Stephen Evans

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Stephen is a playwright and author of The Marriage of True Minds and A Transcendental Journey.

Peace

I was sitting outside on my porch today reading for a few hours. All during that time birds came visiting. First there was a beautiful jay, stunning blue and quiet for once, nestled into a spot in the sun just a few feet away. Then a robin. Then a few grosbeaks. Some sparrows. Dad’s favorite wren who lives in the azalea next door. A woodpecker on the nearby tree. Others I couldn’t name. And now there is a doe settled in the shadowed grass about 100 feet away, testing the breeze, with a young buck standing close. Just living. All just living.

Why can’t every place be this peaceful?

Recent Comments
Rosy Cole
The late and much lamented Alan Rickman had this to say, and it does at least sketch an idea of the problem... 'Do you know that ... Read More
Thursday, 05 July 2018 15:51
Stephen Evans
What find so remarkable about the experience is that it occurred on my porch - I didn't have to hike three miles (or twenty) to so... Read More
Friday, 06 July 2018 18:59
674 Hits
2 Comments

Oculus

Suppose some day, some later time, I stand

In the eternal Roma, beneath, you know,

The Parthenon. No. Get it right. No.

The other one. The. Palladium. No. No.

Pantheon. Yes. That’s it. That’s it. Pantheon.

 

Beneath the Pantheon I shall stand, gazing

At the gods and goddesses. (Are they

Still there? I believe they are.) And stand

Gazing. How will I feel? In that ancient

place? Amongst that Pantheon of old.

 

Old. But not eternal. Is how. I.

They return my gaze with timeless eye.

Copyright

© Copyright 2018 Stephen Evans

Recent Comments
Rosy Cole
No one would claim rivalry with ancient Rome, of course, but Georgian London did boast a fine Pantheon of its own (sadly now demol... Read More
Saturday, 30 June 2018 10:37
Stephen Evans
The world is expert at demolishing pantheons, isn't it?
Saturday, 30 June 2018 16:00
Ken Hartke
"They return my gaze with timeless eye." -- If they had fancy uniforms they were the Carabinieri.
Tuesday, 03 July 2018 16:50
747 Hits
4 Comments

Rise

I’d shake your hand but as you see

(ha ha). My name is Mrs. Grubb.

Welcome to the neighborhood.

A new face is a joy round here.

They come and then they disappear

 

All the time. So welcome the new

And remember the old, the ones who rise.

I may rise myself someday.

You’d not think so to look at me,

But still it is a possibility.

 

And yet I’d miss this old beguiling earth.

That’s all my wisdom in a bit of verse.

 

Recent Comments
Rosy Cole
Some existential reflection here. Knowing you, I feel sure you won't miss an opportunity to take the rise :-)
Tuesday, 12 June 2018 10:16
Katherine Gregor
I like it!
Tuesday, 12 June 2018 11:14
708 Hits
2 Comments

The Seventh

The Third is heroic.

The Fifth is iconic.

The Ninth is a miracle.

But of all the Nine symphonies, my favorite has always been the Seventh. I don’t know why exactly. It just appealed to me immediately, the rhythms and melodies, the energy pulsing through yet not overwhelming. More subtle than the others, yet somehow truer to itself.

And there is a joy that runs through it, different from the Ode to Joy of the Ninth, more self-contained and pure, especially in the Allegretto, the second movement. You can hear something similar sometimes in Bach and Mozart. I don’t know what it is. But I think of it as the joy of a master engaged only in the work.

Just vague impressions I know.

Hard to explain.

How do you judge a symphony?  Or greatness? Or art?

Mozart and Shakespeare are at the top for me. Old Bach is not far behind. Michelangelo perhaps belongs near. And somewhere not too far down the list is Beethoven.

To some extent, maybe a great extent, it is a personal decision. You could break it down into categories I suppose. Originality. Breadth of expression. Depth of emotion. Uniqueness. Capacity.

But in saying that the Seventh is my favorite, I am not really judging it. I’m just expressing a preference. Though somewhere down deep maybe there is little difference, since judgement has to be based on something, and if you go far enough down there are likely personal choices supporting whatever criteria you elect. 

So I was delighted today, listening to it on the radio, when the announcer noted that the Seventh was Beethoven’s favorite too. When asked why it was not as well-known as the others, Beethoven reportedly said: “Because it’s better.”

Who am I to argue with the master?

(Image: A Beethoven Enthusiast by Moriz Jung. Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art: https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/649890)

 

Recent Comments
Katherine Gregor
You're entitled. Bach, Gershwin, Puccini for me. And Monteverdi. And the whole of the Paris Gothic school of plainchant and poly... Read More
Sunday, 27 May 2018 20:43
Stephen Evans
Fine choices. I once sang in a concert of polyphonic pieces in the National Cathedral in Washington, including Monteverdi. They ... Read More
Sunday, 27 May 2018 21:25
Ken Hartke
You inspired me to seek out the Seventh and I enjoyed it -- haven't listened to it in years. I'm a Triple Concerto man, myself. It... Read More
Wednesday, 30 May 2018 18:00
689 Hits
4 Comments

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Very kind!
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Some mischievous ambiguity here :-)
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