Arabian Nights was one of my favorite stories as a child.  It’s also one of the most fantastically illustrated stories of all time.  I love the variety of interpretations of each story by so many different illustrators, so I’ve collected a few to share.  Here, you’ll see three stories as portrayed by several artists from the 19th and 20th centuries in near chronological order.  Enjoy the eye candy!

Scheherazade

Franz Helbing, 1870

Franz Helbing, 1870

Eric Pape, late 19th century

Eric Pape, late 19th century

Edmund Dulac, 1907

Edmund Dulac, 1907

Kay Nielsen, early 20th century

Kay Nielsen, early 20th century

Virginia Frances Sterrett, early 20th century

Virginia Frances Sterrett, early 20th century

Rene Bull, 1930

Rene Bull, 1930

 

Tale of the Fisherman and the Genie

Will and Frances Brundage, 1893

Will and Frances Brundage, 1893

H. J. Ford, 1898

H. J. Ford, 1898

 

Edmund DuLac, 1907

Edmund DuLac, 1907

Rene Bull, 1912

Rene Bull, 1912

Kay Nielsen, early 20th century

Kay Nielsen, early 20th century

Frank Earle Schoonover, mid 20th century

Frank Earle Schoonover, mid 20th century

 

Aladdin

John D. Batten, late 19th century

John D. Batten, late 19th century

Walter Crane late 19th century

Walter Crane late 19th century

Max Liebert, early 20th century

Max Liebert, early 20th century

Rene Bull, 1912

Rene Bull, 1912

Charles Folkard, 1913

Charles Folkard, 1913

Thomas Mackenzie, 1919

Thomas Mackenzie, 1919

Virginia Frances Sterrett, 1928

Virginia Frances Sterrett, 1928

Errol le Cain, 1981

Errol le Cain, 1981

and for good measure…

Disney Illustration, 2011

Disney Illustration, 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This piece of music sinks me each time I hear it. It’s completely poetic.

The composer is Stelios Petrakis, the album is Orion. The music comes out of Crete, Greece. Enjoy.

A romantic piece of music for you (maybe.. not for everyone)

thanks, flynn!

Good_morning_coffee_by_xuisblue

I can feel she has got out of bed.
That means it is seven a.m.
I have been lying with eyes shut,
thinking, or possibly dreaming,
of how she might look if, at breakfast,
I spoke about the hidden place in her
which, to me, is like a soprano’s tremolo,
and right then, over toast and bramble jelly,
if such things are possible, she came.
I imagine she would show it while trying to conceal it.
I imagine her hair would fall about her face
and she would become apparently downcast,
as she does at a concert when she is moved.
The hypnopompic play passes, and I open my eyes
and there she is, next to the bed,
bending to a low drawer, picking over
various small smooth black, white,
and pink items of underwear. She bends
so low her back runs parallel to the earth,
but there is no sway in it, there is little burden, the day has hardly begun.
The two mounds of muscles for walking, leaping, lovemaking, lift toward the east—what can I say?
Simile is useless; there is nothing like them on earth.
Her breasts fall full; the nipples
are deep pink in the glare shining up through the iron bars of the gate under the earth where those who could not love press, wanting to be born again.
I reach out and take her wrist
and she falls back into bed and at once starts unbuttoning my pajamas.
Later, when I open my eyes, there she is again,
rummaging in the same low drawer.
The clock shows eight. Hmmm.
With huge, silent effort of great,
mounded muscles the earth has been turning.
She takes a piece of silken cloth
from the drawer and stands up. Under the falls
of hair her face has become quiet and downcast,
as if she will be, all day among strangers,
looking down inside herself at our rapture.

TypewriterGirl-Vintage-GraphicsFairy21

Encounter

We were riding through frozen fields in a wagon at dawn.
A red wing rose in the darkness.

And suddenly a hare ran across the road.
One of us pointed to it with his hand.

That was long ago. Today neither of them is alive,
Not the hare, nor the man who made the gesture.

O my love, where are they, where are they going
The flash of a hand, streak of movement, rustle of pebbles.
I ask not out of sorrow, but in wonder.

Ars Poetica

I have always aspired to a more spacious form
that would be free from the claims of poetry or prose
and would let us understand each other without exposing
the author or reader to sublime agonies.

In the very essence of poetry there is something indecent:
a thing is brought forth which we didn’t know we had in us,
so we blink our eyes, as if a tiger had sprung out
and stood in the light, lashing his tail.

That’s why poetry is rightly said to be dictated by a daimonion,
though its an exaggeration to maintain that he must be an angel.
It’s hard to guess where that pride of poets comes from,
when so often they’re put to shame by the disclosure of their frailty.

What reasonable man would like to be a city of demons,
who behave as if they were at home, speak in many tongues,
and who, not satisfied with stealing his lips or hand,
work at changing his destiny for their convenience?

It’s true that what is morbid is highly valued today,
and so you may think that I am only joking
or that I’ve devised just one more means
of praising Art with thehelp of irony.

There was a time when only wise books were read
helping us to bear our pain and misery.
This, after all, is not quite the same
as leafing through a thousand works fresh from psychiatric clinics.

And yet the world is different from what it seems to be
and we are other than how we see ourselves in our ravings.
People therefore preserve silent integrity
thus earning the respect of their relatives and neighbors.

The purpose of poetry is to remind us
how difficult it is to remain just one person,
for our house is open, there are no keys in the doors,
and invisible guests come in and out at will.

What I’m saying here is not, I agree, poetry,
as poems should be written rarely and reluctantly,
under unbearable duress and only with the hope
that good spirits, not evil ones, choose us for their instrument.

Today, I read this, and it is beautiful, and it made me feel all sorts of things, so here it is, reblogged from Rebelle Society. Writing by Verity Richards.

 

Here it is: His Hands..

Here are a few snippets of where my head has been lately, musically speaking. I’ve been working on cello ~ classical lessons distracted by Arabic ornamentation… and Cretan lyra (no lessons) inspired by some of the following brilliance.

and

This last one is a traditional piece from Azerbaijan called “Ay Giz.” Played in this style, it’s particularly fabulous.

Enjoy.

Please listen if you have 20 minutes. Listen deeply and carefully.

Recorded live and outdoors at Niavaran Palace in Tehran, Iran 2003.

Hossein Alizadeh & Djivan Gasparyan – Endless Vision. Persian And Armenian Songs

Birds – Composed By, Arranged By — Hossein Alizahdeh
Lyrics By [Poem] — M. Azad

Live recording of 2 world-renown artists, Hossein Alizadeh from Iran and Djivan Gasparyan from Armenia, recorded outdoors in Tehran on September 4-6, 2003 before an audience of 12,000. They were accompanied by Vazgen Markaryan (bass duduk), Afsaneh Rasaee (vocal), Hoorshid Biabani (vocal), Armen Ghazaryan (duduk), Ali Boustan (shurangiz), Mohammadreza Ebrahimi (ud), Ali Samadpour (dammam, udu, vocal) and Behzad Mirzaee (daf, tombak).

Duduk — Armen Ghazaryan
Duduk [Bass Duduk] — Vazgen Markaryan
Duduk [Double Reed Woodwind], Vocals — Djivan Gasparyan
Ensemble — Hamavayan Ensemble
Executive Producer — Isabel Soffer
Lute [Shurangiz - New Iranian Lute] — Hossein Alizahdeh
Producer, Liner Notes — Hossein Alizahdeh
Translated By — Geneviève Bégou, Zara Houshmand

 

I can’t help my self… she blows me away.

“My mother always closes her bedroom drapes tight

before going to bed at night.


I open mine as wide as possible.

I like to see everything, I say.

What’s there to see?

Moon. Air. Sunrise.

All that light on your face in the morning. Wakes you up.

I like to wake up.”

Anne Carson

I recently started reading “Birds Without Wings” by Louis de Bernières after a stint of fantasy novels which I’m embarrassed to even mention, but do so anyway just for the contrast, so that you understand how good it feels to come back to such exquisite writing. After this fantasy stint I was feeling desperate to read poetic prose to pull me back into my little sentimental world that books like “Written on the Body” and “Unbearable Lightness of Being” have created. I found “Birds Without Wings” because I loved “Corelli’s Mandolin,” which was written by the same author and was the perfect combination of history and fiction, poetry and prose. I picked up this book and immediately fell in love, so I include some of my favorite passages so far, and recommend this book to you if you agree with my taste in the writings that I’ve posted in this blog.

“But it was more than a question of hair and skin and eyes, because what one saw was more than just her beauty. You see, my father, drunkard though he was, was right when he said that she reminded you of death. When you looked at Philothei, you were reminded of a terrible truth, which is that everything decays away and is lost. Beauty is precious, you see, and the more beautiful something is, the more precious it is; and the more precious something is, the more it hurts us that it will fade away; and the more we are hurt by beauty, the more we love the world; and the more we love it, the more we are saddened that it is like finely powdered salt that runs away through the fingers, or is puffed away by the wind, or is washed away by the rain. You see, I am ugly. I have always been ugly. If I had died in my youth no one would have said, “Look how much poorer is the world,” but to be entranced by Philothei was to receive a lesson in fate.”

also there’s this:

“I am an old woman now. I am old and useless. I’ve pondered these things all my life. My flesh is not what it was, and neither are my bones. When I was young my soul seemed to be the same thing as my body. There didn’t seem to be any difference, I remember that. When I needed to climb some steps, my legs just climbed, and that was all there was to it. My mind and my muscles were all one. Now when I want to climb some steps I look down at my feet and I say, “Move, in the names of St. Gerasimos, move!” and slowly they move, and then I stop to draw breath, and my lungs feel hard and dry, and I feel my heart fluttering in vain like the last poor starving butterfly, and this is how I have come to know in my own way that there is a soul who is not the body, but lives inside it. “

Musings

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 27 other followers

Blog Stats

  • 36,018 hits
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 27 other followers

%d bloggers like this: