FC: Actions Without the Need for Words By Austin Mitchell
1: Actions Without the Need for Words By Austin Mitchell Stillwater, Oklahoma 2009
2: All pictures from Mixbook unless noted
3: Table of Contents Part 1: Music Evening Concert, Sainte-Chapelle... Pg 6 War-Music... Pg 8 Master of Music... Pg 10 The Musical Rain... Pg 12 The Violin... Pg 14 Part 2: War I Have a Rendezvous with Death... Pg 18 Silent Guns... Pg 20 The Happy Warrior... Pg 22 The Soldier... Pg 24 War... Pg 26 From the Dawn... Pg 28 The Thief... Pg 30
6: Evening Concert, Sainte-Chapelle By John Updike The celebrated windows flamed with light directly pouring north across the Seine; we rustled into place. Then violins vaunting Vivaldi's strident strength, then Brahms, seemed to suck with their passionate sweetness, bit by bit, the vigor from the red, the blazing blue, so that the listening eye saw suddenly the thick black lines, in shapes of shield and cross and strut and brace, that held the holy glowing fantasy together. The music surged; the glow became a milk, a whisper to the eye, a glimmer ebbed until our beating hearts, our violins were cased in thin but solid sheets of lead.
7: From the time I read the second line of this poem, I was entranced by the bright light appearing, not sure what to expect except. The way that he describes the pages of music transforming into fantasy is incredible. Being a violinist myself, I know the idea and hopes of turning black ink into emotions. It’s what we do. He is able to effectively describe the surges of thoughts after a certain line is reached, and how powerful of an instrument it really is. Even though the size of the violin seems vulnerable and brittle, the emotions it carried were “but solid sheets of lead”. This poem brings reality in the form of fantasy and passion. | Painting by Austin Mitchell
8: War-Music by Henry Van Dyke Break off! Dance no more! Danger is at the door. Music is in arms. To signal war's alarms. Hark, a sudden trumpet calling Over the hill! Why are you calling, trumpet, calling? What is your will? Men, men, men ! Men who are ready to fight For their country's life, and the right Of a liberty-loving land to be Free, free, free! Free from a tyrant's chain, Free from dishonor's stain, Free to guard and maintain All that her fathers fought for, All that her sons have wrought for, Resolute, brave, and free! Call again, trumpet, call again, Call up the men! Do you hear the storm of cheers Mingled with the women's tears And the tramp, tramp, tramp of marching feet? Do you hear the throbbing drum As the hosts of battle come | Keeping time, time, time to its beat? O Music give a song To make their spirit strong For the fury of the tempest they must meet. The hoarse roar Of the monster guns; And the sharp bark Of the lesser guns; The whine of the shells, The rifles' clatter Where the bullets patter, The rattle, rattle, rattle Of the mitrailleuse in battle, And the yells Of the men who charge through hells Where the poison gas descends, And the bursting shrapnel rends Limb from limb In the dim Chaos and clamor of the strife Where no man thinks of his life But only of fighting through, Blindly fighting through, through! 'Tis done At last! The victory won, The dissonance of warfare past!
9: O Music mourn the dead Whose loyal blood was shed, And sound the taps for every hero slain; Then lead into the song That made their spirit strong, And tell the world they did not die in vain. Thank God we can see, in the glory of morn, The invincible flag that our fathers defended; And our hearts can repeat what the heroes have sworn, That war shall not end till the war-lust is ended. Then the bloodthirsty sword shall no longer be lord Of the nations oppressed by the conqueror's horde, But the banners of freedom shall peacefully wave O'er the world of the free and the lands of the brave. | I really enjoy this poem because it takes war, a grim situation, and explains it through music. Of course it has the sound of trumpets in the beginning along with the marching, but instead of this poem being about the traditional sense of music; it describes all of the sounds that go into making the emotions of war. Those sounds create the distinct music occurring with the visual in the poem.
10: Master of Music by Henry Van Dyke Glory of architect, glory of painter, and sculptor, and bard, Living forever in temple and picture and statue and song, -- Look how the world with the lights that they lit is illumined and starred, Brief was the flame of their life, but the lamps of their art burn long! Where is the Master of Music, and how has he vanished away? Where is the work that he wrought with his wonderful art in the air? Gone, -- it is gone like the glow on the cloud at the close of the day! The Master has finished his work, and the glory of music is -- where? Once, at the wave of his wand, all the billows of musical sound Followed his will, as the sea was ruled by the prophet of old: Now that his hand is relaxed, and his rod has dropped to the ground, Silent and dark are the shores where the marvelous harmonies rolled! Nay, but not silent the hearts that were filled by that life-giving sea; Deeper and purer forever the tides of their being will roll, Grateful and joyful, O Master, because they have listened to thee, -- The glory of music endures in the depths of the human soul.
11: I really like this poem because it gave me a whole new outlook as to differentiating music from the other arts. I don’t notice when I finish a drawing or painting that it will be there to last. Music disappears as soon as the person wills it. Not once does Henry Van Dyke refer to a master of another art discipline because they cannot truly control every aspect of it. Only the master of music can control time and t which makes music so special. Painting by Austin Mitchell
12: The Musical Rain By Nettie Noble Hammon Music fills the air, Comes in everywhere, While by the door I sit, Leaves are smiling green, Eaves too heavy seem While by the rain are hit. On the music rolls Soothing other souls Who longed for music, too; Lighter now it falls, Blither, too, it calls, Where weary hearts renew. | Picture by Austin Mitchell
13: This poem is one of my favorites for simplicity, while effectively describing the atmosphere when music is present. Music goes all around and creates vibrancy everything near it. The writing style has plain short stanzas, and the reactions to each line are spaced to the right which adds to the overall effect. I like how it takes music and has it calm and make everything a little better. Music has everybody experiencing the same emotions in this poem, having an effect on all of its surroundings.
14: The Violin By J.E. Ball The Violin, all good musicians say, While yet in babyhood you must begin; And so, beneath my little rounded chin, ’Twas promptly tucked, and I began to play The Violin. No ear had I, or skill; but Discipline Recked not of that; and so I sawed away, And rent the air with Purgatorial din; Pondering the while, profoundly, day by day, Of dark recesses, secret nooks, wherein I might (with Providential aid) mislay The Violin.
15: This poem caught my eye because I could so easily relate to it. It made me chuckle after reading the end line, because it instantly brought me back to the days in 5th grade when I would play the violin (or watch others play) and the most horrendous sound would come out of it. We were taught to “saw away”, not caring what came out of it. I also had the honor of knowing people that were forced to play the violin, and would most definitely crush it if they had the option. I might even crush it for them… Those were the days of my violin playing… | Drawing by Austin Mitchell
18: I Have a Rendezvous with Death by Alan Seeger. I have a rendezvous with Death At some disputed barricade, When Spring comes back with rustling shade And apple-blossoms fill the air- I have a rendezvous with Death When Spring brings back blue days and fair. It may be he shall take my hand And lead me into his dark land And close my eyes and quench my breath- It may be I shall pass him still. I have a rendezvous with Death On some scarred slope of battered hill, When Spring comes round again this year And the first meadow-flowers appear. God knows 'twere better to be deep Pillowed in silk and scented down, Where love throbs out in blissful sleep, Pulse nigh to pulse, and breath to breath, Where hushed awakenings are dear... But I've a rendezvous with Death At midnight in some flaming town, When Spring trips north again this year, And I to my pledged word am true, I shall not fail that rendezvous. | Photo by Javier Miranda
19: This is without a doubt my favorite poem of all time. It expressively captivates the mind of the soldier, walking into war, and preparing for the worst. The personification of death is spectacular, meeting him wherever the battlefield lies. I was first introduced to this poem in an advertisement for a video game I play, but the poem stuck with me. The first two lines of the second stanza are my absolute favorite, because there is death leading the soldier into “his dark land”. Whoever is leading him, the outlook is grim, but surreal aspect of the warrior shows the dedication and spirit.
20: Silent Guns By Rae Faye At last the mad conflict is over; The warplanes scream no more; The ships that slipped like ghosts through the night, Lie anchored near the shore. No longer is heard the weird echo, Of bombs bursting o’er the hill; While towns that shrieked with air raid alarms, Seem strangely quiet and still. So at last the big guns are silent, No longer the cannons roar; While the measured tread of the soldiers, In the distance is heard no more. But although the big guns are silent, Many mothers at home now weep, For the boys that lie beneath the sod; Sleeping their last long sleep
21: The hopes of this poem make me enjoy reading it. It makes me question what if everybody was to drop their weapons. The sounds would cease to be heard, and those already lost would forever be there. The last line is interesting in that it doesn’t necessarily mean that the soldiers would no longer be alive, but that no more will suffer such. When war ends, those ranks of soldiers are the last ones to enter into eternal sleep for such a death. | Picture by Austin Mitchell
22: The Happy Warrior By Herbert Read His wild heart beats with painful sobs, His strin'd hands clench an ice-cold rifle, His aching jaws grip a hot parch'd tongue, His wide eyes search unconsciously. He cannot shriek. Bloody saliva Dribbles down his shapeless jacket. I saw him stab And stab again A well-killed Boche. This is the happy warrior, This is he... | Picture by Austin Mitchell
23: When browsing for war poems, this looked at the battlefield and the perception of the soldier at a twisted view. I can only attempt to imagine actually being in a war, but this seems like it shows the only thing going through a soldier’s head: survive. Whenever he survives, no matter the atrocity, he will be happy because his only goal is achieved. A rather skewed view, but unfortunately grotesquely true. Background from Mixbook
24: The Soldier By Rupert Brooke If I should die, think only this of me: That there's some corner of a foreign field That is forever England. There shall be In that rich earth a richer dust concealed; A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware, Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam, A body of England's, breathing English air, Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home. And think, this heart, all evil shed away, A pulse in the eternal mind, no less Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given; Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day; And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness, In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.
25: I really enjoy this poem because it creates a finish point for the toughest times. It isn’t England, but for each reader, there is a place to fight for. People that stand for what they believe in. Those are the soldiers. Always protecting the heaven and far off land they believe in. The soldier in the foreign field is being put through a trial, but the simply knowing that he is doing good, acting for his desires and dreams, makes this poem in high spirits. | Photo by Austin Mitchell
26: War By Cosette Faust Newton Oh! How the gray dawn sobs Drearily, drearily, Waking to war-wound throbs, Wearily, wearily; Dazed by the death she brings From hatred’s hidden springs, Weeping for hearts she wrings At break of day. Pools of peeping light Timidly stealing Out of the soul of night, - Suddenly reeling, Weighted with bravery blooms, Scented with sulphur fumes, Spawn of bursting wombs, - Devil’s bouquet! | Photo by Palm Dog
27: The aspect of this poem I like the most is the odd rhyme scheme and use of repetition. How the indented lines rhyme help repeat the emotions in the line above them in interesting as well. It even noted the baby boom occurring at the time towards the end and how sadness led to it. After the ravages of war swept by, people tried to repair, but this author calls it a devil’s bouquet… | Photo by Palm Dog
28: From the Dawn By Austin Mitchell The calming snow falls As the sun of summer fades, The darkness of routine decays Leaving only the cold breeze of a new year The calming snow falls. Empires rise and fall Carving the history of all Lives disappear with the changing weather Timer’s state meets modern times As Isabella unites us all in hoping, setting the stage Empires rise and fall. Like cotton in the wind, we sway in the right direction Artists begin to entwine and create As innovation takes away the need for realism Equality comes about only to be a brightly colored mask for malfunction Like father time, we are close to our destination. Power changes The people unite We have a common purpose The highest good is recognized Passion for sound, pictures, and people grows. Power changes, letting us open our eyes to a better time. Father Time has caught up in the race Only the blizzard lies ahead.
29: This is one of my favorite original compositions because it’s from all of the things I knew most of at the time…world history. This can be viewed as good or terrible by me and those who have gone through AP World History... but after each stanza there is a step taken in time. Through the wars and the falls of empire, Father Time continues to walk. At the very end the present is reached and only the unknown lies ahead in all of our lives. It’s amazing how much a person can ponder the unknown. | Picture by Austin Mitchell
30: The Thief By Austin Mitchell Thaumoctocus mimicus watches the passersby Knowing that this will be his last lie He sees what he wants to be And with precision and flexibility He steals another’s identity Masquerading as its personality It falls gently Capturing its prey Finding that it will never see the light of day
31: I really like this poem because it takes a scene from the life of an animal, turning its capture into a war-like event. He copies its prey, acting like a covert op, and then strikes precisely. Its prey doesn’t get the chance to react. The entire poem is rather sad, but so is the war for survival. | Painting by Austin Mitchell
32: Works Cited Ball, J.E. "The Violin." Comp. Margaret Nelson. The Book of Modern Poetry 1941. New York: Avon House, 1941. Brooke, Rupert. "V The Soldier." The Collected Poems of Rupert Brooke. Charleston, SC: BiblioBazaar, 2007. 1915. Dyke, Henry V. "Master of Music." Comp. BiblioBazaar. The Poems of Henry Van Dyke. Charleston, SC: BiblioBazaar, 2007. Dyke, Henry V. "War-Music." Comp. BiblioBazaar. The Poems of Henry Van Dyke. BiblioBazaar, 2007. 1925. Faye, Rae. "Silent Guns." Comp. Margaret Nelson. The Book of Modern Poetry 1941. New York: Avon House, 1941. Hammond, Nettie N. "The Musical Rain." Comp. Margaret Nelson. The Book of Modern Poetry 1941. New York: Avon House, 1941. Newton, Cosette C. "War." Comp. Margaret Nelson. The Book of Modern Poetry 1941. New York: Avon House, 1941. Read, Herbert. "The Happy Warrior." Collected Poems. Norfolk: New Directions, 1946. Seeger, Alan. "I Have a Rendezvous with Death." John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. Museum. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston, MA. 13 Apr. 2009
33: Austin is a person that enjoys life, especially with the little things, such as getting a snowcone, sleeping in, listening to the Beatles as well as The Who until midnight all the while doing a poetry project. He also may be listening to Smashing Pumpkins, or perhaps something such as Les Miserables. Or if you prefer to think of Austin as a person that is more of the classical type, you might find him listening to a variety of violin concertos...and some Jason Mraz...and Beirut...and Keane...and Billy Joel...and maybe a little Coldplay... Ok, he also listens to little Michael Jackson when needed. The kid can sing. | About the Author