I looked up John Constable's work after reading Frank Boreham's essay, "Telling the Truth" from his book, The Last Milestone. His essays are well worth reading! The following is a quote from this essay: "Gradually, however, the Idealists have come to recognize that there is more poetry in reality than they had supposed. Once upon a time our painters confined their attention to gorgeous sunsets, panoramic landscapes, laughing-eyed children and lovely women. They told us, that is to say, that beautiful things are beautiful, a fact that we more than half suspected. Then, almost simultaneously, two babies were born, John Constable and Joseph Turner, who took it into their heads to prove that lots of things are exquisitely beautiful whose beauty had been cunningly camouflaged.
Constable led in the new age. 'Give me,' he cried, 'leafless willows, old rotten planks, slimy posts and crumbling brickwork; I love such things and want to paint them!' The pontiffs protested that such work was too true to be good; but, loyal to his conviction, Constable insisted on seeing the world through his own eyes and on depicting it as he himself beheld it.
...Surveying the inspired masterpieces of Constable and Turner, men felt that, if beauty lurked in such things, it might be found in any one of a million places in which it had never occurred to them to look for it. It just shows, as Richard Jefferies, the eminent naturalist, said at the time, that, if a man carries a sense of beauty in his eye, he will see beauty in every daily ditch he passes."
Here is Wikipedia's article on John Constable
John Constable the Complete Works
Our new composer for this term is Felix Mendelssohn. I recommend the Music Masters' CD of his life and works. These are well-known and you may be able to find a copy at your local library, but if not, they are not expensive. I first discovered this series through Rainbow Resource Catalog. Here is a link to their listings. I imagine if you just Google Music Masters you will come up with a source for these.
Two Biographical sketches:
Wikipedia - Felix Mendelssohn
Felix Mendelssohn Biography
Our first work by Felix Mendelssohn is A Midsummer Night's Dream Overture Op. 21. If you haven't already chosen a work of Shakespeare's to study this term, you might consider the play by this same title. I found This podcast with Sarah McKenzie and Ken Ludwig about his book, How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare inspiring.
And for your background listening this term: A link to the Best of Mendelssohn.
This post by Nancy Kelly at Sage Parnassus inspired me to choose Elizabeth Barrett Browning as our poet for the coming quarter. She recommends The Silver Answer, by Constance Buel Burnett. I've ordered this book and plan to read it aloud.
There were many different biographies listed for Elizabeth Barrett Browning, perhaps your local library has one.
Wikipedia - Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Elizabeth Barrett Browning - Poets.org
I've been thinking a lot about the unselfish love that God asks of us lately - so I was drawn to this poem:
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
We cannot live, except thus mutually We alternate, aware or unaware, The reflex act of life: and when we bear Our virtue onward most impulsively, Most full of invocation, and to be Most instantly compellant, certes*, there We live most life, whoever breathes most air And counts his dying years by sun and sea. But when a soul, by choice and conscience, doth Throw out her full force on another soul, The conscience and the concentration both make mere life, Love. For Life in perfect whole And aim consummated, is Love in sooth, As nature's magnet-heat rounds pole with pole.
*Certes means in truth, certainly.