A CELESTIAL ORCHESTRA!

Before me there were none

and after me there shall be no more!

Sail into the dream of new worlds!

~ The Ancient Librarian

Port_Scene_with_the_Embarkation_of_Saint_Ursula_1641The eternal vox of Ireland’s Lisa Gerrard and composer Patrick Cassidy, merging as if every instrument in the ethers integrated into one enormous celestial storm of orchestral myth.  The composition, Sailing to Byzantium was inspired by the poet William Butler Yeats’ poem by the same title.

Yeats wrote the poem in 1926, at the age of around 60. It is definitive of the agony of lost youth, an abyss of pain and inevitability of old age, societal insignificance, and the spiritual and imaginative inner work necessary to remain vital.

Byzantium was an ancient Greek city that later become Constantinople. It was the center of European civilization and the source of its spiritual philosophy. Therefore, Yeats symbolized a metaphorical journey for the spiritual life by a man pursuing his visual quest of eternal life, and the conception of paradise by sailing to the Holy City of Byzantium. Byzantium is now Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey.

astral_voyage-1Astral Voyage ~ Art Image by Josephine Wall ~ http://www.josephinewall.co.uk

Sailing to Byzantium

That is no country for old men.  The young

In one another’s arms, birds in the trees

– Those dying generations—at their song,

The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas,

Fish, flesh, or fowl commend all summer long

Whatever is begotten, born, and dies.

Caught in that sensual music all neglect

Monuments of unaging intellect.

An aged man is but a paltry thing,

A tattered coat upon a stick, unless

Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing

For every tatter in its mortal dress,

Nor is there singing school but studying

Monuments of its own magnificence;

And therefore I have sailed the seas and come

To the holy city of Byzantium.

O sages standing in God’s holy fire

As in the gold mosaic of a wall,

Come from the holy fire, perne in a gyre,

And be the singing-masters of my soul.

Consume my heart away; sick with desire

And fastened to a dying animal

It knows not what it is; and gather me

Into the artifice of eternity.

Once out of nature I shall never take

My bodily form from any natural thing,

But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make

Of hammered gold and gold enameling

To keep a drowsy Emperor awake;

Or set upon a golden bough to sing

To lords and ladies of Byzantium

Of what is past, or passing, or to come.

Sailing to Byzantium ~ Lisa Gerrard and Patrick Cassidy (Album: Immortal Memory)

 

About these ads

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Symbol Reader
    Oct 06, 2013 @ 08:01:17

    I forgot how incredibly beautiful that poem is, thank you for reminding me. The first painting is really amazing.

  2. THE ANCIENT LIBRARIAN
    Oct 06, 2013 @ 09:23:57

    You’re welcome!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 446 other followers

%d bloggers like this: