Neo-nazi vandalism in Mauthausen concentration camp


This music video from Greece says about itself:

Mikis Theodorakis Songs of Songs (Mauthausen)

The poet Iacovos Kambanellis was a prisoner in Mauthausen during World War II. At the beginning of the sixties, he wrote his memories of this time under the title of “Mauthausen”. In 1965, he also wrote four poems on the subject and he gave Mikis the opportunity to set them to music. Mikis did this with much pleasure, firstly because he liked the poetry of the texts, and secondly because he was locked up during the Nazi occupation in Italian and German prisons, but mainly because this composition gives us the chance to remind the younger generation of history, that history that must never be forgotten.

Picture: Liberated prisoners in the Mauthausen concentration camp near Linz, Austria, give a rousing welcome to Cavalrymen of the 11th Armored Division. The banner across the wall was made by Spanish Loyalist prisoners. It says “The Spanish Antifascists greet the Liberating Forces”. The text is written in English and Russian as well. 6 may 1945.

From the Jewish Telegraph Agency:

Swastikas, ‘Hitler’ written on Mauthausen walls

February 2, 2015 11:52am

Four swastikas and “Hitler” were found on the former Mauthausen concentration camp.

The graffiti was written with a felt pen and carved onto walls at the former camp, the Upper Austria State Police said Monday in a statement, according to Austrian news reports. An investigation was launched into the incident at Mauthausen, which is now a memorial and museum.

The graffiti, about a half-inch high, was discovered in the former laundry and in the bunker area after visitors complained to a memorial employee on Sunday, according to the Austria Press Agency.

It is not known when the vandalism took place, though police reportedly suspect that it occurred the day before the discovery during public visiting hours.

Chilean poet Pablo Neruda’s hummingbird poems


This video is called Documentary on the Secrets of Hummingbirds.

From Hummingbird-guide.com:

This is the Pablo Neruda hummingbird poem.

The famous poet Pablo Neruda wrote this beautiful poem……….

Ode to the Hummingbird

The hummingbird
in flight
is a water-spark,
an incandescent drip
of American
fire,
the jungle’s
flaming resume,
a heavenly,
precise
rainbow:
the hummingbird is
an arc,
a golden
thread,
a green
bonfire!

Oh
tiny
living
lightning,
when
you hover
in the air,
you are
a body of pollen,
a feather
or hot coal,
I ask you:
What is your substance?
Perhaps during the blind age
of the Deluge,
within fertility’s
mud,
when the rose
crystallized
in an anthracite fist,
and metals matriculated
each one in
a secret gallery
perhaps then
from a wounded reptile
some fragment rolled
,
a golden atom,
the last cosmic scale,
a drop of terrestrial fire
took flight,
suspending your splendor,
your iridescent,
swift sapphire.

You doze
on a nut,
fit into a diminutive blossom;
you are an arrow,
a pattern,
a coat-of-arms,
honey’s vibrato, pollen’s ray;
you are so stouthearted–
the falcon
with his black plumage
does not daunt you:
you pirouette,
a light within the light,
air within the air.
Wrapped in your wings,
you penetrate the sheath
of a quivering flower,
not fearing
that her nuptial honey
may take off your head!

From scarlet to dusty gold,
to yellow flames,
to the rare
ashen emerald,
to the orange and black velvet
of our girdle gilded by sunflowers,
to the sketch
like
amber thorns,
your Epiphany,
little supreme being,
you are a miracle,
shimmering
from torrid California
to Patagonia‘s whistling,
bitter wind.
You are a sun-seed,
plumed
fire,
a miniature
flag
in flight,
a petal of silenced nations,
a syllable
of buried blood,
a feather
of an ancient heart,
submerged

The Spanish language original of this poem is here.

The Spanish text of another hummingbird poem by Neruda is here.

This video shows that poem, Picaflor II.

This video, in Spanish, is about these Neruda poems:

1.El vuelo (Pablo Neruda) *recita Pablo Neruda
2.El tordo (Pablo Neruda – Ángel Parra) – 3:52
3.El picaflor [El colibrí] (Pablo Neruda – Ángel Parra) – 6:36
4.El pidén (Pablo Neruda – Ángel Parra) – 8:37
5.La golondrina (Pablo Neruda – Ángel Parra) -10:22
6.El cóndor (Pablo Neruda – Ángel Parra) – 12:47
7.El poeta se despide de los pájaros (Pablo Neruda) *recita Pablo Neruda – 15:47

A Robert Frost Hummingbird Poem: here.

More hummingbird poems from the USA: here.

African American poet Langston Hughes’ 113th birthday


This video says about itself:

Langston Hughes‘ 113th Birthday Google Doodle

31 January 2015

Animated Google Doodle celebrating Langston Hughes, and his poem “I Dream A World“.

Music – Typewriter – The Boston Typewriter Orchestra

Piano – Adam Ever-Hadani

Poetry about wildlife, competition


This video says about itself:

Australian Birds The Best Documentary

29 May 2014

Great video about Australian birds

Australia has about 800 species of bird, ranging from the tiny 8 cm Weebill to the huge, flightless Emu. It has been suggested that up to 10% of bird species may go extinct by the year 2100 as a result of climate change.

Many species of Australian birds will immediately seem familiar to visitors from the northern hemisphere – Australian wrens look and act much like northern hemisphere wrens and Australian robins seem to be close relatives of the northern hemisphere robins, but in fact the majority of Australian passerines are descended from the ancestors of the crow family, and the close resemblance is misleading: the cause is not genetic relatedness but convergent evolution.

From BirdLife:

A Call to Verse

By Martin Fowlie, Fri, 23/01/2015 – 15:00

Calling all BirdLife poets! There is still time to enter 2014’s RSPB/Rialto Nature Poetry Competition. The deadline is GMT midnight on March 1: so you have six weeks to polish draft poems or versify anew.

Last year’s winner, Colin Hughes, drew his inspiration from watching Black Kites circling New Delhi, India: familiar sights across so many major cities in Asia and Africa.

Colin said that he stood at a window, ”watching several hundred of the city’s huge population of pariah kites gathering at sundown”, reflecting that it was a day in which ”the papers had reported that more than half the world’s population now lives in cities”. After Tokyo, with its staggering 38 million people, Delhi is the world’s second most densely populated metropolis and, with a forecast that 2050 will see two thirds of us living in cities, it seems highly likely that encounters with nature, the fuel of so much poetry, will be increasingly urban. Colin’s winning poem is reproduced in full below.

In 2013, locations and species that inspired poets to enter the competition ranged widely: from China to New Zealand, from Ireland to Peru; and from cats and rats to condors and eels, iguanas and juniper trees. All were grist to the mill of people’s verse, with many poets, as competition judge, Ruth Padel, reported, creating lines that were “breathtaking and beautiful but also painful because so many poems, underlined, rightly, what a precarious state nature is in”.

This year’s judge is the celebrated British poet, broadcaster and writer, Simon Armitage, author of more than twenty collections and co-editor, with Tim Dee, of the anthology, The Poetry of Birds. Simon’s own work draws deeply on nature and landscape; he has recently walked the Cornish coast, a follow up to his “troubadour trek” along the UK’s Pennine Way, paying his way by giving poetry readings en route. This journey was celebrated in his book, Walking Home.

Like Ruth (and 2012’s judge, Andrew Motion), Simon will, no doubt, have a great swathe of entries to consider this year, so please do join the fray! You might find your words being celebrated round the world, just like Colin’s poem.

Kites

Seems all the city’s sly guys pitched up at the park.
A couple of hundred pariahs, idly climbing spirals
Of dense dusk air, twisting their two-finger tails:
A devil crowd, loafing on thermals, presaging dark.
This is no free-flowing flock, no liquid shoal that wheels
As one in-unison wave: these are scavenger anti-souls
Forming vortices of slo-mo dervishes,
Each spiky silhouette in separate gyration.
Hell-born hoodlums, who thrive on all that perishes.
Some pack out the lifeless branches of a leafless grove:
They lift lapels to check the contents of their pockets,
Correcting brown-coat buttons with a flick of their beak-knives,
Or brush the Delhi dust from their death-black jackets;
Then one by one flap up to join the anarchist claque
That cracks the abnegate sky – that lumbering bomber stack
Of cut-outs, off on a night-raid, stark-hard flags unfurled.
They soar and scorn the din, pharp-parping to damnation,
The busy-ness below, the choke-locked inner ring,
The humans who learned today they’re more than half urban.
No: this couldn’t-care-less congregation would not lift a wing
If you told them tomorrow is doomsday, and they the last left alive.
Forewarned, they’d still flop off to run their lazy rackets,
Go poke through piles of plastic trash in derelict dives,
Then gather to shrug disdain at the end of the day, or world.

By Colin Hughes, 1st Prize winner, 2013

British poet Attila the Stockbroker, nazis, anti-nazis, and Donny Osmond


This music video is called Attila the Stockbroker-Live @ Folk Fusion Festival-Paradiso-Amsterdam-Acoustic Set -12.02.2013.

By poet Attila the Stockbroker from Britain:

Anti-fascism, followed by canine passion at the Marquee

Tuesday 20th January 2015

On the road with Attila the Stockbroker

AS I mentioned in my last piece, I shall be doing very few gigs in the first half of this year since I’m completing my autobiography. It’s to be published on September 8, the 35th anniversary of my first gig.

So, instead of contemporary tales from the road, some of my next few columns will contain a few excerpts from it — stories you literally couldn’t make up.

Here’s one.

I’d always enjoyed playing the Marquee Club in London, the history-sodden rock venue in Soho’s Wardour Street, sadly now closed.

I did a show with my good mate John Otway there in the early ’80s and remember a tension-filled and storming night in 1989 when I supported Sunderland’s legendary Angelic Upstarts.

This music video says about itself:

Angelic Upstarts – The Murder of Liddle Towers

Classic debut single from the Upstarts, championing the cause of the Birtley boxer who died after a night in a police cell.

The Attila the Stockbroker article continues:

The previous year they had been attacked by fascists at a punk festival at the Astoria in London and the gig closed down, with the fascists vowing that the Upstarts would never play London again.

Anti Fascist Action laid down the gauntlet at one of the capital’s most high-profile venues, the fascists didn’t show and the gig was fantastic and a truly memorable night.

But the next offer I got to play there would be rather a contrast!

A Monday in January 1991. Phone rings. Can’t remember the bloke’s name after all these years, but the conversation is still vivid.

“Is that Attila? Hi, I book shows for the Marquee. Donny Osmond is supposed to be playing here tomorrow night but he’s pulled out.

“We don’t want to shut the venue for the night and we’re looking for someone to do a set. Would you be interested? We’ll pay you and give you as much beer as you want and as big a guest list as you like.”

I burst out laughing. “Well, I think I know the first verse of Puppy Love. Sure, I’ll give it a go!”

The deal was simple. Everyone who had booked to see Donny got a refund and the chance to watch Attila the Stockbroker for free. I had one day to ring round as many people I knew as possible and tell them that I was Donny Osmond’s understudy at the Marquee the following night —and there was free beer for anyone who made it along.

Unfortunately, this was of course way before the advent of social media, so I couldn’t put an event page on Facebook. I certainly will if it ever happens again.

The gig was sold out. About a third of the audience decided to take up the Marquee’s offer, which meant that I was confronted with a fairly large number of very disappointed ladies in their mid-30s — it was 1991, remember — plus a smattering of male partners, several of whom came up and told me that they were very pleased at the prospect of spending an evening listening to Attila rather than Donny. About 20 Attila fans turned up and got the promised free beer.

I started my set but by the end of the first 15 minutes half the Donny fans had walked out.

But the rest of them really enjoyed it. I got an encore. Yes, you’ve guessed it. I’d worked out the chords to Puppy Love on the mandola and memorised most of the words.

The rest is history. Never-to-be-repeated history, mind, but history nevertheless.

This music video is called Donny Osmond – Puppy Love (on Top Of The Pops) 1972.

Poetry in a Dutch nature reserve


This 15 January 2015 video is about a four kilometer long footpath in nature reserve Wijnjeterper Schar in Friesland province in the Netherlands. Along the path are the texts of fifteen poems in the Dutch and Frisian languages.