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Thursday, January 22, 2015

John Constable, Felix Mendelssohn - viloin Concerto in E minor, Elizabeth Barrett Browning - How Do I Love Thee?

John Constable painted ordinary things, but somehow they look beautiful under his brush....  If you've been around long, you know I often choose paintings with bits of water, especially reflective pools and creeks.  Is that the same cathedral in the background that was in last week's painting?  I think Constable could see beauty in his everyday surroundings.  He was very skilled at choosing a layout or composition that is pleasing.  I like a lot of things about this painting, but the bit of water and the small sailboat in the foreground with its bow pointing into the picture and both the light side and the warm brown shadowed side of it's sail visible stand out to me.  What do you especially like about this painting?

File:John Constable 023.jpg

Here is the link to Wikipedia Commons article where I found this painting.  You can blow it up clearly to full screen there. 

Our piece of music this week by Felix Mendelssohn is one of his most popular works - Violin Concerto in E minor played here by David Garrett.  Or your children might enjoy watching this six year old play it - Nathan Gendler.

We are enjoying the story of Elizabeth Barrett Browning - The Silver Answer so much!!  It's a wonderful biography!!  I can't recommend it highly enough.  We're memorizing three of her poems and I've been reading some of her poetry by myself at night before bed.  I enjoyed "Lady Geraldine's Courtship - A Romance of the Age".  It's suitable for youth and adults and is long, 25 pages in my book, but a wonderful story.  You can read it online here.

Our poem for today by Elizabeth Barrett Browning is one of her best known and one of the ones we're memorizing - How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways.  As we go over it daily I see new depths in it - it is truly beautiful. 

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of every day's
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, -- I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! -- and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

1 comment:

  1. It was interesting to hear the difference between the violin concertos played by the 6 year old versus David Garrett. My 4 year old son said he liked the one by David Garrett much better. The 6 year old is certainly amazing in his abilities at such a young age, but David Garrett playing the concerto had so much more feeling and emotion. Some parts were so sweet that I felt my heart swelling and tears welled up in my eyes.

    Thank you for sharing this beauty with us through your blog!