We sing to Him, whose wisdom form'd the ear, our songs, let Him who gave us voices, hear; we joy in God, who is the Spring of mirth, who loves the harmony of Heav'n and Earth; our humble sonnets shall that praise rehearse, who is the music of the Universe. And whilst we sing, we consecrate our art, and offer up with ev'ry tongue a heart.
Henry Purcell English Composer 1659 - 1695
Author of The Gift of Music: Great Composers and Their Influence, Jane Stuart Smith, is the *Jane* whom Edith Schaeffer references in her book The Hidden Art of Homemaking, as well as L'Abri.
I never had the opportunity, but this portrait painted by my college friend, Deborah Melvin Beisner, makes me feel like Professor Kilby is talking with me.
In fact, he came up in my Facebook feed this week. Actually, it was a photo of this portrait. It was linked to John Piper's reference to some of Professor Kilby's wisdom. Then while reading a friend's blog (Soli Deo Gloria), lo and behold, Kilby surfaces again.
Kilby's challenge to help us all see clearly dovetails delightfully into the online book club discussion I am enjoying with Cindy Rollins at Ordo-Amoris and lots of virtual friends. In honor of Edith Schaeffer's recent death at age 98, we are reading and blogging through her treatise, The Hidden Art of Homemaking, an obvious favorite of mine since it is the inspiration and moniker for my two blogs.
One commenter wondered why we are saddled with so many preconceived notions of art. I propose that the Biblical story of the Tower of Babel explains our confusion. Thankfully, Mrs. Schaeffer rightly defines art at the beginning of the book, establishing the LORD God as the First Artist. Here's a link to my synopsis of the first chapter.
Look and see what He has done. Creation (the world) is right here in front of our noses. Dont miss it.
Join the group and be inspired to represent His Image faithfully.
Here's an unedited picture of my backyard taken through the window screen. I am sitting in the chair at one end of the kitchen table and gazing at our *garden of eden.*
On the far right is a 50-year-old flame-colored azalea that I hope to propagate, since it's from the landscape where I grew up. On the deck is a container with cora bells and a butterfly bush. On the treads of the stairs leading up to the deck are pots of pansies that have given color all winter. In the upper left-hand corner is a tell-tale sign of the magnolia we planted only 2 years ago. Other hard woods on our half-acre are tulip poplars, oak, and blank. Leaves should be raked up by the end of the month and the centipede grass will take off.
Confederate leaders and their horses carved into the side of the largest exposed piece of granite in the world give renewed meaning to memorial days and monuments.
Georgia's Stone Mountain Park is home to this fine expression of honor.
This largest bas-relief in the world depicts three figures of the Confederate States of America: Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee, and Jefferson Davis as well as their beloved horses: Blackjack, Traveller, and Little Sorrel. The entire carved surface of the Memorial Carving measures three acres, larger than a football field. The carving of the three men towers 400 feet above the ground, measures 90 by 190 feet, and is recessed 42 feet into the mountain. The deepest point of the carving is at Lee's elbow, which is 12 feet to the mountain's surface.
First begun in 1916 the carving took 56 years and three sculptors to complete. Not without its own setbacks this public artwork fits well into the remarks of art professor, Michael Lewis, PhD, who addressed the issue of the decline in America's monuments and memorials. Read his insightful remarks (link) delivered earlier this Spring at Hillsdale College's Center for Constitutional Study and Citizenship in Washington, DC. Here are a few clips ~
As traditionally understood, a monument is the expression of a single powerful idea in a single emphatic form, in colossal scale and in permanent materials, made to serve civic life.
It is because of their ability to transcend time by connecting to primal human activities—passage, gathering, shelter—that the best monuments never look dated.
Monuments and memorials today are discursive, sentimental, addicted to narrative literalism, and asking to be judged on good intentions rather than visual coherence.
As you read Lewis's remarks, don't miss the mentions of Frederick Hart and Emily Post, two of my favorite reference people.
I think Lewis would approve of our Memorial Monument.
What monument or memorial in your area fits the bill?
I have eaten your bread and salt. I have drunk your water and wine. The deaths ye died I have watched beside, And the lives ye led were mine.
Was there aught that I did not share In vigil or toil or ease,— One joy or woe that I did not know, Dear hearts across the seas?
I have written the tale of our life For a sheltered people’s mirth, In jesting guise—but ye are wise, And ye know what the jest is worth.
by Rudyard Kipling English poet, novelist, short-story writer 1865 - 1936
Today's poetry selection came to my attention as I began to read a novel by George C. Roche III, who wrote much non-fiction. Kipling's poem sets the stage for Dr. Roche's (disguised) memoir, Going Home and I wanted to remember that.
It is always interesting to note what inspires writers, especially two of my favorite.
What poem would you select to introduce your writing?
Once of a summer day, And he told me secrets from here and there And some from far away. How a dewdrop sits on the top of a rose And does not roll away, A little bird told me Once on a summer day.
A little bird came to me I think the time was fall. And he told me secrets bigger than big, And none of them were small. How the leaves turn to yellow and gold and brown Before they fall away, A little bird told to me Once on an autumn day.
A little bird came to me, Once on a snowy day, And he told me secrets I did not know, Though why I can not say, Where little birds go, away from the snow For a nice warm place to stay, A little bird told to me Once on a winter's day.
A little bird came to me, Once on a bright spring day, And I asked for secrets of here and now, And some from far away, How little vines creep, and little birds cheep And little buds burst From their long winter's sleep-- These would I have him say.
A little bird looked at me On this a bright spring day, And he answered questions I never asked But brushed my own away. "We can not know what's beyond the beyond," Was what he seemed to say, As he lifted his wings, Those bright magical things, And with them, he flew away.
Eugenia Talitha Linch 1907 - 1988 Author of My Flovilla
--- after the painting by Diego Velàzquez, ca. 1619
She is the vessels on the table before her:
the copper pot tipped toward us, the white pitcher clutched in her hand, the black one edged in red and upside down. Bent over, she is the mortar and the pestle at rest in the mortar—still angled in its posture of use. She is the stack of bowls and the bulb of garlic beside it, the basket hung by a nail on the wall and the white cloth bundled in it, the rag in the foreground recalling her hand. She's the stain on the wall the size of her shadow— the color of blood, the shape of a thumb. She is echo of Jesus at table, framed in the scene behind her: his white corona, her white cap. Listening, she leans into what she knows. Light falls on half her face.
Always thinking ahead, I am posting this poem on Good Friday in anticipation Easter, that celebration of the Resurrection, the resurrected Christ who is featured in the background of this version of Velasquez's painting. The depiction of the supper at Emmaus has been a popular theme in art since the Renaissance. As I re-read the story in the latter part of Luke, I found no mention of who prepared the meal. But we all know someone did.
Poet Trethewey has been on my radar for a couple of years, since she's from Georgia, an Emory University professor. Although some of her work has been labeled *politically correct*, I find this one suitably current. Remember the recent book-adapted-to-film, The Help? The movie won several Oscars. One was for Best Supporting Actress. The plot focused on the work of domestics and what they overheard from the kitchen. Interesting correlation, no?
Furthermore, the style of verse found in The Kitchen Maid reminds me of a similar one based on Vermeer's Woman Holding a Balance, penned by Marilyn McEntyre. Here's a link to it.
Back to the point ~
May the blessings from the communion meal we will share in three days be celebrated every Sunday, and not just once a year.
Privileged and educated, this 16th century lady in the portrait on the right was involved in religious reform through her dialogue with prominent French figures of Evangelism and the publication of her writings and poetry.
A few years ago my preacher featured her in a sermon.
Now I am participating in an online book club and we're reading Russell Kirk's The Roots of American Order.
So, in addition to my weekly chapter synopsis, I think I will highlight of poem (or portion of a poem) from each chapter/time period.
This week we're reading about the Renaissance and the Reformation. Kirk references lots of men, and rightly so.
But there were a few influential women, like Marguerite d'Angouleme.
The following verse is from her religious poem, Mirror of the Sinful Soul, which was significant enough at the time to draw the attention of the future queen of England (Elizabeth I) who had it translated from French into English.
Since my desire is now to celebrate Thy triumphs, Word divine, impart to me Such sweet accords and lofty harmonies That no defect shall marr my song to Thee. To sing Thy praises, Lord, is my intent If by Thy Spirit Thou inspire my pen.... Thus, trusting, Lord, in Thy abundant grace And knowing Thou wilt guide and lead me on, I will begin to show the reason why Thou first didst have compassion on mankind.
Marguerite's legacy deserves more than a nod.
The Dutch humanist Desiderius Erasmus wrote to her ~
"For a long time I have cherished all the many excellent gifts that God bestowed upon you; prudence worthy of a philosopher; chastity; moderation; piety; an invincible strength of soul, and a marvelous contempt for all the vanities of this world. Who could keep from admiring, in a great king's sister, such qualities as these, so rare even among the priests and monks?"