Stumbling upon all these verses...
This beautiful book of poems by William Butler Yeats is always by my side in my bedroom, and here I opened it tonight while listening to some Irish more modern poetry sent by an artist friend.
"The Wild Swans at Coole"
by W.B. Yeats
(read by Tom O'Bedlam)
In Memory of
In February 1918, Robert Gregory, a major in the British air force, died while fighting in battle over Italy. In the eyes of the Irish poet William Butler Yeats, Robert Gregory was a fine, young, Renaissance man, whom he described as a “soldier, scholar, horseman.” To help his dear friend Lady Gregory cope with the loss of her son and to ease his own pain, Yeats writes the poem, “In Memory of Major Robert Gregory.” Many scholars suggest that this poem is the finest elegy in the English language since Lycidas. In the poem, Yeats compares Robert Gregory to three deceased friends, each of whom exhibits a characteristic that Robert Gregory embodies. In writing this poem, Yeats’s attempt at catharsis fails, as he realizes that his emotions in response to the death are beyond words. A mere poem cannot fully express his grief or commemorate a man’s life. Although he has learned to appreciate the value of human life, Yeats must come to terms with the loss of his friend before he can come of age.
By writing this elegy, W.B. Yeats glorifies Major Robert Gregory and seeks to provide comfort for Lady Gregory and himself. Losing a friend is tough, and the reader can relate with Yeats's dilemma. Throughout his life, Yeats has used his poetry as a means for solving his problems. A coming-of-age process involves a person learning about himself, and therefore, during the Middle Yeats period, he usually comes-of-age after writing a poem. However, this poem is an exception because it is one of four poems dedicated to Robert Gregory--it takes four full poems for Yeats to accept Gregory's death. "In Memory of Major Robert Gregory" was not written for only one man but for an entire generation of youth who died in the horrors of war. Major Robert Gregory symbolizes all the promising youth who fell to an early death. In memorializing Robert Gregory, Yeats remembers three of his dear friends who also died young. Each of these men had a third of what Yeats considers to be perfection, and Robert Gregory was the synthesis of these traits. Robert Gregory was in harmony with mind, spirit, and body, as a "soldier, scholar, horseman." He excelled at every task he set to do, and that is why Yeats labels him as "life's epitome." Yeats's healing process is a microcosm of Europe's reconstruction following the first world war. Deep wounds with "salt to lengthen out the smart" take a lifetime to overcome, and neither Yeats nor Europe has shown any sign of coming of age. Yeats ends his poem in speechless frustration. Europe has a second world war just twenty years later. The poem provokes the reader to re-evaluate his own experiences with death. If writing to achieve catharsis works for Yeats, then it might for the reader. Following the death of a loved one, the reader must not keep his emotions bottled inside. Accordingly, Yeats avoids the dangers of not facing the reality of death, and, at the same time, teaches the reader a lesson by venting his emotions through poetry.
For the love of music :
Vangelis' Blade Runner performed by Heritage Orchestra
at Massive Attack's Meltdown Festival, in 2008
'Rachel's Song' - Blade Runner
Visionary film... There we are. Destroying our planet, our own creations, and therefore denying our own humanity.
Yesterday, at the Walrus record shop, Paris 10 art, we were talking about the evolution of Massive Attack's sound, with the inspired talk show host, Frederique Labussiere, from French radio FIP, the Nordest bookstore's owner, Patrick, and a couple of dozens fans and readers of my book.
To display a representation of the band's stage evolution, which represent a lot for them who have always been willing to deliver a message through visuals and performances, here are a few clips, one from the very creative area of the mid 1990s, comprising two songs - and three other live extracts from this year, 20 years later.
Massive Attack - Live From "The White Room"-
Channel 4 - 2nd March 1996
"The White Room" was a Channel 4 music show that aired during the 1990's, and hosted by Mark Radcliffe.
This is Massive Attack's two song performance from the show that aired on the 2nd March 1996.
02. Eurochild (Euro Zero Zero)
Massive Attack - 'Girl I Love You' - Live at O2 Apollo,
Massive Attack feat. Martina Topley-Bird - 'Clock Forward'
- Zénith de Paris - 27/02/2016 - France
Massive Attack & Tricky - 'Take It There' - Hyde Park, London, July 2016
Depuis 1991, le groupe Massive Attack incarne un métissage social et sonore britannique et s'attaque à l'actualité, dans ses raps, son art, sur scène...
Ce collectif unique m'a donné un tremplin pour raconter autrement les 30 dernières années, au Royaume-Uni mais aussi aux quatre coins du monde où ses membres se sont rendus, de Brooklyn à Beyrouth.
Bristol, 1985, rassemblement populaire pour dénoncer l'Apartheid en Afrique du Sud
Rdv le 26 novembre au Walrus avec Frédérique Labussiere et la Librairie Nordest pour vous en dire plus sur leur ville, Bristol, leurs origines, les groupes qui les ont inspirés et ceux qu'ils ont ensuite influencés.
RDV samedi à partir de 16 heures...
En dehors de la zone de confort, Melissa Chemam
le Vendredi 18 Novembre 2016
Lien vers le site du magazine Transfuge : https://www.transfuge.fr/interview-en-dehors-de-la-zone-de-confort-melissa-chemam,334.html
Oh dear, November 17, Day of a Struggle for Freedom and Democracy in Czech Republic (the Velvet Revolution) and Jeff Buckley's birthday (the velvet voice)...
Surely cruelly missed.
But musicians never die...
Especially if there are poets to remember them and remind others of them.
A temporary relief... but a relief still:
- Long-term refugee camp in Kenya is no solution but it’s vital Somali refugees don’t feel pressured to return home, warns the IRC.
Nairobi, 17 November, 2016 - While the announcement by the Government of Kenya to defer the closure of Dadaab refugee camp does little to allay refugees’ fears, it presents an opportunity to critically reflect on humanitarian concerns that have emerged since efforts to close the world’s largest camp began six months ago.
Since May, the rate of refugee movement from Kenya to Somalia has increased four-fold. While refugees are moving to Somalia for a number of reasons, it is clear that many are departing because they feel under pressure. It is critical that moving forward no refugees feel forced to leave Dadaab.
While the International Rescue Committee (IRC) is strongly against involuntary repatriation, the organisation is not, in principle, against camp closure. For repatriation to be successful, refugees must be supported to expand their skills while still in Kenya, which will provide them with more earning opportunities in Somalia. It is also critically important to support integration into their new communities after they have left the camp. This will take large-scale, long-term investment in Somalia, including the host communities who will receive them. Without that the repatriation effort is likely to fail.
Conor Philips, IRC’s Kenya Country Director, said: “While we agree that long-term camp settings are not the best solution for refugees, it is essential that residents of Dadaab do not feel pressured to leave. I believe we have an opportunity to move beyond the current camp-based status-quo by presenting new opportunities for refugees. Doing so will take a well-coordinated effort, donor commitment, and flexibility from the governments of Kenya and Somalia.”
Richard Crothers, IRC’s Somalia Country Director, said: “We share the concerns of many humanitarian organisations that refugees who return to Somalia face potential harassment, crippled infrastructure, and little to no access to basic services in many areas. Many refugees also end up in unsafe and overwhelmed internally-displaced persons (IDP) camps, with even fewer services than Dadaab.”
(International Refugee Committee: https://www.rescue.org/country/kenya
"Our bodies are falling apart and I think I will follow you very soon. Know that I am so close behind you that if you stretch out your hand, I think you can reach mine"...
Leonard Cohen to Marianne Ihlen, in his farewell letter, just before her death, in August 2016.
It's about being relevant...
About taking "the right step".
"This is my prayer for your my friend... Be set free and escape".
"Be free; make your own way, my dear friend".
This song only came out on a number of vinyls, distributed in a small number. I'm lucky to have one.
This person uploaded a recording on YouTube...
I hate to share unofficial uploads but this is so important.
Massive Attack - 'Dear Friend' (ft. James Massiah)
Dear friend, look at you now
All tied up in knots and starting to rot
Thought it was alright in the light but now it's dark and it looks wrong
But what'd you expect?
That's what you get from worshipping moon gods
False deities living off reflected glory, like our colonisers
Queens and kings reaping the royalties from someone else's story
But let's return to yours, you, the author of your own destiny
Escaping the demons and bastards of a past life
Arm in arm with your wife, a highland type
With a big heart and a wise mind
It's gonna help you to escape the long arm of the swine
Which helps, seeming as you've been tired of, and trying to escape the wildlife
Which now bores the young man with the family from the horn
Lands wartorn, new allegiance sworn, you're part of the swarm
Survive the storm, now withering
Raised with worthy morals by an upright mother
And a father who slaved days and days to make a wage
Chewing cats will alleviate the pain and pressure
That came with the career in a country that saw you as a cancer and a casualty
Alienated on the way up to a higher education
That you were lucky enough to catch
Smart and working hard enough to keep
You were caught in criminality
The catalyst for your change
And plenty of it came from the ketamine, the weed and cocaine for the customer
Middle class kids on campus were burdens to bear
Each of them facing oppression of their own
Victims of a different kind of prejudice
Their condition: psychosis, mania, suicidal thoughts, sexual inadequacy
Academic underachievement, social separation and a desire to fit in
The madness of youth that you've medicated
All the while dedicated to serving your god
When the deities of this life would allow you to
Driving through the town, you approach the road to Damascus
Blue lights that flash and leave you blind
Bound by a belief that the god of your father set you free
Weeds plucked, wife covered, 5 times a day, a proud slave
Praying for proof that you picked the right way
Seeing that your sister's changed, your brother's enraged, on route to a cage
You're gonna need more than faith in this day and age
You don't need friends, you need facts
Don't need poems, you need raps
Don't need peace, you need war, and defeat, and a grave to bury your doubts
You've got love and a spouse, now you need space
A chance to breathe, and time away
In time, you'll remember this day
When you're 50 years old, thinking of all the fickle things that you would fret over
But you're not 50 yet, so take the right steps
Unless you wanna be down when you get there
This is my prayer for you, my friend, so fly away
Be unbound by the ropes and the chains
Be set free and escape
The demons of your past become the demons of your present
Old habits stick, what you learn as a young gun becomes hard to kick
Clutch gets stuck and hard to shift
Automatically return to the ways of days gone by
A bullet in the mind, a beam in the eye
And a bitch, yeah, that's life
Ignorance is bliss, but wisdom's nice
Hopefully it comes with age, 'cause you don't live twice
And then you can't live it again, I'm afraid
So fly now, be free, make your own way
My dear friend