I watch M.S.N.B.C., I hear a citation from Saint Augustine given by American historian Jon Meacham, who has used it before.
St. Augustine defined a nation as a multitude of rational beings united by the common objects of their love. In 2018, we need to ask ourselves a) are we rational anymore? & b) do we still love fair play and decency?
I pause, as I have been thinking about the magpie and the nightingale as forming a ‘secret commonwealth’ of love and enmity.
what does ‘ode to a nightingale’ sound like if its spoken by the speaker of William Blakes the rose?
The things you do in Edinburgh when you are bored! The idea that Blake’s speaker is a magpie, makes me laugh, although quietly and to myself.
So what does it sound like recited by St Augustine ( or Saint Augustine as a multitude of rational beings/lovers of knowledge)?
emperor and clown
Image, Cato’s Death at Utica, Jean-Paul Laurens, 1863
It did not easily come to mind, how can sound remain the same, yet alter the space?
Not something that requires thought; don’t have to think about things, just have to do the thing, until it works.
When hollow voices, ring true.
Not familiar with the song of nightingales. Here the most distinctive cry comes any morning after rain.
Harsh on the surface, smooth projected spiral of sound underneath. You also get the sense with call of the raven, that each call is distinct, particular to an individual.
Its distinct and unlike nightingales, highly familiar sound.
An emotional register approximated by what is to hand, what can be reached for.
‘all nightingales are ravens’
‘ all magpies are envious’
Tis not through envy of thy happy lot
The magpie, it’s not a good thing. A bird of ill omen and bad ending.
But being too happy in thine happiness ( the fear that to be observed is to be judged)
Say what you feel.
That could be anything, it just has to work and hold the moment, until it falls apart.