Introduction and Welcome

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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Hans Heysen, Benjamin Britten: Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra - Henry Purcell, John Donne -

I found this house by Hans Heysen interesting and the depth created in the backround is lovely.  

We'll listen to the second half of Britten: Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra (Part 2) this week.  Music by Henry Purcel.

Our poet, John Donne, is quite advanced and challenging, so if you have young children or children new to poetry appreciation, I recommend you find a good poetry anthology and just read poems your young children enjoy.  Favorite Poems Old and New by Helen Farris is a good choice. You might also enjoy A Child's Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson. Or you could look back through this blog and choose a different poet, that is more readable and understandable for your children.  Christina Rosetti would be a good choice, or Amy Carmichael, or William Blake to name a few, if you haven't already studied their work.  You can use the search button on this blog if you like or just go back to older posts and browse.

          The Good-Morrow
I wonder, by my troth, what thou and I
Did, till we loved? Were we not weaned till then?
But sucked on country pleasures, childishly?
Or snorted we in the Seven Sleepers’ den?
’Twas so; but this, all pleasures fancies be.
If ever any beauty I did see,
Which I desired, and got, ’twas but a dream of thee.

And now good-morrow to our waking souls,
Which watch not one another out of fear;
For love, all love of other sights controls,
And makes one little room an everywhere.
Let sea-discoverers to new worlds have gone,
Let maps to other, worlds on worlds have shown,
Let us possess one world, each hath one, and is one.

My face in thine eye, thine in mine appears,
And true plain hearts do in the faces rest;
Where can we find two better hemispheres,
Without sharp north, without declining west?
Whatever dies, was not mixed equally;
If our two loves be one, or, thou and I
Love so alike, that none do slacken, none can die.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Hans Heysen - Landscape, Benjamin Britton: Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra - Britten, John Donne - The Legacy

This watercolor landscape by Hans Heysen has wonderful contrasts and shadows.  It is mostly blue and peach or brown.  I like the shadow shapes on the rock wall, but the sky has the same colors in it as do the trees and the foreground though your eye is drawn to the foreground as the details are sharper and the blues are darkest and brightest there.  He has skillfully painted his cattle from different angles.  I like the bit of turquoise against the periwinkle (almost purple) blue in the water the cattle are drinking.

I'd like to introduce you to the Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra if you haven't already shared it with your children. (If you've already listened to it, you may be interested in the Kid's Orchestra Movie below instead.)
Britten: Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra. Part 1

I found this introduction to the orchestra put together by a father for his 4-year old son.

Kids Orchestra Movie

John Donne poem this week
     The Legacy

 When I died last, and, Dear, I die
 As often as from thee I go,
 Though it be but an hour ago,
And Lovers' hours be full eternity,
I can remember yet, that I
 Something did say, and something did bestow;
Though I be dead, which sent me, I should be
Mine own executor and legacy.

I heard me say, "Tell her anon,
 That myself, that is you, not I,
 Did kill me," and when I felt me die,
I bid me send my heart, when I was gone,
But alas could there find none,
 When I had ripp'd me, and search'd where hearts should lie;
It kill'd me again, that I who still was true,
In life, in my last will should cozen you.

Yet I found something like a heart,
 But colors it, and corners had,
 It was not good, it was not bad,
It was intire to none, and few had part.

As good as could be made by art
 It seem'd, and therefore for our losses sad,
I meant to send this heart in stead of mine,
But oh, no man could hold it, for 'twas thine.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Hans Heysen, Camille Saint-Saens - Carnival of the animals, John Donne - Temple

Another lovely still life by Hans Heysen this week.  So many bright colors against that dark background.  Do you grow zinnias?  I like how they have so many colors and they stay nice for a long time after you cut them....  Lots of different colors and kinds of fruit here, too.  A bunch of grapes makes a fun painting project.  Colored pencils or pastels would work as well as paint.  Notice how each grape has different colors in it and that wonderful white spot for a reflective highlight.  Good practice at looking for what color a thing really is, not what it looks like....

Continuing this week with Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint-Saens, Here is the playlist you can start wherever you left off last week, or listen to your favorites again.  Can your children start to pick out some of the animals by hearing the piece of music?  

I'm finding John Donne's poetry a bit difficult, but thought provoking.  The pieces we're memorizing take on the most meaning as we recite and think them through.  Today's poem is based on the Biblical account of Jesus in the Temple with the teachers of the law when he was 12.  

With His kind mother, who partakes thy woe,
Joseph, turn back ; see where your child doth sit,
Blowing, yea blowing out those sparks of wit,
Which Himself on the doctors did bestow.
The Word but lately could not speak, and lo !
It suddenly speaks wonders ; whence comes it,
That all which was, and all which should be writ,
A shallow seeming child should deeply know ?
His Godhead was not soul to His manhood,
Nor had time mellow'd Him to this ripeness ;
But as for one which hath a long task, 'tis good,
With the sun to begin His business,
He in His age's morning thus began,
By miracles exceeding power of man.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Hans Heysen, Camille Saint Saens - Carnival of the Animals, John Donne - Death, Be Not Proud

This is a bit early, but we're going to be camping for a few days, so I won't be home to post this Thursday....  I liked these Fall leaves, though we don't have this type of tree around here, perhaps it's native in Austraillia where Hans Heysen lived and painted.

Today's music is from the Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint Saens.  Here's a link to a playlist Carnival of the Animals.  I haven't viewed the whole thing so I'm not sure how the pictures will be, but a playlist may give you a chance to choose your favorite animals or favorite pieces.  We'll spend a couple of weeks on this fun music. 

Here's a link with a recommendation for a book and CD that looks good.

And a poem by John Donne

Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those, whom thou think'st thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy picture[s] be,
Much pleasure, then from thee much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and soul's delivery.
Thou'rt slave to Fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
And poppy, or charms can make us sleep as well,
And better than thy stroke;  why swell'st thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And Death shall be no more;  Death, thou shalt die.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Hans Heysen - Sewing, Prokofiev - Peter and the Wolf, John Donne - Nativity

I really like today's painting by Hans Heysen!  I like the bits of light and shadow, the simple setting and the woman sewing, the window bringing all the greens into the picture....  What do you see to remember?

I feel satisfied with what we've listened to by Engelbert Humperdinck and I'm not inclined to pursue more of his works, so I think we'll go back to some of the fun elementary children's works we covered some years ago, like Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf.  If you and your children have never listened to this piece before I think you will enjoy it.  Different instruments and parts of the tune represent different characters in the story.  This is about a half hour long so if you don't want to listen to the whole thing at once you can break it up into several sittings.  

Today's poem by John Donne is about the wonder of the nativity. 


Immensity, cloister’d in thy dear womb,
Now leaves His well-beloved imprisonment.
There he hath made himself to his intent
Weak enough, now into our world to come.
But O! for thee, for Him, hath th’ inn no room?        5
Yet lay Him in this stall,  and from th’ orient,
Stars, and wise men will travel to prevent
The effects  of Herod’s jealous general doom.
See’st thou, my soul, with thy faith’s eye,  how He
Which fills all place, yet none holds Him, doth lie?        10
Was not His pity towards thee wondrous high,
That would have need to be pitied by thee?
Kiss Him, and with Him into Egypt go,
With His kind mother, who partakes thy woe.