33 afleveringen

A variety of things, read to you by Colin Wright.

iwillreadtoyou.substack.com

I Will Read To You Colin Wright

    • Maatschappij & cultuur

A variety of things, read to you by Colin Wright.

iwillreadtoyou.substack.com

    Serenity

    Serenity

    Serenity

    by Charles Bertram Johnson (1880-1958)

    The storms that break and sweep about my feet,The winds that blow and tear, the rains that fall,Shall not the courage of my soul appall;I shall be conqueror, tho’ sore defeatO’erwhelm the outbound keels of all my fleetOf dreams; tho’ not one tattered sail, but allGo down mid sea; with heart serene, I’ll greetThe worst or best, the stronger for the squall.

    My soul is set amid the storms of life,—The hurricanes of passion crash and breakAnd tides of heathen hate sweep o’er our land;But calm amid the flying ruins of strife,Or in the leaping flames around the stakeWith pierced hands—my faith serene,—I stand!

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    • 1 min.
    Epitaph On An Army of Mercenaries

    Epitaph On An Army of Mercenaries

    Epitaph On An Army of Mercenaries

    by Alfred Edward Housman (1859-1936)

    These, in the day when heaven was falling,The hour when earth’s foundations fled,Followed their mercenary callingAnd took their wages and are dead.

    Their shoulders held the sky suspended;They stood, and earth’s foundations stay;What God abandoned, these defended,And saved the sum of things for pay.

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    • 37 sec.
    Thoughts On a Still Night / Viewing Heaven's Gate Mountains / Visiting the Taoist Priest Dai Tianshan But Not Finding Him

    Thoughts On a Still Night / Viewing Heaven's Gate Mountains / Visiting the Taoist Priest Dai Tianshan But Not Finding Him

    Poems by Li Bai (701-762)

    Thoughts on a Still Night

    Before my bed, the moon is shining bright,I think that it is frost upon the ground.I raise my head and look at the bright moon,I lower my head and think of home.

    Viewing Heaven's Gate Mountains

    The River Chu cuts through the middle of heaven's gate,The green water flowing east reaches here then swirls.On either bank the blue hills face towards each other,The flatness of a lonely sail comes from by of the sun.

    Visiting the Taoist Priest Dai Tianshan But Not Finding Him

    A dog's bark amid the water's sound,Peach blossom that's made thicker by the rain.Deep in the trees, I sometimes see a deer,And at the stream I hear no noonday bell.Wild bamboo divides the green mist,A flying spring hangs from the jasper peak.No-one knows the place to which he's gone,Sadly, I lean on two or three pines.

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    • 1 min.
    Yesterday and To-Day

    Yesterday and To-Day

    Yesterday and To-Day

    by Narciso Tondreau (1861-1949)

    Prone lies at length the statue once so fair;   Headless and armless, on the weedy lawn;Yet still some lovely curve shows here and there   Through clustering ivy like a mantle drawn.

    The cracked, stained pedestal of ages tells.   From every cranny lined with velvet moss,The hum of bee, the chirp of cricket swells;   And silently the lizard darts across.

    How long ago, by summer breezes fanned,   Here stood the newborn Venus, fresh and fair;All palpitating from the master’s hand,   The last touch of his chisel lingering there.

    “And surely this shall last!” he proudly thought;   “Fixed in immortal marble is my fame!”Just here, where human hand has surely wrought,   Some crumbling letters may have spelled his name.

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    • 1 min.
    Mildew

    Mildew

    Mildew

    by Charlotte Dacre (1771 or 1772-1825)

    Behold, within that cavern drear and dank,    Whose walls in rainbow tints so dimly shine,A wretch, with swollen eyes and tresses lank,    Does on a heap of mould’ring leaves recline.

    Unwholsome dews for ever him surround,    From his damp couch he scarcely ever hies,Save when blue vapours, issuing from the ground,    Lure him abroad, to catch them as they rise.

    Or else at eve the dripping rock he loves,    Or the moist edge of new‐dug grave, full well;To get the sea spray too at night he roves,    And, gem’d with trickling drops, then seeks his cell.

    Such his delights, his green and purple cheek,    His bloated form, his chill, discolour'd handHe would not change; and if he guests would seek,    He steals among the church‐yard’s grisly hand.

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    • 1 min.
    Ideas

    Ideas

    Ideas

    by Arthur Benson (1862-1925)

    There are certain great ideas which, if we have any intelligence and thoughtfulness at all, we cannot help coming across the track of, just as when we walk far into the deep country, in the time of the blossoming of flowers, we step for a moment into a waft of fragrance, cast upon the air from orchard or thicket or scented field of bloom.

    These ideas are very various in quality; some of them deliciously haunting and transporting, some grave and solemn, some painfully sad and strong. Some of them seem to hint at unseen beauty and joy, some have to do with problems of conduct and duty, some with the relation in which we wish to stand or are forced to stand with other human beings; some are questionings born of grief and pain, what the meaning of sorrow is, whether pain has a further intention, whether the spirit survives the life which is all that we can remember of existence; but the strange thing about all these ideas is that we find them suddenly in the mind and soul; we do not seem to invent them, though we cannot trace them; and even if we find them in books that we read or words that we hear, they do not seem wholly new to us; we recognize them as things that we have dimly felt and perceived, and the reason why they often have so mysterious an effect upon us is that they seem to take us outside of ourselves, further back than we can recollect, beyond the faint horizon, into something as wide and great as the illimitable sea or the depths of sunset sky.

    Some of these ideas have to do with the constitution of society, the combined and artificial peace in which human beings live, and then they are political ideas; or they deal with such things as numbers, curves, classes of animals and plants, the soil of the earth, the changes of the seasons, the laws of weight and mass, and then they are scientific ideas; some have to do with right and wrong conduct, actions and qualities, and then they are religious or ethical ideas. But there is a class of thoughts which belong precisely to none of these things, but which are concerned with the perception of beauty, in forms and colours, musical sounds, human faces and limbs, words majestic or sweet; and this sense of beauty may go further, and may be discerned in qualities, regarded not from the point of view of their rightness and justice, but according as they are fine and noble, evoking our admiration and our desire; and these are poetical ideas.

    It is not of course possible exactly to classify ideas, because there is a great overlapping of them and a wide interchange. The thought of the slow progress of man from something rude and beastlike, the statement of the astronomer about the swarms of worlds swimming in space, may awaken the sense of poetry which is in its essence the sense of wonder. I shall not attempt in these few pages to limit and define the sense of poetry. I shall merely attempt to describe the kind of effect it has or may have in life, what our relation is or may be to it, what claim it may be said to have upon us, whether we can practice it, and whether we ought to do so.

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    • 3 min.

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