Saturday, January 27, 2024

I'm looking at the man in the Miro

Joan Miró – Untitled, 1949

(And with thanks to Andrew Braunberger)

Friday, January 26, 2024

John Milton Sonnet 19: When I consider how my light is spent (c. mid-1650s)

When I consider how my light is spent,

   Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,

   And that one Talent which is death to hide

   Lodged with me useless, though my Soul more bent

To serve therewith my Maker, and present

   My true account, lest he returning chide;

   “Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?”

   I fondly ask. But patience, to prevent

That murmur, soon replies, “God doth not need

   Either man’s work or his own gifts; who best

   Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state

Is Kingly. Thousands at his bidding speed

   And post o’er Land and Ocean without rest:

   They also serve who only stand and wait.”

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Psychology 101

I see Queen Mab hath been with you.
She is the fairies' midwife, and she comes 
In shape no bigger than an agate-stone                    
On the fore-finger of an alderman,
Drawn with a team of little atomies
Athwart men's noses as they lie asleep;
Her wagon-spokes made of long spiders' legs,
The cover of the wings of grasshoppers,                   
The traces of the smallest spider's web,
The collars of the moonshine's watery beams,
Her whip of cricket's bone, the lash of film,
Her wagoner a small grey-coated gnat,
Not so big as a round little worm                              
Prick'd from the lazy finger of a maid;
Her chariot is an empty hazel-nut
Made by the joiner squirrel or old grub,
Time out o' mind the fairies' coachmakers.
And in this state she gallops night by night                
Through lovers' brains, and then they dream of love;
O'er courtiers' knees, that dream on court'sies straight,
O'er lawyers' fingers, who straight dream on fees,
O'er ladies ' lips, who straight on kisses dream,
Which oft the angry Mab with blisters plagues,        
Because their breaths with sweetmeats tainted are:
Sometime she gallops o'er a courtier's nose,
And then dreams he of smelling out a suit;
And sometime comes she with a tithe-pig's tail
Tickling a parson's nose as a' lies asleep,                   
Then dreams, he of another benefice:
Sometime she driveth o'er a soldier's neck,
And then dreams he of cutting foreign throats,
Of breaches, ambuscadoes, Spanish blades,
Of healths five-fathom deep; and then anon             
Drums in his ear, at which he starts and wakes,
And being thus frighted swears a prayer or two
And sleeps again. This is that very Mab
That plats the manes of horses in the night,
And bakes the elflocks in foul sluttish hairs,             
Which once untangled, much misfortune bodes:
This is the hag, when maids lie on their backs,
That presses them and learns them first to bear,
Making them women of good carriage:
This is she—
                                                        Romeo and Juliet, Act I, scene iv

J M W Turner - Queen Mab’s Cave, 1846, detail

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Steamlyannaya Hamonika (1968)

YouTube gloss:

Steamlyannaya Hamonika (1968) depicts the isolation and brutalization of humans in modern bourgeois society. Although being broadly in line with other art-as-propaganda of the era, censors felt it could easily be read as a criticism of the party, leaving this subversive short as the only animated film to be banned in the Soviet Union.

Monday, January 22, 2024

Milton Revealed

This evening, I recommend a visit to the Milton Revealed website.  The site is directed by Hugh Macrae Richmond, Emeritus Professor of English, University of California at Berkeley.  Professor Richmond’s art appears in Emanations: When a Planet was a Planet, and he has an essay about teaching at Berkeley in the recently released Emanations Zen.

To visit the site, click the image of Michael putting Old Scratch in his place:

Sunday, January 21, 2024

Saturday, January 20, 2024

Critters Annual Readers Poll 2023 - Michael Butterworth Wins "Best Poet"

As I reported last November.  Michael Butterworth had been nominated for the Critters Annual Readers Poll for Best Poet.  He has won for his Collected Poems. See my review HERE.

The book is now longlisted for a British Fantasy Association Award for "Best Collection." Please click
HERE, scroll down 1/3 of the page.

Friday, January 19, 2024

Book Link Restoration

The book cover links to the respective Amazon descriptions are now restored to the right margin of the Highbrow blog.

I experimented with various sizes, and the new cover images are slightly larger than before. Even larger cover images of the ten volumes of Emanations have also been restored to the Emanations blog, please click
HERE or the image below.

Monday, January 15, 2024

Maintenance, continued: book links returning

As I explained January 6, 2024, the Amazon book cover links along the right margin of the blog were no longer appearing.  I have found a solution to the problem.  The entire fix will require several days to complete. The links to The Invisible Tower Trilogy, Tally-Ho, Cornelius!, Diogenes and Emanations Zen have been restored.

Saturday, January 13, 2024

Hero of Rome, 1964

Click HERE for the Wikipedia gloss.

Thursday, January 11, 2024


Wassily Kandinsky. "Eckig" (Angular), 1931. Pen, ink and watercolor on paper; 19 1/2 x 13 7/8 inch. Rowland Weinstein Gallery, San Francisco.

Saturday, January 6, 2024

Maintenance Issue

Amazon has discontinued supporting the book links. The links still work, but the cover images have disappeared. I'll see if I can improvise new links with restored covers.

Friday, January 5, 2024

Yuliyana Krivoshapkina "Dance of the Hands"


Lyrics (as such):

I will gently touch

The mysterious khomus,

And my soul will sing full of love

Setting us both to fly.


Khomus is ringing,

singing and rippling,

Glorifying the life to the dance of hands —

We will fly on these fine wings

Creating all the happiness with sounds.

Khomus?  Click HERE.

Tuesday, January 2, 2024