“I cannot place you, cannot grasp you.” -Jack London

February 11th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

We continue with the final week of our month-long look at love in words in music today with a love letter from author Jack London to author Anna Strunsky:

Dear Anna:

Did I say that the human might be filed in categories? Well, and if I did, let me qualify — not all humans. You elude me. I cannot place you, cannot grasp you. I may boast that of nine out of ten, under given circumstances, I can forecast their action; that of nine out of ten, by their word or action, I may feel the pulse of their hearts. But of the tenth I despair. It is beyond me. You are that tenth.

Were ever two souls, with dumb lips, more incongruously matched! We may feel in common — surely, we oftimes do — and when we do not feel in common, yet do we understand; and yet we have no common tongue. Spoken words do not come to us. We are unintelligible. God must laugh at the mummery.

The one gleam of sanity through it all is that we are both large temperamentally, large enough to often understand. True, we often understand but in vague glimmering ways, by dim perceptions, like ghosts, which, while we doubt, haunt us with their truth. And still, I, for one, dare not believe; for you are that tenth which I may not forecast.

Am I unintelligible now? I do not know. I imagine so. I cannot find the common tongue.

Large temperamentally — that is it. It is the one thing that brings us at all in touch. We have, flashed through us, you and I, each a bit of universal, and so we draw together. And yet we are so different.

I smile at you when you grow enthusiastic? It is a forgivable smile — nay, almost an envious smile. I have lived twenty-five years of repression. I learned not to be enthusiastic. It is a hard lesson to forget. I begin to forget, but it is so little. At the best, before I die, I cannot hope to forget all or most. I can exult, now that I am learning, in little things, in other things; but of my things, and secret things doubly mine, I cannot, I cannot. Do I make myself intelligible? Do you hear my voice? I fear not. There are poseurs. I am the most successful of them all.

Jack

jack-london039s-works-showcased-at-usu-23628

We invite you to submit your favorite and personal love letters to love@hartfordsymphony.org. Our month-long homage to love will culminate this weekend at Love is in the Air on February 14-17. Led by Music Director Carolyn Kuan, this program will feature music by Rachmaninoff, Mahler, Bizet and Falla, as well as live love letter readings.

“My creed is love and you are its only tenet…” -John Keats

February 8th, 2013 § 6 comments § permalink

We continue our month-long at love in words in music today with a love letter from author John Keats to Fanny Brawne. Their love was short-lived as Keats died when he was only 25, buried with an unopened love letter from Fanny.

My Dearest Girl,

This moment I have set myself to copy some verses out fair.  I cannot proceed with any degree of content.  I must write you a line or two and see if that will assist in dismissing you from my Mind for ever so short a time.  Upon my Soul I can think of nothing else – The time is passed when I had power to advise and warn you again[s]t the unpromising morning of my Life – My love has made me selfish.  I cannot exist without you – I am forgetful of every thing but seeing you again – my Life seems to stop there – I see no further.  You have absorb’d me. I have a sensation at the present moment as though I was dissolving – I should be exquisitely miserable without the hope of soon seeing you.  I should be afraid to separate myself far from you.  My sweet Fanny, will your heart never change?  My love, will it?  I have no limit now to my love – You note came in just here – I cannot be happier away from you – ‘T is richer than an Argosy of Pearles.  Do not threat me even in jest. I have been astonished that Men could die Martyrs for religion – I have shudder’d at it – I shudder no more – I could be martyr’d for my Religion – Love is my religion – I could die for that – I could die for you.  My Creed is Love and you are its only tenet – You have ravish’d me away by a Power I cannot resist: and yet I could resist till I saw you; and even since I have seen you I have endeavoured often “to reason against the reasons of my Love.”  I can do that no more – the pain would be too great – My Love is selfish – I cannot breathe without you.

Yours for ever
John Keats

300px-john_keats_by_william_hilton

We invite you to submit your favorite and personal love letters to love@hartfordsymphony.org. Our month-long homage to love will culminate at Love is in the Air on February 14-17. Led by Music Director Carolyn Kuan, this program will feature music by Rachmaninoff, Mahler, Bizet and Falla, as well as live love letter readings.

“They have all the fire of our passions…” -Heloise d’Argenteuil

February 7th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

We continue our month-long at love in words in music today with an excerpt from one of the oldest known love letters, dated at approximately 1160AD. It is from a series of corespondances between the French nun, scholar and writer Héloïse d’Argenteuil and French philosopher and scholar Pierre Abélard:

To Peter Abelard:

By a peculiar power love can make that seem life itself which, as soon as the loved object returns, is nothing but a little canvas and flat colour. I have your picture in my room; I never pass it without stopping to look at it; and yet when you are present with me I scarce ever cast my eyes on it. If a picture, which is but a mute representation of an object, can give such pleasure, what cannot letters inspire? They have souls; they can speak; they have in them all that force which expresses the transports of the heart; they have all the fire of our passions, they can raise them as much as if the persons themselves were present; they have all the tenderness and the delicacy of speech, and sometimes even a boldness of expression beyond it. We may write to each other; so innocent a pleasure is not denied us. Let us not lose through negligence the only happiness which is left us, and the only one perhaps which the malice of our enemies can never ravish from us.

 Heloise

heloise_world_noted_women

We invite you to submit your favorite and personal love letters to love@hartfordsymphony.org. Our month-long homage to love will culminate at Love is in the Air on February 14-17. Led by Music Director Carolyn Kuan, this program will feature music by Rachmaninoff, Mahler, Bizet and Falla, as well as live love letter readings.

“I love your verses with all my heart, dear Miss Barrett…” -Robert Browning

January 31st, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

We continue our month-long at love in words in music today with Robert Browning’s first letter to Elizabeth Barrett:

January 10th, 1845
New Cross, Hatcham, Surrey

I love your verses with all my heart, dear Miss Barrett,–and this is no off-hand complimentary letter that I shall write,–whatever else, no prompt matter-of-course recognition of your genius and there a graceful and natural end of the thing: since the day last week when I first read your poems, I quite laugh to remember how I have been turning again in my mind what I should be able to tell you of their effect upon me–for in the first flush of delight I though I would this once get out of my habit of purely passive enjoyment, when I do really enjoy, and thoroughly justify my admiration–perhaps even, as a loyal fellow-craftsman should, try and find fault and do you some little good to be proud of herafter!–but nothing comes of it all–so into me has it gone, and part of me has it become, this great living poetry of yours, not a flower of which but took root and grew… oh, how different that is from lying to be dried and pressed flat and prized highly and put in a book with a proper account at bottom, and shut up and put away… and the book called a ‘Flora’, besides! After all, I need not give up the thought of doing that, too, in time; because even now, talking with whoever is worthy, I can give reason for my faith in one and another excellence, the fresh strange music, the affluent language, the exquisite pathos and true new brave thought–but in this addressing myself to you, your own self, and for the first time, my feeling rises altogher. I do, as I say, love these Books with all my heart– and I love you too: do you know I was once seeing you? Mr. Kenyon said to me one morning “would you like to see Miss Barrett?”–then he went to announce me,–then he returned… you were too unwell — and now it is years ago–and I feel as at some untorward passage in my travels–as if I had been close, so close, to some world’s-wonder in chapel on crypt,… only a screen to push and I might have entered — but there was some slight… so it now seems… slight and just-sufficient bar to admission, and the half-opened door shut, and I went home my thousands of miles, and the sight was never to be!

Well, these Poems were to be–and this true thankful joy and pride with which I feel myself.

Yours ever faithfully

Robert Browning

by Michele Gordigiani,painting,1858

by Michele Gordigiani,painting,1858

ebbgordigiani1

We invite you to submit your favorite and personal love letters to love@hartfordsymphony.org. Our month-long homage to love will culminate at Love is in the Air on February 14-17. Led by Music Director Carolyn Kuan, this program will feature music by Rachmaninoff, Mahler, Bizet and Falla, as well as live love letter readings.

 

“This union is love, true love,…a religion…” -Victor Hugo

January 30th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

We continue our month-long at love in words in music today with love letter from author Victor Hugo to his future wife, Adele Foucher:

My dearest,

When two souls, which have sought each other for, however long in the throng, have finally found each other …a union, fiery and pure as they themselves are… begins on earth and continues forever in heaven.

This union is love, true love, … a religion, which deifies the loved one, whose life comes from devotion and passion, and for which the greatest sacrifices are the sweetest delights.

This is the love which you inspire in me… Your soul is made to love with the purity and passion of angels; but perhaps it can only love another angel, in which case I must tremble with apprehension.

Yours forever,
Victor Hugo

2010-05-03-draft_lens2232770module12412439photo_1241471222victor_hugo_young adele_hugo-2

We invite you to submit your favorite and personal love letters to love@hartfordsymphony.org. Our month-long homage to love will culminate at Love is in the Air on February 14-17. Led by Music Director Carolyn Kuan, this program will feature music by Rachmaninoff, Mahler, Bizet and Falla, as well as live love letter readings.

“<3" -Snoopy

January 29th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

We continue our month-long at love in words in music with a few of our favorite love letter-inspired scenes from Charles Schultz’s Peanuts characters.

Charlie Brown’s undying love for the little red-haired girl:

schulz

Lucy’s infatuation with the ever-passionate pianist, Schroeder:

charles-schulz-peanuts-2

And, of course, Snoopy’s simple ode to love:

heart-love-peanuts-snoopy-typewriter-favim-com-78552_large

We invite you to submit your favorite and personal love letters to love@hartfordsymphony.org. Our month-long homage to love will culminate at Love is in the Air on February 14-17. Led by Music Director Carolyn Kuan, this program will feature music by Rachmaninoff, Mahler, Bizet and Falla, as well as live love letter readings.

“If we value our lives, let us abandon it all.”-Franz Kafka

January 28th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

We continue this week with our month-long look at love in music and words. Today we bring you a letter from writer Franz Kafka to his lover, Felice Bauer. Although Franz and Felice were never married, they communicated extensively through written love letters:

11 November, 1912

Fräulein Felice!

I am now going to ask you a favor which sounds quite crazy, and which I should regard as such, were I the one to receive the letter. It is also the very greatest test that even the kindest person could be put to. Well, this is it:

felicekafka

Write to me only once a week, so that your letter arrives on Sunday — for I cannot endure your daily letters, I am incapable of enduring them. For instance, I answer one of your letters, then lie in bed in apparent calm, but my heart beats through my entire body and is conscious only of you. I belong to you; there is really no other way of expressing it, and that is not strong enough. But for this very reason I don’t want to know what you are wearing; it confuses me so much that I cannot deal with life; and that’s why I don’t want to know that you are fond of me. If I did, how could I, fool that I am, go on sitting in my office, or here at home, instead of leaping onto a train with my eyes shut and opening them only when I am with you? Oh, there is a sad, sad reason for not doing so. To make it short: My health is only just good enough for myself alone, not good enough for marriage, let alone fatherhood. Yet when I read your letter, I feel I could overlook even what cannot possibly be overlooked.

If only I had your answer now! And how horribly I torment you, and how I compel you, in the stillness of your room, to read this letter, as nasty a letter as has ever lain on your desk! Honestly, it strikes me sometimes that I prey like a spectre on your felicitous name! If only I had mailed Saturday’s letter, in which I implored you never to write to me again, and in which I gave a similar promise. Oh God, what prevented me from sending that letter? All would be well. But is a peaceful solution possible now? Would it help if we wrote to each other only once a week? No, if my suffering could be cured by such means it would not be serious. And already I foresee that I shan’t be able to endure even the Sunday letters. And so, to compensate for Saturday’s lost opportunity, I ask you with what energy remains to me at the end of this letter: If we value our lives, let us abandon it all.

Did I think of signing myself Dein? No, nothing could be more false. No, I am forever fettered to myself, that’s what I am, and that’s what I must try to live with.

Franz

We invite you to submit your favorite and personal love letters to love@hartfordsymphony.org. Our month-long ode to love will culminate at Love is in the Air on February 14-17. Led by Music Director Carolyn Kuan, this program will feature music by Rachmaninoff, Mahler, Bizet and Falla, as well as live love letter readings.

“You suffer, you, my dearest creature…”-Ludwig van Beethoven

January 25th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

As we conclude the second week of our month-long look at love in words and music, we share with you another letter from our beloved Beethoven to his “Immortal Beloved:”

 Monday evening, 6 July

You suffer, you, my dearest creature. Just now I perceive that letters must be posted first thing early. Mondays — Thursdays — the only days, when the post goes from here to K. You suffer — oh! Where I am, you are with me, with me and you, I shall arrange that I may live with you. What a life!

So! Without you — pursued by the kindness of the people here and there, whom I mean — to desire to earn just as little as they earn — humility of man towards men — it pains me — and when I regard myself in connection with the Universe, what I am, and what he is — whom one calls the greatest — and yet — there lies herein again the godlike of man. I weep when I think you will probably only receive on Saturday the first news from me — as you too love — yet I love you stronger — but never hide yourself from me. Good night — as I am taking the waters, I must go to bed. Oh God — so near! so far! Is it not a real building of heaven, our Love — but as firm, too, as the citadel of heaven.

beethoven1

We invite you to submit your favorite and personal love letters to love@hartfordsymphony.org. Our month-long ode to love will culminate at Love is in the Air on February 14-17. Led by Music Director Carolyn Kuan, this program will feature music by Rachmaninoff, Mahler, Bizet and Falla, as well as live love letter readings.

“I think you must have been giving too many kisses…”- Lewis Carroll

January 24th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

We continue our month-long look at love in words and music with a love letter from English Author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, better known by his pen name Lewis Carroll,  to his close friend, Gertrude Chataway:

Christ Church, Oxford, October 28, 1876

My Dearest Gertrude:

You will be sorry, and surprised, and puzzled, to hear what a queer illness I have had ever since you went. I sent for the doctor, and said, “Give me some medicine. for I’m tired.” He said, “Nonsense and stuff! You don’t want medicine: go to bed!”

I said, “No; it isn’t the sort of tiredness that wants bed. I’m tired in the face.” He looked a little grave, and said, “Oh, it’s your nose that’s tired: a person often talks too much when he thinks he knows a great deal.” I said, “No, it isn’t the nose. Perhaps it’s the hair.” Then he looked rather grave, and said, “Now I understand: you’ve been playing too many hairs on the pianoforte.”

“No, indeed I haven’t!” I said, “and it isn’t exactly the hair: it’s more about the nose and chin.” Then he looked a good deal graver, and said, “Have you been walking much on your chin lately?” I said, “No.” “Well!” he said, “it puzzles me very much.

Do you think it’s in the lips?” “Of course!” I said. “That’s exactly what it is!”

Then he looked very grave indeed, and said, “I think you must have been giving too many kisses.” “Well,” I said, “I did give one kiss to a baby child, a little friend of mine.”

“Think again,” he said; “are you sure it was only one?” I thought again, and said, “Perhaps it was eleven times.” Then the doctor said, “You must not give her any more till your lips are quite rested again.” “But what am I to do?” I said, “because you see, I owe her a hundred and eighty-two more.” Then he looked so grave that tears ran down his cheeks, and he said, “You may send them to her in a box.”

Then I remembered a little box that I once bought at Dover, and thought I would someday give it to some little girl or other. So I have packed them all in it very carefully. Tell me if they come safe or if any are lost on the way.”

Lewis Carroll 

lewiscarrollwritingbw-e1268093007761

We invite you to submit your favorite and personal love letters to love@hartfordsymphony.org. Our month-long ode to love will culminate at Love is in the Air on February 14-17. Led by Music Director Carolyn Kuan, this program will feature music by Rachmaninoff, Mahler, Bizet and Falla, as well as live love letter readings.

“The ring of fire still burns around you…”-Johnny Cash

January 23rd, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

We continue our month-long look at love in words and music with a suggested letter from Suzanne of West Hartford, CT. Suzanne sent us a link tolettersofnote.com, which brought us to this love letter from Johnny Cash to his wife, June:

Hey June,

That’s really nice June. You’ve got a way with words and a way with me as well.

The fire and excitement may be gone now that we don’t go out there and sing them anymore, but the ring of fire still burns around you and I, keeping our love hotter than a pepper sprout.

Love John

cash-letter

We invite you to submit your favorite and personal love letters to love@hartfordsymphony.org. Our month-long ode to love will culminate at Love is in the Air on February 14-17. Led by Music Director Carolyn Kuan, this program will feature music by Rachmaninoff, Mahler, Bizet and Falla, as well as live love letter readings.

  • Archives

Follow HSO!

Get the latest posts delivered to your mailbox: