Music Box – Lullaby op.49,no.4 – Anne-Sophie Mutter

Johannes Brahms, (1833 -1897), German composer and pianist of the Romantic period, who wrote symphonies, concerti, chamber music, piano works, choral compositions, and more than 200 songs.

Brahms was the great master of symphonic and sonata style in the second half of the 19th century. He can be viewed as the protagonist of the Classical tradition of Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Ludwig van Beethoven in a period when the standards of this tradition were being questioned or overturned by the Romantics.

Brahms’ reputation and status as a composer are such that he is sometimes grouped with Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven as one of the “Three Bs” of music, a comment originally made by the nineteenth-century conductor Hans von Bülow.

Brahms composed for symphony orchestra, chamber ensembles, piano, organ, and voice and chorus. A virtuoso pianist, he premiered many of his own works. He worked with some of the leading performers of his time, including the pianist Clara Schumann and the violinist Joseph Joachim (the three were close friends).

Many of his works have become staples of the modern concert repertoire. An uncompromising perfectionist, Brahms destroyed some of his works and left others unpublished.

Brahms has been considered, by his contemporaries and by later writers, as both a traditionalist and an innovator. His music is firmly rooted in the structures and compositional techniques of the Classical masters.

While many contemporaries found his music too academic, his contribution and craftsmanship have been admired by subsequent figures as diverse as Arnold Schoenberg and Edward Elgar.

The diligent, highly constructed nature of Brahms’s works was a starting point and an inspiration for a generation of composers. Embedded within his meticulous structures, however, are deeply romantic motifs.

Music Attribution © Johannes Brahms, Lullaby op.49,no.4

Video Attribution Petre-Daniel Coman

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Photo Attribution Johannes Brahms, c.1889,

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Life Box – Quote of the day

© A. F. Bradley, Mark Twain, New York, 1907

Mark Twain, (1835 -1910, pseudonym of Samuel Langhorne Clemens) American humorist, journalist, lecturer, and novelist who acquired international fame for his travel narratives, especially The Innocents Abroad (1869), Roughing It (1872), and Life on the Mississippi (1883).

Remembered for his adventure stories of boyhood, especially The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885). A gifted raconteur, distinctive humorist, and irascible moralist, he transcended the apparent limitations of his origins to become a popular public figure and one of America’s best and most beloved writers.

Twain was raised in Hannibal, Missouri, which later provided the setting for Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. He served an apprenticeship with a printer and then worked as a typesetter, contributing articles to the newspaper of his older brother Orion Clemens.

He later became a riverboat pilot on the Mississippi River before heading west to join Orion in Nevada. He referred humorously to his lack of success at mining, turning to journalism for the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise.

His humorous story, “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County”, was published in 1865, based on a story that he heard at Angels Hotel in Angels Camp, California, where he had spent some time as a miner. The short story brought international attention and was even translated into French.

His wit and satire, in prose and in speech, earned praise from critics and peers, and he was a friend to presidents, artists, industrialists, and European royalty.

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Photograph Attribution © A. F. Bradley, Mark Twain, New York, 1907

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Paintings – Photos – Poetry – Sunday’s Round-up Read and View – Selected by Goff James

Photo 1 Attribution © Goff James,

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Painting 1 Attribution © Kovacs Anna Brigitta, Snowdrops, (Date Unstated)

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Poem 1 Attribution © Ted Hughes, Snowdrop

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Painting 2 Attribution © Yvonne Coomber, Sweet Love Songs of My Heart, (Date Unstated)

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Poem 2 Attribution © Khalil Gibran, Song of the Flower XXIII

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Photos 2, 3 and Haiku 1, 2 Attribution © Goff James, Art Photography Poetry

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Painting 3 Attribution © Kwang Yeon Song, Butterfly’s Dream, (Date Unstated)

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Poetry Plus – Song of the Flower XXXIII – A poem by Khalil Gibran

Song of the Flower XXIII by Khalil Gibran

Morning’s Flowers Sing

Morning’s flowers sing
The sweet love songs of my heart
Borne upon the breeze

Khalil Gibran (1883 -1931), Lebanese-American philosophical essayist, novelist, poet, and artist.

Khalil Gibran considered himself to be mainly a painter, lived most of his life in the United States, and wrote his best-known works in English, Kahlil Gibran was the key figure in a Romantic movement that transformed Arabic literature in the first half of the twentieth century.

Gibran’s simple and direct style was a revelation and an inspiration. His themes of alienation, disruption, and lost rural beauty and security in a modernizing world also resonated with the experiences of his readers.

He quickly found admirers and imitators among Arabic writers, and his reputation as a central figure of Arabic literary modernism has never been challenged.

Poem Attribution © Khalil Gibran, Song of the Flower XXIII

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Senryū Attribution Goff James, Morning’s Flowers Sing

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Song Of The Flower XXIII by Khalil Gibran

I am a kind word uttered and repeated
By the voice of Nature;
I am a star fallen from the
Blue tent upon the green carpet.
I am the daughter of the elements
With whom Winter conceived;
To whom Spring gave birth; I was
Reared in the lap of Summer and I
Slept in the bed of Autumn.

At dawn I unite with the breeze
To announce the coming of light;
At eventide I join the birds
In bidding the light farewell.

The plains are decorated with
My beautiful colors, and the air
Is scented with my fragrance.

As I embrace Slumber the eyes of
Night watch over me, and as I
Awaken I stare at the sun, which is
The only eye of the day.

I drink dew for wine, and hearken to
The voices of the birds, and dance
To the rhythmic swaying of the grass.

I am the lover’s gift; I am the wedding wreath;
I am the memory of a moment of happiness;
I am the last gift of the living to the dead;
I am a part of joy and a part of sorrow.

But I look up high to see only the light,
And never look down to see my shadow.
This is wisdom which man must learn.

Painting Attribution © Yvonne Coomber, Sweet Love Songs of My Heart, (Date Unstated)

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Open Box – Flower quotation of the day

Lady Bird Johnson

Lady Bird Johnson, née Claudia Alta Taylor, (1912.- 2007, Austin, Texas), American first lady (1963–69), the wife of Lyndon B. Johnson, 36th president of the United States, and an environmentalist.

She proved to be a capable manager and a successful investor. After marrying Lyndon B. Johnson in 1934 when he was a political hopeful in Austin, Texas, she used a modest inheritance to bankroll his congressional campaign and then ran his office while he served in the Navy.

As First Lady, she broke new ground by interacting directly with Congress, employing her own press secretary, and making a solo electioneering tour. Johnson was an advocate for beautifying the nation’s cities and highways (“Where flowers bloom, so does hope”).

The Highway Beautification Act was informally known as “Lady Bird’s Bill.” She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977, and the Congressional Gold Medal in 1988, the highest honour that can be bestowed upon a US civilian.

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