100 YEARS…

On Radio Free EarthRites: Carbon Based Lifeforms – “Machinery”
“The answer is never the answer. What’s really interesting is the mystery. If you seek the mystery instead of the answer, you’ll always be seeking. I’ve never seen anybody really find the answer — they think they have, so they stop thinking. But the job is to seek mystery, evoke mystery, plant a garden in which strange plants grow and mysteries bloom. The need for mystery is greater than the need for an answer.” – Ken Kesey

This is Saint Jude, patron saint for hopeless, or lost causes. He came up in a discussion with Mary about me posting some of the articles and poetry that I do. She hinted that I tend to be obscure in my choices, and that most people hadn’t heard about the majority of artist, poets and the like. Well, I have been thinking on Saint Jude, and realizing if I were indeed Catholic, he would be my guy. Although my subjects often were not obscure in the days of their lives, and they are now so, their influences still live with us today… Where would we be if these artist and poets had not struggled to portray the world and its truths? I know that many wish that artist and poets would just basically stop pointing out that the emperor has no clothes, but there ya have it. Artist and Poets have always critiqued the society that they live in (unless they were thriving under the patronage system and then slyly) and have served as moral compasses. I have tried to figure out the why of this, and in less complicated times, I think the poet and artist could express the underlying tensions and myths that drove their societies….

Started this several days ago, finished it on Tuesday, but was at a loss for words. Funny, cat got the writers tongue and all that. I have been curious about the phenomena of writers block. I had it with music in my late 30′s. It seems the Muse had different ideas for me. She has been kind generally for writing and poetry though. I feel that my writing combined with the art I do is moving into something new. Exciting Mutations!
Still raining in Oregon. I tend to forget that this is what it does here. We have the world’s best summers though, just lovely. Spring though, is accelerating here! All the flowering trees and bushes! All the allergies!
Hope you have a lovely weekend!

On The Menu:

Richard Thompson – 1952 Vincent Black Lightning

100 Years:John Millington Synge

Monologue: Playboy Of The Western World

Monologue: The Tinker’s Wedding

The Poetry of J. M. Synge…

Richard Thompson – Genesis Hall – Live Session

Richard Thompson – 1952 Vincent Black Lightning

100 Years:John Millington Synge

Synge was born near Dublin in 1871 and died in 1909. He received his degree from Trinity College, Dublin, then went to Germany to study music and later to Paris, where he lived for several years working at literary criticism. Here, he met a compatriot, William Butler Yeats, who persuaded Synge to live for a while in the Aran Islands and then return to Dublin and devote himself to creative work. The Aran Islands (1907) is the journal of Synge’s retreat among these primitive people.
The plays of Irish peasant life on which his fame rests were written in the last six years of his life. The first two one-act plays, In the Shadow of the Glen, (1903), a comedy, and Riders to the Sea (1904), considered one of the finest tragedies ever written, were produced by the Irish National Theatre Society. This group, with Synge, Yeats and Lady Gregory as co-directors, organized in 1904 the famous Abbey Theatre. Two comedies, The Well of the Saints (1905) and The Playboy of the Western World (1907), were presented by the Abbey players. The latter play created a furor of resentment among Irish patriots stung by Synge’s bitter humor.
Synge’s later works included The Tinker’s Wedding, published in 1908 but not produced for fear of further riots, and Deirdre of the Sorrows, a tragedy unfinished at the time of his death but presented by the Abbey players in 1910.

The Playboy Of The Western World

A monologue from the play by John Millington Synge
NOTE: This monologue is reprinted from The Playboy of the Western World. John Millington Synge. Boston: John W. Luce, 1911.
CHRISTY: Up to the day I killed my father, there wasn’t a person in Ireland knew the kind I was, and I there drinking, waking, eating, sleeping, a quiet, simple poor fellow with no man giving me heed. And I after toiling, moiling, digging, dodging from the dawn till dusk with never a sight of joy or sport saving only when I’d be abroad in the dark night poaching rabbits on hills, for I was a devil to poach. I’d be as happy as the sunshine of St. Martin’s Day, watching the light passing the north or the patches of fog, till I’d hear a rabbit starting to screech and I’d go running in the furze. Then when I’d my full share I’d come walking down where you’d see the ducks and geese stretched sleeping on the highway of the road, and before I’d pass the dunghill, I’d hear himself snoring out, a loud lonesome snore he’d be making all times, the while he was sleeping, and he a man ‘d be raging all times, the while he was waking, like a gaudy officer you’d hear cursing and damning and swearing oaths after drinking for weeks, rising up in the red dawn, or before it maybe, and going out into the yard as naked as an ash tree in the moon of May, and shying clods against the visage of the stars till he’d put the fear of death into the banbhs and the screeching sows. He’d sons and daughters walking all the great states and territories of the world, and not a one of them, to this day, but would say their seven curses on him, and they rousing up to let a cough or sneeze, maybe, in the deadness of the night. I’m telling you, he never gave peace to any, saving when he’d get two months or three, or be locked in the asylums for battering peelers or assaulting men. It was a bitter life he led me till I did up a Tuesday and halve his skull.

The Tinker’s Wedding
A monologue from the play by John Millington Synge
NOTE: This monologue is reprinted from The Tinker’s Wedding. John Millington Synge. Boston: John Luce, 1911.
MARY: [A priest is tied in a sack, wriggling and struggling about on the ground. The others bundle things together in a wild haste while old Mary tries to keep him quiet.] Be quiet, your reverence. What is it ails you, with your wrigglings now? Is it choking maybe?
[She puts her hand under the sack, and feels his mouth, patting him on the back.] It’s only letting on you are, holy father, for your nose is blowing back and forward as easy as an east wind on an April day.
[In a soothing voice.] There now, holy father, let you stay easy, I’m telling you, and learn a little sense and patience, the way you’ll not be so airy again going to rob poor sinners of their scraps of gold.
[He gets quieter.] That’s a good boy you are now, your reverence, and let you not be uneasy, for we wouldn’t hurt you at all. It’s sick and sorry we are to tease you; but what did you want meddling with the like of us, when it’s a long time we are going our own ways–father and son, and his son after him, or mother and daughter, and her own daughter again–and its little need we ever had of going up into a church and swearing–I’m told there’s swearing with it–a word no man would believe, or with drawing rings on our fingers, would be cutting our skins maybe when we’d be taking the ass from the shafts, and pulling the straps the time they’d be slippy with going around beneath the heavens in rains falling.
[To the others.] Maybe he’d swear a mighty oath he wouldn’t harm us, and then we’d safer loose him; for if we went to drown him, they’d maybe hang the batch of us, man and child and woman, and the ass itself.
[To the priest.] Would you swear an oath, holy father, to leave us in our freedom, and not talk at all?
[Priest nods in sacking.] Didn’t I tell you? Look at the poor fellow nodding his head off in the bias of the sacks. Strip them off from him, and he’ll be easy now.

The Poetry of J. M. Synge…

A sketch of J.M. Synge by John B. Yeats at a rehearsal of The Playboy of the Western World on January 25th 1907, the day before the play opened. It was published in The Works of John M. Synge Volume II by Maunsel & Co Ltd, Dublin, 1910
Still south I went and west and south again,

Through Wicklow from the morning till the night,

And far from cities, and the sights of men,

Lived with the sunshine and the moon’s delight.
I knew the stars, the flowers, and the birds,

The gray and wintry sides of many glens,

And did but half remember human words,

In converse with the mountains, moors, and fens.

Seven dog-days we let pass

Naming Queens in Glenmacnass,

All the rare and royal names

Wormy sheepskin yet retains,

Etain, Helen, Maeve, and Fand,

Golden Deirdre’s tender hand,

Bert, the big-foot, sung by Villon,

Cassandra, Ronsard found in Lyon.

Queens of Sheba, Meath and Connaught,

Coifed with crown, or gaudy bonnet,

Queens whose finger once did stir men,

Queens were eaten of fleas and vermin,

Queens men drew like Monna Lisa,

Or slew with drugs in Rome and Pisa,

We named Lucrezia Crivelli,

And Titian’s lady with amber belly,

Queens acquainted in learned sin,

Jane of Jewry’s slender shin:

Queens who cut the bogs of Glanna,

Judith of Scripture, and Gloriana,

Queens who wasted the East by proxy,

Or drove the ass-cart, a tinker’s doxy,

Yet these are rotten—I ask their pardon—

And we’ve the sun on rock and garden,

These are rotten, so you’re the Queen

Of all the living, or have been.

To the Oaks of Glencree
My arms are round you, and I lean

Against you, while the lark

Sings over us, and golden lights, and green

Shadows are on your bark.

There’ll come a season when you’ll stretch

Black boards to cover me;

Then in Mount Jerome I will lie, poor wretch,

With worms eternally.

The Curse
Lord, confound this surly sister,

Blight her brow with blotch and blister,

Cramp her larynx, lung, and liver,

In her guts a galling give her.

Let her live to earn her dinners

In Mountjoy with seedy sinners:

Lord, this judgment quickly bring,

And I’m your servant, J. M. Synge.

Bring Kateen-beug and Maurya Jude

To dance in Beg-Innish,

And when the lads (they’re in Dunquin)

Have sold their crabs and fish,

Wave fawny shawls and call them in,

And call the little girls who spin,

And seven weavers from Dunquin,

To dance in Beg-Innish.
I’ll play you jigs, and Maurice Kean,

Where nets are laid to dry,

I’ve silken strings would draw a dance

From girls are lame or shy;

Four strings I’ve brought from Spain and France

To make your long men skip and prance,

Till stars look out to see the dance

Where nets are laid to dry.
We’ll have no priest or peeler in

To dance in Beg-Innish;

But we’ll have drink from M’riarty Jim

Rowed round while gannets fish,

A keg with porter to the brim,

That every lad may have his whim,

Till we up sails with M’riarty Jim

And sail from Ben-Innish.

The Passing of the Shee
[After looking at one of A.E.’s pictures.]
Adieu, sweet Angus, Maeve and Fand,

Ye plumed yet skinny Shee,

That poets played with hand in hand

To learn their ecstasy.
We’ll search in Red Dan Sally’s ditch,

And drink in Tubber fair,

Or poach with Red Dan Philly’s bitch

The badger and the hare.

A silent sinner, nights and days,

No human heart to him drew nigh,

Alone he wound his wonted ways,

Alone and little loved did die.
And autumn Death for him did choose,

A season dank with mists and rain,

And took him, while the evening dews

Were settling o’er the fields again.

Richard Thompson – Genesis Hall – Live Session

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