Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Passing of Mary Travers....

I am sad about Mary Travers passing. I have quite a few of her own "seperate" albums, none of the Peter, Paul and Mary albums. I learned a lot from Mary's choices of songs and also the ones she wrote. I've always loved her special deep voice.

It was through one of Mary's albums that I learned about the poetry of one of my favorites poets, Edna St. Vincent Millay, from the song Mary sang from a poem of Edna's. On the inside cover photos in Mary's album, was a photo of Edna and Mary had written "read her poems she is wonderful"! The poem Mary made a song out of is titled "Conscientious Objector". I was about 17 or 18 then and right after I bought the album and heard Mary's poem song from Edna, I immediately rushed to the local library and "began" down Edna St. Vincents Millay's journey of wonderful poems. She was born in the late 1800's and lived quite an interesting wild and "Free" kind of life for those days. She had bright red hair and freckles. Edna was the first woman to win a pulitzer prize for her poetry in this country. I have 3 books of her of them is a huge white book of a collection of almost all of her poems. I have a few of her poems in my archive blog also. In this blog I wrote about Edna's life a bit and her poetry. The poem "Conscientious Objector" is about a young white person, who is being threatened during the civil war by soldiers telling them they must tell them where "The black people are hiding" or they shall be killed. Therefore the person says in the poem basically "I will not tell them which direction they went, nor where they went, I shall die". Edna was pretty much anti-war...and so she wrote these things as each war came upon us and about our history of it also...she was honest and direct and forthright...imagine in those days being anti-war?...must have been very hard and very brave of her. She writes of great beauty and love and about nature and being on ones own "in the moment" and she is very varied in her writings..she is just wonderful.

Back to Mary Travers. I love her versions of a lot of songs. Especially "Indian Sunset" by Elton John and Bernie Taupin..not sure if I spelled Bernie's last name right, sorry. She sang that song as if it was her own. It is profound and beautiful..check that song out and listen to her sing it if you can. You won't be sorry. She sang a few Rod McKuen songs, and also a few of John Denvers, before he became famous as a singer and songwriter. Mary also wrote quite a few songs herself. I'm very happy to have these special albums by Mary Travers. They are very precious to me. She was a great talent in her own right also...most don't know that.

Mary I shall miss you...on the other side of the universe now somewhere singing your heart out to Angels in another "realm" surrounding you in the essence of "forever".


P.S. Thank you to Peter in your comment here, for I had the title wrong (I had written "I shall die") from Edna St. Vincent Millay's poem which is actually titled "Conscientious Objector" not "I shall die"...that statement is stated in the poem but not the title. I woke up in the middle of the night last night and thought "Oh my the name of that poem is 'Conscientious Objector" I screwed up"! My books of poems by MS. Millay are packed away and I knew that just didn't sound right..(plus I was tired and my memory isn't what it used to be) I figured when I woke up in the middle of the night and knew I had made a mistake about the title, that anyone who knows of Edna St. Vincent Millay's body of work, would come in and correct me so thank you Peter! got me!...he he..;o)


Lydia said...

What a sweetly touching tribute, Rhi. Her affect in your life is really felt through your words. I also absolutely love the photo of her that you selected for this post. I always thought she had the most generous mouth and eyes of any human.
My mother loved Edna, and I am really behind in gaining familiarity with her poems. Thank you for the reminder (and thank you, Mary, too.)

Anonymous said...

Hi. The poems of Edna St. Vincent Millay have a wonderful effect on most of us. There's a terrific site about her People are really working hard to bring her back to the public and Mary Travers, Johnny Cash and so many other great
musicians have helped so much.
"I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for death." That's the first line of her poem "Conscientious Objector."

David E. Patton said...

Rhi, thank you for your wonder comment I want you to know that you can write whatever comes into your lovely head as I enjoy your spirit and feel free to email me as well at Yoe are a beaiutiful spirit and I am glad to have you in my life. I may not leave a commit here but I do stop by to see what you are up to. Babies are wonderful creatures and you are right they are pure of heart. When my mother was cattying me around in her belly my father disowned me in the womb and its sad to say but my mother wasn't ready to have me as a child and so my childhood was not as it sure had been but I have forgiven them both in order I heal myself. Forgiving is something that take years to strip away the hurt that we feel toward those who should had known better. Srill the had that is dealt to us we must make the best og it and carry on with our own lives. Somewhere deep within me I wish that my childhood was better but it has made me the man that I am today with all of my blessings and faults. both inform my poetry and this no dout is why I am some times hard on God because I believe that people have twisted what God is all about. This is in part why I have taken Nature as my God because we are apart of her, we live in her and she lives in us we feed on her and she feed on us. She is the God that we can see everwhere we turn and I can think of nothing better then her as the great Godhead to rule my life. I grew up in the chisiten church and have come to understand that they lied to me. Also the churchs stand on Gays is not something thaat I can live with being gay as I am. I do not understand fully why men are so hurtfull toward their sisters and brothers. War wounds my spirit. When I was in the Army in the early 70s I realized that it was not for me, but then I was surching formyself and did not find it in the miltary. I am glad to report that I have heal myself of most of the wounds that other peopls inflicted on me, yes I have grown into my skin and turned out a wounderful man, if I say so myself and unlike most people I know who I am in my spirit. I count myself blessed be Nature to have been born an artist and I try to make her prond of me. When a poem gives birth to the comment that you wrote about one of my poem I feel that I have put in all the work that was needed to reach this point, So thank you and pleast feel free to email me when you want and/or need to vent. It is kindress hearts like yours that make my life easyer to live and brings me so mush joy to know that you are in the world the same time that I am. peace and love my friend and I know that we have no met face to face but I feel connected to you none the less
love david

Rhiannon said...

David, you are so kind...thank you so much for your thoughtful words and "thoughts" were the first person to come to my blog many years ago..and I will never forget what you kept "commenting" to me...again and wrote "keep going", "keep going".

Thank you for hearing me and I'm glad your in the world also!

Got your e-mail...thank you..bless you..

I still pick up your book of poems of yours that you sent me. So much heart and blood and guts in your poems and writings in your book "The Trinity" and I still have the wonderful letter that you wrote to me in the book also.

Stay safe and here's for never giving up on ourselves nor the world.

Shine on...:o)

Love, Rhiannon

Carolyn said...

Mary was indeed a very sweet soul! I guess I remember her mostly as part of Peter, Paul, & Mary since I grew up in those years of her music, but thank you for reminding me of her as her in her own right also :)

Michael Manning said...

Mary was actually more of my sister's generation than mine. But I was familiar with her music and was quite saddened to learn of her untimely passing. She contributed so much to our culture and our sensibilities. May God Bless her. My thoughts are with her family and friends at this sad time.