Quatrains - From the Nuart

To Me -

Hail to the King, Baby.
And kiss the ring, maybe.
Defy my law and burn,
At third degree and learn.

- By Evan Gunn Wilson

To Imps -

What makes some repelled by love?
Perhaps the judging God above?
Love needed humble thoughts provoke,
At once, the imp, his pride evokes.

- By Evan Gunn Wilson

To The Father -

To him who smote the first born of Egypt,
For his steadfast love endures forever.
From us our right to life untimely ript,
For God's power forever and ever,

- By Evan Gunn Wilson


Of Us -

Don't take that line where it belongs;
It came all well, exhausted songs.
We end the day with poetry crass,
To grace our minds, critique at last.
With pen in hand,
Surveyed the land,
Did little justice to his creation.
With all forgot,
The young head hot,
Go on to write of their salvation.

Of their salvation they wrote too vague,
And so one lad went on, he said,
"Let us write to our lovers fair,
To all be men, the gentle we bear."
At that they laugh'd,
Then smiles half'd,
Then thirded, quartered then grinned no more.
Since they all had thought,
That only they sought,
A fine lady's love to breathe as feign'd before.

By Evan Gunn Wilson


Hannay Discourses on America - Mr. Standfast

'Say Dick,' he said shyly, 'what do you truly think of our Americans? You've seen a lot of them, and I'd value your views.' His tone was that of a bashful author asking for an opinion on his first book.

'I'll tell you what I think. You're constructing a great middle class army, and that's the most formidable fighting machine on earth. This kind of war doesn't want the Berserker so much as the quiet fellow with a trained mind and a lot to fight for. The American ranks are filled with all sorts, from cow punchers to college boys, but mostly with decent lads that have good prospects in life before them and are fighting because they feel they're bound to, not because they like it. It was the same stock that pulled through in your Civil War. We have a middle class division, too - Scottish Territorials, mostly clerks and shopmen and engineers and farmer's sons. When I first struck them my only crab was that the officers weren't much better than the men. It's still true, but the men are super excellent, and consequently so are the officers. That division gets top marks in the Boche calender for sheer fighting devilment. . . . . And, please God, that's what your American Army's going to do. You can wash out the old idea of a regiment of scallawags commanded by dukes. That was right enough, maybe, in the days when you hurrooshed into battle waving a banner, but it don't do with high-explosives and a couple of million men on each side and a battle front of five hundred miles. The hero of this war is the plain man out of the middle classes, who wants to get back to his home and is going to use all the brains and grit he possesses to finish the job soon.'

- John Buchan


A Sign of Pretension

Recently film and TV actor, Hugh Laurie, released a Blues album that on select songs features Jazz and Blues legends such as Dr. John and Sir Tom Jones. This confuses people who have not followed Laurie's career; they may see an actor merely making a feeble attempt to be multi-talented in the arena of the liberal arts. How dare he. What audacity possesses an already wealthy man to venture into the musical realm without license or warrant or even a day pass? He just out right and did it. Inside the album booklet Laurie made a note of this; and it follows:

"I was not born in Alabama in the 1890s. You may as well know this one now. I've never eaten grits, cropped a share, or ridden a boxcar. No gypsy woman attended my birth and there's no hellhound on my trail, as far as I'm aware. Let this record show that I am a white, middle-class Englishman, openly trespassing on the music and myth of the American south.

if that weren't bad enough, I'm also an actor: one of those pampered ninnies who can't find his way through and airport without a babysitter. I wouldn't be surprised to find that I've got some Chinese characters tattooed on my arse. Or elbow. Same thing.

Worst of all, I've I have broken an important rule of art, music, and career paths: actors are supposed to act, and musicians are supposed to music. That's how it works. You don't buy fish from a dentist, or ask a plumber for financial advice, so why listen to an actor's music?

The answer is - there is no answer. If you care about pedigree then you should try elsewhere, because I have nothing in your size."

- Hugh Laurie

What was he communicating? That his Blues music is terrible? No, not at all. Simply, he says that if you are the kind of person who demands that Blues be done by troubled aging black men and acting be done by bratty self centered actors you had best not listen to his album, because you wont like it. Oh, the humanity! Or rather the pretension. Ought we demand that? Should we right off all paradoxical career breakers on the account that they are out of place? That since they aren't genuine they wont produce anything worth while? By no means! That would be the soul of pretension. You can imagine the hipster blabbing on about how they only listen to Robert Johnson (because that is the only Blues guitarist they have heard of), because he really "had the blues" or "walked the walk". Is great music reserved for specific feelings? I think not. Music as an art is a thing studied and not exclusively a thing felt. The sentiment may inspire the music and it may be the by product, but it does not write the music. Talent, skill and knowledge write the music; only that it may be good enough to evoke a particular feeling.

And so did Hugh Laurie. Listening to his album, which is not perfect, gave me a breath of fresh air. He had the Blues nailed. The man is a fantastic pianist. I never had the feeling that he was trying too hard. I hope for another record out of him; even in his comedy sketch show with Stephen Fry I was waiting for his regular musical performance not just for the humor but to catch his craft of a musician. Though he played the same song at the end of every episode I enjoyed it every time. I recognized his passion for the art.

So to Hugh Laurie I tip my hat with an expression that says, "Well done good and faithful artist". I urge you all (who enjoy the Blues) to give it a listen and post back what might be said of it.