Nonsense and Sense

June 16, 2014
Nonsense and Sense -
A Tribute to Gertrude Stein
Written by Denis Daly

Performed by Bev Stevens

Introduction read by Bob Gonzalez

Music:
Excerpts from Three pieces for solo clarinet
by Igor Stravinsky
Performed by William McColl.
Among authors, Gertrude Stein is one of the most celebrated - some would even say notorious - iconoclasts.  After starting out as a novelistic story-teller  she explored the notion that words have sufficient power in themselves to create context, and hence the historical structures represented by the novel and narrative poem became inessential, although still useful. 
 
A writer like Gertrude Stein is an obvious target for parody.  However, no parody can be effective without an attempt to consider the integrity of the original author, obnoxious or maladroit though that person may be.  In devising the following piece, the following elements of Stein's method and personality were evoked:
1) the repetitive and idiosyncratic use of verbiage;
2) the juxtaposition of images usually considered to be unrelated;
3) the persistent and often specious style of argumentation;
4) an obscure but persistent preoccupation with self-justification;
5) a wish to keep the reader at a respectful distance.
Like many parodies, this piece is also a tribute.  It is difficult, if not impossible, to compile a substantial satire about an author for whom one has no respect. A joke usually seeks to diminish the dignity and worth of its subject: a parody rather strives to highlight the flaws in something which is greater than itself. Whether one wishes to admit it or not,  Gertrude Stein was a seminal figure in Twentieth Century Literature, and one whose contribution will be the source of study and discussion for generations to come.
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Last Poems - A. E. Housman

June 7, 2014
Last Poems (1922)

by A.E. Housman

Performed by Alan Weyman

Last Poems (1922) is the second and last of the two volumes of poems A. E. Housman published during his lifetime - the first, and better-known, being A Shropshire Lad (1896). Housman was an emotionally withdrawn man whose closest friend Moses Jackson had been his roommate when he was at Oxford in 1877-1882. In the 1920s, when Jackson was dying in Canada, Housman selected forty-one previously unpublished poems into a volume entitled Last Poems, for him to read. The introduction to the volume explains his rationale:

I publish these poems, few though they are, because it is not likely that I shall ever be impelled to write much more. I can no longer expect to be revisited by the continuous excitement under which in the early months of 1895 I wrote the greater part of my first book, nor indeed could I well sustain it if it came; and it is best that what I have written should be printed while I am here to see it through the press and control its spelling and punctuation. About a quarter of this matter belongs to the April of the present year, but most of it to dates between 1895 and 1910.

September 1922.

Introduction
I. THE WEST
II (As I gird on for fighting)
III (Her strong enchantments failing)
IV. ILLIC JACET
V. GRENADIER
VI. LANCER
VII (In valleys green and still)
VIII (Soldier from the wars returning)
IX (The chestnut casts his flambeaux, and the flowers)
X (Could man be drunk for ever)
XI (Yonder see the morning blink)
XII ( The laws of God, the laws of man)
XIII. THE DESERTER
XIV. THE CULPRIT
XV. EIGHT O'CLOCK
XVI. SPRING MORNING
XVII. ASTRONOMY
XVIII (The rain, it streams on stone and hillock)
XIX (In midnights of November)
XX (The night is freezing fast)
XXI (The fairies break their dances)
XXII (The sloe was lost in flower)
XXIII (In the morning, in the morning)
XXIV. EPITHALAMIUM
XXV. THE ORACLES
XXVI (The half-moon westers low, my love)
XXVII (The sigh that heaves the grasses)
XXVIII (Now dreary dawns the eastern light)
XXIX (Wake not for the world-heard thunder)
XXX. SINNER'S RUE
XXXI. HELL'S GATE
XXXII (When I would muse in boyhood)
XXXIII (When the eye of day is shut)
XXXIV. THE FIRST OF MAY
XXXV (When first my way to fair I took)
XXXVI. REVOLUTION
XXXVII. EPITAPH ON AN ARMY OF MERCENARIES
XXXVIII (Oh stay at home, my lad, and plough)
XXXIX (When summer’s end is nighing)
XL (Tell me not here, it needs not saying)
XLI. FANCY'S KNELL
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The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

April 26, 2014

A translation by George Roe


Presented by Rhapsodize Audio

Omar Khayyam, a true polymath and one of the most celebrated icons of Persian culture, lived, according to the best scholastic estimate, from 1048 to 1131 of the Western Era. His many avocations included the composition of poetry, and about 1200 rubai or quatrains have been attributed to him. Of these about 500 are considered definitely to be the work of the master.
The rubai of Omar Khayyam became popular in the West largely through the efforts of Edward Fitzgerald, who published his first collection of quatrains translated into English, 75 in number, in 1859.  There have been many other English translations of great merit, but few have followed Fitzgerald's example in building a narrative stream into the translation. An interesting exception is the translation by the American George Roe, which was published in New York in 1910.
In this presentation the body of the poem has been divided, somewhat arbitrarily, into eleven sections, suggestive of the stages through which a spiritual aspirant might pass. As Roe's version ends rather abruptly with his presentation of the conversation among the pots, which is also magically described by Fitzgerald, the last six quatrains from Fitzgerald's Fifth Edition have been appended in a closing section to round off the narrative.
The readers are: Denis Daly, Cate Barratt, Rhonda Federman , Bob Gonzalez, Jason Mills, Jannie Meisberger, Winston Tharp, Carol Box and Alan Weyman.
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Songs of Experience

April 4, 2014
Songs of Experience

By
William Blake

Performed by
Jannie Meisberger

Music by Antonio Vivaldi
The Four Seasons - Largo from Winter
Performed by John Harrison with the Wichita State University Chamber Players 

  1. Introduction
  2. Earth’s Answer
  3. The Clod and the Pebble
  4. Holy Thursday
  5. The Little Girl Lost
  6. The Little Girl Found
  7. The Chimney-Sweeper
  8. Nurse’s Song
  9. The Sick Rose
  10. The Fly
  11. The Angel
  12. The Tiger
  13. My Pretty Rose Tree
  14. Ah, Sunflower
  15. The Lily
  16. The Garden of Love
  17. The Little Vagabond
  18. London
  19. The Human Abstract
  20. Infant Sorrow
  21. A Poison Tree
  22. A Little Boy Lost
  23. A Little Girl Lost
  24. A Divine Image
  25. A Cradle Song
  26. The Schoolboy
  27. To Tirzah
  28. The Voice of the Ancient Bard
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Songs of Innocence

April 2, 2014

Songs of Innocence


By
William Blake

Performed by
Jannie Meisberger

Music by Tomaso Albinoni
Oboe Concerto, Opus  9 No 2



00 - Introduction  
01 - The Shepherd  
02 - The Echoing Green
03 - The Lamb  
04 - The Little Black Boy
05 - The Blossom
06 - The Chimney Sweeper
07 - The Little Boy Lost  
08 - The Little Boy Found
09 - Laughing Song
10 - A Cradle Song
11 - The Divine Image
12 - Holy Thursday
13 - Night  
14 - Spring  
15 - Nurse's Song
16 - Infant Joy  
17 - A Dream
18 - On Another's Sorrow




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The Waste Land

March 29, 2014

The Waste Land

By

T.S.Eliot

This cross-cultural poetic epic was first published on 1922, and, with its phantasmagoric reconstruction of language and imagery, still remains one of the most controversial poems ever written.

Performed by Caprisha Page,  Denis Daly, Alan Weyman.  Winston Tharp,  Jannie Meisberger,  Bob Gonzalez,  Carol Box and Jason Mills.

Music:

The Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky,

Performed by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra,  conducted by the composer.

https://archive.org/details/StravinskyLeSacreDuPrintemps1940



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Feminine Perspectives

March 29, 2014

Feminine Perspectives - A Rhapsody


Prepared and presented by 
Caprisha Page


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Doreen

March 26, 2014
Doreen

A verse novel
by
C .J .Dennis 

Presented by Denis Daly

Music 

When My Dreams Come True
From Australian Cinema Recording - 1929


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A Child’s Garden of Verses - Part 5

March 25, 2014

A Child's Garden of Verses

By Robert Louis Stevenson

Performed by Carol Box

Musical arrangements by Alan Weyman


Part 5 
Envoys


I To Willie and Henrietta
II To My Mother
III To Auntie
IV To Minnie
V To My Name-Child
VI To Any Reader

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A Child’s Garden of Verses - Part 4

March 25, 2014
A Child's Garden of Verses

By Robert Louis Stevenson

Performed by Carol Box

Musical arrangements by Alan Weyman


Part 4
Garden Days

I Night and Day
II Nest Eggs
III The Flowers
IV Summer Sun
V The Dumb Soldier
VI Autumn Fires
VII The Gardener
VIII Historical Associations


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