Christmas with Christina

Every Christmas, I listen to In the Bleak Mid-Winter, never realizing the connection to Art Nouveau and the Pre-Raphaelites.  That is, until recently.  Dante Rossetti’s (one of the founders of the Pre-Raphaelites) kid sister, Christina, wrote the poem which was set as a Christmas carol by Gustav Holst and then by Harold Darke.  As an aside,Continue reading “Christmas with Christina”

Christmas with Henry

We all long for peace in our perilously divided world.  So did all those who came before us. The Christmas carol, “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day,” is based on Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem “Christmas Bells” written in 1863.  The American Civil War was raging, without any expectation of ending. That same year, andContinue reading “Christmas with Henry”

Lest we forget…

In Flanders fields the poppies blow       Between the crosses, row on row,    That mark our place; and in the sky    The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the Dead. Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,    Loved and were loved, and now we lie          InContinue reading “Lest we forget…”

A Poet’s Story John Masefield

Story-telling is the signature of humanity.  And the very best stories of all come from our poets.  John Edward Masefield was a consummate story-teller.  Born in Ledbury in Herefordshire, England on June 1, 1878, he lost his parents at an early age and endured an unhappy education at the King’s School in Warwick. He escapedContinue reading “A Poet’s Story John Masefield”