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Two Books by Jim Potts: "This spinning world" (short stories) and "Reading the signs" (poems)

                                                             ISBN 978-1-912788-02-6 ISBN 978-1-912788-06-4  Available di...

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Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Werner Aspenström: Spelman och upptecknare (Fiddler and compiler/Fiddler and transcriber)

A translation by John Irons of a poem by Werner Aspenström:


Fiddler and compiler

The old fiddler could no longer play,
only sing the tunes.
The old toothless fiddler could no longer sing,
only hiss the tunes.
In the hissing the singing was audible,
in the singing the bow-strokes,
in the bow-strokes the untamed rapids.
Quite content the compiler cycled homewards
with thirty miles of Västerdal river in his briefcase.

I was looking for this poem on the web, as I had just been re-reading it in the collection The Wind Itself, Werner Aspenström, Selected Poems, translated by Robin Young. (Planet, 1999).

This is Robin Young's translation:

Fiddler and transcriber 

The old fiddler couldn't play any longer,
only sing.
The toothless old fiddler couldn't sing any longer,
only wheeze.
In the wheezing you could hear the singing,
in the singing the stroke of the bow,
in the bow-stroke the untamed torrents.
Really pleased, the transcriber pedalled homewards,
thirty miles of the Västerdal River in his bag.

Which translation do you like best?

It goes well with this poem by the Gotland poet Gustaf Larsson (Gustaf Larsson - diktare i ord och bild, 1993:

and with this Hungarian photograph by Karoly Escher:

Blind Musician, Karoly Escher, 1933

An Immersive Walkabout Concert on Maiden Castle

I can't call it an outdoor promenade concert, although I was fully immersed in the music and in nature this morning. I was listening to Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring on my iPod, walking across and around the top of Maiden Castle. Interactive exercise! The perfect music for the place.

Next time it will be John Ireland's Mai Dun Symphonic Rhapody.

So lucky to live so close to Maiden Castle! I think there was only one other person on the whole hill fort when I was walking there. No problem with social distancing (apart from being watched by the ewes and the lambs).

Paul Nash, Maiden Castle

Future planning, the UK’s approach to placemaking needs to change - Poundbury, Dorchester, Dorset

From Hugh Petter, PBC Today

"To create great communities, taking a long-term view at the outset of projects is crucial. While this may require upfront costs and lower profits in the short-term, this deferred approach to financial returns will entail longer-term rewards as desirable communities are created.

While this type of placemaking used to be the preserve of the Landed Estates, pioneer places such as Poundbury have highlighted the benefits of adopting a patient approach. In 1988, many critics saw Poundbury as an expensive distraction, but it now supports over 4,500 people, and has produced 1,410 completed homes with 33% affordable housing. The development has, seen an increase of almost £98m per annum to Gross Value Added (GVA) to the local economy and established 1,600 full-time equivalent jobs. Poundbury is the perfect example of a socially responsible approach".

The need for action

"The need for better placemaking has never been greater. The outbreak of COVID-19 has caused a mass exodus from the cities, and dormitory towns (which lack retail shops, green spaces or any sense of real community) will struggle in these difficult times. At a time when it has been increasingly proven that nothing is certain, we need towns equipped with infrastructure to sustainably support the communities they house".

Monday, 6 April 2020

Mikis Theodorakis: Old Roads, New Meanings, New Contexts (Four Songs)

This evening's stroll, accompanied (iPod) by some inspiring song compositions and settings of Mikis Theodorakis - and finding new links with the current situation.

Maria Farantouri - Denial - George Seferis - Mikis Theodorakis

Με τι καρδιά, με τι πνοή,
τι πόθους και τι πάθος 
πήραμε τη ζωή μας• λάθος!
κι αλλάξαμε ζωή.

Χριστόφορος Σταμπόγλης - Άρνηση

Maria Farantouri- When the war is over - Otan teleiosei o polemos

Κορίτσι με τα φοβισμένα μάτια
κορίτσι με τα παγωμένα χέρια,
άμα τελειώσει ο πόλεμος
μη με ξεχάσεις.

Όταν τελειώσει ο πόλεμος (Καμπανέλλης, Θεοδωράκης)

Χριστόφορος Σταμπόγλης - Άμα Τελειώσει Ο Πόλεμος

"Οι Στίχοι Αυτοί", Aliki Kayaloglou  and Kostas Grigoreas - Oi stichoi aftoi- Theodorakis - Anagnostakis

Οι στίχοι αυτοί μπορεί και να είναι οι τελευταίοι
οι τελευταίοι στους τελευταίους που θα γραφτούν

Aliki Kayaloglou sings Dromoi Palioi

Margarita Zorbala, Dromoi Palioi

Κάτω απ’ τους ίσκιους
των σπιτιών να περπατώ
Νύχτες των γυρισμών αναπότρεπτες
κι η πόλη νεκρή...

Και προχωρούσα μέσα στη νύχτα
χωρίς να γνωρίζω κανένα
Κι ούτε κανένας, ούτε κανένας
με γνώριζε, με γνώριζε

Tartan Day, North America

Which clan's tartan is illustrated above?

Petroc Trelawny played Robert ('Red Rob) Mackintosh's Scottish Reels on BBC Radio 3 this morning, to mark Tartan Day. More about Red Rob.

My own choice for the day: The Tannahill Weavers, Wild Mountain Thyme

and the still controversial poem Scotland 1941, Edwin Muir

William Barnes, The Vaices That Be Gone


When evenen sheädes o' trees do hide
A body by the hedge's zide,
An' twitt'ren birds, wi' plaÿèsome flight,
Do vlee to roost at comen night,
Then I do saunter out o' zight
In orcha'd, where the pleäce woonce rung
Wi' laughs a-laugh'd an' zongs a-zung
By vaices that be gone.

There's still the tree that bore our swing,
An' others where the birds did zing;
But long-leav'd docks do overgrow
The groun' we trampled beäre below,
Wi' merry skippens to an' fro
Bezide the banks, where Jim did zit
A-plaÿèen o' the clarinit
To vaices that be gone.

How mother, when we us'd to stun
Her head wi' all our naisy fun,
Did wish us all a-gone vrom hwome:
An' now that zome be dead, an' zome
A-gone, an' all the pleäce is dum',
How she do wish, wi' useless tears,
To have ageän about her ears
The vaices that be gone.

Vor all the maidens an' the bwoys
But I, be marri'd off all woys,
Or dead an' gone; but I do bide
At hwome, alwone, at mother's zide,
An' often, at the evenen-tide,
I still do saunter out, wi' tears,
Down drough the orcha'd, where my ears
Do miss the vaices gone.

Reading by T. L. Burton