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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Albert Anker - Signing the Marriage License, Hector Berlioz - Benvenuto Cellini, Robert Browning - A Wall

Most of Albert Anker's paintings were people.  Since our daughter is getting married later this summer I decided to feature today's painting of the signing of a marriage license.

Hector Berlioz wrote the music for today's opera piece.  I can't say I'm really enjoying Hector Berlioz's music but it is dramatic and emotional.
Here is the Act 1 Finale of the Benvenuto Cellini Opera. 
Or you may enjoy the Overture from Benvenuto Cellini.
Wikipedia's information on the Benvenuto Cellini opera.

One of the things I've noticed about Robert Browning's poetry is that it is deep and not always to be understood on the surface or even with careful reading.  But it is beautiful and worth reading and reading again and I guess like with Scripture we take away what we are able and ready for and come back later for more.  Today's poem is no exception.  He's describing a wall, but not really talking about just a wall:

            A Wall

O the old wall here! How I could pass
  Life in a long midsummer day,
My feet confined to a plot of grass,
  My eyes from a wall not once away!

And lush and lithe do the creepers clothe
  Yon wall I watch, with a wealth of green:
Its bald red bricks draped, nothing loath,
  In lappets of tangle they laugh between.

Now, what is it makes pulsate the robe?
  Why tremble the sprays? What life o'erbrims                                10
The body,--the house no eye can probe,--
  Divined, as beneath a robe, the limbs?

And there again! But my heart may guess
  Who tripped behind; and she sang, perhaps:
So the old wall throbbed, and its life's excess
  Died out and away in the leafy wraps.

Wall upon wall are between us: life
  And song should away from heart to heart!
I--prison-bird, with a ruddy strife
  At breast, and a lip whence storm-notes start--                            20

Hold on, hope hard in the subtle thing
  That's spirit: tho' cloistered fast, soar free;
Account as wood, brick, stone, this ring
  Of the rueful neighbours, and--forth to thee!

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