Like a cradle-song

Like a cradle-song

Such a comforting line this, from a letter by the German poet Hölderlin. The sky and the air embrace me like a cradle-song.May they embrace you, too.  And here is another thought of Hölderlin, on a peaceful state of work; and in another letter, his admiration for a...
Man has a long time to go

Man has a long time to go

Some wise words from Aaron Copland to a young Leonard Bernstein.  They maintained a close friendship and correspondence for decades, and I like the advice.  It reminds me of a word from a father to a daughter in an American novel: ‘Slow down, Ivy, slow...
Happiness makes one more intelligent

Happiness makes one more intelligent

While I’m not sure if this is true, I found it a striking statement, particularly given the context.  It’s from a letter written by a husband in 1920s China, who knew or sensed that he would soon lose his life due to a perilous political situation.  His...
Living in the moment

Living in the moment

Keats is one of the Great Nuannaarpoqians. He grew up with sorrow, first nursing his mother through tuberculosis and, a few years later, his younger brother, before then succumbing himself. These and other travails did nothing to curb his capacity to grasp moments of...
A date with dates

A date with dates

Pliny the Younger is a favourite correspondent, warm, cantankerous, impatient of news.  He gets mad as hell with friends who claim to have no time to write, and tells them roundly not to bother him with excuses about being busy in the Senate or other such nonsense....

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