Judy Powers Malloy
Notes on the Creation of the Prologue to From Ireland with Letters
Part of a series of online notebooks, this notebook contains excerpts from
entries about the creation of From Ireland with Letters
that were originally written in Narrabase Notebook and are continued in
From Ireland With Letters - An Informal Writer's Notebook.
The original entries, that were created in blog fashion with the most recent
entry first, have been reversed so the entries in this notebook now start at
the beginning, providing a reading that reveals how the narrative, interface,
and understanding of the histories evolved in the course of the writing, research,
The notebook is illustrated with family photographs and images of artists books
that I was working on when I began From Ireland with Letters.
March 17, 2010 - Saint Patrick's Day
Met my son at a local brewery for celebratory St Patrick's Day Beer.
We sat outside and talked about the Irish in Early America.
A fine day to be honoring family!
And it is a fine day to be remembering Tommy Makem
on the road with Liam Clancy
with rosen in his pockets for his bow
"O my fiddle strings are new
And I've learned a tune or two...."
Starting on the research for an epic story I've been wanting to write for a long time.
Begins with my many-Greats Grandfather Walter Power, who came to Massachusetts in 1654
when he was 14 years old. It was the year of the "transplantation" when England was
confiscating Irish land.
I'm thinking that an Irish-American fiddler will tell the story. A discovery of heritage,
perhaps. The learning of new songs.
My Mother, Barbara Lillard Powers, my Father, W. Langdon Powers, and my Grandfather, Walter Powers
To begin the research for my new narrative, I am rereading Richard Wunder's biography
of artist Hiram Powers. (Hiram Powers, Vermont Sculptor. 1805-1873, Newark: University
of Delaware Press, 1991)
It begins on a farm in Woodstock, Vermont, where Hiram was born in
1805. Of Irish and English heritage and the grandson of a docter, who served with
George Washington's Army at the Battle of Bunker Hill, Hiram Powers spent most of his
creative life happily in Florence, Italy but still called Vermont home, remembering
in a letter to his cousin "...The dear old Church bell is ringing in the distance and the
smell of orchards greets me, the singing of the birds have come and all is gladness about me..."
April 22, 2010
Went to see
The Future of the Book installation which is visible in the window
of the Berkeley Center for New Media Commons. Small display screens with social
networking feeds and animated referenced literature are installed along with a sculptural
construction of white books. As -- from the Harry Potter series to The Amazing Adventures
of Kavalier & Clay to The Bible -- conversations about what people are reading
flash by on one of the screens, an apparent point is that digital social media may
actually be helping to bring back reading and writing. Indeed, on the Interest, the writing
of words, the desire to convey knowledge of what one has read, the recontextualization of
literary texts are fostering a more literate culture. The installation, also celebrating digital
literature, was created by Judith Donath, Gilad Lotan, and Martin Wattenberg.
April 30, 2010
Listening to Davitt Moroney's Keyboard Music by William Byrd (Hyperion) while
I finish the packaging and details for Paths of Memory and Painting.
Byrd's integrity, his ingenuity, his original vision, the interlocking puzzle
pieces of his keyboard music, and at the same time his musical observation of
place and mood -- church bells in the countryside, Elizabethan "melancholy delight", the
road to Walsingham, the recontextualization of known melodies -- are instinctively
looked for in works of art that are enjoyed for many centuries. Here, Davitt Moroney
innovatively brings to life the sound of the music, played on the original
instruments on which it was composed, and there is no way I would hear it like
that without listening to this recording. Somehow transported through musicians'
magic -- William Byrd, Davitt Moroney -- to a place in history, where I have
never before been.
The notes in Davitt's selection of 19 works from the 127 on his William Byrd
the Complete Keyboard Music are something I was looking for but did not know where
to find. (although I should have) Poetic descriptions of how Byrd put the music
together, so clear, so comprehensible, so perfect.
May 20, 2010
The title of my new work is From Ireland With Letters taken from Saint Patrick's
Confession where the words are actually "from Ireland with innumerable letters". The story
is that having escaped from slavery in Ireland, Saint Patrick had a vision of a man from Ireland
asking him -- with many letters -- to return to Ireland: "The Voice of the Irish".
Doing research for From Ireland With Letters, making notes about the people
whose lives and work will form the background of the story. Writing a poet's notebook
online is a fine way to do this.
The journey of Irish American Hiram Powers from Vermont farm to
this cabin in Ohio
to Florence, Italy -- from where his work, sent back to America, played a core role for
the Abolitionist cause in exposing the terrible impact of slavery on human beings --
begins in a series of studios in Florence.
Powers and his family arrived in Florence on November 24, 1837. They traveled from
New York via boat to Le Havre; from Paris to Marseille by French stagecoach; and then
to Italy via boat.
He first lived near the
Piazza San Croce where he had an upper apartment
and set up a
studio in a shed in the building's courtyard. The Powers family soon moved to a place
more conducive to work in the Parish of St Barnaba not far from the
Piazza Maria Antonia. (now the Piazza della Indipendenza) Here,
he had an indoor studio and a place to receive visitors, which was important
in this era when artists' incomes were partly based on their ability to receive
visitors in their studio.
Hiram moved his studio across the Arno to the Via delle Fornaci between the
Ponte alla Carraia and the
Porta Romana where he had a
studio on the ground floor
and apartments on the third and top floor with a rooftop deck for entertaining.
The rooftop deck overlooked the Goldoni Theatre. The studio had been a part of the
Annalena convent, which had been, according to Richard Wunder, supressed in 1800.
(Hiram Powers, Vermont Sculptor. 1805-1873, Newark: University of Delaware
Press, 1991) The suppression of European monasteries is in itself a story.
There was a shared garden next to the studio, where the Powers family grew their
own vegetables, including American corn. A gate from the garden opened into the
Via Romana, and the entrance to the
Boboli gardens was opposite this gate.
Here, for this week, I have stopped my research on where Hiram Powers lived in Florence.
But already his life appears more vivid, as I imagine him walking the streets
of Florence. Have been to Florence twice, but then I did not know that Hiram Powers
had lived in Florence or the importance of his work in the years before the Civil War.
Now I regret not knowing when I was there that I walked the streets where he lived
and not asking my Grandfather Walter Powers to tell me more about Hiram.
Met my son for beer today, and we talked about family history, nonfiction
writing, regional cuisine and West Virginia. A professor at UC Merced,
his paternal West Virginia grandfather (second or third generation Irish) was
a union man who loaded coal cars for Union Carbide.
Have been thinking about parallel Irish lives, and as Pentecost weekend approaches,
am looking at a map of Florence on the Internet, while at the same time I think about
Ireland and wonder where Hiram's and my family's common ancestor, Walter Power came
from when he landed in The Massachusetts Bay colony in 1654. His place of birth is
usually given as County Waterford.
June 9, 2010
It was either in the late summer or in the Fall of 2008 when for Every Luminous Landscape,
Part One of the Trilogy Paths of Memory and Painting, I wrote some words that stayed with me,
as I continually wondered whether or not to change them and each time, decided not to. Spoken by
Dorothy Abrona McCrae, who is a fictional painter, the words were:
"Following the footsteps of St Patrick,
some of my ancestors
would be attending Mass this morning,
while others would be on their way to The Kirk.
But I'm in the mountains with my watercolors. "
It was only a few lines of text, yet the words seemed challenging. Many people do not go
to Church every Sunday in our times, but they may not think about this or say this out loud.
How would readers react to Dorothy's words?
Considered changing this lexia but did not do so, thinking that the questions the words raised
were of value. From the arts point of view, I wrote a note about the role of the spiritual
in the Hudson River School of landscape painting, addressing also how women painters of the
landscape might be have been left out when painting was considered in this context in that era.
But this was only one aspect of her words.
In the following year, returning often to edit the work, I continually reread this passage,
each time not changing it. Yet in the process, the gently chiding spirit of Saint Patrick had
begun to be ever present, and I began to contemplate more deeply my Irish heritage. In
January of this year, I decided that my next work would be the work -- now titled from
Saint Patrick's Confession -- From Ireland with Letters and began the research.
In putting myself, as writers often do, in the place of the people about whom they are writing,
I was in a time of religious conflict, where it was likely that my first ancestor in this country,
Walter Power, was born Catholic but probably could not say this when at age 14 he landed in the
Puritan Massachusetts Bay Colony in the 17th century. I began to want to know not only where he
came from, but also how his family had worshipped, and to realize that before I began actually
writing this work, I myself should better know the Church of my Irish Catholic forefathers. I did
not know how to begin or where this would lead, but it was a path that I was called to explore.
This year as St Patrick's Day came, for an exhibition, I was editing the trilogy that included
Dorothy's challenging words and once again looked at the passage, thinking as I envisioned Saint
Patrick returning to Ireland, that one place those words might lead was to think more about
the Gospels. Thus, not knowing where else to begin, I began to read the New Testament, thinking:
go back to the beginning, go back to The Nativity and then look at all the paths that
lead to and from the words of the Gospels that describe that central story.
Today, as the Electronic Literature Organization Conference where Paths of Memory and Painting
has been on exhibition, has come to a close, I think, with a sense of wonder, about the coming to
town of the Berkeley Festival of Early Music, as for research for From Ireland with Letters,
I read R.W.B. Lewis' fascinating account of The City of Florence and Journey Through Ireland
with Terence Sheehy.
After the War: My Mother and Father and me
June 26, 2010
For research for From Ireland With Letters, am continuing to follow the trail
of Hiram Powers after he arrived in Florence. When working on a new character,
as a way of "becoming" the character, I often do writing which may not actually used
in the final work, although sometimes it is. So have begun by writing about what
Powers did when he first arrived in the City and lived near the Piazza San Croce. Many
details that bring alive the person and the time and place arise in this process.
For instance, when were the Trecento frescos of seven scenes in the life of St. Francis
that Giotto painted in the Bardi Chapel in the Basilica di Santa Croce rediscovered?
I think they were painted over in the 18th century, and uncovered in the 19th century,
probably in the 1840's. Powers arrived in Florence in 1837, so he was probably there when
that happened, but I will need the exact dates and to read about how they were found and
A writer's process of discovery can reflect the excitement of the original discovery,
and it is of interest to imagine that an Irish American sculptor stepped into the Bardi Chapel
every now and then to view the uncovering of the work of a Trecento painter. But I'll need
to know if the work on the fresco was open to the public.
Will have to research whether or not this is accurate, but in preliminary exploratory
writing, I imagined Hiram Powers in his first week in Florence -- sitting beside the Arno (as he
did beside Vermont rivers) and then following a lunchtime crowd into an eating place with
communal tables, as perhaps he did when he met his wife Elizabeth (perhaps at this moment
unpacking in her new home) at a boarding house.
Remembering the wonderful trattoria food, have begun with the fine adventure of reading
Biba Caggiano's Trattoria Cooking. But I'll also need to look more closely at regional
Florentine cooking and to find out what might have been different in the 19th century.
In the Powers household itself, the food may have been more what Elizabeth (second generation
Irish from Dublin) was used to cooking. There are some details about this in letters.
And in R.W.B. Lewis The City of Florence, I have been reading about the history of
the Piazza San Croce, as well as about the Arno river and the histories of the bridges across
July 9, 2010
Working on finishing the sketches for the June trails book. The images remind
me of trips to the mountains, so yesterday, after editing, writing, and reading,
I packed up my paints and went on a painting hike in the East Bay hills.
Then, on the eve of the anniversary of the day I was run down -- July 9, 1994 -- in doing some
Internet research for From Ireland with Letters, I discovered that in 1654, the year
Walter Power arrived in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, the slave ship Goodfellow landed in
Massachusetts with Irish and Scottish young men and children, as young as 11, who had been
stolen from their families and were sold into servitude. That they were stolen as slaves and
did not come voluntarily is documented by a court case, available on the website of The Gilder
Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale --
The Case, "Law Case, Master Samuel Symonds against Irish slaves. William Downing and Philip Welch.
Salem Quarterly Court. Salem, Massachusetts. June 25, 1661", was brought against two young Irishmen,
who -- having been stolen as children from their families by English soldiers and sold into servitude
in Ipswich, Massachusetts -- were disputing the 9 year term of servitude.
In testimony for them:
"John King deposed that he "with divers others were stollen in Ireland,
by some of ye English soldiers, in ye night out of theyr beds & brought
to Mr Dills ship, where the boate lay ready to receaue them, & in the way
as they went, some others they tooke with them against their Consents,
& brought them aboard ye said ship, where there were divers others
of their Country men, weeping and Crying, because they were stollen
from theyr frends, they all declareing ye same & amongst ye rest were
these two men, William Downeing & Philip Welch, and there they were kept,
until upon a Lord's day morning, ye Master sett saile, and left some of
his water & vessells behind for hast, as I understood." Sworn in court, 26:4:1661,
before Hilliard Vern.."
I do not yet know if 14 year old Walter Power, probably from Waterford, was on that ship or possibly
another slave ship that arrived in 1654, but it was a harrowing moment of discovery because Walter Power
was my own first ancestor in America as well as Hiram Powers' first ancestor in America.
And somehow, the tears for what happened to Irish families are still with me.
Yet I am cheered by the knowledge that two centuries later Hiram Powers, who was passionately
anti-slavery, created a sculpture of the Greek Slave wearing the chains put on African
Americans, and that his work travelled America in the years before the Civil War. In an 1847
article on "Power's Statue of the Greek Slave", The National Era wrote:
"As this eloquent statue traverses the land, may many a
mother and daughter of the Republic be awakened to a sense of
the enormity of slavery, as it exists in our midst! Thus may Art,
indeed, fulfill its high and holy mission! Let the solemn lesson
sink deep into the hearts of the fair women of the North and of
the South! Waste not your sympathies on the senseless marble,
but reserve some tears for the helpless humanity which lies
quivering beneath the lash of American freemen."
Perhaps the still little acknowledged story of what happened to Walter Power and other Irish
children at the time of the Transplantation, (when England was confiscating Irish land) was
known to Hiram Powers -- perhaps passed down from generation to generation by some of our family.
There is a story that when Hiram found out that pro-slavery people had visited his studio, he
crossed out their names in his guest book.
In my narrative, I think I will use two separate narrators. One will probably be a scholar,
who relates only the known facts, and the other will probably be an Irish-American musician or poet,
who creates a story using the interpreted facts. Not only will this allow me to tell a coherent
story while still presenting what the actual known facts are, but it will also work well in a
hypertextual narrative where the reader can move easily back and forth between the narratives.
I also plan to create a print version.
My Grandparents Ethel and Walter Powers
July 20, 2010
In the research for From Ireland With Letters, I have been looking at the
Giotto Frescos in the Bardi Chapel. I will need to confirm this but it looks
as if the overpainting was removed in 1852, and then the frescoes were restored
by Gaetano Bianchi. This is what Hiram Powers might have seen in progress.
But, the restoration did not exactly follow the original, and in 1959, the
"restorations" were removed, so now in the Bardi Chapel, Giotto's paintings
of the life of St Francis are as close to the original as possible.
Powers' early years in Florence are where I will begin writing, but am also
continuing on the trail of Walter Power in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
Had envisioned him stepping off a ship in 1654, the year of his arrival,
but it is more likely that he was stolen from his family and sold off the
ship when he arrived. It would not had been an easy passage.
I had wondered how he worshipped, if as presumed, he was Catholic, and found
that in 1647, a Puritain statute forbade Catholic Priests and Jesuit orders
from entering the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The punishment for the first offence
was banishment; the punishment for the second offense was execution.
In the Catholic Encyclopedia, there is an explanation as to why many of the early
Irish in America appear to have English names and why there is a discrepency in
the records of where they came from:
"Near the close of the reign of Charles I, however, the forced emigration of the
Irish brought many of that race to these shores; their number is hard to estimate,
first, because the law made it obligatory that all sailings must take place from
English ports, so that there are no records of those who came from Ireland with
English sailing registry; secondly, because the law, under heavy penalties, obliged
all Irishmen in certain towns of Ireland to take English surnames--the names of some
small town, of a colour, of a particular trade or office, or of a certain art or craft.
Children in Ireland were separated forcibly from their parents and under new names sent
into the colonies. Men and women, from Cork and its vicinity, were openly sold into
slavery for America."
Had not expected the research for this work to be so harrowing.
On Friday, I went for a painting hike in Marin. A fine day, and I painted a cluster of pine
trees with blue sky in the background, as I sat in the green grass and enjoyed being in a
lovely place. Bought some cheese on the way home and had a late lunch of bread and cheese at home.
July 27, 2010
Am about ready to begin outlining the plot of From Ireland with Letters. At the moment,
(sometimes this changes for various reasons) the main characters are Máire Megan Powers,
an Irish musician who is researching her family background for a song cycle about early Irish
immigrants to America and Liam, an art historian who is researching Hiram Powers. They are
named for Walter Power's first born son William and his wife, Mary, but are not related to
each other. In Ireland, there is a special name for the Virgin Mary, Muire, and that name
cannot be used. Thus, Máire. Liam's family came to America during the potato famine,
which will also provide a continuity of narrative of the Irish in America. (Haven't yet
decided on his last name.)
Am thinking about a structure somewhat similar to that I designed for The Yellow Bowl where there
are parallel streams of text that intersect. Narrative tension will be created by Máire and Liam's
separate narratives, their meeting, and the way they and their narratives eventually come together.
For Irish Music background, I'm reading Irish musicologist Chevalier Grattan Flood's
A History of Irish Music. (Dublin, Browne and Nolan, 1906)
A paper by Robert E. West confirms the fact that British records concealed both the original ports of
departure and the names of the passengers on Irish Slave ships. (Robert E. West, PEC Illinois
"England's Irish Slaves", originally published in the newsletter of the
Political Education Committee, (PEC) American Ireland Education Foundation.)
Looked at a photograph of Santa Croce and saw where Hiram Powers would walk to
see the in progress restoration of Giotto's work in the Bardi Chapel. Thought about the
Italian Theory Composers (while working on Authoring Software) and found that
Eleonora M. Beck has done some research on the connections between Marchetto da Padova's
music and theory and Giotto's work in the Arena and Scrovegni Chapels.
A lot of research for From Ireland With Letters; much more to do,
but today I went to a cafe, sat outdoors and began writing.
It was wonderful to actually start on a new work.
August 6, 2010
Once a narrative is begun, creating the characters and their story becomes a fine part
of a writer's life. However, the preliminary writing is exploratory, by which I mean
that it may evolve as the story is created; the words and cadence are not yet
polished; the story may change.
I have just begun to write about Máire Powers:
The fiddle was on the table beside her.
She should perhaps return it to its case,
but she prefered to play the music as she wrote it.
She picked up her fiddle and played a line of melody,
fitting the melody to the words she had written.
Then carefully she transcribed the music on score paper.
Wrote the words underneath.
It was a beginning.
The story was continually changing as she researched it,
and she was aware that she might have to start again.
But the weeks of research had been difficult,
and she wanted to hear some music.
Although I did not know this until I looked up Irish musician and musicologist
Chevalier Grattan Flood, today is the anniversary of his death on August 6, 1928.
In remembrance of his remarkable contribution to a reclaiming of Irish cultural history,
this story, one of many continuances of Irish music, begins.
In addition to a library copy of Flood's 1906 A History of Irish Music,
I also have the shorter version published a few years later, so as to reach
a wider audience: Sketch of Irish Musical History - A Compact Record of the
Progress of Music During 1000 Years.
Sketch of Irish Musical History begins with a drawing of the
1621 Fitzgerald Harp and is dedicated to:
"the musical sons and daughters of Ireland
scattered all over the globe -- the children
of the "Land of Song"
August 12, 2010
As the writing for From Ireland With Letters continues, Liam is in his University office looking at a
photo of Giovanni Dupré's statue of Giotto in a niche in the Uffizi in Florence and
at a photograph of the statue of Benjamin Franklin that Hiram Powers created for the
Capital building in Washington.
If he hadn't been side-tracked by the restoration of Giotto's Bardi Chapel frescoes, he might
never have discovered Dupré's 1845 sculpture of Giotto. It was exactly what he was looking
for. The two works are superficially nothing alike, yet it is possible to see the influence of
contemporary 19th century Italian sculptors on Powers' work and perhaps Powers may also have
been influential on their work. The contemporary dress: Giotto is not wearing the customary
neoclassical toga in Dupré's sculpture; Powers actually borrowed some of Franklin's clothing
from his descendents to create his sculpture; the woodcarved sculpture feel to the way the
clothes flow: Dupré was the son of a woodcarver. One cannot always accurately know
how artists influence each other At its best, it is a fine process of sharing the development
of styles. (with respect for individual vision)
The possible influence of the work of Italian scuptor Antonio Canova on Powers' The Greek Slave
is also of interest. But that comes later in the story.
Last week Indian food with art friends; this week beer with my son.
On the BBC's
Composer of the Week, Donald Macleod devoted an entire week
to New Hampshire-born composer Amy Beach, and I heard for the first time her
Romantic Gaelic Symphony,
recorded by the Detroit Symphony.
And on "Jerry Day", I went for a hike, worked on the finishing carpentry for
the June trails book, and listened to
an historic Grateful Dead concert on the
August 21, 2010
Spent some time last week tracing the genealogy of the family of Trial Shepherd
the woman whom Walter Power married in 1660 or 1661, wondering how a young man,
who had probably been an indentured slave in the Puritan Massachusetts Bay Colony,
married the daughter of early Massachusetts Puritan settlers.
She was born in Weymouth, Massachusetts on December 19, 1641. Her Father was Ralph Shepherd,
probably born in 1606 at Limeshouse, Stepney, Middlesex, England. Her Mother was
Thanklord Perkins Shepherd, born in England in 1612. Ralph and Thanklord were married
at St. Bride's in London on May 21, 1632. They sailed to Massachusetts on the Abigail
and arrived in Boston in July 1635. Trial had four brothers: Thomas, Isaac, Abraham,
and Jacob, and one younger sister, whose name was Thanks.
At this point the story is still conjecture, as is the story told by Máire Powers, an
Irish American Fiddler who is writing a romantic song cycle on her Powers family in America.
In her ballad, Walter and Trial are very much in love and find a way to spend their
lives together. They are both, so the story goes, brave, remarkable, and resourceful. And
Trial's parents are tolerant for the era, eventually helping the young couple to purchase
land and make their home further West in what was then Concord.
The details of how they met and fell in love have not yet been told. But we do know that
there was a Puritan statute enacted in 1642 that said that if a man and woman
made love without being married "they shall be punished either by enjoyning to Marriage,
or Fine, or corporall punishment." And so, Máire Powers relates, Walter and Trial
made love, made it be known, and were married. Or perhaps, the times being what they were,
they only said that they made love in order to get married.
This is a true story. According to a transcript of the 1661 Middlesex Court Records, Walter and Trial
were "convicted of fornication by them committed together before marriage". They were married
by the time their conviction for violating
Puritan statute 23 came to Court, but Walter had
to be in the words of the Court: "openly whipped with 15 stripes by the constable of Cambridge &
to pay a fine of fifty shillings for his wife or else she to be whipped also." The Court also
records that Trail's Father Ralph appeared in Court, and paid the fifty shillings to Middlesex
County Court "in behalf of his son-in-law".
Among other intertwining threads of research this in the past week, I have also read about
the Irish Revival in Boston -- how Boston College hired Irish fiddler Séamus Connolly
to head its Irish Music Department, how Boston College created The Irish Music Archives.
And I also read how Hiram Powers began working in the reading room of Cincinnati Hotel
at age 15. He had access to newspapers from all parts of the country, which was important
because he did not have much education. His peer, 19th Century sculptor Horatio Greenough,
had studied at Phillips Andover Academy and at Harvard University. Meanwhile, at the Cincinnati
Hotel, Hiram's only remuneration was his board, and he was forced to leave the job because
he had to wear decent clothes and had no money to buy them. In 1823, he became an apprentice
to Luman Watson's clock and organ factory, where he invented a new machine for cutting clock
wheels, made an improvment in the organ reed-stop, and created in wax the figures of trumpeters
It is a Renaissance story about a man, who later went to Florence, Italy,
and became one of the most famous 19th century American-born sculptors.
I also now need to get an facsimile of Middlesex Court record MCR 1:189; MCF Folio #28,
remembering as I search for the address, that my Father, W. Langdon Powers, was Assistant District
Attorney of Middlesex, County.
August 30, 2010
Thinking about the construction of Máire Powers' narrative about
Walter Power and Trial Shepherd, I turned again to Flood's A History
of Irish Music and in particular to his quoting of Irish artist and
musician George Petrie's description of the sonata-like construction
of ancient Irish songs:
"These melodies are all in triple or three-four time,
and consist of two parts, or strains, of eight bars each,
and the same number of phrases, divided into two sections.
Of these sections, the second of the first part is, generally,
a repetition -- sometimes however, slightly modified --
of the section preceding; and the second section of the
second part is usually a repetition of the second section
of the first part -- sometimes also modified in the first,
or even the first and second phrases -- but as usual in
all Irish melodies, always agreeing with it in closing cadence."*
A good starting point, so it is time to listen to music.
It is also a good time to walk, paint and draw in the hills and forests of
Northern California, work on
Authoring Software, and
and -- as the characters and plot of From Ireland with Letters
are developed -- do a lot more draft writing. Meanwhile, in this online notebook,
exhibitions or lectures probably won't be reviewed for a while, although
I will sometimes write about music that is particularly applicable to the
creation of polyphonic text structures.
* (Flood p. 36; probably from Petrie's Ancient Music of Ireland, 1855)
September 3, 2010
Labor Day celebrated early, on Wednesday with a trip to Marin --
coffee, pastry, and painting on the beach, and then a short hike in the woods
and pen and ink drawing on the trail.
While awaiting the arrival of 8 reels of microfilm of Hiram Powers' letters,
on Interlibrary loan from the Archives of American Art, I began to follow
the research trail of the first Italian National Exhibition, held in 1861
after the Unification of Italy. In this landmark exhibition, Powers exhibited his
work in solidarity, alongside the work of the Italian artists.
The book I sought -- Albert Boime's The Art of the Macchia and the Rissorgimento:
Representing Culture and Nationalism in 19th Century Italy -- was not then
available, so I took a side trail and checked out one of the few available
English Language books on Italian Sculptor Antonio Canova. (1757-1822) --
Christopher M.S. Johns, Antonio Canova and the Politics of Patronage
in Revolutionary and Napoleonic Europe (University of California Press, 1998)
Perhaps it was the best research trail to take first because this book lays
the groundwork for the complex cultural politics of the Rissorgimento -- through the
life of a most extraordinary artist, Italian Sculptor Antonio Canova, who so
generously supported the work and lives of other artists in the perilous times
of the French occupation of Italy, including the Treaty of Campoformio, in
which France traded Venice to Austria and Canova's home City of Venice was
looted on orders of Napoleon. Later, it was Canova who went to Paris and
negotiated the return of many of the works of art stolen from Italy during
the Napoleonic occupation.
Looking also at which of Canova's works Hiram might have seen in Florence, I
came unexpectedly back to where the trail began, for he certainly would have
seen Canova's Monument to Vittorio Alfieri (1806-1810) in the Basilica
di Santa Croce. Italy is personified as a female figure in this memorial for Alfieri
-- whose writing was influential in the struggle for reunification and who has
been credited with being the first to use the word "Rissorgimento".
Fittingly, for the first Italian National Exhibition held in 1861, the year
also of the beginning of the Civil War, Powers exhibited his sculpture America,
in which America is personified as a female figure, trampling on the chains of slavery.
Have also been looking at some of the "blogs" of the day -- travel histories by
literary figures -- for instance, Camillia Crosland's Landmarks of a Literary Life,
1820-1892. (London, 1893)
Writing about a visit to Powers' studio in 1857, she describes him as
"an unaffected and interesting man, in the prime of life"
"His studio," she writes, "like so many in Italy was situated in a garden some
distance from his house, and with no more disturbing noise about it than the
rustle of the trees, not yet bare of their leaves, though it was the middle
of October." She describes some of his work, contrasting the expression of
The Greek Slave with the more joyful expressions of his other sculptures.
And she wishes him lasting fame.
September 12, 2010
Trip to the Sierras. Beautiful day to hike and paint.
Lunch of cheese and crackers, sitting on the rocks beside the clear water.
Reading The Melodic Tradition of Ireland by James R. Cowdery.
(Kent, OH, Kent State University Press, 1990)
Background for the story told by Irish American Fiddler
Máire Powers in From Ireland With Letters.
Thinking about the interface for this work. For reasons of coherent
vision, I generally begin with an interface that I previously designed.
I'd like From Ireland with Letters to be accessible, so am
thinking of working with the interface for
Dorothy Abrona McCrae but using
two or three parallel rows of polyphonic
"lines" in the right hand column,
so that the reader can either page through the story sequentially or explore
the parallel research trails of Liam and Máire through polyphonic
"lines" poetry. This will allow me to create a story that could work in print
but that has a more poetic dimension as new media poetry.
September 20, 2010
The story Máire Powers is telling will begin in 1654, the year that
Walter Power arrived in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. It was the second year
of the Transplantation. The Irish had been defeated by Cromwell, and
the land of those who fought Cromwell's brutal takeover was confiscated.
The Irish who opposed Cromwell were given until May 1, 1654 to leave
their homes and move to an isolated part of Connacht between the ocean,
the Shannon, the Erne, and the bogs of Leitrim. "To Hell or Connacht," were
Cromwell's words to the Irish people. Those who were not sold as slaves
in Barbados and America could choose between being hung or going into exile.
It was 1654 when the slave ship Goodfellow landed in Massachusetts with
Irish and Scottish young men and children, who had been stolen from
their families and were sold into servitude. (That they were stolen as slaves and
did not come voluntarily is documented by a court case, available on the website of The Gilder
Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale --
Máire cannot be sure that Walter Power was the real name of
the 14 year-old whose story she is telling because to hide what
they were doing, the British changed the port of departure, and in some cases
the names of the Irish children they stole from their families were
changed to English names, so that no one -- possibly not even the colonists
in Massachusetts -- knew that those children had not volunteered to become
indentured servants but had been taken by force from their families.
Power was a common Irish Norman name in Waterford, where they came
originally as Norman Warlords in the 12th century but assimilated as Irish in
the following centuries. If that was indeed his real name, Walter Power probably
came from one of the many Catholic branches of the Power families that fought Cromwell.
There were 19 Powers listed in the Waterford families of leaders of the
rebellion who were "transplanted" to Connacht in 1653-1655. They were
Pierse Power, (Clonea) Stephen Power, (Ballinamontragh) Peetor Power, (Culfin)
Morris Power, (Curraghkells) Peirce Power, (Lissnegerigh) Nicholas Power,
(Killballykilty) John Power, (Georgestown) Willyam Power, (Kearnleagh)
Willyam Power, (Bellalogh) Peirce Power, (Knocklafaly) Nicho. Power,
(Danemrattin) Walter Power, (Carrigestine) David Power, (Smore or Kilbolane)
John Power, (Donoyle) Peeter Power, (Colefin) Walter Power, (Fenmore)
Morris Power, (Adamstown) David Power, (Ballyskanlane) Pier Power,
(Knocklafala) and Richard Power, his brother. (listed as "died at Ballindrimmy").
However, if the British records were not reliable in the case of the slave ships, they may
also not be reliable in the Transplantation lists. For instance, although his name
appears in the list above, John Power's (Donoyle) name does not appear in
"The Connaught Certificates". Lord John Power defended his castle, Kilmeaden,
against Cromwell. After Cromwell destroyed Kilmeadan, many sources say that
Cromwell hung Lord John Power from a tree outside his castle. Since Cromwell
had shown no mercy earlier in 1649 in the Siege of Drogheda and in the
sack of Wexford, this seems likely.
Lord John Power was married to Lady Giles FitzGerald, the daughter of
John FitzGerald, of Dromana, Lord of the Decies. (The Decies were
an ancient Celtic people) As was the custom with Celtic women, Lady FitzGerald
took command and defended the family Castle at Dunhill against Cromwell,
after Kilmeaden was destroyed. Giles Fitzgerald might have been able
to hold Dunhill, if she had not been betrayed by her chief engineer. Probably he had
rigged an opening in the defenses. (The legend that he was angry because she sent
the men buttermilk instead of beer only makes sense if he had already prepared the way
and was angry that the men were not occupied with drink at the planned time of the attack,
for if, as reported, he gave Cromwell's Army a signal, it had to mean that he had already
prepared a place to breach the castle's defenses, and they were waiting for his signal.)
The Walter Power who arrived in America in 1654 could have been the son of any
of the many Powers who were transplanted as rebel leaders. If Power was his name,
it might have been to humiliate the Powers family by sending their son into slavery,
bearing their name. Indeed, the family had a Jacobite history. Later in the century,
on October, 14, 1690, Richard Power, who had taken part in a Cork Jacobite Uprising,
died a prisoner in the Tower of London.
Among the transplanted Powers, Walter, William, David, or Stephen would be possible
as Walter's father because they are family names in the dynasty he started in America.
(Stephen was the name of Hiram Powers' father, and my family is descended from Walter Power's
first born, William.) Or he could have been the son or grandson of Lord John Power
and Lady Giles Fitzgerald. Walter Power would have been about nine years old when John
and Giles died defending their family castles in 1649.
At this point Máire doesn't know any more about who Walter Power was,
and neither do I.
September 24-26, 2010
In The Melodic Tradition of Ireland, James Cowdery talks about the Céilí
-- music making at home and/or with local community -- and about how some professional musicians
transformed their life experiences of gatherings of family and community into their public
performances. There was also a tradition in Ireland of travelling musicians.
Máire Powers comes from a family where making music at home was a part of growing up.
Her Father also played the Irish fiddle. Her Mother had a fine voice, and in the evenings,
the family would gather in the living room to sing songs and tell stories. I saw her character
more clearly after I read Cowdery's descriptions of the Céilí and envisioned
the making of music in the home where she grew up. Thus, writers of nonfiction
inspire writers of poetry and epic. And the research trail for From Ireland with Letters
Simultaneously working not only on the details of the character's lives, but also on the
development of the interface for From Ireland and on tracing the trail Hiram Powers
might have followed in Florence -- including Giovanni Dupré's statue of Giotto that
he probably saw in a niche in the facade of the Uffizi and the restoration of Giotto's
Bardi Chapel frescos of the life of St Francis that he probably observed in progress
-- I read "Marchetto da Padova and Giotto's Scrovegni Chapel Frescos" by
Eleonora M. Beck (Early Music 27:1. 1999 pp. 7-24)
The way that the work of Giotto and Marchetto da Padova influenced each other is of interest
to a creator of new media literature, who sometimes looks at the structure of the work polyphonically,
exploring different ways of notation for a developing art form, as did the Trecento Theory Composers.
At the same time, because new media poets create on a screen where color and design can be
core components of the work, we often look at organizing poetry and fiction in a visual way,
I thought, as I studied the images of Giotto's frescoes in the Scrovegni chapel and was --
with amazement and pleasure, although I already knew that a lifelong fascination with multiple
panel altarpieces had seeped into my work-- surprised at the correlation with some of my own
Eleonora Beck notes that Giotto was probably in Padua from 1303-1306. Marchetto worked
in Padua as Cathedral choirmaster from 1305-1308. It is also of interest that Dante was
in Padua in 1306. (Dante was in exile at this time) She looks at the connection between
Giotto's mulitiple images in the Scrovegni Chapel and Marchetto's motet "Ave Regina
Celorum". Before considering this in depth, I'll see if I can find a copy of Alberto
Gallo's Music of the Middle Ages, v.2 and finish Eleonora Beck's book
Giotto's Harmony: Music and Art in Padua at the Crossroads of the Renaissance,
(Florence, Italy: European Press Academic Publishing, 2005) which I got from the
library this week along with Albert Boime's The Art of the Macchia and the
Rissorgimento: Representing Culture and Nationalism in 19th Century Italy.
If it sounds like a lot of reading, it should be noted that I am reading for
narrative background, approaching each source in a spirit of exploration.
I like also to look at the backgrounds against which Renaissance painters set
their narratives and wonder if they took their sketchbooks to the hills, mountains,
and fields, the way I plan to do after I finish writing these words.
In From Ireland With Letters, Liam, who is researching Hiram Powers,
will meet Máire Powers when he sees her name on a poster and goes to hear her play.
On that evening -- singing and playing of what happened to Ireland in the years 1649-1654 --
she will perform the prelude to the epic ballad she is composing about the
story of Walter Power and the family that he and his wife, Trial Shepherd, began
How the narrative has evolved can be seen in this online writer's notebook where, (below)
on September 20, her story is planned to begin in 1654, but after working on the background research,
it became clear that the story really begins earlier -- with Cromwell's destruction of
Drogheda, the sack of Wexford, and the subsequent destruction of the Irish who resisted,
including the Power family, whose castles at Kilmeaden and Dunhill were besieged and destroyed.
In retrospect, I began to worry about whether or not this part of the story was the way
that Liam and Máire should first meet. Yet because each of them brings a new
story, it could set the stage for a fine narrative -- how Walter Power and Trial Shepherd,
the daughter of a Puritan family, were married and her family gave Walter land in the
New World; how Walter and Trial raised a large family; how Hiram Powers, the descendent
of their third child, became an Internationally known sculptor, whose work was influential
in showing Americans the evils of slavery. Or I could begin, as originally planned,
with the story of Walter Power's arrival in America being the ballad Liam hears when he
first meets Máire. Then, they could together discover what happened in Ireland
between 1649 and 1654. This does not have to be decided yet.
My Father, Lang Powers, and his brother, Walter Powers; Home from the War
October, 8, 2010
I've designed a draft interface and cover for From Ireland With
Letters, and drafted a series of opening lexias. Creating a
parallel column of "lines" works well because readers can move
between the two narratives in an intuitive way. In the past I have
done this with parallel male and female lexias displayed simultaneously,
but in this work, one lexia will be displayed while (slowly) the
"lines" on the right -- access to Máire's creation of a song cycle about
Walter Power and Liam's research of the life and work of Hiram Powers --
will display in counterpoint, creating a kind of dance between the
interfaces for the separate stories that changes the main lexia when
the reader so desires. When Liam and Máire meet, there
will be three columns of "lines" representing Máire, Liam
and Máire and Liam, in a kind of text trio sonata composition.
Hoping to have a draft of Part One finished by the end of this month,
at which point it will be posted it on the Web.
static layout of the interface and four lexias are now online
Meanwhile I have been making pen and ink sketches on East Bay trails,
Authoring Software, solving some computer problems, making
Irish Bread, studying Biblical miracles, and continuing to read
about Italian art at the time of the Risorgimento. (Albert Boime,
The Art of the Macchia and the Risorgimento, Chicago and London:
The University of Chicago Press, 1993)
Boime notes that Hiram Powers "closely identified his interests with
the Florentine people and the Risorgimento and quotes Powers as
saying in a letter "We Italians have been doing something in the
way of Revolution." But I don't know whether or not Powers
sometimes went to the Caffe Michelangiolo on Via Larga (now Via Cavour)
in Florence where the "Maccchiaioli" artists met regularly to talk
about art and politics.
Today I spent some time with an information treasure in the
Library stacks, exploring the Journal of the American-Irish
Historical Society, beginning with Volume 1, 1898. The Journal
of the American-Irish Historical Society is a fine record of
early Irish American history, with an emphasis on Colonial
America. Early volumes have no table of contents, so I paged through
each volume stopping to read articles such as
Thomas Addis Emmet, "Irish Emigration during the
Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries". (v. 2, 1899, pp. 56-70)
in which Emmet confirms that Irish captives appeared in
Official (British) records as English.
gone to the Journal of the American-Irish Historical Society to
begin reading papers by Michael J. O'Brien
pleased to discover that there were also many other papers of interest.
Some of this Journal is available on the Internet, (where I will now
continue a part of this research) including on the
Internet Archive, But it is a pleasure to hold the actual
volumes in one's hand.
October 17, 2010
Last weekend I hiked to a stream in Marin. A beautiful day to be walking
in the woods. Began a sketch that I am working on slowly because of
the need to concentrate on writing
the first draft of Part One of From Ireland with Letters.
Beginning the tandem process of writing the words and designing the interface
of a new work is always difficult. But after a while, the tone and interface
somewhat fall into place, and it becomes a little easier.
Heard the Del Sol Quartet play Kui Dong's Spring, Lou Harrison's
String Quartet Set, Osvaldo Golijov's Tenabrae and Elena Kats-Chernin's Fast Blue Village;
heard New Yorker critic Alex Ross lecture on the state of Music criticism;
heard artist Mark Tribe lecture on his remarkable Port Huron Project and other work
and saw a fine exhibition of the work of Bay Area artists - Gifted Hands: the Fine Art of Craft
at the Hearst Art Gallery at St Marys.
Late supper and performance and new media art conversation with artists and writers.
Long telephone call with Sonya Rapoport, who is busy preparing for her retrospectives
at Kala and Mills College. We talked about conceptual art and the making of conceptual art objects.
Working on my archives -- entertaining letters and graphic artwork from mail artists,
printouts of surprisingly erudite early online art talk on Art Com Electronic Network,
no longer readable Apple II floppy disks with mysterious labels.
: A large amount of time now needs to be spent reading letters to and from Hiram Powers.
Was concerned about reading his handwriting but the letters have been transcribed
and typed by the Archives of American Art, which has included both the original and the transcript in the
microfilm records. Am currently reading letters from 1842, the year he began modeling The Greek Slave.
October 22, 2010
Michael J. O'Brien's Pioneer Irish in New England (P.J. Kennedy and Sons, 1937)
arrived in the mail, and I am reading it slowly.
On page 240, O'Brien observes that "...if it be true that 'Walter Power lived at
Salem in 1654', the assumption is justified that he was one of the Irish 'captives'
who came in the Goodfellow from Kinsdale, Ireland. " (p. 240)
O'Brien, as noted, has the British Slave Ship Goodfellow as departing
Ireland from Kinsdale, in County Cork. A license was granted on September 6, 1653
to take 400 Irish children and carry them to the plantations. The ship docked in
England before sailing for the New World on October 28, 1653. He writes that
"The Goodfellow arrived in January, 1654, at Marblehead, Mass, where the
master of the vessel disposed of part of his human cargo
and then proceeded to Boston." (p. 38)
In (in the same week) reading about the Irish captives who were sold to Ipswich masters,
and looking through my exhibition records as a young artist, I remembered bicycling around
Ipswich when I lived there and stopping to paint the beaches and waterfronts. And I wondered
if any of the young men and women stolen from their homes in Ireland, had lived on East Street
where I lived.
Enough writing has been done on
From Ireland with Letters to work on the "lines"
counterpoint in the interface, which I plan to begin next week.
Meanwhile for Authoring Software, I'm reading Macintosh pioneer and musician Jef Raskin's
classic work on Interface design -- The Humane Interface, New Directions for Designing
Interactive Systems and I'm expecting a copy of Nick and Noah's New Media Reader
from MIT Press.
November 8, 2010
Continuing to read microfilmed letters to (and a few from) Hiram Powers ,
I followed the progress of The Greek Slave on exhibition in London
and then by ship with Minor Kellogg to America.
In 19th century Florence, Hiram's wife writes to her Irish-born Mother. She has
learned to cook Italian food and seems much more at home in Italy then she did in
her earlier letters. The family has acquired a piano, and there is music in the Powers' villa.
Authoring Software, Chris Funkhouser writes about how he used Eugenio Tisselli's
MIDIPoet software to create a series of songs based on vast databases.
In the University Art Museum, it was a pleasure to see my old friend Carl Loeffler's name
and also Art Com Electronic Network on the interesting video and film timeline that is part of
the documentation for the book
Radical Light: Alternative Film
and Video in the San Francisco Bay Area, 1945-2000.
I wished that Carl was still alive to see this. In parallel activity, working on my archives,
I relived the early days of Art Com Electronic Network through faded printouts of email from Carl, Fred Truck
and Jim Rosenberg. Email was so magical in those days. And sometimes it still is.
Stopped by the Art Practice Faculty Show at The Worth Ryder Gallery. The show was not yet open,
but it is always interesting to see a gallery when a show is being installed (while in my archives
I found an entire notebook that listed all the supplies and hardware I needed for an
installation at SITE in San Francisco in the era when Australian media artist Jill Scott was the
Then, last Wednesday, in a busy information-dense week, the University Baroque Ensemble's noon hour concert at the
Cal Music Department was a peaceful interlude of works by Johann Sebastian Bach that I would like to hear again,
including lovely arias from the Cantatas "Was mir behagt" and "Es ist nichts Gesundes an meinem Leibe" and a
favorite Brandenburg Concerto. Davitt Moroney directs the UBE. The musicians played and sang well; the sound
was otherworldly, by which I mean that the baroque era instruments and the authentic performance created the
feeling of a group of musicians playing together in 18th Century Germany.
Took time for hiking and began a drawing on a trail where the woods alternates with views of the hills.
November 17, 2010
There are autumn leaves against the dark pines and views to the hills
on the trails of the East Bay and along a stream on Marin.
Unfinished drawings were started in all these places. (I'm working on research and writing)
On rainy days, it is nice to have unfinished drawings to return to.
Have decided to set up a large sheet of watercolor paper and -- using these
sketches and memories of blue and bluegreen mountain lakes and words --
to create a series of small paintings on one large piece of paper that I can work on in the winter.
This way of working requires more precision. Might be what I need to do at this time.
In research for From Ireland with Letters, from Rome
a sculptor suggests to Hiram Powers that they exchange daguerreotypes of their works.
Daguerreotype was a new process in the 1840's. Hiram's answer is not recorded
in the letters I am reading. And I purchased a book with pictures of reproductions of Early American
dinnerware and pewter in order to better describe the homes in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
Have done enough writing so that I can spend more time on the Interface and (as is usual in my work)
have started some notes to accompany the work.
November 30, 2010
The three reels of Hiram Powers letters I had been reading have gone back to the
Archives of American Art, and I am expecting more later. Appropriately for
Thanksgiving week, the last roll contained praise for his wife's pumpkin pie.
In 1854, a correspondent writes to Hiram in Florence for the recipe.
Here it was also a week of baking, dinner rolls like the kind that were
served in New England homes at Thanksgiving when I was growing up, corn bread --
and then a fine family get together for Thanksgiving dinner.
Did the necessary first editing of what I have written so far on From Ireland
with Letters; followed research trails (in books) into the Irish countryside.
Time to work on the interface.
Bought the paper to make a somewhat more conceptual large painting with words and images,
in order to tie the work I have done in the past years or so into my earlier work.
The vision is coherent to my way of thinking, nevertheless sometimes one
has to demonstrate this.
I recalled Sol Lewitt's Sunrise & Sunset at Praiano. (while looking at my art books)
It is a good example of lushly beautiful conceptual art using gridded photographs taken
in Praiano, Italy on the Amalfi coast. The book was influential on my early work.
And I made a place to paint indoors. (where for December I put a live Christmas tree)
December 8, 2010
Last Friday night in Berkeley, I heard the University Baroque Ensemble play a beautiful program
of music by Bach, Corelli, Jakob van Eyck, and Antoine Boesset among others.
It was an evening where every piece was significant; the musicians played with resonant skill
and with an understanding of the music as it was originally written and performed.
The arias from Bach's Cantatas "Was mir behagt" and "Es ist nichts Gesundes an meinem Leibe",
that I had heard the University Baroque Ensemble play a month ago
and were at the center of what I described as "a peaceful interlude of works",
were this night -- in an enchanting performance -- replayed/sung again.
The soprano in these and other arias and songs was Alana Mailes.
On the recorder, Andrew Levy created with virtuoso skill a flowing solo by Dutch flutist,
bell-maker, and composer,
Jakob van Eyck
With fine flute solos by Vincent Shin and ensemble contrapuntal perfection,
Bach's interactive "Second Orchestral Suite" was an exquisitely prolonged series of dances.
Then there were French songs of love and an aria from Bach's "Gott mann lobet dich in der Stille".
The University Baroque Ensemble is directed by Davitt Moroney, who brings to this role
a renowned musician and musicologist's ability to inspire vision of Baroque and Renaissance Music,
in such a way that the players can by themselves take the stage
and recreate the music.
Soloists and musicians not yet mentioned were Morgan Jacobs, (recorder soloist, flute)
Brian Canatsey, (violin) Wei Ke,(violin, soloist) Yvonne Lin, (violin) Chance Tseng, (violin, soloist)
Norman Cahn,(violin) Mejin Leechor, (violin, soloist) Catherine Yu, (violin)
Hannah Glass, (viola, soloist) Daniel Pasternak, (viola, soloist) Andy Su, (viola)
Eren Bilir, (cello, violone) Timothy Choi, (cello) Seth Estrin, (cello, harpsichord) Isaac Pastor-Chermak, (cello, soloist)
Robert Clarke, (lute, soloist; lute solo) Omar Khan, (guitar)
and Joyce Chen. (organ, soloist, harpsichord)
String coaches are Carla Moore, (violin) Elisabeth Reed, (cello) and John Dornenberg. (violone)
The flute coach is Louise Carslake.
And the evening closed with a favorite Brandenburg concerto.
On a clear night when the wind blew my green silk skirt around me on the
long way to the concert, there was a moment when I knew that the dance would continue.
Writing; interface work; the transfer of my archives; Authoring Software
statements, reviews, and interviews; links to musicians on Art California;
Christmas wrapping, painting, and baking; Christmas walks -- many enjoyable creative projects are on my list.
Thus I will soon close this blog for a while. But it has been a fine way to create a
writer's notebook and will resume with a record of new writing and research when it is time.
Tonight with a candle lit for the birth of Mary, I wish everyone the happiness of the season.
words and images are copyright 2010, 2011 Judy Malloy
March 17, 2010
starting on the research for an epic story
- Saint Patrick's Day
Vermont Sculptor. 1805-1873
April 22, 2010
The Future of the Book
April 30, 2010
Keyboard Music by William Byrd
May 20, 2010
where Hiram Powers lived in Florence
June 9, 2010
Following the footsteps of Saint Patrick
June 26, 2010
imagining a sculptor's first week in Florence; R.W.B. Lewis, The City of Florence
July 20, 2010
restorations of Giotto's Bardi Chapel; life of St Francis;
a Puritain statute that forbade Catholic Priests from entering
the Massachusetts Bay Colony;
a law that all sailings must take place from English ports
August 6, 2010
Máire begins her story;
Irish musician and musicologist, Chevalier Grattan Flood
August 12, 2010
Hiram Powers' statue of Benjamin Franklin;
August 21, 2010
the genealogy of Trial Shepherd, the woman whom Walter Power married;
a Puritan statute; the 1661 Middlesex Court Records;
the Irish Revival in Boston;
how Hiram Powers began working in the reading room of Cincinnati Hotel;
an apprentice to Luman Watson's clock and organ factory
August 30, 2010
the sonata-like construction of ancient Irish songs
Dupré's sculpture of Giotto; Giotto's Bardi Chapel frescoes
September 3, 2010
Canova's Monument to Vittorio Alfieri in Santa Croce;
the 1861 Italian National Exhibition and Hiram Powers' America;
19th Century Travel Histories
September 12, 2010
A trip to the mountains; The Melodic Tradition of Ireland; the Interface for From Ireland
September 20, 2010
a court case documents Irish slavery in America;
the British changed the port of departure, and in some cases the names of the Irish
children they stole from their families; the 19 Powers who were
"transplanted" to Connacht; Lord John Power and Lady Giles FitzGerald;
what happened at Dunhill; who was Walter Power?
September 24-26, 2010
The Melodic Tradition of Ireland: James Cowdery talks about the Céilí
Eleonora M. Beck: how Giotto and Marchetto da Padova influenced each other
how to begin Máire's lay?
October, 8, 2010
Boime notes that Hiram Powers closely identified his interests with
the Florentine people and the Risorgimento;
exploring the Journal of the American-Irish Historical Society
October 22, 2010
in Pioneer Irish in New England
Michael J. O'Brien confirms that Walter Power was probably on The Goodfellow
November 8, 2010
letters from Florence:
Hiram's wife writes to her
The family has acquired a piano,
and there is music in the Powers' villa.
November 17, 2010
In a letter to Hiram Powers from Rome,
a sculptor suggests that they exchange
daguerreotypes of their works
November 30, 2010
the last roll of letters
contained praise for Elizabeth's
pumpkin pie in 1854,
a correspondent writes to Hiram
for the recipe.
A candle for Mary
Remembering Teddy Kennedy
for Eunice Kennedy Shriver
and Homer Avila