Solitary Ethics Trilogy

The poetic trilogy Solitary Ethics is an exploration of ethical and moral considerations. Book I deals with right action in the context of the experience of the individual will; Book II, in the context of the absolute nature of the essence of being; and Book III in the context of human desire guided by reason. The trilogy…

Esterháza Palace, illuminated at night

Political Insurrection and the Symphony – Mahler and Freud Meet in Leiden II:II:1

The subject of the poem “Insurrection” is the search for clarity of content in a chosen form. The forms selected are political insurrection and the orchestral symphony, both constrained by the norms of place and society. The setting is in the Hungarian forests, where the insurgents are, and the nearby Esterháza Palace, where Haydn is…

Farinelli, Poetry, Hendrik Slegtenhorst, Music, Metastasio

Artistic Sinecure – Castrato Farinelli & Philip V of Spain, from Mahler and Freud Meet in Leiden II:II:4

“Chamber Musician” appears in the middle part of the second part of Mahler and Freud Meet in Leiden. Although written, on Bowen Island, BC, in 2009 and 2010, its origin is earlier. In January, 2006, when reading the Durants’ 1967 Rousseau and Revolution, I came across this recounting of an interesting story of Farinelli, one…

Peace River, 99th Street, 16 December 2011 (Photo: Hendrik Slegtenhorst)

Shostakovich, Poetry, and the Borodin Quartet – Mahler and Freud Meet in Leiden III:II:7

My poem with images on the fifteen string quartets of Dmitri Shostakovich has now appeared in the final issue, the 167th, of Toronto’s Descant, an issue likely to become a collector’s item. There may be a few left on bookstore shelves. The poem, titled “Shostakovich in Peace River,” concludes “The Underside of Time,” which is…

Dialogues des Carmelites (Courtesy: broadwayworld.com)

Francis Poulenc – Dialogues des Carmélites (1956) – Mahler and Freud Meet in Leiden IV:II

Poulenc’s extraordinary opera is a study of the moral courage of decision within the increasingly inescapable social context of a chosen theological dialectic. The concluding scene begins with a searing orchestral invocation that introduces the 14 executions by guillotine. The final few bars hark back to the opening music of the opera, and complete the…

New Brunswick Legislative Assembly. Fredericton, New Brunswick (Courtesy: canadainpictures.com)

The Decay of Power – Mahler and Freud Meet in Leiden I:I:4 – Chrysoglott

In 2009 I worked as the chief administrative officer of St. Stephen, New Brunswick. That February, Mayor Jed Purcell, prominent businessmen, and I, all steering the town’s civic centre project were preparing for a meeting on funding with Premier Shawn Graham. Mid-morning, the mayor and I drove to Fredericton, over icy and slush-covered roads, checked…