Introduction and Welcome

Welcome to All Things Bright and Beautiful. If you are new to this site, I would recommend that you read my very first entry - which is an introduction and welcome to this blog. You can view it here

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Ivan Aivasovsky, Aaron Copland - Themes from Our Town and The Red Pony, Carl Sandburg - Sketch

Another lovely painting of ships and the sea by Ivan Aivasovsky. 
Next week is our last week with this artist, composer and poet.  I'm looking forward to moving on, though I have especially enjoyed the paintings of Ivan Aivasovsky and could happily spend another season with his work. 

 Themes from Our Town and The Red Pony by Aaron Copland. 

Our Carl Sandburg poem today is


THE shadows of the ships
Rock on the crest
In the low blue lustre
Of the tardy and the soft inrolling tide.

A long brown bar at the dip of the sky
Puts an arm of sand in the span of salt.

The lucid and endless wrinkles
Draw in, lapse and withdraw.
Wavelets crumble and white spent bubbles
Wash on the floor of the beach.

Rocking on the crest
In the low blue lustre
Are the shadows of the ships. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Ivan Aivasovsky, Aaron Copland - The Promise of Living, Carl Sandburg - Languages

I'm not sure why, but I like boats and water, I like the reflections in the water.  Ivan Aivasovsky painted lots of boats and water scenes.  Here is another lovely painting by this great artist.

Another version of Aaron Copland's The Promise of Living today, done by the Baylor University Choir.  The words to this hymn are at the bottom of today's post.

Interesting thoughts in this poem by Carl Sandburg...
THERE are no handles upon a language
Whereby men take hold of it
And mark it with signs for its remembrance.
It is a river, this language,
Once in a thousand years
Breaking a new course
Changing its way to the ocean.
It is mountain effluvia
Moving to valleys
And from nation to nation
Crossing borders and mixing.
Languages die like rivers.
Words wrapped round your tongue today
And broken to shape of thought
Between your teeth and lips speaking
Now and today
Shall be faded hieroglyphics
Ten thousand years from now.
Sing--and singing--remember
Your song dies and changes
And is not here to-morrow
Any more than the wind
Blowing ten thousand years ago. 

  The Promise of Living 
The promise of living
with hope and thanksgiving
Is born of our loving our friends and our labor.

The promise of growing
With faith and with knowing
Is born of our sharing our love with our neighbor.

The promise of living
The promise of growing
Is born of our singing in joy and thanksgiving.

For many a year we've known these fields
And know all the work that makes them yield.
Are you ready to lend a hand? Ready to lend a hand?
By working together we'll bring in the harvest--
The blessings of harvest.

We plant each row with seeds of grain
And Providence sends us the sun and the rain.
By lending a hand, by lending an arm
Bring out from the farm,
Bring out the blessings of harvest.

Give thanks there was sunshine,
Give thanks there was rain,
Give thanks we have hands to deliver the grain!
Oh let us be joyful
Oh let us be grateful!
To the Lord for His blessing!

The promise of ending
In right understanding
is peace in our own hearts
and peace with our neighbor!

The promise of living
The promise of growing
The promise of ending
is labor and sharing
and loving!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Ivan Aivasovsky, Aaron Copland - The Promise of Living, Carl Sandburg - Our Prayer of Thanks

I usually imagine Jesus in his human body in this story rather than with Jesus in His eternal glory like Ivan Aivasovsky has imagined him, but I find this an interesting painting anyway.... How do you think he looked?

Today's piece by Aaron Copland, The Promise of Living is a lovely hymn for Thanksgiving.  The composer started with an existing hymn tune and embellished it. 

This poem by Carl Sandburg expresses some thoughts to ponder....

             Our Prayer of Thanks 

For the gladness here where the sun is shining at
evening on the weeds at the river,
Our prayer of thanks.

For the laughter of children who tumble barefooted and
bareheaded in the summer grass,
Our prayer of thanks.

For the sunset and the stars, the women and the white
arms that hold us,
Our prayer of thanks.

If you are deaf and blind, if this is all lost to you,
God, if the dead in their coffins amid the silver handles
on the edge of town, or the reckless dead of war
days thrown unknown in pits, if these dead are
forever deaf and blind and lost,
Our prayer of thanks.

The game is all your way, the secrets and the signals and 

the system; and so for the break of the game and
the first play and the last.
Our prayer of thanks.


Friday, October 31, 2014

Ivan Aivasovsky, Aaraon Copland - Billy the Kid, Carl Sandburg - Bath

Looking for this week's painting, I came upon this interesting biographical sketch about the life and character of Ivan Aivasovsky.
There are seven pages of images if you click at the top of the page there on one of the numbers following the "image galleries".  You may like paintings other than the ones I have chosen to share with your children.  There are lots of details to study in this painting as well as wonderful colors.  Notice how the warm yellows and oranges are on the left on the top and on the right on the bottom and the wonderful cool blue greens are on the right on top and the left on the bottom - wonderful contrast!

Aivazovsky's painting

Today part 3 of Billy the Kid by Aaron Copland. 
I can't say I'm really enjoying his music, but my children have been more open minded about it....

An interesting poem today by Carl Sandburg about the affect of beautiful music on the soul - and here is a link to a Tchaikovsky violin concerto played by Mischa Elman

A man saw the whole world as a grinning skull and cross-bones. The rose flesh of life shriveled from all faces. Nothing counts. Everything is a fake. Dust to dust and ashes to ashes and then an old darkness and a useless silence. So he saw it all. Then he went to a Mischa Elman concert. Two hours waves of sound beat on his eardrums. Music washed something or other inside him. Music broke down and rebuilt something or other in his head and heart. He joined in five encores for the young Russian Jew with the fiddle. When he got outside his heels hit the sidewalk a new way. He was the same man in the same world as before. Only there was a singing fire and a climb of roses everlastingly over the world he looked on.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Ivan Aivazovsky - Little Russian Oxcart in Winter, Aaron Copland - Billy the Kid part 2, Carl Sandburg - Child

Most of Ivan Aivazovsky's works are ships at sea, but, though it's not the first thing you notice, this painting also includes water in the little brook running along the right side.  
File:Ivan Constantinovich Aivazovsky - Little Russian Ox Cart in Winter.JPG
Little Russian Oxcart in Winter
Billy the Kid Part 2 by Aaron Copland.  We listened to part 1 last week and will have part 3 next week.

Child by Carl Sandburg
The young child, Christ, is straight and wise 
And asks questions of the old men, questions 
Found under running water for all children 
And found under shadows thrown on still waters 
By tall trees looking downward, old and gnarled.
Found to the eyes of children alone, untold, 
Singing a low song in the loneliness. 
And the young child, Christ, goes on asking 
And the old men answer nothing and only know love 
For the young child. Christ, straight and wise. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Ivan Aivasovsky - Chains of Caucasus Mountains, Aaron Copland - Billy the Kid, Carl Sandburg - At a Window

I love the colors in this painting by Ivan Aivasovsky.

Chains of Caucasus Mountains

"Billy the Kid"Part 1 by Aaron Copland 

This thought-provoking poem today by Carl Sandburg  - "At a Window"

Give me hunger,
O you gods that sit and give
The world its orders.
Give me hunger, pain and want,
Shut me out with shame and failure
From your doors of gold and fame,
Give me your shabbiest, weariest hunger!

But leave me a little love,
A voice to speak to me in the day end,
A hand to touch me in the dark room
Breaking the long loneliness.
In the dusk of day-shapes
Blurring the sunset,
One little wandering, western star
Thrust out from the changing shores of shadow.
Let me go to the window,
Watch there the day-shapes of dusk
And wait and know the coming
Of a little love.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Ivan Aivazovsky - Ship Twelve Apostles, Aaron Copland - Fanfare for the Common Man, Carl Sandburg - A Father to His Son

Another wonderful seascape by Ivan Aivazovsky. I like the blues and greens against the pink and peach and the outline of the full moon still in the sky as the sun comes up or perhaps as it sets. The ships are interesting, too.  Amazing motion in the sea with foam and still reflecting the colorful sky. 

Ship Twelve Apostles


Aaron Copland - Fanfare for the Common Man

Lots to think about in today's poem by
Carl Sandburg

A Father to His Son
A father sees his son nearing manhood.
What shall he tell that son?
'Life is hard; be steel; be a rock.'
And this might stand him for the storms
and serve him for humdrum monotony
and guide him among sudden betrayals
and tighten him for slack moments.
'Life is a soft loam; be gentle; go easy.'
And this too might serve him.
Brutes have been gentled where lashes failed.
The growth of a frail flower in a path up
has sometimes shattered and split a rock.
A tough will counts. So does desire.
So does a rich soft wanting.
Without rich wanting nothing arrives.
Tell him too much money has killed men
and left them dead years before burial:
the quest of lucre beyond a few easy needs
has twisted good enough men
sometimes into dry thwarted worms.
Tell him time as a stuff can be wasted.
Tell him to be a fool every so often
and to have no shame over having been a fool
yet learning something out of every folly
hoping to repeat none of the cheap follies
thus arriving at intimate understanding
of a world numbering many fools.
Tell him to be alone often and get at himself
and above all tell himself no lies about himself
whatever the white lies and protective fronts
he may use against other people.
Tell him solitude is creative if he is strong
and the final decisions are made in silent rooms.
Tell him to be different from other people
if it comes natural and easy being different.
Let him have lazy days seeking his deeper motives.
Let him seek deep for where he is born natural.
Then he may understand Shakespeare
and the Wright brothers, Pasteur, Pavlov,
Michael Faraday and free imaginations
Bringing changes into a world resenting change.
He will be lonely enough
to have time for the work
he knows as his own.