoken, as long as there is an English language to speak.

-- Deems Taylor The Well-Tempered Listener

Friday, May 27


What a strange thing a mirror is! and what a wondrous affinity exists between it and a man's imagination! For this room of mine, as I beheld it in the glass, is the same, and yet not the same. It is not the mere representation of the room I live in, but it looks just as if I were reading about it in a story I like. All its commonness has disappeared, The mirror has lifted it out of the region of fact into the realm of art; and the very representing of it to me has clothed with interest that which was otherwise hard and bare; just as one sees with delight upon the stage the representation of a character from which one would escape in life as from something unendurably wearisome ... I should like to live in that room if I could only get into it.

-- George MacDonald Phantastes

Thursday, May 26


Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation) there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe's couplets:

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.

-- William H. Murray The Scottish Himalayan Expedition

Wednesday, May 25


Watching hands transplanting,
Turning and tamping,
Lifting the young plants with two fingers,
Sifting in a palm-full of fresh loam, –
One swift movement, –
Then plumping in the bunched roots,
A single twist of the thumbs, a tamping and turning,
All in one,
Quick on the wooden bench,
A shaking down, while the stem stays straight,
Once, twice, and a faint third thump, –
Into the flat-box it goes,
Ready for the long days under the sloped glass:

The sun warming the fine loam,
The young horns winding and unwinding,
Creaking their thin spines,
The underleaves, the smallest buds
Breaking into nakedness,
The blossoms extending
Out into the sweet air,
The whole flower extending outward,
Stretching and reaching.

-- Theodore Roethke (b. 25 May 1908)


François Truffaut

My films are circus shows, and I'm glad of it. I never put on two elephant acts together. After the elephant, the juggler, and after the juggler, the bears. I even allow a sort of intermission toward the sixth reel, because by then people's attention is flagging. At the seventh reel I take them in hand again, and try to end with a flourish ... I swear I'm not joking; I think of the circus while working. I'd like to see people hiss and boo the unsuccessful sequences and clap those they liked. And since in order to see my films people have to shut themselves up in the dark, I never fail, toward the end of the film, to take them out into the countryside, beside the sea, or in the snow, so they'll forgive me ... I think constantly of the public.

-- François Truffaut, quoted in François Truffaut by C.G. Crisp

Tuesday, May 24

Tower on Cliff Top

When I took your hand, securing
you at the turn of the stone stair,
for the narrow step deepened by unknown
steps that climbed that dark,
(many generations in that dark
that split the day from day)
the sky broke blue above;
below the stone cube, the flat sea,
then in this place we knew
what we had known before
the years grew in us together,
yet never knew as here and now
in sudden glare and roaring airs,
as time had waited on this time
to know this in our broken day
when I took your hand.

-- George Bruce


Dreaming is thus one of our roads into the infinite ... It is only by emphasizing our finiteness that we ever become conscious of the infinite. The infinite can only be that which stretches far beyond the boundaries of our own personality. It is the charm of dreams that they introduce us into a new infinity. Time and space are annihilated, gravity is suspended, and we are joyfully borne up in the air, as it were in the arms of angels; we are brought into a deeper communion with Nature.

-- Havelock Ellis The World of Dreams

Monday, May 23


We followed him a little way along a rocky ledge to a platform from which we could see the head of the valley. It was formed like a circus in an irregular closed oval, broken only by the gorge where we stood and surrounded by steep slopes rising towards the summit, from which the huge tongue of a glacier hung down here and there. Bernard lit a fire, threw some moist grass on it, and looked towards the head of the valley. After a few minutes we saw in the distance an answering signal go up, a thin thread of white smoke hard to distinguish from the slow mist of the waterfalls.

In the mountains a man becomes very attentive to any sign indicating the presence of one of his fellow men. That distant smoke was particularly moving for us, a greeting sent us by strangers climbing ahead of us on the same trail. For from now on the trail linked our fate to theirs, even if we were never to meet.

-- René Daumal Mount Analogue
Translated by Roger Shattuck


Almost any turn of the kaleidoscope of nature may set up in the artist a detached and esthetic vision, and, as he contemplates the particular field of vision, the (esthetically) chaotic and accidental contemplation of forms and colours begins to crystallize into a harmony; and as this harmony becomes clear to the artist, his actual vision becomes distorted by the emphasis of the rhythm that is set up within him. Certain relations of line become for him full of meaning; he apprehends them no longer curiously but passionately, and these lines begin to be so stressed and stand out so clearly from the rest that he sees them more distinctly than he did at first. Similarly, colours which in nature have almost always a certain vagueness and elusiveness, become so definite and clear to him, owing to their now so necessary relation to other colours, that, if he chooses to paint his vision, he can state it positively and definitely. In such a creative vision, the objects as such tend to disappear, to lose their separate unities and to take their place as so many bits in the whole mosaic of vision.

-- Roger Fry, quoted by John Dewey in Art as Experience

Sunday, May 22

The Last Invocation

At the last, tenderly,
From the walls of the powerful fortress'd house,
From the clasp of the knitted locks, from the keep of the well-closed doors,
Let me be wafted.

Let me glide noiselessly forth;
With the key of softness unlock the locks -- with a whisper,
Set ope the doors O soul.

Tenderly -- be not impatient,
(Strong is your hold O mortal flesh.
Strong is your hold O love.)

-- Walt Whitman Leaves of Grass

Saturday, May 21

in the forest

By another impulse, she took off the formal cap that confined her hair; and down it fell upon her shoulders, dark and rich, with at once a shadow and a light in its abundance, and imparting the charm and softness to her features. There played around her mouth, and beamed out of her eyes, a radiant and tender smile, that seemed gushing from the very heart of womanhood. A crimson flush was glowing on her cheek, that had been long so pale. Her sex, her youth, and the whole richness of her beauty, came back from what men call the irrevocable past, and clustered themselves, with her maiden hope, and a happiness before unknown, within the magic circle of this hour. And, as if the gloom of the earth and sky had been but the effluence of these two mortal hearts, it vanished with their sorrow. All at once, as with a sudden smile of heaven, forth burst the sunshine, pouring a very flood into the obscure forest, gladdening each green leaf, transmuting the yellow fallen ones to gold, and gleaming adown the gray trunks of the solemn trees. The objects that had made a shadow hitherto, embodied the brightness now. The course of the little brook might be traced by its merry gleam afar into the wood's heart of mystery, which had become a mystery of joy.

-- Nathaniel Hawthorne The Scarlet Letter

Friday, May 20

the tea-drinkers

The tea-parties were held in a long gallery, glazed and narrow, shaped like a funnel, which led from the entrance hall to the dining-room and was bounded on one side by the garden, from which it was separated (save for a few stone pillars) only by its wall of glass which opened here and there. The result of which, apart from ubiquitous draughts, was sudden and intermittent bursts of sunshine, a dazzling and changeable light that made it almost impossible to see the tea-drinkers, so that when they were installed there, at tables crowded pair after pair the whole way along the narrow gully, shimmering and sparkling with every movement they made in drinking their tea or in greeting one another, it resembled a giant fish-tank or bow-net in which a fisherman has collected all his glittering catch, which, half out of water and bathed in sunlight, coruscate before one's eyes in an ever-changing iridescence.

-- Marcel Proust A l'ombre des jeunnes filles en fleurs (Within a Budding Grove)
Translated by C.K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin

Duality V

You look at me, you give
a light, which I bear and return,
and we are held, and all
our time is held, in this
touching look -- this touch
that, pressed against the touch
returning in the dark,
is almost sight. We burn
and see by our own light.

-- Wendell Berry

Thursday, May 19


Cathedral by Auguste Rodin
Cathedral by Auguste Rodin

"I obey Nature in everything, and I never pretend to command her. My only ambition is to be servilely faithful to her."

"Nevertheless," [Rodin's interviewer] answered with some malice, "it is not nature exactly as it is that you evoke in your work."

He stopped short, the damp cloth in his hands. "Yes, exactly as it is!" he replied frowning.

"You are obliged to alter-- "

"Not a jot!"

"But after all, the proof that you do change it is this, that the cast would give not at all the same impression as your work."

He reflected an instant and said: "That is so! Because the cast is less true than my sculpture! It would be impossible for any model to keep an animated pose during all the time that it would take to make a cast from it. But I keep in my mind the ensemble of the pose and I insist that the model shall conform to my memory of it. More than that, -- the cast only reproduces the exterior; I reproduce, besides that, the spirit which is certainly also a part of nature. I see all the truth, and not only that of the outside. I accentuate the lines which best express the spiritual state that I interpret."

-- Auguste Rodin Rodin on Art and Artists
Translated by Mrs. Romilly Fedden

Loons Mating

Their necks and their dark heads lifted into a dawn
Blurred smooth by mist, the loons
Beside each other are swimming slowly
In charmed circles, their bodies stretched under water
Through ripples quivering and sweeping apart
The gray sky now held close by the lake's mercurial threshold
Whose face and underface they share
In wheeling and diving tandem, rising together
To swell their breasts like swans, to go breasting forward
With beaks turned down and in, near shore,
Out of sight behind a windbreak of birch and alder,
And now the haunted uprisen wailing call,
And again, and now the beautiful sane laughter.

-- David Wagoner

Wednesday, May 18

for what they are

Sunlight pours into my study from four windows. Year after year the turquoise silk has faded to a gentle watery blue, the brilliant embroidery has softened, and it is lovelier than ever. "We love the things we love for what they are," Robert Frost reminds us. And he means, I think, that we love them as they change -- he is speaking in the poem of a brook gone dry -- as well as for what they once were.

-- May Sarton Plant Dreaming Deep

Tuesday, May 17


I was looking around one of these temples a few days ago, where I noticed that you couldn't figure out how big it was, or it didn't seem to have any limits. I said to the priest, "I don't know whether I'm going exploring or not, or just leave it alone and think that, well, here I left Kyoto and never did find out what was through that little gate, and so what!" Forever there will be magic behind there which I didn't define and didn't draw in. So this whole temple was done that way. All sorts of suggestions of little avenues disappearing, like a mountain path winding up among the trees... because always, every wall of a room seemed to be a screen which led to something else beyond, and at the back of every garden there seemed to be a little gate that led to some other courtyard and everything led into something else.

Where does it go? True, if you follow it you will eventually go up out of Kyoto and get down to Otsu and find yourself back down in the suburbs. But there is a sense that the disappearing mountain path goes to the place that everybody has in the back of their minds as the image of the place that you want to go to (not really an image, as it's always slightly indefinite). There is a certain feeling that there ought to be somewhere that thing I've always wanted.

-- Alan Watts Uncarved Block, Unbleached Silk: The Mystery of Life

the music in words

Is there another language, just as exacting for the author, as a language of words? Is there a language of actions, a language of sounds -- a language of word-as-part-of movement, of word-as-lie, word-as-parody, of word-as-rubbish, of word-as-contradiction, of word-shock or word-cry? If we talk of the more-than-literal, if poetry means that which crams more and penetrates deeper -- is this where it lies?

-- Peter Brook The Empty Space

Monday, May 16


When you are away, you are nevertheless present for me. This presence is multiform: it consists of countless images, passages, meanings, things known, landmarks, yet the whole remains marked by your absence, in that it is diffuse. It is as if your person becomes a place, your contours horizons. I live in you then like living in a country. You are everywhere. Yet in that country I can never meet you face to face.

-- John Berger And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief as Photos

Sonnet XLIII

When most I wink, then do mine eyes best see,
For all the day they view things unrespected;
But when I sleep, in dreams they look on thee,
And, darkly bright, are bright in dark directed.
Then thou, whose shadow shadows doth make bright,
How would thy shadow's form form happy show
To the clear day with thy much clearer light,
When to unseeing eyes thy shade shines so!
How would, I say, mine eyes be blessed made
By looking on thee in the living day,
When in dead night thy fair imperfect shade
Through heavy sleep on sightless eyes doth stay!
All days are nights to see till I see thee,
And night bright days when dreams do show thee me.

-- William Shakespeare

Saturday, May 14


Such were Arkady's reflections;... but even as he reflected, the spring regained its sway. All around was golden green, all -- trees, bushes, grass -- shone and stirred gently in wide waves under the soft breath of the warm wind; from all sides flooded the endless trilling music of the larks; the peewits were calling as they hovered over the low-lying meadows, or noiselessly ran over the tussocks of grass; the rooks strutted among the half-grown short spring-corn standing out black against its tender green; they disappeared in the already whitening rye, only from time to time their heads peeped out amid its grey waves. Arkady gazed and gazed, and his reflections grew slowly fainter and passed away .... He flung off his coat and turned to his father, with a face so bright and boyish, that the latter gave him another hug.

-- Ivan Turgenev Fathers and Sons
Translated by Constance Garnett


One clap of day and the dream
rushes back
where it came from. For a moment
the ground is still moist with it.
Then day settles. You step onto dry land.

Morning picks out the four
corners, coffeepot, shawl of dust
on a cupboard. Stunned
by brightness, that dream --
where did it go?

All day you grope in a web
of invisible stars. The day sky soaks them up
like dreams. If you could see
in the light, you'd see what fires
keep spinning, spinning their mesh of threads

around you. They're closer
than you think, pulsing
into the blue. You press your forehead
to the cool glass.

They must be out there in all that dazzle.

-- Chana Bloch

Friday, May 13

blue room

Was Marcel Proust, sequestered in his cork-lined bedchamber with its twelve-foot ceiling, sealed windows (two), and felt-lined shutters, asking by way of color for solitude? An exact recreation of that room at the Musée Carnavalet at 32 rue de Sévigné in Paris shows not only that his bedspread was a policeman-blue, a dark satiny hue, with ruffles at the bottom, but that the color informed the scheme of the entire chamber. "The most striking thing in the room, apart from the cork, was the color blue," wrote his housekeeper Céleste Albaret in her memoir of 1973, "the blue of the curtains, to be precise, which reflected the big chandelier that hung from the ceiling -- a sort of bowl ending in a point, with lot of lights and several switches, which was never lighted except for visitors or when I tidied the room in M. Proust's absence. There was a thick white marble mantelpiece with two blue-globe candelabra and a matching bronze clock in between. The candelabra were never used either. The only light came from the small long-stemmed bedside lamp -- like a desk lamp -- which lighted up his papers while leaving his face in shadow."

-- Alexander Theroux The Primary Colors


Water of the Flowery Mill by Arshile Gorky
Water of the Flowery Mill by Arshile Gorky

I like the heat the tenderness the edible the lusciousness the song of a single person the bathtub full of water to bathe myself beneath the water... I like the wheatfields the plough the apricots those flirts of the sun. But bread above all...

When something is finished, that means it's dead, doesn't it? I believe in everlastingness. I never finish a painting -- I just stop working on it for a while. I like painting because it's something I never come to the end of. Sometimes I paint a picture, then I paint it all out. Sometimes I'm working on fifteen or twenty pictures at the same time. I do that because I want to -- because I like to change my mind so often. The thing to do is always to keep starting to paint, never finishing painting.

-- Arshile Gorky Arshile Gorky: Paintings, Drawings, Studies

Thursday, May 12

the possibility of bears

A summer storm reveals the dreaming place of bears. But you cannot see their shaggy dreams of fish and berries, any land signs supporting evidence of bears, or any bears at all. What is revealed in the soaked rich earth, forked waters, and fence line shared with patient stones is the possibility of everything you can't see.

-- Joy Harjo Secrets from the Center of the World

Wednesday, May 11


Apollonius: Tell me, Damis, is there such a thing as painting?

Damis: Of course.

Apollonius: And what does this art consist of?

Damis: Well, in the mixing of colors.

Apollonius: And why do they do that?

Damis: For the sake of imitation, to get a likeness of a dog or a horse or a man, a ship, or anything else under the sun.

Apollonius: Then, painting is imitation, memesis?

Damis: Well, what else? If it did not do that it would just be a ridiculous playing about with colors.

Apollonius: Yes, but what about the things we see in the sky when the clouds are drifting, the centaurs and stag antelopes and wolves and horses? Are they also works of imitation? Is God a painter who uses his leisure hours to amuse himself that way?

Damis: No...

Apollonius: But does this not mean that the art of imitation is twofold? One aspect of it is the use of hands and mind in producing imitations, another aspect the producing of likenesses with the mind alone?

Damis: Yes...

Apollonius: And for this reason I should say that those who look at works of painting and drawing must have the imitative faculty and that no one could understand the painted horse or bull unless he knew what such creatures are like.

-- Philostratus Life of Apollonius of Tyana
Translated by F.C. Conybeare

Saturday, May 7


To get back to mirrors; some make a large, close thing seem tiny and distant, even if it were that mountain between France and Cerdagna. When you hold a mirror up to it, it suddenly becomes very small, so that even if you gaze at it intensely you can barely see it. Other mirrors show the true dimensions of objects. If you look into a normal mirror you see things as they are, real. I know of others again in which objects burn, but only when you place them right where the sun's rays are all reflected and trained on that point. Then all seems ablaze. Some form many quite different figures: single or doubled and sometimes quadrupled, prone, supine, shortened, lengthened. They make one figure a hundred.

-- Jean de Meung and Guillaume de Lorris Le Roman de la Rose
Translated by Alastair McEwen

The Well Dressed Man With a Beard

After the final no there comes a yes
And on that yes the future world depends.
No was the night. Yes is this present sun.
If the rejected things, the things denied,
Slid over the western cataract, yet one,
One only, one thing that was firm, even
No greater than a cricket's horn, no more
Than a thought to be rehearsed all day, a speech
Of the self that must sustain itself on speech,
One thing remaining, infallible, would be
Enough. Ah! douce campagna, honey in the heart,
Green in the body, out of a petty phrase,
Out of a thing believed, a thing affirmed:
The form on the pillow humming while one sleeps,
The aureole above the humming house...
It can never be satisfied, the mind, never.

-- Wallace Stevens

Friday, May 6

house of breath

That people could come into the world in a place they could not at first even name and had never known before; and that out of a nameless and unknown place they could grow and move around in it until its name they knew and called with love, and call it HOME, and put roots there and love others there; so that whenever they left this place they would sing homesick songs about it and write poems of yearning for it, like a lover...

So this is why when often as you came home to it, down the road in a mist of rain, it seemed as if the house were founded on the most fragile web of breath and you had blown it. Then you thought it might not exist at all as built by carpenter's hands, nor had ever; and that it was only an idea of breath breathed out by you who, with that same breath that had blown it, could blow it all away.

-- William Goyen The House of Breath

Thursday, May 5

be what you are

Sermon to the birds: "Esteemed friends, birds of noble lineage, I have no message to you except this: be what you are: be birds. Thus you will be your own sermon to yourselves!"

Reply: "Even this is one sermon too many!"

-- Thomas Merton Dancing in the Water of Life

now sleeps the crimson petal

Now sleeps the crimson petal, now the white;
Nor waves the cypress in the palace walk;
Nor winks the gold fin in the porphyry font:
The fire-fly wakens: waken thou with me.

Now droops the milkwhite peacock like a ghost,
And like a ghost she glimmers on to me.

Now lies the Earth all Danaë to the stars,
And all thy heart lies open unto me.

Now slides the silent meteor on, and leaves
A shining furrow, as thy thoughts in me.

Now folds the lily all her sweetness up,
And slips into the bosom of the lake:
So fold thyself, my dearest, thou, and slip
Into my bosom and be lost in me.

-- Alfred Lord Tennyson, from The Princess

Wednesday, May 4


It would not be too much to say that myth is the secret opening through which the inexhaustible energies of the cosmos pour into human cultural manifestation. Religions, philosophies, arts, the social forms of primitive and historic man, prime discoveries in science and technology, the very dreams that blister sleep, boil up from the basic, magic ring of myth.

-- Joseph Campbell The Hero with a Thousand Faces

Tuesday, May 3


I guess I remembered clearest of all the early mornings, when the lake was cool and motionless, remembered how the bedroom smelled of the lumber it was made of and of the wet woods whose scent entered through the screen. The partitions in the camp were thin and did not extend clear to the top of the rooms, and as I was always the first up I would dress softly so as not to wake the others, and sneak out into the sweet outdoors and start out in the canoe, keeping close along the shore in the long shadows of the pines. I remembered being very careful never to rub my paddle against the gunwale for fear of disturbing the stillness of the cathedral...

[W]hen I got back there, with my boy, and we settled into a camp near a farmhouse and into the kind of summertime I had known, I could tell that it was going to be pretty much the same as it had been before -- I knew it, lying in bed the first morning, smelling the bedroom, and hearing the boy sneak quietly out and go off along the shore in a boat. I began to sustain the illusion that he was I, and therefore, by simple transposition, that I was my father. This sensation persisted, kept cropping up all the time we were there. It was not an entirely new feeling, but in this setting it grew much stronger. I seemed to be living a dual existence. I would be in the middle of some simple act, I would be picking up a bait box or laying down a table fork, or I would be saying something, and suddenly it would be not I but my father who was saying the words or making the gestures.

-- E.B. White, "Once More to the Lake" One Man's Meat

communication between couples

(There are several men and two ladies in the room.)

[The lady speaks in Welsh.]

MORTIMER. I understand thy looks, that pretty Welsh
Which thou pourest down from these swelling heavens
I am too perfect in, and but for shame
In such a parley should I answer thee.

[The lady speaks again in Welsh.]

I understand thy kisses, and thou mine,
And that's a feeling disputation,
But I will never be a truant, love,
Till I have learnt thy language, for thy tongue
Makes Welsh as sweet as ditties highly penn'd.
Sung by a fair queen in a summer's bow'r
With ravishing division to her lute.

GLENDOWER. Nay, if you melt, then will she run mad.

[The lady speaks again in Welsh.]

MORTIMER. O, I am ignorance itself in this!

GLENDOWER. She bids you on the wanton rushes lay you down,
And rest your gentle head upon her lap,
And she will sing the song that pleaseth you,
And on your eyelids crown the god of sleep,
Charming your blood with pleasing heaviness,
Making such difference 'twixt wake and sleep
As is the difference betwixt day and night,
The hour before the heavenly-harness'd team
Begins his golden progress in the east.

MORTIMER. With all my heart I'll sit and hear her sing,
By that time will our book I think be drawn.

GLENDOWER. Do so, and those musicians that shall play to you
Hang in the air a thousand leagues from hence,
And straight they shall be here: sit, and attend.

HOTSPUR. Come, Kate, thou art perfect in lying down.
Come, quick, quick, that I may lay my head in thy lap.

LADY PERCY. Go, ye giddy goose.

[The music plays.]

HOTSPUR. Now I perceive the devil understands Welsh,
And 'tis no marvel he is so humorous,
By'r lady, he is a good musician.

LADY PERCY. Then should you be nothing but musical,
For you are altogether govern'd by humors.
Lie still, ye thief, and hear the lady sing in Welsh.

HOTSPUR. I had rather hear Lady my brach howl in Irish.

LADY PERCY. Wouldst thou have thy head broken?


LADY PERCY. Then be still.

-- William Shakespeare The First Part of King Henry the Fourth

Monday, May 2


It is the first vision that counts. Artists have only to remain true to their dream and it will possess their work in such a manner that it will resemble the work of no other artist -- for no two visions are alike, and those who reach the heights have all toiled up the steep mountains by a different route. To each has been revealed a different panorama.

-- Albert Pinkham Ryder