• Upcoming trips

    13-23 January, 2018 Cruise out of New York around the Caribbean on the Norwegian Gem. Note : this trip has been cancelled altogether because of the damage caused by the hurricanes to the Caribbean islands.

    October 31st - 11 November. Caribbean cruise to break up the winter. Note: The itinerary has not yet been determined owing to the havoc wreaked by the hurricanes.
  • theatre and Concerrts

    October 8 Went to BAM, for the first time since Ethel died, to hear a wonderful modern opera composed and written by Matthew Aucoin called “Crossing”. It is based on Walt Whitman’s experience and the libretto is largely taken from his poetry.

    The story is multi-themed, as modern plays tend to be; the first is a harrowing anti war depiction of the suffering wounded seen through Whitman’s eyes when he volunteered as a nurse during the American civil war; the second is Slavery and its effect upon a run-away slave who fights on the Union side; the third is treachery portrayed by a guilt-laden deserter who spies for the South. And forth, inevitably these days, is the (entirely fictional) homosexual one.

    The powerful music fits the story perfectly and the voices of the lead singers and the chorus is magnificent; Rod Gilfry, bass-baritone, sings the part of Walt Whitman, Alexander Lewis plays John Wormley, the deserter, and Davone Tines, whose baritone reminded me, distinctly, of the sound of the legendary Paul Robeson.  Both Christine and I were extremely moved by the work. We newly discovered Walt Whitman’s poetry, too.

    October 20. Thanks to the invitation of our friend Francia, who is a member, we went to the Diller-Quaile School of Music to listen to a chamber concert given by the Diller-Quaile String Quartet. The program was comprised of Haydn and Debussy quartets; played magnificently by very experienced and talented musicians in an intimate. and perfectly designed, music space. Chatting with the musicians after the concert added to a first class evening.

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Artwork. “Bordering on Poetry”.

The second published selection of poems by Elizabeth Burton, pen name of our friend Gwen Hardie of the Border town of Earlston in Scotland.  Gwen is steeped in the history of her birthplace and fights to preserve its heritage. Many of her poems, in English or the Scots’ vernacular concern the Border heroes of yesteryear, but here is a very nice sentimental one about her Dad:




4 Responses

  1. I was curious to see which poem you had posted Ben. This is one very dear to my heart as my Father was a very special person. He deserved to be imortalised in verse.

    Elizabeth Burton

  2. Elizabeth, this former U.S.”Postie” LOVES your poem and accompanying picture. What a wonderful tribute to your father. Ben, thank you for posting this! Bonnie

  3. Gwen. I clicked on your “Elizabeth Burton” link to see your page. The images of your B.& B. brought back many fond memories–can’t wait till we set down our bags in that bedroom again!
    What a surprize! Our dear friend, Bonnie, in Portland, Oregan, was a “Postie” too. She will be visiting us in New York next week–we will discuss the rest of your volume.
    I chose the poem because the humanity and the humour of it seemed to me to be typically you and I wanted my American friends to get a whiff of the Border dialect.

  4. Thank you Bonnie and Ben for your kind words.My Father would have appreciated the humour in it and he definitely was a humanitarian. He loved life and people and always saw the good in everything.As I get older!! I often ponder over his old-fashioned sayings, which were so true.

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