Daily Poetry - The Voice (Matthew Arnold) of Yasmine Tamara
Yasmine Tamara's new album is part of my interactive journey to take up Goethe's advice of a daily dose of poetry, art and music as essentials in balancing beauty. In her new album Auguries of Innocence I marvel at the fantastic cover art, the vocal stylings of Europe's best kept secret and the timeless work of some of the best poets of the Victorian era. Matthew Arnold (1822 - 1888) was full of really strong emotions and opinions. His poetic works articulate the misery he felt as part of the daily 'drudgery' of life as a school inspector for Her Majesty's Schools. Whilst being remembered as affable, it is said that his work reflects his wrestle with the reconciliation of psychological isolation. What was it that would drive a man who loved to express himself and referred to as 'one of the most delightful of companions' to articulate this:
As the kindling glances,
Queen-like and clear,
Which the bright moon lances
From her tranquil shpere.
As the sleepless waters
Of a lonely mere
On the wild whirling waves
Shiver and die.
As the tears of sorrow
Mothers have shed
Prayers that tomorrow
Shall in vain be sped.
When the flower they flow for
Lies frozen and dead
Falling on the throbbing brow,
fall on the burning breast
Bringing no rest.
My guess...the cruelty of disease (Scarlett fever, Tuberculosis, and Influenza as well as the other social nasties like Syphilis amongst the lower classes of the morally promiscuous) and the social condition. Arnold traveled a significant amount for work purposes and this exposed him to the conditions of the masses that are likely not to have been ever-presenting in a tranquil genteel English countryside. He coped with what he experienced by a certain dark and pointed prosaic style.
Yasmine Tamara gives these words a special voice in her song The Voice.
"So sad and with so wild a start
To this deep-sobered heart
SO anxiously and painfully
So drearily and doubtfully
And oh with such intolerable change
Of thought, such a contrast strange
O forgotten voice, the accents come.
Like wanderers from the world's extremity
Unto their ancient home."
As a man of faith, perhaps Arnold reconciled the mire and toil with a sense of homecoming and completion and perhaps relief. Relief similar to the feeling he experienced when he returned back to his massive family of 8 after weeks abroad on business, the eyes of the fraying youth he experienced within the schools he inspected and the streets that housed them in Victorian England.
Yasmine Tamara's rock anthem gives life and energy and perhaps poses a celebration at the opposing end of the spectrum. It reminded me of "We are the Champions" and I could picture this song sung by Freddy Mercury. The song's instrumental elements show clever arrangement and movement as it oscillates from loud and rough to finite and tender. It's an upside down song that takes the listener on a beautiful journey between the disparity and light and all the stages in between.
Let me know what you think of it.