Sunday Food: Real Friends Take a Zucchini

Have a zucchini If you are a friend.
Have a zucchini
If you are a friend.

(Picture courtesy of Jeremy Keith at flickr.com.)

They’re that greatest test of true friendships out here in the land of prolific gardens.   If you’ve ever grown them, you know the feeling.   Those carefully tended mounds of bright pretty golden flowers have produced monsters that now are filling all your steps, your lawn chairs, and your walkways.   You grew them, you have to find them a home.   There are many many many more coming along out there in those plants mounds, but this kind of veggie the bunnies and deer just don’t eat.

Maybe you’re at that point too, the neighbors don’t want to talk to you anymore, they have the same trouble.   Zucchini abundance happens at this time of year, everywhere.

There’s a cookout and the grill does its burgers, but there you go, you can throw some slices of zucchini onto the dying coals now!   Surely folks would be happy to have those fresh, hard to give, zucchinis to finish up the meal?   Keep smiling, and have some more slices.

They’re absolutely beautiful, they’re healthy and they’re as big as all outdoors.   The mailman likes to find one in the magazine box under the mailbox, surely?   Actually, ours does.   There’s a true good buddy.

Zucchini bread is a wonderful treat.   Here’s the recipe, please wouldn’t you like a zucchini to go with that?   Two or three, maybe?

First grate 3 – 4 cups of zucchini, fresh, and drain.    I do that with a big towel for drips, in front of the t.v., or outside.   Now, you’re ready!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups (390 g) all-purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons baking soda

  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 2 eggs, beaten

  • 1 1/3 cup (270 g) sugar

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (omit if using salted butter)

  • 3 to 4 cups grated fresh zucchini (700 to 900 ml)

  • 3/4 cup (170 g) unsalted butter, melted

  • 1 cup  (100 g) chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

  • 1 cup (120 g) dried cranberries or raisins (optional)

METHOD

1 Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Butter two 5 by 9 inch loaf pans. Place the grated zucchini in a sieve or colander over a bowl to drain any excess moisture.

2 In a large bowl, vigorously whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.

3 In another large bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs, vanilla, and salt. Stir in the grated zucchini and then the melted butter.

Add the flour mixture, a third at a time, to the sugar egg zucchini mixture, stirring after each incorporation. Fold in the nuts and dried cranberries or raisins if using.

5 Divide the batter equally between the loaf pans. Bake for 50 minutes at 350°F (175°C) or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Turn out onto wire racks to cool thoroughly.

Now try giving that away.    And a few more zukes to go with.

(Picture courtesy of Ting Chen at flickr.com.)

Those zuke babies keep coming
Those zuke babies keep coming

Saturday Art: William Hogarth

 

One panel of Marriage a la Mode by Hogarth
One panel of Marriage a la Mode by Hogarth

(Picture courtesy of Cesar Ojeda at flickr.com.)
The artist known for social commentary was self-taught and used his art works to effect the world around him with humor.    His series that the National Gallery of Art in London has displayed tells a story, the wry rendering of the conventions of marriage of the day in British life.

William Hogarth (/ˈhɡɑrθ/; 10 November 1697 – 26 October 1764) was an English painter,printmaker, pictorial satirist, social critic, and editorial cartoonist who has been credited with pioneering western sequential art.

His work ranged from realistic portraiture to comic strip-like series of pictures called “modern moral subjects”. Knowledge of his work is so pervasive that satirical political illustrations in this style are often referred to as “Hogarthian”.[1]

(snip)

In 1731 Hogarth completed the earliest of his series of moral works, a body of work that led to significant recognition. The collection of six scenes was entitled A Harlot’s Progress and appeared first as paintings (now lost) before being published as engravings. A Harlot’s Progress depicts the fate of a country girl who begins prostituting—the six scenes are chronological, starting with a meeting with a bawd and ending with a funeral ceremony that follows the character’s death from venereal disease.[12]

The inaugural series was an immediate success and was followed in 1735 by the sequel A Rake’s Progress. The second instalment consisted of eight pictures that depicted the reckless life of Tom Rakewell, the son of a rich merchant, who spends all of his money on luxurious living, services from prostitutes, and gambling—the character’s life ultimately ends in Bethlem Royal Hospital. The original paintings of A Harlot’s Progress were destroyed in the fire at Fonthill House in 1755, while A Rake’s Progress is displayed in the gallery room at Sir John Soane’s Museum, London, UK.[13]

When the success of A Harlot’s Progress and A Rake’s Progress resulted in numerous pirated reproductions by unscrupulous printsellers, Hogarth lobbied in parliament for greater legal control over the reproduction of his and other artists’ work. The result was the Engravers’ Copyright Act(known as ‘Hogarth’s Act’), which became law on 25 June 1735 and was the first copyright law to deal with visual works as well as the first to recognize the authorial rights of an individual artist.[14]

 In 1743–1745, Hogarth painted the six pictures of Marriage à-la-mode (National Gallery, London), a pointed skewering of upper-class 18th-century society. This moralistic warning shows the miserable tragedy of an ill-considered marriage for money. This is regarded by many as his finest project and may be among his best-planned story serials.

While the life around him struck him as odd and full of empty convention, Hogarth rendered it up to us as full of the humorous and made his viewers see what they were guilty of.

(Picture courtesy of Cesar Ojeda at flickr.com.)

Wry portrayal of marriage by Wiliam Hogarth
Wry portrayal of marriage by Wiliam Hogarth

Over Easy: Friday Preview

Sunflowers by Van Gogh, 1888 painting
Sunflowers by Van Gogh, 1888 painting

(Picture courtesy of jean louis mazziere at flickr.com.)

Welcome to the diner, and hoping you will have a good visit.  The featured picture of Van Gogh’s Sunflowers is a reminder of the Fauvist movement in painting.   Last week’s Saturday Art post told more about that art works and those that were part of it.

Via DannyGuam, a link to something hilarious, an archaeologist’s deeply hidden musings.

Over Easy: Around the World

Kensington Palace Orangery serves easy eggs, you see
Kensington Palace Orangery serves easy eggs, you see

(Picture courtesy of Herry Lawford at flickr.com.)

Welcome to Thursday’s Over Easy, a continuation of Southern Dragon’s Lakeside Diner and its tradition of giving an overview of news our everyday media doesn’t cover, issues that we ought to consider outside the U.S. scene.   Now, I am back from that world and view, and glad of it though there are things I miss.

Greece has reopened the banks, with limits on the amount of withdrawal allowed and restrictions on transfers of money out of the country.

Athens reached a cash-for-reforms deal aimed at avoiding a debt default and an exit from the eurozone.

But many restrictions remain, including a block on money transfers abroad, and Greeks also face price rises with an increase in Value Added Tax (VAT).

Meanwhile, Germany has said it is prepared to consider further debt concessions to Greece.

Never.Give.Up.

Sunday Food: Chipotle, the Flavor

Peppers, dried and in bins
Peppers, dried and in bins

(Picture courtesy of Janet lackey at flickr.com.)

Since all over the restaurant ads lately I keep seeing chipotle items mentioned, and here in Great Britain it’s popping up too, it seemed like a time to talk about what the word means.   There is the chain of restaurants by that name, too, of course, and since the first Hillary Clinton solo visit and the choice of a DIY dish,  the system of creating your own dish with choice of ingredients that the chain features has been brought to public consciousness.

The chipotle pepper is dried, from fields of fat hot jalapeño peppers , and as an ingredient has the virtue of durability as well as giving that heat we like, to hispanic and southwestern U.S. cooking.

A chipotle (/ɨˈptl/, chi-poht-lay; Spanish: [tʃiˈpotle]), or chilpotle, which comes from the Nahuatl word chilpoctli (meaning “smoked chili”), is a smoke-driedjalapeño. It is a chili used primarily in Mexican and Mexican-inspired cuisines, such as Mexican-American, Tex-Mex, and southwestern dishes.

Varieties of jalapeño vary in size and heat. In Mexico, the jalapeño is also known as the cuaresmeño and gordo. Until recently, chipotles were largely found in the markets of central and southern Mexico. As Mexican food became more popular abroad, especially in the United States and Canada, jalapeño production and processing began to expand into northern Mexico to serve the southwestern United States, and eventually processing occurred in the United States and other places such as China.

(snip)

Most chipotle chilis are produced in the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua.[2] This variety of chipotle is known as a morita (Spanish for small mulberry). In central and southern Mexico, chipotle chilis are known as chile meco, chile ahumado, or típico. Whereas moritas from Chihuahua are purple in color, chile meco is tan/grey in color and has the general appearance of a cigar butt. Most chipotle chilis found in the United States are of the morita variety. Almost all of the chipotle meco is consumed in Mexico.

Chipotles are purchased in forms, including chipotle powder, chipotle pods, chipotles en adobo in a can, concentrated chipotle base and wet chipotle meat marinade.

Other varieties of chilis are smoke-dried, including red jalapeños, serranos, habaneros, New Mexico chilis, Hungarian wax peppers, Santa Fe Grande chilis, and a milder jalapeño called the TAM (a cultivarnamed for Texas A&M University). Lesser-known varieties of smoked chilis include cobán, a piquín chilenative to southern Mexico and Guatemala; pasilla de Oaxaca, a variety of pasilla from Oaxaca used in mole negro; jalapeño chico, jalapeños, smoked while still green; and capones (“castrated ones”), a rare smoked red jalapeño without seeds.

The element I’ve found in the British concept of hot peppers mainly occurs in hot sauce, bottled, on the side.   When I have ordered things described as chipotle flavored, the heat is just not there.   Of course, that’s often true in U.S. food in restaurants, and the tendency to make public attraction of food that’s dependably bland is a fault of large scale production.

There are a lot of advantages of having peppers dried, but for my taste, the hot fresh peppers are the best seasoning for a really enjoyable heat in any dish.

(Picture courtesy of wormwould at flickr.com.)

A variety of fresh peppers
A variety of fresh peppers

This is my last post from over here on the other side of the pond, and I’ll be leaving Tuesday from Heathrow, landing late and jet lagged in Pittsburgh, talk to you next from NW PA.   While it’s been good to be in London, visit my longtime friend, and Avedon very appreciative of my help, I do not want to move away from home base again for a long, long time.

Saturday Art: The Fauve ‘School’ of Art

Self Portrait of Van Gogh, dedicated to Gauguin
Self Portrait of Van Gogh, dedicated to Gauguin

(Picture courtesy of Steven Zucker at flickr.com.)

This is my last post from Great Britain, and since I have done two posts on art movements, or schools, I am throwing in the Fauves, since Van Gogh was mentioned in comments.   In present times, he is recognized as having been both inspired and mentally disabled, a combination that occurs in genius for good and bad, even sometimes is seen as necessary to genius.   His painting inspired the Fauves, including Gauguin, Matisse and Roualt, and gave freedom to artists breaking with staid tradition.

The wild and eccentric painting of a world Van Gogh perceived and tried to put on canvas appeals to us now, but was beyond the acceptable realm of the art world of his time.  Fantasy has become visible in art since his time, but the unseen realm Van Gogh put on canvas disturbed his world and was put to the side by collectors as too wild and extreme.  Those who appreciated his work presented it to others who saw its appeal and some were caught up by it, following it in their own work.

Gustave Moreau was the movement’s inspirational teacher;[7] a controversial professor at theÉcole des Beaux-Arts in Paris and a Symbolist painter, he taught Matisse, Marquet, Manguin, Rouault and Camoin during the 1890s, and was viewed by critics as the group’s philosophical leader until Matisse was recognized as such in 1904.[7] Moreau’s broad-mindedness, originality and affirmation of the expressive potency of pure color was inspirational for his students.[8] Matisse said of him, “He did not set us on the right roads, but off the roads. He disturbed our complacency.”[8] This source of empathy was taken away with Moreau’s death in 1898, but the artists discovered other catalysts for their development.[8]

In 1896, Matisse, then an unknown art student, visited the artist John Peter Russell on the island of Belle Île off Brittany.[9] Russell was anImpressionist painter; Matisse had never previously seen an Impressionist work directly, and was so shocked at the style that he left after ten days, saying, “I couldn’t stand it any more.”[9] The next year he returned as Russell’s student and abandoned his earth-colored palette for bright Impressionist colors, later stating, “Russell was my teacher, and Russell explained color theory to me.”[9] Russell had been a close friend of Vincent van Gogh and gave Matisse a Van Gogh drawing.[9]

(snip)

After viewing the boldly colored canvases of Henri Matisse, André Derain, Albert Marquet,Maurice de Vlaminck, Kees van Dongen, Charles Camoin, and Jean Puy at the Salon d’Automneof 1905, the critic Louis Vauxcelles disparaged the painters as “fauves” (wild beasts), thus giving their movement the name by which it became known, Fauvism. The artists shared their first exhibition at the 1905 Salon d’Automne. The group gained their name afterVauxcelles described their show of work with the phrase “Donatello chez les fauves” (“Donatello among the wild beasts”), contrasting their “orgie of tones” with a Renaissance-style sculpture that shared the room with them.[11][12] Henri Rousseau was not a Fauve, but his large jungle scene The Hungry Lion Throws Itself on the Antelope was exhibited near Matisse’s work and may have had an influence on the pejorative used.[13] Vauxcelles’ comment was printed on 17 October 1905 in Gil Blas,[11] a daily newspaper, and passed into popular usage.[12][14] The pictures gained considerable condemnation—”A pot of paint has been flung in the face of the public”, wrote the criticCamille Mauclair (1872–1945)—but also some favorable attention.[12] The painting that was singled out for attacks was Matisse’sWoman with a Hat; this work’s purchase by Gertrude and Leo Stein had a very positive effect on Matisse, who was suffering demoralization from the bad reception of his work.[12] Matisse’s Neo-Impressionist landscape, Luxe, Calme et Volupté, had already been exhibited at the Salon des Indépendantsin the spring of 1905.[15]

Van Gogh is a classic now because a very small group admired and insisted on supporting him.   We can thank the non-conformists that were few but of immense value and saw him as an artist with a vision of unusual character.

(Picture courtesy of Paul Curto at flickr.com.)

By the Sea by Gauguin
By the Sea by Gauguin

(Picture courtesy of Kaitlin at flickr.com.)

Odalisque by Matisse
Odalisque by Matisse

(Picture courtesy of Martin Beek at flickr.com.)

Roualt painting of a clown
Roualt painting of a clown

Over Easy: Around the World

Kensington Palace Orangery serves easy eggs, you see
Kensington Palace Orangery serves easy eggs, you see

(Picture courtesy of Herry Lawford at flickr.com.)

Welcome to Thursday’s Over Easy, a continuation of Southern Dragon’s Lakeside Diner and its tradition of giving an overview of news our everyday media doesn’t cover, issues that we ought to consider outside the U.S. scene.   Yes, still from Over There in London, and I’m still showing the palace over easy eggs.  Next week, however, I’ll be back in PA and posting from there.

Should anyone wish to do a post for Friday’s Over Easy please let me know, otherwise I’ll leave another placeholder one as I will be out all day, a trip to Avebury’s stone circle and Stonehenge are on my schedule.

While events NASA has engineered aren’t from the outside in themselves, our new images from Pluto do seem to be extraterrestrial enough to qualify as foreign – and al Jazeera is another outside source, nice that we share these photos.

A zoom-in of Pluto reveals an icy range about as high as the Rockies — but Pluto, according to NASA, “cannot be heated by gravitational interactions with a much larger planetary body.” This means some other process must be building these mountains.

“This may cause us to rethink what powers geological activity on many other icy worlds,” said a New Horizons mission scientist, John Spencer.

The mountains, NASA said, are not more than 100 million years ago. A NASA press release called them “mere youngsters in a 4.56-billion-year-old solar system.”

Greece reached an agreement to provide the European Union with what it demands, in return for a bank bailout, and demonstrations against the capitulation washed through the streets.

Greece’s parliament has taken a crucial step towards a third bailout, by approving the economic measures required by its lenders.

With 229 MPs voting yes, and just 64 voting no, Athens has now given the green light to the plan — even though the prime minister himself admitted many of the “harsh” measures would hurt the Greek economy.

This means that other European parliaments can now vote on the plan too. And it should encourage the eurozone to finalise a $7bn bridge loan later on Wednesday.

The military exercise known as Jade Helm is providing a lot of fun for RT, where theresulting paranoia is seen as another outbreak of the result of U.S. involvement in surreptitious operations.

…some have taken the lack of media access to Jade Helm seriously. While the military has allowed reporters to cover drills in the past, Army Special Operations Command spokesman Lt. Col. Mark Lastoria said they would not be permitted to follow troops this time. A select number of reporters may be allowed to observe parts of the operation later, but that has yet to be determined.

(snip)

Meanwhile, a group of hundreds of people has formed the “Counter Jade Helm” operation, during which volunteers will try to tail military participants, observe their actions, and report on their locations. While group surveillance leader Eric Johnston said he’s not concerned about Texas falling under martial law, he told the Houston Chronicle that he wants to maintain checks on the government.

“If a team member sees two Humvees full of soldiers driving through town, they’re going to follow them,” Johnston said. “And they’re going to radio back their ultimate location.”

The Large Hadron Collider has proved itself, finding a new particle called the pentaquark, such a good name for particle to follow Higgs Boson.

It was first predicted to exist in the 1960s but, much like the Higgs boson particle before it, the pentaquark eluded science for decades until its detection at the LHC.

(snip)

“There is quite a history with pentaquarks, which is also why we were very careful in putting this paper forward,” Patrick Koppenburg, physics co-ordinator for LHCb at Cern, told BBC News.

“It’s just the word ‘pentaquark’ which seems to be cursed somehow because there have been many discoveries that were then superseded by new results that showed that previous ones were actually fluctuations and not real signals.”

Never.Give.Up.

Sunday Food: Wensleydale Cheese

Wensleydale cheese and black grapes
Wensleydale cheese and black grapes

(Picture courtesy of Carol at flickr.com.)

There are a lot of discoveries going on, and this week I happened to pick up some of a cheese brand I wasn’t familiar with, and found out it’s not just a British peculiarity, it’s got wonderful history.   Wensleydale cheese is crumbly and has honeyed flavor, goes wonderfully with fruit.   I’d been attracted to it, as it had cranberries in it like some of my favorite Pennsylvania Stilton.

Wensleydale cheese was first made by French Cistercian monks from the Roquefort region, who had settled in Wensleydale. They built a monastery at Fors, but some years later the monks moved to Jervaulx in Lower Wensleydale. They brought with them a recipe for making cheese from sheep’s milk.[4]During the 14th century cows’ milk began to be used instead, and the character of the cheese began to change. A little ewes’ milk was still mixed in since it gave a more open texture, and allowed the development of the blue mould. At that time, Wensleydale was almost always blue with the white variety almost unknown. Nowadays, the opposite is true, with blue Wensleydale rarely seen. When the monastery was dissolved in 1540 the local farmers continued making the cheese right up until the Second World War, during which most milk in the country was used for the making of “Government Cheddar“.[5] Even after rationing ceased in 1954, cheese making did not return to pre-war levels.[6]

(snip)

Wensleydale was one of the cheeses named by John Cleese in the Monty Python sketch “The Cheese Shop“, which originally appeared in a 1972 episode of Monty Python’s Flying Circus. In addition, the shop owner, played by Michael Palin, was named ‘Henry Wensleydale’, which caused some confusion between the two when the cheese was mentioned.

In the 1990s, sales of Wensleydale cheese had fallen so low that production was at risk of being suspended.[11] However, the popular Wallace and Gromit animated shorts A Grand Day Out and A Close Shave had the main character Wallace, a cheese connoisseur, mention Wensleydale as a particularly favourite cheese. Animator Nick Park chose it solely because it had a good name that would be interesting to animate rather than due to its origins in northern England where the shorts were set. He was also unaware of the company’s financial difficulties.[12] The company contacted Aardman Animations about a licence for a special brand of “Wallace and Gromit Wensleydale”, which proved to be an enormous success.[13] When the 2005 full-length Wallace and Gromit film, Curse of the Were-Rabbit, was released, sales of Wensleydale cheeses jumped by 23%.[14][15]

It’s survived since the 1100’s for a reason, and you’ll enjoy this when you get some.   The plate of fruits and cheeses cries for the Wensleydale taste and texture, wishing you a great experience when you arrive at such a plate.

(Picture courtesy of Arthaey Angosii at flickr.com.)

Comic figures adopt Wensleydale cheese.
Comic figures adopt Wensleydale cheese.

Saturday Art: Realism Supplanted Romanticism, Commoners its Subject

The Gleaners by Millet
The Gleaners by Millet

(Picture courtesy of Lynn at flickr.com.)

As in the past few weeks I’ve presented Cubism, along with artists that were part of that movement and associated non-representational schools of art, today in honor of the Greek overturn of imposed austerity, I’m going to the art movement that participated in the revolutionary times in France and also the U.S.    Realism in French art proclaimed the ascendancy of working class people and moved away from devoting canvas to idealised lives only available to the moneyed classes.  Major proponents were Courbet, Daumier, Corot and Millet, who rejected the French Academy and portrayed the working class that kept the aristocracy afloat.

The Realist movement in French art flourished from about 1840 until the late nineteenth century, and sought to convey a truthful and objective vision of contemporary life. Realism emerged in the aftermath of the Revolution of 1848 that overturned the monarchy of Louis-Philippe and developed during the period of the Second Empire under Napoleon III. As French society fought for democratic reform, the Realists democratized art by depicting modern subjects drawn from the everyday lives of the working class. Rejecting the idealized classicism of academic art and the exotic themes of Romanticism, Realism was based on direct observation of the modern world. In keeping with Gustave Courbet’s statement in 1861 that “painting is an essentially concrete art and can only consist in the representation of real and existing things,” Realists recorded in often gritty detail the present-day existence of humble people, paralleling related trends in the naturalist literature of Émile Zola, Honoré de Balzac, and Gustave Flaubert. The elevation of the working class into the realms of high art and literature coincided with Pierre Proudhon’s socialist philosophies and Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto, published in 1848, which urged a proletarian uprising.

(snip)

Courbet’s choice of contemporary subject matter and his flouting of artistic convention was interpreted by some as an anti-authoritarian political threat. Proudhon, in fact, read The Stonebreakers as an “irony directed against our industrialized civilization … which is incapable of freeing man from the heaviest, most difficult, most unpleasant tasks, the eternal lot of the poor.” To achieve an honest and straightforward depiction of rural life, Courbet eschewed the idealized academic technique and employed a deliberately simple style, rooted in popular imagery, which seemed crude to many critics of the day. His Young Women from the Village (40.175), exhibited at the Salon of 1852, violates conventional rules of scale and perspective and challenges traditional class distinctions by underlining the close connections between the young women (the artist’s sisters), who represent the emerging rural middle class, and the poor cowherd who accepts their charity.

When two of Courbet’s major works (A Burial at Ornans and The Painter’s Studio) were rejected by the jury of the 1855 Exposition Universelle in Paris, he withdrew his eleven accepted submissions and displayed his paintings privately in his Pavillon du Réalisme, not far from the official international exhibition. For the introduction to the catalogue of this independent, one-man show, Courbet wrote a Realist manifesto, echoing the tone of the period’s political manifestos, in which he asserts his goal as an artist “to translate the customs, the ideas, the appearance of my epoch according to my own estimation.” In his autobiographical The Painter’s Studio (Musée d’Orsay, Paris), Courbet is surrounded by groups of his friends, patrons, and even his models, documenting his artistic and political experiences since the Revolution of 1848.

During the same period, Jean-François Millet (1814–1875) executed scenes of rural life that monumentalize peasants at work, such as Sheep Shearing Beneath a Tree (40.12.3). While a large portion of the French population was migrating from rural areas to the industrialized cities, Millet left Paris in 1849 and settled in Barbizon, where he lived the rest of his life, close to the rustic subjects he painted throughout his career. The Gleaners (Musée d’Orsay, Paris), exhibited at the Salon of 1857, created scandal because of its honest depiction of rural poverty.

The value of labor and life of common people overcomes the domination of the elites when we value humanity.   It gives us democracy and prosperity itself.   These are times to get back to reality in our value systems.

(Picture courtesy of jean louis mazieres at flickr.com.)

Memories of Mortfontaine by Corot
Memories of Mortfontaine by Corot

(Picture courtesy of Burcu Y at flickr.com.)

Poor Woman of the Village by Courbet
Poor Woman of the Village by Courbet

(Picture courtesy of Ashley van Haeften at flickr.com.)

Les Fricoteaur Politiques by Daumier (in Charivaree)
Les Fricoteaur Politiques by Daumier (in Charivari)

Over Easy: Owed on a Grecian Earn(ings)

Urn said to have inspired Keats, in British Museum, the Portland Vase
One Grecian Urn said to have inspired Keats, in British Museum – the Portland Vase – although Keats used several models

(Picture courtesy of Curto on flickr.com.)

Morning, pups, being a bit silly but a congratulations is due to the Greek voters for saying no to robbery by banksters, and I’m hoping all of this works to increase their well-being.   Of course, austerity was preventing that well-being and calling the EU on its abuse is praiseworthy.   While the proposed plan Tsipras has offered does reduce pensions and elevate taxes, it is a plan to work with and not one imposed by the EU.   The Greek people have a right to be proud.

How do you feel about what has happened to the EU and to Greece in their mutual experience?

The poem itself;   Ode on a Grecian Urn, by John Keats;

Thou still unravish’d bride of quietness,
       Thou foster-child of silence and slow time,
Sylvan historian, who canst thus express
       A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:
What leaf-fring’d legend haunts about thy shape
       Of deities or mortals, or of both,
               In Tempe or the dales of Arcady?
       What men or gods are these? What maidens loth?
What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?
               What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?

 

Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
       Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;
Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear’d,
       Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone:
Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave
       Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare;
               Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss,
Though winning near the goal yet, do not grieve;
       She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,
               For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!

 

Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed
         Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu;
And, happy melodist, unwearied,
         For ever piping songs for ever new;
More happy love! more happy, happy love!
         For ever warm and still to be enjoy’d,
                For ever panting, and for ever young;
All breathing human passion far above,
         That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloy’d,
                A burning forehead, and a parching tongue.

 

Who are these coming to the sacrifice?
         To what green altar, O mysterious priest,
Lead’st thou that heifer lowing at the skies,
         And all her silken flanks with garlands drest?
What little town by river or sea shore,
         Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel,
                Is emptied of this folk, this pious morn?
And, little town, thy streets for evermore
         Will silent be; and not a soul to tell
                Why thou art desolate, can e’er return.

 

O Attic shape! Fair attitude! with brede
         Of marble men and maidens overwrought,
With forest branches and the trodden weed;
         Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought
As doth eternity: Cold Pastoral!
         When old age shall this generation waste,
                Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say’st,
         “Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
                Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.”

While I will be checking back in here later in the day, tomorrow I will be out for much of the time my Saturday Art post is up, so hope you have a good visit but I’ll be away for most of it.