Just got tickets to their first ever Australian tour. Yeahhhh!
Spring lies desolate.
The velvet-dark ditch
crawls by my side
The only thing that shines
is yellow flowers.
I am carried in my shadow
like a violin
in its black case.
The only think I want to say
glitters out of reach
like the silver
in a pawnbroker’s.
Tomas Transtromer, ‘April and Silence’, (translated by Robin Fulton); the first poem in his collection The Sad Gondola [Sorgegondolen], published six years after he suffered a stroke. The opening notes to this collection read:
From 19 November 1882 until 13 January 1883, Franz Liszt stayed with his daughter Cosima and her husband, Richard Wagner, at the Palazzo Vendramin, on the Grand Canal in Venice. Inspired by the sight of funeral gondolas, and also “under a premonition,” Liszt wrote the two piano pieces La lugubre gondola I and II. Wagner died on 13 February 1883.
I don’t know how these things connect. The stroke, the funeral gondolas, the death of Wagner, April. How are they all there, in those lines: “I am carried in my shadow / like a violin / in its black case”?
Foals, ‘Spanish Sahara’
So, it turns out Toto are singing ‘I bless the rains down in Africa’, not ‘I guess it rains down in Africa’. I don’t think I can readjust. I mean, that’s not the same thing at all.
Henryk Gorecki, from Symphony No. 3 (Symphony of Sorrowful Songs). I am fairly sure this is from the Naxos recording, conducted by Antoni Wit, with Zofia Kilanowicz (soprano) and the Polish National Radio Symphony.
In [the Gestapo prison, in Zakopane], the whole wall was covered with inscriptions screaming out loud: “I’m innocent,” “Murderers,” “Executioners,” “Free me,” “You have to save me”—it was all so loud, so banal. Adults were writing this, while here it is an eighteen-year-old girl, almost a child. And she is so different. She does not despair, does not cry, does not scream for revenge. She does not think about herself; whether she deserves her fate or not. Instead, she only thinks about her mother: because it is her mother who will experience true despair. This inscription was something extraordinary. And it really fascinated me: “Mother, do not cry, no. The purest Queen of Heaven, you always support me. Hail Mary.” Here the inscription ended and I added: “You are full of grace.” Not “Full of grace” as it is in the prayer, but “You are full of…”