“Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting with the gift of speech.” - Simonides of Ceos

Thursday, February 16, 2017

"Florence Nightingale" by Emma Lazarus



Emma Lazarus was an American poet who was writing during the late 1800s. She is most known for her sonnet in honor of The Statue of Liberty, "The New Colossus". Her poem, "Florence Nightingale", was written on March 7, 1867 and was first published in 1871. There are conflicting opinions about the accuracy of this poem's portrayal of the woman known as "The Mother of Modern Nursing" and "The Lady with the Lamp", but regardless, it is a wonderful piece which honors Nightingale's contributions to the field of medicine.

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Program Credits

Announcer: Thomas Lamar
Narrator: Nicole Rodrigues
Composer: Andrew Boone
Sound Design & Mixing: Christopher Green
Image for Artwork: Henrietta Rae
Producer/Director: J.D. Sutter

Entry on Wikipedia for Emma Lazarus
Bio of Emma Lazarus on The Poetry Foundation
Entry on Wikipedia for Florence Nightingale
Full Text of "Admetus and other poems" by Emma Lazarus courtesy of The American Verse Project

Emma Lazarus circa December 1871
Image Credit: Wikipedia

"Florence Nightingale" by Emma Lazarus

UPON the whitewashed walls
A woman's shadow falls,
A woman walketh o'er the darksome floors.
A soft, angelic smile
Lighteth her face the while,
In passing through the dismal corridors.

And now and then there slips
A word from out her lips,
More sweet and grateful to those listening ears
Than the most plaintive tale
Of the sad nightingale,
Whose name and tenderness this woman bears.

Her presence in the room
Of agony and gloom,
No fretful murmurs, no coarse words profane;
For while she standeth there,
All words are hushed save prayer;
She seems God's angel weeping o'er man's pain.

And some of them arise,
With eager, tearful eyes,
From off their couch to see her passing by.
Some, e'en too weak for this,
Can only stoop and kiss
Her shadow, and fall back content to die.

No monument of stone
Needs this heroic one,—
Her name is graven on each noble heart;
And in all after years
Her praise will be the tears
Which at that name from quivering lids will start.

And those who live not now,
To see the sainted brow,
And the angelic smile before it flits for aye,
They in the future age
Will kiss the storied page
Whereon the shadow of her life will lie.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

"The Best Thing in the World" by Elizabeth Barrett Browning



English poet, Elizabeth Barrett Browning was born in 1806 and is believed to have written her first poem at the young age of 6. Unlike many classic poets, Barrett Browning was quite well respected and her works were well received during her lifetime. Among the admirers of her work were Emily Dickinson and Edgar Allen Poe; the latter even dedicated a volume of his poems to her in 1845. Perhaps most known for her sonnets and especially the very famous piece, "How Do I Love Thee?", Barrett Browning was a very prolific poet. "The Best Thing in the World" was included in the volume entitled The Complete Poetical Works of Mrs. Browning and was published as a short, 12-line piece of verse. Although there are many sources online which have a version which omits two lines, we have chosen to produce the full poem.

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Program Credits

Announcer: Thomas Lamar
Narrator: Victoria Lynn
Composer: Brandon Boone
Sound Design & Mixing: Andrew Riffenburgh
Photography: skeeze
Producer/Director: J.D. Sutter

Entry on Wikipedia for Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Bio of Elizabeth Barrett Browning at the Poetry Foundation
Concise Analysis of "The Best Thing in the World"
In-depth Analysis of "The Best Thing in the World"

Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Image source: Wikipedia

"The Best Thing in the World" by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

What's the best thing in the world?
June-rose, by May-dew impearled;
Sweet south-wind, that means no rain;
Truth, not cruel to a friend;
Pleasure, not in haste to end;
Beauty, not self-decked and curled
Till its pride is over-plain;
Light, that never makes you wink;
Memory, that gives no pain;
Love, when, so, you're loved again.
What's the best thing in the world?
— Something out of it, I think.

Friday, September 30, 2016

"The Eagle" by Alfred, Lord Tennyson



"The Eagle" was first published in 1851, shortly after Tennyson was appointed as Poet Laureate of Britain in 1850; a position he held until his death in 1892. In spite of its short length, "The Eagle" still contains a lot of meaning. It is packed with beautiful imagery and the iambic tetrameter Tennyson employs allows the words to flow off the tongue in an easy rhythm. It is simply a delightful piece to read and contemplate.

Click Here to Download this Program



Program Credits

Announcer: Thomas Lamar
Narrator: J.D. Sutter
Composer: Kevin Duncan
Sound Design & Mixing: Christopher Green (Some sounds from the Free Sound Project; http://www.freesound.org/people/dobroide/sounds/132993/)
Photography: rise-a-mui
Producer/Director: J.D. Sutter

Entry on Wikipedia for "The Eagle"
Entry on Wikipedia for Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Very thorough analysis of "The Eagle" by blogger, Natasha Fernando
Bio of Tennyson on The Poetry Foundation

Protrait of Tennyson by P. Krämer
Image Credit: Wikipedia

"The Eagle" by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ring'd with the azure world, he stands.

The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls,
And like a thunderbolt he falls.