Friday, January 18, 2008

Not "Done" with "Donne"

My mother, Melba, just died on January 12th. She went peacefully in her sleep & is asleep in Jesus. She is released from her dementia (which was actually caused by heart disease, not Alzheimer's). She quite likely had low grade mental issues for many years, from which she is also released. No more on-going physical degradations that came from mini-strokes & a silent heart attack & strained lungs. So I can only say with the poet John Donne, "Death be not proud, though some have called thee mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so. . .Death, thou, too shalt die!" (You can find the entire poem in earlier posts.) BTW, Melba liked purple.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Vivaldi's Winter

Antonio Vivaldi prefaced each of the "Four Seasons" Concertos with a sonnet. Here's "Winter":

ALLEGRO MOLTO
To shiver, frozen, amid icy snow
in the bitter blast of a horrible wind;
to run constantly stamping one's feet;
and to feel one's teeth chatter on account of the excessive cold;
LARGO
to spend restful, happy days at the fireside
while the rain outside drenches a good 100;
ALLEGRO
to walk on the ice,
and with slow steps to move about cautiously
for fear of falling;
to go fast, to slip and fall down;
["falling to the ground"]
to go on the ice again and run fast
until the ice cracks and opens up;
LENTO
["Sirocco Wind"]
to hear coming out of the iron gates
ALLEGRO MOLTO
Sirocco, Boreas and all the winds at war:
that's winter, but of a kind to gladden one's heart.
---Antonio Vivaldi, 1725