Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Poem of the week - "Ozymandias" by Shelley

Today we march into the land of familiarity. Most everyone has encountered this masterful sonnet written by a 26-year old Percy Shelley. Just because a poem has become high-school of Poetry 101 staple does not dilute its importance or its beauty. So sit back and enjoy the ride that is "Ozymandias":

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
`My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Why do I need to dress up for classical music?

I am a big big fan of classical music in all its glory and magnificence. Be it the quiet yet forceful presence of a Chopin etude or the grand opulence of a Shostakovich symphony, each piece is a profound experience in and of itself.

I've been to many concerts, both back in LA and here in St. Louis, taking advantage of generous student discounts. And every time I get into a discussion about my sartorial choices. You see, I refuse to dress "up" for classical music. Instead of busting out my neatly pressed dress-shirt and red striped tie, I show up in my day-to-day outfit: jeans, sweater or a jacket, and a shirt.

I've asked many times why it is necessary to dress up for an event like this and have never received a convincing response. Here is a sample of responses I normally get: