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, February 21, 2013

Mary Cassatt - Portrait of a Young Girl, Frederic Chopin - Mazurka in B minor, Opus. 33, No. 4, William Wordsworth - Lines Written in Early Spring

This painting by Mary Cassatt features a young girl sitting contemplatively in the grass near the lane that winds through the background.  We are enjoying a junior biography of Mary Cassatt:  They Found a Way Mary Cassatt, by Catherine Scheader.  It's less than 80 pages long and told in story form with lots of dialogue.  It also has black and white pictures of some of her paintings.

Another Mazurka by Frederic Chopin this week played by Vladimir Horowitz Frederic Chopin - Mazurka in B minor Opus 33 no. 4

Vladimir Samoylovich Horowitz October 1 1903 – November 5, 1989 was an American classical pianist and composer. His technique and use of tone color and the excitement of his playing were legendary. He is widely considered one of the greatest pianists of the twentieth century.  See more about him here.  

An introduction by William Wordsworth himself preludes 

this poem. 

 Lines Written in Early Spring

Actually composed while I was sitting by the side of the brook that runs down from the Comb, in which stands the village of Alford, through the grounds of Alfoxden. It was a chosen resort of mine. The brook fell down a sloping rock so as to make a waterfall considerable for that country, and across the pool below had fallen a tree, an ash if I rightly remember, from which rose perpendicularly, boughs in search of the light intercepted by the deep shade above. The boughs bore leaves of green that for want of sunshine had faded into almost lily-white; and from the underside of this natural sylvan bridge depended long and beautiful tresses of ivy which waved gently in the breeze that might poetically speaking be called the breath of the waterfall. This motion varied of course in proportion to the power of water in the brook. When, with dear friends, I revisited this spot, after an interval of more than forty years, this interesting feature of the scene was gone. To the owner of the place I could not but regret that the beauty of this retired part of the grounds had not tempted him to make it more accessible by a path, not broad or obtrusive, but sufficient for persons who love such scenes to creep along without difficulty.

I heard a thousand blended notes,
While in a grove I sate reclined,
In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts
Bring sad thoughts to the mind.

To her fair works did Nature link
The human soul that through me ran;
And much it grieved my heart to think
What man has made of man.

Through primrose tufts, in that green bower,
The periwinkle trailed its wreaths;
And 'tis my faith that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes.

The birds around me hopped and played,
Their thoughts I cannot measure:--
But the least motion which they made
It seemed a thrill of pleasure.

The budding twigs spread out their fan,
To catch the breezy air;
And I must think, do all I can,
That there was pleasure there.

If this belief from heaven be sent,
If such be Nature's holy plan,
Have I not reason to lament
What man has made of man?

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