Smile

10 July 2008


Thanks to Clark Boyd at The World for cheering me up with this one.

Update: The end credits say the song text is an adaptation of the poem Stream of Life by Rabindranath Tagore.

Stream of Life

The same stream of life that runs through my veins night and day
runs through the world and dances in rhythmic measures.
It is the same life that shoots in joy through the dust of the earth
in numberless blades of grass
and breaks into tumultuous waves of leaves and flowers.
It is the same life that is rocked in the ocean-cradle of birth
and of death, in ebb and in flow.
I feel my limbs are made glorious by the touch of this world of life.
And my pride is from the life-throb of ages dancing in my blood this moment.

Rabindranath Tagore

Update 2: You can see a higher resolution version of this video at Astronomy Picture of the Day.


Sun Arise

8 May 2008

Another blast from the past from YouTube. This time a cartoon featuring Sun Arise sung by Rolf Harris.

I first heard this song sung by Rolf in the nineteen-sixties. This song has gathering dust in my brain ever since.


17th April 1996 – Piet Hein

17 April 2008

Piet Hein (16th December 1905 – 17th April 1996), Danish poet, mathematician, inventor and scientist is perhaps best known for his short poems, grooks. They are typically ironic and satirical. They are typically illustrated.

Her is an example.

On Problems

Our choicest plans
have fallen through,
our airiest castles
tumbled over,
because of lines
we neatly drew
and later neatly
stumbled over.

 


11th November – Remembrance Day

11 November 2007

Flanders Poppy

The Soldier

If I should die, think only this of me:
That there’s some corner of a foreign field
That is forever England. There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England’s, breathing English air,
Wash’d by the rivers, blest by the suns of home.
And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.

Rupert Brooke 1887-1915


A Psalm of Life

11 July 2007

What the heart of the young man said to the psalmist

Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!–
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.

Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.

Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world’s broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!

Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act,–act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o’erhead!

Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time;–

Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)

This entry was inspired by watching CSI episode “Happy Ending” where another of Longfellow’s poems (The Arrow And The Song) is used.

I first became acquainted with “A Psalm of Life” as a young teenager reading “Fifty Celebrated Men Their Lives and Trials and the Deeds that Made Them Famous”. The book contained a couple of the verses from the poem (one in the preface and one to introduce a chapter).

I was given this book by a friend of my grandmother. The book has the following inscription on the first leaf:

Presented to John Hill for regular attendance by the Daisy Hill Sunday School Band of Hope Committe – Oct 13th 1888

The book was originally bought at “T. Brear & Co. Ltd. Booksellers & Stationers, Bradford”.


June

6 June 2007

Summer

Cuckoo song

Summer is icumen in,
Lhude sing cuccu !
Groweth sed, and bloweth med,
And springeth the winde nu—
Sing cuccu !

Awe bleteth after lamb,
Lhouth after calve cu;
Bulluc sterteth, bucke verteth,
Murie sing cuccu !

Cuccu, cuccu, well singes thu cuccu;
Ne swike thu naver bu;
Sing cuccu, nu, sing cuccu,
Sing cuccu, sing cuccu, nu !

Anonymous ca. 1226


Alone I Lie

15 October 2006

Pleiads

The Moon is gone
And the Pleiads set,
Midnight is nigh;
Time passes on,
And passes, yet
Alone I lie.

Sappho (b. 612 B.C.) trans. by J.M. Edmonds