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One year in and then - silence for more than a month. One most days I could not find the words, were it University, The News™, work or something entirely different that was in the way. The plan was to change the release schedule again, so that it does not interfere with the release of my podcast. Alas, that did not happen. But now I am here, sitting at my desk listening to Nils Frahm, writing another Edition 38 of this little newsletter. Welcome back, confidants.

  • Poetry - Spring Ahead.
  • Editorial - Thinking about Harvest in Spring.
  • Audio Drama Update.

Poetry - Spring Ahead

Be aware of April, when
Winter had shattered your mind, yes, where 
Are the lilies of the valley?, oh and while
Mayflies are celebrating life and death.

Let in intrusive thoughts of June,
Hot-headed laughter
Cymbals dictating life like drums
have never tasted so sweet.

Birds chirp,
And I whistle back while they fly away,
Unaware of the confinements of a squared space.

Editorial - Thinking about Autumn in Spring

(NB: Last edition I write here about how similar my days have gotten and how I am still so incredibly thankful for the conditions of my isolation. In the last forty days, nothing has changed. So I allowed myself to write about something entirely different.)

Whilst looking out of my kitchen-windows today, I recognized a little scarecrow in the opposite window. It was afternoon, and the day had already been full of showers of rain and covered by clouds. Triggered by this, I began thinking about Autumn and Harvest.

The most well-known poem about this period of the year is by John Keats, aptly titled To Autumn. In it, he asks the question: "Where are the songs of spring? Ay, Where are they?", before reassuringly, yet a little cheeky, answers that autumn has its very own music and is in no need for a surrogate. The poem is full of these ambiguities, full of death and life, about times where "barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day", and you are still dreaming that "warm days will never cease".

I live for the longing and the dreaminess in this poem, especially right now where all I can safely do is wait - wait until I can go out and meet my friends again, drink cheap wine at the riverside, visit museums and carelessly inhale the air that is filled to the brim with inspiration and care, and go the theater again. You know, the real one. 

But when the longing dies down, I drink a cup of tea and become hopeful again. The clouds seem to part, even for a short time and apathy gives way to warmth. People are opening windows, put a chair out and reminiscence about the latest Netflix Original. To Spring, I think.

PS: Keats wrote To Autumn after years of bad harvests, yet his handling and depiction of plentiful. The literary critic Paul Fry tries to grapple with the idea of wether a poem/piece of literature can and should be considered in its original and historical setting in his essay "History, Existence, and 'To Autumn'". I can wholeheartedly recommend you to read it.

Audio Drama Updates

I am still not done with Rome, not yet. In the coming episode we will travel from the beginnings of the Empire to the height of it all. To Rome, To Egypt and beyond. Mark your calendars, Sunday 10 PM CEST.

Post Note

This is the part of the newsletter where I usually tell you how much like stardust you are. And you are very much like stardust, full of beauty and the potential to change the world in the smallest and the greatest of things. But today I want you all to do something for me: Please take care of yourself and your loved ones. Because when we all try to do that we will come out of this mess in one piece. Love you all, my friends <3
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