Sunday, February 6, 2011

Fire and Ice




In winter I get up by night
And dress by yellow candle-light. (1) 

One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind (2)

Cairo Egypt, February 2011(3)

Some say the world will end in fire 
Some say in ice
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great 
And would suffice (4)
Blizzard over most of US, February 2011(5)

These photos and poems were inspired by a concert of the Midland Symphony Orchestra  that we attended last night.  The concert was titled "Fire and Ice" and began with de Falla's Fire Dance and ended with Tchiaikovsky's First Symphony (Winter Daydreams).  Thinking about the musical contrasts led me to think about visual contrasts and a few old favorite poems.  And of course, world events.

(1) Bed in Summer, Robert Louis Stevenson, A Child's Garden of Verses and Undewoods, 1913
(2) The Snow Man, Wallace Stevens
(4) Fire and Ice, Robert Frost

I always end these blogs with something I am grateful for, and of course there is a nearly  infinite list of things for which I am indeed grateful. But somehow, when I end my blog with images of a blizzard that shut down much of the nation for several days and of political instability in an already unstable part of the world, it seems both silly and selfish to be thinking of my own good luck.  So, instead, today I will express my concern for those who are suffering in the wake of the storm or the midst of the conflict.

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