Thursday, April 19, 2007

Morning music on WQXR, poetry month

I love WQXR, the classical music station of the NY Times. My radio alarm is set for 5 minutes before the hour so I wake up to classical music before the dire news of how many were killed in Iraq today and what havoc has been wrought by psychotic students or patriarchal judges who don't know it's the 21st century and women know how to make their own choices. Yesterday the first few notes I heard popped me awake, not classical music but "Smoke Get In Your Eyes," sung by a woman whose voice I don't think I ever heard but which I immediately recognized. I had heard before going to sleep that Kitty Carlise Hart had died at 96. WQXR does tributes of this sort very important people They also play a great deal of music by their "birthday boys" [Usually men, rarely women], whichever compose or outstanding musician was born on that day. It creates, along with the familiar announcers' voices, a feeling of family -- big, big family. I enjoy it.

It's still poetry month; The week has been so dire out there in the world, I want to quote something beautifully fantastic that most people know, or certainly have heard, just the opening, and then let your imagination create the rest and may no man from Porlock interrupt your reverie.

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.
So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round:
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots off greenery.

This paitning, "Mirrored Trees" by April Gornik suggests Xanadu to me.

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