Dawn Pisturino's Blog

My Writing Journey

The Poem that Inspired Simon & Garfunkel

Richard Cory – the poem that inspired Simon & Garfunkel

by Edwin Arlington Robinson

Whenever Richard Cory went downtown,

We people on the pavement looked at him:

He was a gentleman from sole to crown,

Clean favored, and imperially slim.

And he was always quietly arrayed,

And he was always human when he talked;

But still he fluttered pulses when he said,

“Good morning,” and he glittered when he walked.

And he was rich — yes, richer than a king —

And admirably schooled in every grace:

In fine, we thought that he was everything

To make us wish that we were in his place.

So on we worked, and waited for the light,

And went without the meat, and cursed the bread;

And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,

Went home and put a bullet through his head.

~Edwin Arlington Robinson~

~

In 1966, Simon & Garfunkel borrowed Robinson’s poem, “Richard Cory,” modernized the language, and set it to music. The song is both thought-provoking and astonishing – just like Robinson’s poem – and was included in the duo’s hit album, Sounds of Silence.

I personally think the song lyrics are infinitely better than the poem. But, listen for yourself!

~

Bio: While Edwin Arlington Robinson (1869-1935) is not remembered much now, he was a highly prolific and enthusiastically praised poet in his time. He often wrote on “themes of personal failure, artistic endeavor, materialism [and wealth], and the inevitability of [progress and] change” (Robert Gilbert). Robinson self-published his books of poetry until Houghton Mifflin agreed to publish his book of poems, Captain Craig, in 1902. The book was not successful, and Robinson became a drifter and alcoholic. In 1904, President Theodore Roosevelt became aware of Robinson and his book, The Children of the Night. Roosevelt convinced Charles Scribner’s Sons to republish the book. He also obtained a job for Robinson at the New York Customs House. Job security allowed Robinson to continue with his writing. Robinson won a Pulitzer Prize for his Collected Poems in 1922. He won a second Pulitzer Prize in 1924. In 1927, he won a third Pulitzer Prize. Robinson died of cancer in 1935.

Thanks for visiting!

Dawn Pisturino

Copyright 2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

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Apology: Butterfly, Butterfly – A Poem

(Monarch butterflies)

[NOTE: I apologize for the confusion. I totally messed up this post when I originally wrote it. I accidentally published it when I was saving it for another day, then removed it. Then, when I restored it this morning, it popped up for June 1st instead of today. I was going to let it go, but it kept bugging me, so I re-did the post so I wouldn’t obsess over my mistake all day. That’s not OCD, right?]

by Dawn Pisturino

For my daughter, Ariel

Butterfly, Butterfly,

Dappled with red,

Night-time is coming,

Fly home to your bed!

The white moon is rising,

He hasn’t a care;

The bright stars are shining,

Reflecting him there.

Oh, Butterfly, Butterfly,

What shall you do?

If darkness enfolds you,

How will you get through?

Fly home on a moonbeam,

Guided by stars,

Or maybe such planets

As Venus and Mars?

Or, drifting along on a

Sweet summer breeze,

You’ll land where you want

And do as you please?

Float down on a flower,

The sweet nectar there,

Drawing you inward

And filling the air?

You’ll suck up your supper,

Then lay down to sleep,

Your wings folded neatly,

Their beauty to keep.

And when, in the morning,

You suddenly wake,

The sun will be rising,

A new day will break.

Then, Butterfly, Butterfly,

Fly away home!

Or follow your instincts

To wander and roam.

But come again – do! –

If you happen this way,

Night-time or daytime

Or any old day!

February 8, 1986

This poem was set to music by composer and film maker Barry Gremillion and recorded in October 2013 by Barry Gremillion and Ariel Pisturino. It was uploaded onto SoundCloud.

Thanks, Ariel and Barry!

(CD cover)

Thanks for stopping by and visiting!

Dawn Pisturino

June 6, 2022

Copyright 1986-2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

27 Comments »

Butterfly, Butterfly – A Poem

(Monarch butterflies)



by Dawn Pisturino

For my daughter, Ariel

Butterfly, Butterfly,

Dappled with red,

Night-time is coming,

Fly home to your bed!

The white moon is rising,

He hasn’t a care;

The bright stars are shining,

Reflecting him there.

Oh, Butterfly, Butterfly,

What shall you do?

If darkness enfolds you,

How will you get through?

Fly home on a moonbeam,

Guided by stars,

Or maybe such planets

As Venus and Mars?

Or, drifting along on a

Sweet summer breeze,

You’ll land where you want

And do as you please?

Float down on a flower,

The sweet nectar there,

Drawing you inward

And filling the air?

You’ll suck up your supper,

Then lay down to sleep,

Your wings folded neatly,

Their beauty to keep.

And when, in the morning,

You suddenly wake,

The sun will be rising,

A new day will break.

Then, Butterfly, Butterfly,

Fly away home!

Or follow your instincts

To wander and roam.

But come again – do! –

If you happen this way,

Night-time or daytime

Or any old day!

February 8, 1986

This poem was set to music by composer and film maker Barry Gremillion and recorded in October 2013 by Barry Gremillion and Ariel Pisturino. It was uploaded onto SoundCloud.

Thanks, Ariel and Barry!

(CD cover)

Dawn Pisturino

June 6, 2022

Copyright 1986-2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.



D-Day: An incredible military campaign that required extensive planning and mutual cooperation between allied countries. Never forget – “Freedom is not free.”





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What Happened to the Age of Aquarius?

If there’s one song that best captures the hopes and dreams of the 1960s, it’s the medley, “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In,” from the Broadway musical, Hair (1967). The 5th Dimension, who compiled the medley, really rocked it. I still want to get up and dance to the music. But, whatever happened to the Age of Aquarius?

Lyrics:

When the moon is in the seventh house
And Jupiter aligns with Mars
Then peace will guide the planets
And love will steer the stars

This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius
Age of Aquarius
Aquarius!
Aquarius!

Harmony and understanding
Sympathy and trust abounding
No more falsehoods or derisions
Golden living dreams of visions
Mystic crystal revelation
And the mind’s true liberation
Aquarius!
Aquarius!

When the moon is in the seventh house
And Jupiter aligns with mars
Then peace will guide the planets
And love will steer the stars

This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius
Age of Aquarius
Aquarius!
Aquarius!
Aquarius!
Aquarius!

Alright, everybody
C’mon now, we gon’ use other words for this song
Let the sun shine
Let the sunshine in
C’mon, sing along with it

Let the sun shine
Let the sunshine in
The sunshine in (you’ve got to feel it)
Let the sun shine (you’ve got to feel it)
Let the sunshine in (ahh, open up your heart)
The sunshine in (and let it shine on in)
Let the sun shine
Let the sunshine in
The sunshine in
Let the sun shine
Let the sunshine in
The sunshine in

Songwriters: Rado James, Mac Dermot Arthur Terence Galt, Ragni Gerome. For non-commercial use only.

Data From: Musixmatch

Astrologically, nobody really knows when the Age of Aquarius is supposed to begin or if it already did. If you go by these lyrics, it began with the Hippie/New Age Movement of the 1960s and 1970s. But some people believe it began in the 1800s with the Industrial Revolution. Others believe it happened with 12/12/12 and the Mayan prophecy of spiritual realignment. Still others believe it arrived with the COVID-19 pandemic and officially established itself in February 2021. I saw one theory where Jesus and the Apostles were the beginning of the Age of Aquarius. Another one promoted Valentine’s Day 2009 as the beginning. So, who knows? One thing is certain – the lyrics do not accurately reflect its beginning, according to astrologer Neil Spencer, because “Jupiter aligns with Mars several times a year, and the Moon is in the 7th House for 2 hours everyday.”

According to New Age adherents, the Age of Aquarius can be identified by certain hallmarks:

  1. A rapidly-changing society, dependent on technological innovation and intuitive creativity;
  2. Universal unity, harmony, patience, love, brotherhood, peace, resilience, interconnectedness, and elevated consciousness;
  3. Increased self-awareness and self-realization, empowerment, positive thinking, personal responsibility, and intuitive guidance;
  4. The body-mind-spirit connection will resonate at a higher vibration than ever before in the history of the human race.

Some people see two paths emerging: the path of totalitarianism and enslavement by powerful elites; and the path of liberation and spiritual evolution by the masses.

In the meantime, while we wait for our astrological guides to enlighten us, we can work on these qualities as individuals and gain more control over our own lives and our own mental, physical, and spiritual development through mindfulness, yoga, spiritual practices like prayer and meditation, healthful nutrition, exercise, and kindness.

Dawn Pisturino

May 16, 2022

Copyright 2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

41 Comments »

Up, Up and Away!

In spite of all of our worries and cares right now, life goes on, and it’s far too precious to waste. Last night, I hopped into the car and took a long drive. It was quiet and relaxing, the weather beautiful, and the sunset gorgeous. I couldn’t help thinking about some of the happy music that I’ve heard over the decades, and this song, in particular, popped into my head. I remember listening to this song on the radio at breakfast every morning before school. And, guess what! It’s still a happy song!

The 5th Dimension – one of the best groups of the 1960s. I always loved Marilyn McCoo’s luscious voice.

Have a happy weekend! Do what you love to do! Go where you want to go!

Dawn Pisturino

May 13, 2022

Copyright 2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

11 Comments »

Meditate with Music

Photo by Max on Unsplash

Meditation doesn’t have to be done in silence. It’s nice to sit there quietly, watching the fluffy white clouds of your thoughts float silently away until your mind turns into one big void of nothingness. But, if your goal is simply to relax, clear away your negative thoughts, and ease your tense muscles, there are scores and scores of musical recordings out there that can meet your goal: New Age, Celtic, East Indian, Native American, Chinese, Japanese, Easy Listening, Jazz, Classical, and more.

Music can alter our mood and our consciousness and take us away into a magical world of peace, harmony, and complete relaxation.

Here’s a classical piece that is just heavenly, written by Jules Massenet, and performed by the renowned violinist, Itzhak Perlman. Give it a try!

May you be blessed with a peaceful, relaxing day today!

Dawn Pisturino

April 7, 2022

Copyright 2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

27 Comments »

Guest Blog: Culture of Pub Music/Ariel Pisturino

(Dublin pub musicians. Photo by Jeremy King, Flickr.)
Culture of Pub Music

by Ariel Pisturino

In 2019, I spent a few days in Dublin, Ireland, exploring the city with my partner. Ireland is a magical place, full of history and folklore. One night, we were out and about and it started to drizzle, as it does in that part of the world. Looking around for a place to duck into, we started to hear some raucous music. We stuffed ourselves into this little pub. It was PACKED with wall-to-wall people, and everyone’s attention was on the group of musicians playing traditional Irish music on traditional instruments. It was such fun and a different experience from being in America. It got me wondering about the culture of Irish music.

Traditional Irish music began as an oral tradition, with generations learning by ear and passing it down. It’s a tradition that still exists today. Irish music originated with the Celts about 2,000 years ago. The Celts were influenced by music from the East. It is even thought that the traditional Irish harp originated in Egypt. The harp was the most popular instrument and harpists were employed to compose music for noble people. When invaders came to Ireland in the early 1600’s, that forced people to flee the country. Harpists roamed through Europe, playing music wherever they could.

The most famous composer/harpist was Turlough O’Carolan (b.1670-d.1738). He was a blind harpist, composer, and singer. He traveled all over Ireland for 50 years, playing his music. He is considered Ireland’s national composer.

The main traditional instruments are fiddle, Celtic harp, Irish flute, penny whistle, uilleann pipes and bodhrán. More recently the Irish bouzouki, acoustic guitar, mandolin and tenor banjo have found their way into the playing of traditional music.

Irish pub songs are part of a tradition of storytelling by the fireside. People used to visit their neighbours, friends and relatives in the evenings after work or on a Sunday after mass, sit with them by the fireside, and share stories. In between the stories there would be songs, usually unaccompanied.

There was a big revival of pub music during the 1960’s with popular bands singing traditional Irish music, usually accompanied by guitar. (Think: The Chieftains.) In the 1970’s, local singers started forming singing clubs to focus on the traditional songs. One of the first singing sessions was hosted in Dublin during the 1980’s. These sessions became more regular and popular amongst pubs to host these groups, and that’s how pub music evolved into what we experience today.

Previously published in the unSUNg Concerts Newsletter, March 17, 2022

Ariel Pisturino graduated from the Thornton School of Music at USC with a Masters in Vocal Music. She teaches part-time at three different colleges and universities, privately in her own music studio, and performs with various opera companies and vocal groups in the Los Angeles area. She is the Curator and Artistic Director of the unSUNg Concert Series, which is dedicated to reviving previously-composed, forgotten vocal music and sponsoring new composers and young vocal artists.

Ariel Pisturino as Leonora in Verdi’s Il Trovatore:

Ariel also does a lot of church singing and concerts:

unSUNg Concert Series: http://www.unsungconcerts.com

Ariel’s current project: Musical Director for the student production of Working!:

Find Ariel on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and SoundCloud.

Ariel Pisturino: http://www.arielpisturino.com

~

Dawn Pisturino

March 23, 2022

Copyright 2022 Ariel Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright 2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

16 Comments »

Here Comes the Sun

(Photo from Unsplash)

As the sun grows brighter and the days grow longer, I plan to spend more time outdoors. So, I will only be blogging Monday through Friday. I’m taking weekends off!

I will still be responding to comments and visiting people’s blogs. The extra time also allows me to work on my own writing projects, which I have been neglecting. Time to get back to work!

Here’s The Beatles singing “Here Comes the Sun” from my favorite album, Abbey Road. Enjoy!

(Official Beatles video from Universal Music Group)

Spring is coming!

And, Happy President’s Day!

Dawn Pisturino

February 21, 2022

Copyright 2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

20 Comments »

Mariah Carey – Vision of Love

Mariah Carey burst onto the music scene with her hit single, “Vision of Love,” in 1990. Carey is known for her wide vocal range and ability to glide effortlessly around the musical scale. She has won numerous awards and influenced other pop singers with her dramatic style.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Dawn Pisturino

February 11, 2022

9 Comments »

When Krishna Plays His Flute

When Krishna plays his flute, all of life stops, frozen into silence and immobility by the wondrous beauty of the music. Even the rivers and streams stop flowing, or flow backwards, as all of nature absorbs the astounding mystical quality of his presence. The whole universe responds with ecstasy and joy. The cow girls (Gopis) fall in love with Krishna all over again. Life itself renews, growing fuller and greener and more resplendent with vigor and energy. Flowers appear more fragrant and lush.

Krishna represents Divine Love. His flute represents the human heart. When the heart is empty, like the flute, it is receptive to Krishna’s Divine Love. And when Krishna plays his flute, the whole universe is filled with his Divine Love. 

Dawn Pisturino

January 20, 2022

Copyright 2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

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