Showing posts from February, 2015

The Lamb

Little Lamb who made thee
         Dost thou know who made thee
Gave thee life & bid thee feed.
By the stream & o'er the mead;
Gave thee clothing of delight,
Softest clothing woolly bright;
Gave thee such a tender voice,
Making all the vales rejoice!
         Little Lamb who made thee
         Dost thou know who made thee

         Little Lamb I'll tell thee,
         Little Lamb I'll tell thee!
He is called by thy name,
For he calls himself a Lamb:
He is meek & he is mild,
He became a little child:
I a child & thou a lamb,
We are called by his name.
         Little Lamb God bless thee.
         Little Lamb God bless thee.

First of all, the speaker is a child - so the child and the lamb both are songs of innocence. And of course the lamb is also Jesus. And yet it's the child who blesses the lamb in the end. The child is the lamb is Jesus is the child is the lamb. Blake wanted his songs to be songs - sung! And each time I set one of the …

Acoustical liberation of books in the public domain: Librivox

What with my new-found love of walking with audio books, I've been exploring sources and found LibriVox ( - a web site whose objective is:
To make all books in the public domain available, for free, in audio format on the internet. I'm starting with Henry David Thoreau's Walden but it's worth standing back and saying to the people behind Librivox - Thank You! What a wonderful idea you had and how amazing that you followed it through and have provided such a generous resource for generations of people. And everybody is included, too - if you fancy reading a book for inclusion on Librivox, then you can volunteer.

Kudos to Project Gutenberg (free book source) and the Internet Archive (free file hosting for Librivox).

To a passing Lilly white who shall in love delight

The Lilly The modest Rose puts forth a thorn,
The humble sheep a threat’ning horn:
While the Lilly white shall in love delight,
Nor a thorn nor a threat stain her beauty bright.
I would love to think I might be so candid, so open, so vulnerable, offering nothing offensive, nothing threatening to the other flowers, delighting only in love and accepting again the unbounded ecstasy of love. Billy the Lilly. And if I were, then I would need to be lucky enough to find another Lilly, another flower who won't sting and hurt and wound with their defences. 
Apparently, "Lilies are remarkably hardy, easy to grow, and easy to maintain" ( 

Reasons to be Cheerful (Part Three)

It's actually been a tough few weeks, with reasons to be tearful - although I discovered and might yet discover more about May, as a result of one of her old friends attending the funeral. Apparently, her given name was Mary and one day Mary decided that she would instead be May. This must have been late 1940s/early 1950s and I find it rather astonishing and beautiful for a young working class woman taking such ownership of her being in those paternalistic, authoritarian times. Clearly, Ma(r)y had something rather wonderfully spiky and determined about her. And I don't know (yet?) but this might have been her undoing, too. Any challenge to authority presents the danger of repercussions, this has always been true. But, then, to hear something that I didn't know, that May's friend was witness to May being dragged away one day, abducted from her home, from her entire life by two men in white coats, screaming her protest, restrained by a straitjacket... fear, panic, despai…