“I am monarch of all I survey”

February 2, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Fiction, HISTORY, Poetry, WRITING & LITERATURE |
(Selkirk on his island c/- Hopea114y)

(Selkirk on his island c/- Hopea114y)

February 2nd (1709) – Regretful beachcomber Alexander Selkirk is rescued. Selkirk’s sojourn inspired Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, regarded as the first genuine English novel, and the following poem by William Cowper: Alexander Selkirk during his Solitary Abode in the Island of Juan Fernandez I am monarch of all I survey; My right there is none to dispute; From the centre all round to the sea I am lord of the fowl and the brute. O Solitude! where are the charms That sages have seen in thy face? Better dwell in the midst of alarms Than reign in this horrible place.   I…

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Collective Birthday Cake

January 22, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classic Film, Drama Film, FILM, Poetry |
Bday2

22 January finds a number of salient birthdays: Lord Byron, 22 January 1788 The Great Romantic Poet, the great romantic, beloved of Goethe. “I may not overlap the eternal bar Built up between us, and will die alone, Beholding with the dark eye of a seer The evil days to gifted souls foreshown, Foretelling them to those who will not hear. As in the old time, till the hour be come When Truth shall strike their eyes through many a tear, And make them own the Prophet in his tomb.”  (The Prophecy of Dante) Conrad Veidt, 22 January 1893 A…

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If…

December 30, 2016 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Poetry |
Rudyard_Kipling

Rudyard Kipling born today, 30 December 1865, in Bombay (now Mumbai). If you can keep your head when all about you  Are losing theirs and blaming it on you, If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,   But make allowance for their doubting too; If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,   Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies, Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,   And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:           If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;   If you can think—and…

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Leonard Cohen

November 11, 2016 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Modern Music, MUSIC, Poetry |
(photo by Rama)

(photo by Rama)

Leonard Cohen (21 September, 1934 to 7 November, 2016) With a voice even less impressive and more throwaway than Dylan, like a sombre, kindly and perhaps slightly whiskey-giddy uncle, singing his niece to sleep.  A sublime indifference to Fame; a gorgeous disregard for money matters, such that he failed to notice his management was cleaning him out.  A true poet’s sense, and it is rare, for true poetry to bind with popular music to advantage.  Except he did it, in First We Take Manhattan, Dance Me To The End Of Love, Famous Blue Raincoat, So Long, Marianne, and one of the best…

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Time Off for Bad Behaviour

November 3, 2016 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | HISTORY, Poetry, WRITING & LITERATURE |
Villon

François Villon (born in Paris 1431; sentenced to be ‘hanged and strangled’ 1462 – commuted to exile, 1463; vanished 1463) was quite a villain.  A killer, a thief, a common brawler, he happened to also be a poetic genius.  The moral is that sometimes we need The Bad Guys. Awarded a Master of Arts at 21.  He killed a priest at the age of 24 (possibly self-defence). After a year on the lam, he returned to Paris and celebrated Christmas Eve, 1456, by (sacrilegiously) robbing the College of Navarre.  Four more years on the lam led to his (first) death sentence at Orleans in…

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