Introduction and Welcome

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Friday, May 13, 2016

Fitz Henry Lane - Brace's Rock, Brace's Cove, Henry Purcell - An Evening Hymn, Rose Fyleman - Singing Time, John Keats - To My Brother George

I'm sure you've noticed that Fitz Henry Lane's paintings all center around ships and boats, today's painting is no different in that way, but it is different in that the boat isn't actually on the water, but is up on shore.  I love the soft pastels in the cloudy sky and the how the sea foam and fog blends the sky and sea together, all so soft and pastel that it seems unreal next to the solid boat and shore.  I think this would be fun to do in pastel chalks.

Brace's Rock, Brace's Cove

Henry Purcell wrote a lot of opera style music, which it takes time to develop a taste for. Today's piece "An Evening Hymn" is beautiful and restful.  If you give your students the text for the song they  may follow better and enjoy it more. The words are beautiful and comforting!
Now, now that the sun hath veil’d his light
And bid the world goodnight;
To the soft bed my body I dispose,
But where shall my soul repose?
Dear, dear God, even in Thy arms,
And can there be any so sweet security!
Then to thy rest, O my soul!
And singing, praise the mercy
That prolongs thy days.

If you want to hear it sung by a tenor rather than the soprano above, or to compare the two, this link is Thomas Cooley singing An Evening Prayer.

On a lighter note, Rose Fyleman's poem this week would be easy and fun to memorize with small children - you may be familiar with this poem from one of your children's poetry anthologies.

             Singing Time

      I wake in the morning early
And always, the very first thing,
I poke out my head and I sit up in bed
And I sing and I sing and I sing.

John Keats was very close to his brothers.  George had moved to America hoping to make money to support his family back home.  Instead he lost his money in speculation and had to come back and borrow from George.  He didn't realize that George was dying of Consumption.  Following are two quotes by the brothers about their love for one another:

“My brother George has ever been more than a brother to me, he has been my greatest friend,” John Keats wrote in 1818.
George wrote nearly a decade after his older brother’s death: “I claim being the affectionate Friend and Brother of John Keats. I loved him from boyhood even when he wronged me, for the goodness of his heart and the nobleness of his spirit.”

John's love for his brother George comes through in today's poem.
  To My Brother George

Many the wonders I this day have seen:
The sun, when first he kissed away the tears
That filled the eyes of Morn;—the laurelled peers
Who from the feathery gold of evening lean;—
The ocean with its vastness, its blue green,
Its ships, its rocks, its caves, its hopes, its fears,
Its voice mysterious, which whoso hears
Must think on what will be, and what has been.
E'en now, dear George, while this for you I write,
Cynthia is from her silken curtains peeping
So scantly, that it seems her bridal night,
And she her half-discovered revels keeping.
But what, without the social thought of thee,
Would be the wonders of the sky and sea?

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