Poems, Myths & Legends

In addition to regular meetings to discuss literary topics, the local Section group in Fair Oaks has hosted New Moon Salons over the past several years. We have tried to hold them at the time of the new moon at about quarterly intervals in the year – or at times of major festivals. These salons feature music and literature, and they are a place where other friends and interested community members, who know nothing about the local Section work, can gather to enjoy artistic presentations, food, drink, and conversation.

“I do not know whence it comes,” said Henry; “I have heard poets spoken of before now; but have never yet seen one. I cannot even form an idea of their curious art; but yet have a great desire to hear about it. I feel that I wish to know many things, of which dark hints only are in my mind. I have often heard people speak of poems, but I have never yet seen one, and my teacher never had occasion to learn the art. Nor have I been able to comprehend everything that he has told me concerning it. Yet he always considered it a noble art, to which I would devote myself entirely, if I should become acquainted with it. In old times it was much more common than now, and everyone had some knowledge of it, though in different degrees; moreover it was the sister of other arts now lost. He thought that divine favor had highly honored the minstrels, so that inspired by spiritual intercourse, they had been able to proclaim heavenly wisdom upon earth in entrancing tones.”

  

— Novalis, Heinrich von Ofterdingen

“Blue” by Bruce Donehower

“A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens

Original Cover of the 1843 Edition An abridged performance narration for the New Year, 2021 https://vimeo.com/496245692 This performance video of the famous Dickens’ tale was done at the invitation of the Fair Oaks Faust Branch as part of their Holy Night schedule....

“The Unending Task” – A Parable of Mercy and Compassion

Speech artist and local Fair Oaks group member Margit Ilgen found this parable of compassion and mercy in an old collection of world myths and legends. She brought it to the group’s attention and suggested that it might be a worthy project. We had just finished the...

“Alle Menschen” by Novalis

At the meeting of the local Section group on April 18, 2020, we discussed one of the very last poems that Novalis wrote: “Alle Menschen seh ich Leben.” This prompted a lively dialogue concerning translation. I hope we can continue this discussion in future meetings....

La Belle Dame Sans Merci by John Keats

We closed a recent meeting with an artistic offering: Margit’s reading of John Keats’ poem La Belle Dame Sans Merci, which we related to our current studies of Hesse. One year ago, while we studied Keats, lightning struck the 200-foot redwood tree during our meeting,...