e-mail letter from Patrick to Fred on 20 Jan ‘1, which Patrick sent to me on 8 Sep ’15 as part of a large collection. Patrick was responding to an earlier message in-line, so I’m showing Fred’s text in italics below.
we just return from hearing mozart, schumann, and shostakovitch for violin and piano to find yours. i’m slightly drunk and stoned and therefore absolve myself in advance…
Pat, the translator is Edward Snow, pub. is North point Press. I think you’d love it.
I will watch for it. I don´t even know who translated the volume I have since Island Trees,; now I will have a look. I reread from time to time, fascinated by the tone which forces you to take him seriously, though it is obvious — as you intimate — that he is unhinged by what he knows and dreads and expounds and stirs like magma.
But, yeah. Ooooo to be 10 now. What the next generation will know!
and so it is, on the level you celebrate. such optimism is due to those who see poetry and lyric thought as the covenant — elective affinities to the apotheosis of art — always the province a few lechers, aesthetes and doomed saints. but contrary to my coal country leftist hopes and obsession, the common man now holds the media in thrall with his common desires, based on what his common masters found to sell, and he now sells it to himself wholesale. the common denominator. does that say common un-namer. does everyman really think he is as wise as the uncommon man?
but,if music is a measure, and I believe it is, there will be cities of galvanized men, and dancers will seldom be two, but whole tribes, the ping of the balpeen hammer will be their Maria Callas, the Rapping Papers will be the Bill of Wrongs. If Phillip Glass and Goritzky´s 3rd Symphony and the Silos Gregorian are the peak of current classical betsellers (sic in español) music, the celestial creators will be as scarce as devils in heaven.
Nonetheless, we have Pendereçki, and Messaien, and we hear rumors of benditos composing film, song, and book (e.g. helprin’s a winter tale) which still hold goblets of liquid praise for creation, sprinkling dew from chasubles . four bars of French horns sends glory into the sunrise. a guitar with a wowwow curdles the clouds, at the end of the day. terror is now the state of the art in pop culture. even high fashion in the european magazines seems to be rooted in de sade and aimed at vampires and their willing consorts. never thought i would see the day when doris day would seem sipid, if you get me.
remember your ezra: from every dvd let freedom ring. or was it bvd?
2 yrs, 2 cancers. Batting 1000. But don’t plan on going 3 for 3. this is my 3rd cancer. No symptoms yet. Testamonial for annual physical.
Yeah, smoking. It’s earned. This generation is obsessed with health. and so i say to stephanie every day. she still reads all the ayur veda, and plys me with antioxidants and all sort of tinted capsules
Hell, at 17 I was in the damned Marine Corps. Tomorrow??????? But smoking. For 55 yrs it has been a genuine pleasure. Each day’s 1st cigarette with 1st coffee is a holy moment. Should we concede that to death — especially at this point?
no, no, and no. that´s the ritual i hold most in memory. i may yet return to the weed, if only to retain my membership in the magic dragon society.
What is/are Norton Tools?
The most sophisticated system works i have found for taking care of my computer. a suite of tools like those that come with sports cars. virus control, optimization, one-button checkup, cleansweep for unneeded cookies and xfiles from the web. a trojan for your hard disk.
Are you getting Ken Burns (help; who is he?) JAZZ on yr new TV. You’d love it.
i´ll have a look. we get a german tv station rich in jazz, including some amazing harlem renaissance films with bessie smith, before hollywood and king vidor got hold of the black actors…and an amazing 2 hours a night on radio ii, jazz except saturdays: flamenco. jazz: america’s greatest gift to the world, if you don´t count liberace — and who does?
Love from us both.
Have a listen to the few bars I have finished transcribing from the manuscript of samuel coleridge-taylor’s nonet. the only 19th century black english composer i know of. best known for a thing called hiawatha. his father was an ambassador from sierra leone, his mother an englishwoman, abandoned when he was recalled. sam´s daughter, also a composer, reputedly wants to know nothing about his music, which lies mostly unpublished in the british museum.
nobody nowadays tries to write such a sweeping melody, innocent in its simplicity, hopeful in its drive. unless it’s to advertise a car
www.soundpost.org/nonet.htm [link no longer valid]
Patrick Meadows 1934 – 2017.