Van Diemen’s Land and the magazine on a Sunday morning

About the song, a comment I’d never noticed before in the Rattle and Hum liner notes: “Dedicated to John Boyle O’Reilly, a Fenian poet deported from Ireland to Australia before of his poetry. [It wasn’t very good … !])” Hadn’t realized either about the album’s faded last verse turning up in full in the booklet, turning the song harder toward Belfast. The Edge explains.

Link. “‘Sometimes I take out your letters & verses, dear friend,’ he wrote in 1869 (one of only three messages to her that survived), ‘and when I feel their strange power, it is not strange that I find it hard to write … If I could once take you by the hand I might be something to you; but till then you only enshroud yourself in the fiery mist & I cannot teach you, but only rejoice in the rare sparkles of light.’ ”

No link. “He is perhaps the showiest performer since Vladimir de Pachmann, a Chopin speciailist of a century ago who used to milk cows to exercise his fingers and dip each digit in a glass of brandy before recitals. Lang’s irreverence is unabashed. One of the most popular clips of Lang Lang on Youtube shows him playing Chopin’s Black Key etude, Opus 10, No. 5, with an orange. Lang wears so much product in his hair that when he sways in rapture to his playing his head looks like a porcupine in a typhoon.”

Link. “I live in an old folks’ home, where people do all the heavy lifting for me, so I am free to sit around and daydream. I was daydreaming, and got hit by the poem.”

Link. “Unless your name is Judas, a kiss is just a kiss. Nonetheless, filmmakers cling to the smooch in the hope, or the fond pretense, that it might mean something more. Despite everything, it remains the most trusted image that we have for the clinching of an erotic deal: the zinger of our desires. How do we feel, then, when a movie like In Search of a Midnight Kiss begins with kisses — loads of them, exchanged between lovers who are never identified? Should that strike us as romantic reassurance, staunchly insisting that love is all around, or as a sly debasing of the currency, hinting that the simple meeting of mouths is no big deal?”

Link. “Everything is settled now. / Where you are now is where you’ll sleep, where you’ll wake up in the morning. / The mountain stands like a beacon, to remind the night that the earth exists, / that it mustn’t be forgotten.”

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