Richibi’s Weblog

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Tag: love

“Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs”‏

enchanted movie for children of all ages, that
means especially you, Manolito, that means
especially you, Aidan
you might however notice, in a more analytical
vein, the introduction of German Expressionism
already in more popular culture, Nolde, Kirchner,
even some Edvard Munch, the Norwegian, in the
bold, garish colours that expressed horror and
perversion for them following the First World War,
and did the same for Walt Disney later if you’ll
consider the evil queen’s mirror and mask, or
van Gogh branches in the threatening forest, flat
surfaces, notably on faces for instance, touched
with only daubs of colour for only perfunctory
shading and character, prefiguring incidentally,
Andy Warhol‘s Pop Art
artists talk to each other
musical atonalities, also, show up, to attest to
modernity, in the music tooted out by the pipe
organ, delivering ornery pipes and a climactic
cuckoo who can only emit a shrill, discordant 
screech, we can thank especially Prokofiev,
the popinjay among the atonalists, for that,
with necessary nods to, for their more
theoretical groundwork, the more exacting
Stravinsky and the too dour, not to mention
for many too dire, Schoenberg  
Walt Disney was introducing modern art not so
surreptitiously at all to the larger popular culture,
acclimatizing children especially to the new
upended and revolutionizing art, crayons at
the behest of individuality 
you’ll also find interesting that Snow White 
succumbs to an apple, much like Mother Eve, 
both of whom are absolved, it’s worth pointing 
out, by nothing other than transcendental,
transformational, regenerative and ever
inspirational, Love
think about it  

“A Visit from St. Nicholas” – Clement Clarke Moore / Henry Livingston, Jr.

                 Christmas Trio - Norman Rockwell
                                                             “Christmas Trio
                                                             Norman Rockwell
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro’ the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar plums danc’d in their heads,
And Mama in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap —
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters, and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow,
Gave the luster of mid-day to objects below;
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and call’d them by name:
“Now! Dasher, now! Dancer, now! Prancer and Vixen,
“On! Comet, on! Cupid, on! Donder and Blitzen;
“To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall!
“Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys — and St. Nicholas too:
And then in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound:
He was dress’d all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnish’d with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys was flung on his back,
And he look’d like a peddler just opening his pack:
His eyes — how they twinkled! His dimples: how merry,
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry;
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face, and a little round belly
That shook when he laugh’d, like a bowl full of jelly:
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laugh’d when I saw him in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And fill’d all the stockings; then turn’d with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.
He sprung to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew, like the down of a thistle:
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight —
Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

XXVll. My own Belovèd, who hast lifted me – Elizabeth Barrett Browning‏

from Sonnets from the Portuguese

XXVll. My own Belovèd, who hast lifted me

My own Belovèd, who hast lifted me
From this drear flat of earth where I was thrown,
And, in betwixt the languid ringlets, blown
A life-breath, till the forehead hopefully
Shines out again, as all the angels see,
Before thy saving kiss! My own, my own,
Who camest to me when the world was gone,
And I who looked for only God, found thee!
I find thee; I am safe, and strong, and glad.
As one who stands in dewless asphodel
Looks backward on the tedious time he had
In the upper life,–so I, with bosom-swell,
Make witness, here, between the good and bad,
That Love, as strong as Death, retrieves as well.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning


the Asphodel Meadows were a mythological
nether field where souls wandered aimless
after death, bereft of their earthly memories,
washed away by the river Lethe they’d had
to cross to enter the Underworld, can you
dig it

very few have returned from There, notably
Eurydice, who, profoundly grieved by
Orpheus, her swain, is granted leave to
come back by the god of the Underworld,
Hades, as a grace for Orpheus’ uncanny,
uneartlhy, musical ability, though with one
dire condition, that he, Orpheus, Lot-like,
not look back, but that’s an entire other story

love however is what has resurrected her here,
according to Elizabeth Barrett Browning,
afforded her another, transformed, life, she

for transcendental apparently love, not only
ineluctable death, according to her earlier
staunch expectations, had proved able to
stir her from her earlier in-, or “asphodel”,
as she calls it, existence

as love does


XIV. If thou must love me, let it be for nought – Elizabeth Barrett Browning‏

from Sonnets from the Portuguese

XIV. If thou must love me, let it be for nought

If thou must love me, let it be for nought
Except for love’s sake only. Do not say
“I love her for her smile – her look – her way
Of speaking gently, – for a trick of thought
That falls in well with mine, and certes brought
A sense of pleasant ease on such a day” –
For these things in themselves, Beloved, may
Be changed, or change for thee, – and love, so wrought,
May be unwrought so. Neither love me for
Thine own dear pity’s wiping my cheeks dry, –
A creature might forget to weep, who bore
Thy comfort long, and lose thy love thereby!
But love me for love’s sake, that evermore
Thou may’st love on, through love’s eternity.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning


with this poem Elizabeth has written her way, I think,
along with “love’s”, into her own immortality, not only
has she acknowledged her lover’s love, taken a practical
stance about it – straightforward, no circumlocutions –
but touches also upon a truth of love, one of its
inextricable conditions, love is, she affirms, as an
article of very faith, forever

compare Shakespeare on the subject, an interesting
juxtaposition I picked up from another astute observer
on the Internet

Sonnet CXVl

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

William Shakespeare

the implicit debt to Shakespeare in Barrett Browning
is worth noting, they sound very much alike, unlike
alone, it would at first appear, in gender


beat (Mozart Piano Concerto no 13 in C major, K 415)

it should be considered that even without tonalities
here – another word for “notes”, tonal divergences – 
just the rigorously held beat is enough for this riff 
to be called music
pretty impressive music at that
the reverse hasn’t always been true, is still not
for many, the history of Western music has been
the attempt to change that, to find music in the 
discordant ordinary, trust in an underlying cosmic
flow, melody even in tonalities devoid of any 
immediately recognizable rhythms 
hidden rhyme, where the beat of a verse obscures
the usual accent given to the last word of a line,
which usually sings thereby in conjunction with its
sister word at the end of a following one, performs 
in verse a similar function   
instances of hidden verse abound in for instance
     from “Sonnets from the Portuguese
            X. Yet, love, mere love, is beautiful …   
                        Yet, love, mere love, is beautiful indeed
                        And worthy of acceptation. Fire is bright,

                        Let temple burn, or flax; and equal light
                        Leaps in the flame from cedar-plank or weed:
                        And love is fire. And when I say at need
                        I love thee … mark! … I love thee—in thy sight
                        I stand transfigured, glorified aright,
                        With conscience of the new rays that proceed
                        Out of my face toward thine. There’s nothing low
                        In love, when love the lowest: meanest creatures
                        Who love God, God accepts while loving so.
                        And what I feel, across the inferior features
                        Of what I am, doth flash itself, and show
                        How that great work of Love enhances Nature’s.
                                                          Elizabeth Barrett Browning 
listen to Mitsuko Uchida blur the staunch rhythmic
line of Mozart’s 13th Piano Concerto delivering again
thereby absolute transcendence, Mozart himself
would’ve been, I’m sure, ultra wowed  

X. Yet, love, mere love, is beautiful – Elizabeth Barrett Browning

from Sonnets from the Portuguese

X. Yet, love, mere love, is beautiful…

Yet, love, mere love, is beautiful indeed
And worthy of acceptation. Fire is bright,
Let temple burn, or flax; and equal light
Leaps in the flame from cedar-plank or weed:
And love is fire. And when I say at need
I love thee … mark! … I love thee—in thy sight
I stand transfigured, glorified aright,
With conscience of the new rays that proceed
Out of my face toward thine. There’s nothing low
In love, when love the lowest: meanest creatures
Who love God, God accepts while loving so.
And what I feel, across the inferior features
Of what I am, doth flash itself, and show
How that great work of Love enhances Nature’s.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning


we are witness to the “transfigur[ation] that occurs at
the conferment of love, the sacred trust one receives of
infinite empathy for another, others, in order to glimpse
maybe something of the mystical dimensions of our
universe, the place within it of miracles, should one
chance to go there

and it is, well, transformational, a quantum leap of the
very soul

note structurally the rush of emotion that blurs a
usually dominant rhyme, the stop for breath in the
very middle of a verse instead of its usual place at
the end of the line, to suggest the lost parameters,
the breached social norms, of her emotion

note the urgency of her sentiment – “I love thee …
mark! … I love thee”
– despite being “the lowest”,
and being unworthy under normal conditions of
even being heard

yet she is aware, cognizant, that this grace she
has received changes the world – “How that great
work of Love enhances Nature’s.”
– her “new rays”
burn ever bright, a constant flame keeping vigil at
her lover’s altar, and sheds light thereby, hope and,
it appears, undying inspiration, on all of us

wow, man

note also, incidentally, how, this time, there is not
a word about him, even a descriptive trait, except
as a necessary, though maybe incidental, catalyst,
a primal engine

we’ll see


love and hope

a poem by me  


love and hope

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             why do we ever only hear of people falling hopelessly in love
and never hopefully

why do we fall in love instead of rising to it 
why don’t we have verbs of elevation,
like lift, fly, transcend

when love is often like very wings 
shouldn’t adverbs be more encouraging,
shouldn’t they inspire rather than drop like lead,
shouldn’t they water love like the garden of infinite possibilities 
one in love imagines and irrepressibly invents  
rather than succumb to fear of despair, 
and the dark side 

I’ve wondered
since without love there can after all be no heaven
and yet we fall   




the stone angel

these earlier “back tracks”, of which the following is one example, are pieces I consider still to be worth your while

please enjoy


for Greg, its champion

the stone angel:

miracles are of course in the eye of the beholder, like beauty, truth, and love

I remember being told by my mother about the wife of a cousin of my father, she was notoriously unattractive, indeed downright ugly, everyone said, her daughter later worked for my father in our family’s store, she was cheerful, industrious, and eager to be working there, one day when her mom came in her daughter called out to her mom as she entered, hi beautiful and altered forever my conception of beauty

miracles are also such entities, they happen in the heart and in the soul, without these there are merely serendipitous circumstances bereft of either reason or wile

but to the wide-eyed innocent still dazzled by the glory of a sunrise, the splendour of a sunset, the iridescent grace and beauty of a shimmering rainbow stretching its improbable arc across a sun-strewn sky, hot on the heels of routed clouds and blustering but receding thunder, miracles are a sign of heaven, the consequence, the stardust, of faith

we’d been headed out to dinner after a day of taking in Buenos Aires, making our way along one of its more popular streets, Avenida Florida is closed to traffic but teems with the to and fro of shoppers, tourists, merchants, and of course minstrels, entertainers, we’d seen a pair of men dancing the tango together for coins, each in a formal though somewhat worn-out black suit, young novices, a girl in black as well, in mesh, sultry hose, dark, beautiful and mysterious, stood to the side awaiting her moment, we thought they were probably students of tango, their steps were informed but not quite yet smooth and silken as the dance requires

Greg had been telling me about a mime who’d done magic for children, they would drop a coin into a box for her and she would then somehow make a light glow in their palm as she dropped something into it

I’d listened inattentively, making my way through the crowd instead, that flowed like a turbulent river all around and kept me alert especially to its currents

look, Greg said, it was a stone angel he was pointing at, a charcoal statue about the size of a man, the wings hadn’t been intricately described but they were the right size and spread convincingly above the reverent posture, the head was bent forward somewhat in prayer, the hands piously enfolded, a stone tunic fit the shape and turns of the heavenly body as though it were indeed cloth, the feet, the articulated toes, rested mystically upon the charcoal pedestal

I don’t remember seeing that there, I said to Greg, we’d been along that street before but I’d also always paid more attention to the traffic than the storefronts, and wasn’t unduly surprised that I’d missed maybe even this angel

do you have any change, Greg asked, I noticed a box at the foot of the angel, also charcoal, part of the sculpture, though I thought it strange in fact on public art

no, I said instinctively, careful not to squander my meagre pot, but when he asked again after I’d further considered, rued my initial ungenerous response, I dredged up a few pesos from an alternate pocket

Greg held out the coin to a little girl who stood nearby with her mother, offered it for her to take, whereupon she came by, accepted the change, then proceeded to the sculpture, and dropped the offering into the box for donations, then withdrew

but by then the angel had quivered, was coming to splendid life, and like a revelation had begun to unfold

of course this was a man, I understood in the very moment, but a man in the guise of an angel, which of course is an angel in the guise of a man, for where does the line begin or end which divides them

with a wave of his hand he beckoned the little girl back, she returned and in her palm which he held in his own blessed hand he bestowed a gift, which didn’t glow, I incidentally thought, but must nevertheless be wondrous

already I quivered, frozen in awe, but quaking like a leaf in a mystical wind

the little girl turned around to Greg, held out the gift in her little palm to give it safely and dutifully back to him, but when she opened her hand for him to retrieve the holy thing he merely touched it back again enclosing it there for her to keep, the act itself of another angel, spontaneously selfless, selflessly spontaneous, munificent

by this time of course there were tears in my eyes, I’m a sucker for the acts of angels, but the angel himself had been observing the kindness being proferred in his name, he signalled Greg over and bestowed upon him a gift which again he retrieved from a breast pocket stitched in the stone above his heart

Greg returned with a miniature silver crucifix that gleamed and glistened in his palm, not a glow, incidentally, but an incandescence, and indeed wondrous

but the angel was not about to leave me out and beckoned that I might too receive this blessing so that I advanced to receive also my little cross, he must’ve recognized my fervent admiration, my dumbfounded awe, and would honour me also, I gathered, with his favour

others followed suit, deposited their pesetas, received their little crosses from an always consummate angel, calm, poised, respectful, and profoundly inspirational always, until the wave of them wore off

I still quavered as though the earth had moved, like any creature stunned by for instance lightning, like any one of us before a force of nature starkly and grandly manifested, there is so much we overlook

but driven by finally logic and the practicality of moving on – even mystical experiences are finite – we wended our way forward toward our dinner out, but only a few yards on, meters if you will, out from where we’d had our visitation, I felt I’d left something wholly unfinished, wholly unsaid, asked Greg to return and with me, for me, tell the angel he’d been miraculous, magnificent, that I’d been so very much inspired, in Spanish, for all I could speak was English, and Greg was versed in their tongue

in his ear Greg spoke a fervent Spanish, he’d been there too, was also eager, I slipped a larger, more appropriate amount, I thought, into the coin box, more in keeping with the experience

but the angel didn’t move

he probably didn’t hear, Greg later pointed out, paper won’t sound like change will

but unresponsive to Greg too, I’d wondered, who’d poured his Spanish heart into the angel’s ear, maybe wax from the makeup, he’d thought

for a moment then the angel remained a sculpture, still, and in character, and of stone

then with deep generous eyes that slowly he opened, heavy with the weight, I thought, of maybe the very world, he peered deep into my own

beautiful, I responded, beautiful, the only word I could utter in exalted admiration

then in English, clear and reverberant, like an oracle, I thought, for us all to understand and behold, he replied, simply but wondrously, cryptically enough indeed but with great portent, thank you

to which I could only add, amen