July 8th, 2005


Prank? or No Call List Work-Around

It is 2 am. I am hard at it when suddenly the phone rings. My heart goes into overdrive! NOBODY calls at 2 am!

I get it before the first ring's echo ends.

"H. residence," careful to keep my voice light -- to obscure any sound of panic.

"Is this S. H.?" a deep, cultured male voice, but a tentative one. Fumbling with an unfamiliar name?

"Speaking." Cool now, aloof. I do NOT recognize this voice.

"Is this S.?" More fumbling, even greater hesitation, maybe confusion.

"Yes." Clipped. Frigid, even. I am severely ticked. What kind of a prank is this, at 2 am?
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Constant Consonance

Alliteration, anyone?

For the poetically disinclined, consonance is the repetition of consonant sounds while assonance is NOT when you make silly comments that make you sound like an as.... but the repetition of vowel sounds. I am thinking of all this tonight because the Friday fm radio show is about travel, and features tunes NEW to me.

The piece I am listening to now is sung by Thomas Allen, whose very rich, pleasant baritone, is singing quotable Robert Louis Stevenson's poems set by Rafe Von Williams. I must have heard this music sometime in the past, as I can hum along with the tune, although all the pieces on tonight are new to the "record library" at WOI-fm according to Jake Graves, the DJ... and I bet NONE are records any more, either. The poor night control board person who was the sole man-er of the deserted fm building tonight was very polite, had listened to it all, but did NOT have a list of what we'd heard... but the second line of the poem about the vagabond had the CONSONANCE "life I lead" and I think the first had "the road before me", ASSONANCE.

I can remember my eighth grade teacher telling us about consonance using the line from the poem by John Masefield, I believe with the lovely line "...the gull's way and the whale's way/ where the wind like a whetted knife..."
(With a little help from Google, I've cleaned out a few of the cobwebs stored so carefully in my attic...--a bit of original consonance and assonance.)
Well, I had the poet right, but botched the lines a bit...

John Masefield (1878-1967)

(Wow! I thought he was definitely one of those "dead white guys", but he was still alive when I was memorizing that poem!)

I "woke up" to the sounds of Edward Knight's piece "Lost Luggage", done by a marimba player (whose name I missed, but sure deserves mention, as I didn't even know I'd ever hear a marimba piece I'd LIKE... sort of ranks right up there with discovering that, yes, you REALLY DO like the Scottish Highlander's rendition of "Amazing Grace" on their BAGPIPES, buying the cassette, and discovering that not only that, but you liked all the other pieces, as well...) Whoever he was, he tapped out a lively tune that turned out to be rather whimsically called "Lost Luggage", described surprisingly accurately as "a piece of program music consisting of a stately waltz depicting the baggage carousel's round and round motion, but the traveler's luggage is NOT on it. Eventually, his name is called on the PA, but he discovers that it is not HIS luggage that has been found, but merely one that resembles his. Meanwhile, his starts off cheerfully on another journey through the Moroccan streets.

Yes, it REALLY does sound JUST like that, sort of the same way you can hear Frede Groffe's Grand Canyon Suite Nobody has to tell you when the storm comes up, or the donkey greets dawn and clip=clops down the trail... Both works make laughter bubble up.

Sea Fever

Sea Fever
John Masefield

I must go down to the sea again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a gray mist on the sea's face, and a gray dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
All I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the seagulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way, where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And a quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.

Search Engines Stalled Out

Well, the Masefield piece was a piece of cake, but RLS only has a listing of his BOOKS on line, and some current group wrote some naughty lyrics to some of the quotes I could remember from his song about the vagabond...

And I enjoyed reading about Knight's life and times, could find the Albany record company stuff, and the title piece from the new CD WHERE THE SUNSETS BLEED, two pieces of it (not near as interesting to me as "Lost Luggage", and a lot of information about the title track:      
Sonata for Cello and Piano (1994)
Premiere: 3 September 1994
Beauvais, France
Jacques Berneart and John Ferguson
Duration: 21'
(The piece is 21 FEET long???) but not a mention of the Lost Luggage piece other than a mention of marimba as instrumentation on something, but not even a way of being sure it was the SAME marimba piece... he could have done more than one, I would think.)


He said that that that that that boy used was wrong.

Back to the tricks of my old 8th grade English teacher. If you read it with the proper inflection, (It is NOT punctuated properly to help you do it...) the sentence makes perfect sense. Why did I think of it now?

Nora Roberts in Dual Image on page 319 of Truly, Madly Manhattan created one of "those" types of sentences, in fact, she's so enamored of that terrible structure that she REPEATS IT at the start of the next paragraph. Generally, I enjoy her writing, but she does kick out a pretty high number of things, and not all of them are well-edited.

"It was that that touched every aspect of her, that promised to...

And it was that that had him..." (italics mine). A simple switch to which would have cleaned it all up tremendously, to my way of thinking.