Friday, January 23, 2015

Zen Pencils

Australian Gavin Aung Than is the artist behind "Zen Pencils," where he shares "cartoon quotes from inspirational folks." Gavin has kindly given me permission to share his work here. I wish I could share two without it becoming unwieldy, but instead I'll send you to his blog to see C.S. Lewis' To Love At All.

My son, the teen history buff, likes making connections between things he knows. He was pleased to discover that the Ozymandias of Percy Bysshe Shelley's poem was a real person, Egyptian pharaoh Ramesses II. My son had already heard of this long-reigning pharoah who spearheaded what was probably the largest chariot battle ever fought -- The Battle of Kadesh.

On to the poem!

by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)

I met a traveller from an antique land,
Who said— “two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert…near them, on the sand,
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lips, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal, these words appear:
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings,
Look on my Works ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.


Tara at A Teaching Life is our Poetry Friday round-up host today.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Enkel Dika

From the moment I held the box of colors in my hands, I knew this was my life. I threw myself into it like a beast that plunges towards the thing it loves.
~Henri Matisse

Sharing work by Enkel Dika today. Thank you to Enkel for giving me permission!

Mind Reader
by Enkel Dika

Time Flies
by Enkel Dika

The Ripper
by Enkel Dika

Tree of Life
by Enkel Dika

Extraordinary Observer
by Enkel Dika

Home Sweet Home
by Enkel Dika

A-Z Art History
Design by Enkel Dika & Evan Ferstenfeld

Honey Moon
by Enkel Dika

You can buy these designs as prints or on shirts, phone cases, tote bags, mugs, etc. here or on Threadless.

Is Honey Moon a pun? Word play? I don't know what the definitions are. In case you want (more?) puns, here you go.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Variations on a Korean Folk Song

Man's heart is like water streaming downhill;
Woman's heart is well water—so deep and still.

Young men's love is like pinecones seeming sound,
But when the wind blows, they fall to the ground.
~from "Bonjo Arirang"

Maybe a lot of people who have been in band or attended band concerts have heard this great piece? It was inspired by “Arirang,” which John Barnes Chance chanced upon in Korea.

Andy Pease has some interesting information about the composer (and links) on his blog:
John Barnes Chance (1932-1972)... [played] percussion with the Fourth and Eighth U.S. Army Bands during the Korean War. Upon his discharge, he received a grant from the Ford Foundation’s Young Composers Project, leading to his placement as resident composer in the Greensboro, North Carolina public schools...He went on to become a professor at the University of Kentucky after winning the American Bandmasters Association’s Ostwald award for his Variations on a Korean Folk Song. Chance was accidentally electrocuted in his backyard in Lexington, Kentucky at age 39, bringing his promising career to an early, tragic end.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Inaugural International History Olympiad

Attention history-loving students (and their teachers and parents, etc.)!

Inaugural International History Olympiad
July 9-15, 2015 at the College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, VA, USA

IHBB is currently planning the inaugural 2015 International History Olympiad, which will be held at The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, USA on July 9-15, 2015.

The International History Olympiad will be a week-long celebration of history for students from around the world, with competitions, field trips, seminars with professors, social events, and more.

How to Qualify
Subscribe to the Email List

Thursday, January 15, 2015

It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven

Have you ever read something that is misattributed and had it drive you a little crazy?

“When I saw you I fell in love and you smiled because you knew.” -- not Shakespeare

Maybe it's because I wrote a book about Einstein, but seeing things misattributed to A.E. is kind of like chalk on a blackboard for me. ("Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid." -- not Einstein)

When we see stuff like that, my son and I like to refer to Abe Lincoln, who advises:

But back to (real) Shakespeare...

Love the quote, even though the character who is saying it is scary (Lady Macbeth). The drawing is by Today is Going to be Awesome's Lisa Congdon, who also drew this marvelous quote by Mary Oliver.

So today's poem is a speech by Portia in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice. I'm including a video of it below.

The quality of mercy is not strain'd,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown;
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
But mercy is above this sceptred sway;
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself;


Irene at Live Your Poem is the Poetry Friday round-up host.

Addendum: Nigerian poet Damilola Michael Aderibigbe is editing an anthology of poetry and short prose responding to Baga and the atrocities committed by Boko Haram. Send 5 poems or 1 piece of short prose, in plain text, to Damilola Michael Aderibigbe at: dammyg1989ATliveDOTcom. Deadline: February 27, 2015

Lions and snakes and fire, oh my!

The circus had been unlike anything I could ever imagine and I could not walk away. I wanted to be a part of the magic, create it and wield it with such skill that it looked effortless. I wanted to fly.
~Laura Lam

Lion tamer
Chromolithograph, Gibson & Co. (Cincinnati, Ohio), published c. 1873

Group of Circus Renz artists, with Carl Godlewski
by Christian Wilhelm Allers (1857–1915)

Gus Hill, circa 1880

Vintage illustration of a man in cage with snakes

Circus in Saska Kępa
Franciszek Kostrzewski (1826–1911)

shared by Chrysti

Marvellous High Wire Artists

Fire Fans
photo by Daniel Rusiłowicz

* Circus Physics
* Cut Paper Circus Lesson Plan
* Lesson plans using Saint-Saëns' Carnival of the Animals
* How to Do Circus Tricks
* How to Join the Circus

Monday, January 12, 2015

A Trumpeter's Lullaby

This will be our response to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully and more devotedly than ever before.
~Leonard Bernstein

This song, composed by Leroy Anderson and performed by Wynton Marsalis, is a lullaby, but I think it makes a nice ease-into-your-morning song as well.

A bit of Leroy Anderson trivia: Anderson was fluent in English, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Icelandic, German, French, Italian, and Portuguese.

Also, Leroy Anderson composed Sleigh Ride (a favorite of mine!).