Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Cookies - Almond Crescents, Chocolate Chip, and Finnish Almond Shortbread.
This morning there were so many beautiful Herring Gulls, they flew along on the snow and stood on the ice.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tacoma Reads Together 2009

Books that include cooking help the reading along. A lot of reading happens in kitchens - the new book choice for Tacoma Reads Together gives the readers a lot of food.

The Tacoma Reads Together selection for 2009 is Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, she refers to the non-cooking idea that placed a demand on females, I remember it from the 1980's. Mixing bowls were not supposed to happen.

I became interested in the transportation options in her community, because when I skimmed through searching for references to the local transportation system where she lives, I found it was all car, car car. And the first paragraph ends with mention of her driveway. Although her work with local food is concerned with produce that travels long distances she does not use public transportation for her own needs.

At the website for the small town near her home I find a description of a bus that stopped there in the late nineteen fifties. It reminds me of the difficulty faced by hard-working poorer people when those who have a choice go along with the car choice of the very affluent. Their bus route vanishes and poorer peoples lives are that much harder.

Friday, December 5, 2008

low sun like butterscotch disk

Late afternoon the sun along the city scape like a butterscotch disk, a dozen chickadees are in the lilac bush - the sky is still very light and they are making their sounds like chickadees.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Emigrants - Book Group Discussion

Today was the Books at 12:10 book group discussion of The Emigrants by Vilhelm Moberg. I brought in a map of Skansen and the 125th Anniversary Booklet of First Lutheran Church of Tacoma, Washington. The novel is historic preservation of the characters intimate feelings and subconscious motivations. The Carnegie Library, over a hundred years old, faces on the earliest site of First Lutheran Church across the street. The Emigrants sailed in 1950, Peter Carlson emigrated in 1854 and in the 1880's toured the Pacific Northwest to found Lutheran churches. There was a lot of appreciation and discussion about refugees and the roles of women and about social reform in Sweden. We stuck to the novel primarily.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Older Posts Have Been Edited for Embedded Video

Older Posts in May 2008 have been edited for embedded video

At the Joseph Biden Rally

This event youtube shows at about 3 minutes in, the crowd at the rally doing The Wave.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Night

On Election Night I have taken the bus from Puyallup along the Puyallup River and into the darkening evening in Tacoma. I have never owned a car, I use public transportation, walk, or ride a bike. So on Election Evening I am where I am at, where I have been so many years in transit, from University and on. There are a lot of election items to follow. As a Hillary Clinton supporter for Barack Obama and Joseph Biden, I relate to the sight of what we call America.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tacoma Reads Together - The Emigrants

This "tour of the emigrant's district" contains a photo from The Emigrants movie which shows their ship, The Catharina.


When Tacoma Reads Together did The Crucible a couple of years back, during one discussion I brought up a book with my own disclaimer to the title, because I do not make a habit of using language that is like this and if I do I try to get myself back to making a better choice. But this book is a philosophical treatment of this word. The word really deserves this treatment, because people who use this word usually are reiterating for shock effect, but sometimes they really have a clear meaning in context. Halloween is here and a candidate has been hanged in effigy in California, but because they are not a black male the incident lacks historical impact in the United States.

Monday, October 20, 2008

At The Rally

The walk from the bus to the rally area was quiet the day before when I checked to see if I would be on the right track on Sunday. On Sunday the side of the street was packed with roadsigns and other people were walking in too.

Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell spoke, Governor Christine Gregoire introduced Democratic Vice-Presidential candidate Joseph Biden. In this photo lots of photographers are taking pictures of Joseph Biden.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Footage Inside An Old Mill

Alfred Hitchcock's Foreign Correspondent was shown at Tacoma Public Library this week. It had footage inside an old mill like an old mill photographed in Finland by my mother's aunt in 1930. There is some footage shown on You Tube, but without the sound. The movie informed me about the appearance and the sound inside an old mill.

Friday, October 17, 2008

That I Saw John Kennedy at Cheney Stadium in 1963 - That I Can See Joe Biden at Cheney Stadium Autumn 2008

That I Saw John Fitzgerald Kennedy at Cheney Stadium in Autumn 1963 - That I Can See Joseph Biden, Democratic Candidate for Vice President at Cheney Stadium in Autumn 2008 - A Series of Litanies

Litany: One - The University of Puget Sound Field House

When I attended a Hillary Clinton rally at University of Puget Sound Field House in February this year it was the second time recently that I felt a stirring to compose a litany.

The first time I felt that stirring to refer to the litany was in 2006. I noticed from the bus as I rode by the University of Puget Sound reader board that Robert Moses was to speak there - coincidentally during the weekend of the 100th Anniversary of Stadium High School Restoration Celebration. So while Stadium High School (I went to Wilson) enjoyed individual year reunions and the band Blood, Sweat and Tears, I was going to be able to pay the ten dollars and sit in the upper section at UPS to hear Robert Moses.

I remembered the name but had also read about him in Parting the Waters, by Taylor Branch.

Yes, once again. In that side of the upper section I was back, once again, where my parents had taken my sister and me that evening when they said we were going to go see Carl and Ellen - if we had behaved badly we might indeed have gone to see our uncle and aunt. As we were going into the garage I stopped at grass allowed to grow long there to pull at it, because my thoughts began to fill up with the horse that lived across the alley from them, their house was in a zoning code that allowed horses. Instead it was the Shrine Circus. There were a thousand clowns, there was a costumed escaped gorilla on the other side of the upper section. Above us came high wire walkers and trapeze artists. Most of all, with the other lights lowered, in a ring came palomino horses with bareback riders.

Yes, once again. All the women's costumes were skimpy and scandalous, flashy with shiny appliques. But their somersaults in the air between trapezes and catches at arms where the partner was swinging enraptured their audience and filled us with awe.

Yes, once again. My mother took my sister and me to the fieldhouse to see Sofia Flickor, Swedish girl gymnastics. Their neutral leotards and mats made a pattern on the wood floor and they performed in synchrony. My mother loved Finland and Sweden, she brought us because we were Swedish and Finnish.

Yes, once again. In fifth grade I made friends with several girls. In junior high I went with Janet and her parents to the field house for the Harlem Globe Trotters. The accidental bucket of confetti paper spilled on us where we sat at the sidelines.

Yes, once again. Janet and her family took me to a Home Show at the fieldhouse, the space redesigned with booths.

Yes, once again. With my eight hundred classmates (we went to Wilson, not Stadium) I graduated at the fieldhouse.

Yes, once again. I attended a basketball game by the college team there after I was thirty and lived in Tacoma.

Yes, once again. I attended a speech there by Robert Moses.

Yes, once again. I attended a rally there for Hillary Clinton.

That I Saw John Fitzgerald Kennedy at Cheney Stadium in Autumn 1963 - That I Can See Joseph Biden, Democratic Candidate for Vice President at Cheney Stadium in Autumn 2008 - A Series of Litanies

Litany: Two - About Litany

A litany is a series of supplications with a repeated refrain. The term, apart from church service, entered my attention as a poetry student, so it was already a resurrection twenty-five year ago among writers and poets in the early nineteen eighties when I taught ten different writing classes at Tacoma Community College.

Then I read and thought books were important and important to have around, but I noticed that I could increase my book collection, books were what I collected. Many people enjoy collections. The presence of books looks nice to me and repeated visits to familiar books create an experience I enjoy. Now most of my books are in boxes or are not assigned steady spots on shelves, right now I live in a small place.

Next to other books today in a pile was a poetry book, Braille for a Storm of Loss, by Father William Ruddy, and, close by, was the one I was looking for, Parting the Waters, by Taylor Branch. In summer 1982 I taught a summer school class at TCC. In September I was featured as a reader at Tacoma's Antique Sandwich Company, and had been attending readings at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral in Seattle, where I had met Father William Ruddy. He gave me a signed copy of a book he published.

Braille for a Storm of Loss features an introduction by William Everson. Everson notes the influence of Gerard Manley Hopkins, Edith Sitwell, and Dylan Thomas and explains that "the wonderful thing to watch is his instinct in play as he saves himself from the onslaught with which the primitive beliefs of India overwhelmed him. By recourse to three distinct levels of evolving British sensibility, he emerges in India with a medium that is perfect for American survival there, the kind of intuitive coherence that transmutes technique into slavivic opportunity."

That is the word: slavivic. The word slavivic - definition.

Some of Ruddy's poems are about the suffering of children and some are about the sacrifice of children. Primitive beliefs lead us now to reflect upon ancient ways when we consider No Child Left Behind.

That I Saw John Fitzgerald Kennedy at Cheney Stadium in Autumn 1963 - That I Can See Joseph Biden, Democratic Candidate for Vice President at Cheney Stadium in Autumn 2008 - A Series of Litanies

Litany: Three - A Blind Rain, and How Those Years Did Seguay into...

Braille for a Storm of Loss has a section titled from a line of the section's poem, "...like a blind rain."

Yes, again and again I have wondered how to address the idea of my blind aunt Christine - that she became blind in her mid-thirtes from Glaucoma.

Yes, again and again as the rain falls it becomes: when the rain fell into the puddles on the sidewalks in Seattle, when it fell from the roof of their small house onto the puddles on their walk, again and again I have believed a time did come at last when she did not see that rain anymore, but could hear the rain falling on the roof of their house.

Yes, again and again since I began to keep my parents archives with me I have wondered how to research my grandfather's sister who emigrated from Denmark with her mother to join her brothers and their father in Iowa. The story is that my grandfather's sister Marie died in Iowa, but I have not yet found out information about how that happened.

Yes, again and again I know I would not be able to learn more from her if I learned more about her.

Yes, again and again I notice that there are reasons to care about the well-being of others.

William Ruddy explains in his Acknowledgements: Poetry, also, through its driving force of verbal feeling, intensified into speech, renews the entire ground of Being, thereby bringing into breathless focus exactly what our blinded childhood fashioned us to speak. This objectification of heart-felt feeling is very close to me, because my own brother is blind, and I remember how the rest of us had to deepen down our voice from ordinary, sighted speech as a kind of accommodation. Of course, all that it takes is love...The poems in this book are meant to be a sort of braille for the heart.

Yes, again and again I ride the bus with those who board on their own but are seated only with assistance from the driver because their chair must be seat belted.

Yes, again and again I realize that still, though, I want to know more about my family history.

If I go to see Joseph Biden speak at Cheney Stadium it is always true that I carry all of that along with me.

And I have to limit the personal belongings.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Women Without Children

In the nineteen-nineties articles occasionally were in the news about non-parent response to parents demands for special treatment in the workplace. The content has been about non-parents having lives that require attention, just as parents have dependents who need them. When a parent I worked with skipped a meeting that mattered to me to drive her daughter to college, I noticed it. In the library collection I have noticed only a few titles about non-parents, a book called Women Without Children. One recent article about census describes the generation now 40 to 45 representing an increase in the number of women without children - doubled from the small ten percent in my generation born right after World War Two. There is a paper on the internet about this. I want to link to it without having read it completely - it is about making decisions about mothering in the life course. The author, Grace Eileen Scrimgeour, M.A. Loyola, concludes that "further work is needed in this area to look at whether attitudes in wider society toward 'obligatory motherhood' are changing in the U.S."

When I started to use the library computer center in 2000 I enjoyed Effects. Now I have learned Lunapic has effects - a portrait of me as the autumn weather turns the leaves to flame.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Work At Salt River Review

Two poems and a prose piece I wrote appear at Salt River Review in the new issue. These and other work on the internet are listed to the right.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My transportation to the Puyallup Fair yesterday was Pierce Transit. When my sister and I went to the fair with our mother in the car, we passed by the large brick building recently restored, the Albers Mill Building.

In the background of the photo is the Tacoma Dome, in the foreground is the hotshop of the Glass Museum. The bus in the photo is not the express bus to the fair. The express bus takes a route on the other side of the Glass Museum then goes to the Tacoma Dome for passengers before going to Puyallup.

I have never owned a private car. I use public transportation, walk, or use a bicycle.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Warm Weather at The Fair

It was Military Appreciation Day and so hot it was like a horse show, Daffodil Arabians, I visited one year at this arena while I was reading "No Man's Land: Combat and Identity in World War One, by Eric J. Leed. During a break I read at one of the benches in a warm shade spot - then the presence of the horses began to reify some of what I was reading.

At the art show a picture, a meadowlark, reminded me of my father's sister. Art area sounds are not similar to the rural-residential roadside.

In the building with art and home crafts, an upstairs, I looked at place settings, then below the dais for the demo kitchen was a long table with pies. I had happened upon pie judging, a first. One judge was a woman columnist for the News Tribune, one was a novelist, one was a Pierce County Health Department representative. They had nineteen pies. An hour and a half later they had been watched eating pie, and three pies were laid out under the tipped up mirror with a red, blue and white ribbon.

I went on to a later draft horse demo than I had planned.

In my favorite place for the draft horse demo, in the warm weather, dirt on the arena floor faintly clouded the air. Each of the five draft teams rode a uniformed member of a section of the United States Military in the wagon, with applause.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Glorious Autumn Weather

I visited IKEA today and returned by taking a bus to Kent and then the Sounder Commuter Train to Tacoma. As the train went through Auburn and Sumner and Puyallup, in some areas the countryside can only be called all that is glorious in beauty - the greens and golds of shadows of trees and a field of beautiful plants growing. The fair is a joy to visit, I think of favorites like Grange produce displays, horses, the caged roosters or pigeons. So I have brought along two kinds of rye tack and a box of Anna's Gingersnaps, as well as shopping bags to use as totes. Today I also made a comment at the blog, Sharp Sand, referred to the Tad Bartimus column from Sunday's paper, listed at her web site, Tad Bartimus.com, as "Say So Long To Superwoman". I read a bit of her account of her work as a War Correspondent in Vietnam and found it quite interesting.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


I include a photo of a blackberry that remains along Thea Foss waterway. Today a story in the News Tribune

tells how a developer expects to remove growing produce from a site within a few weeks. Blackberries are pretty hardy, the blackberry canes develop fast and are thick. But the story is about agriculture, berries and pumpkins, the remaining growing things in Fife. It is sad that between two large cities, Seattle and Tacoma, farmland close at hand can no longer be present. Next Friday the Puyallup Fair begins, so many people are drawn to the experience that can no longer mean what it meant. The lost farmland is experienced as the drapery of grief - white in Japan, black in Western culture - grief for the actual removal of color. I think of songs - (I saw Bob Dylan perform at the Puyallup Fair one year) the song, "The Man in the Long Black Coat" or the Rolling Stones "Paint it Black". All that color and beauty gone. Others may experience the removal of developed produce as a deranged waste of food, in a time when the price paid is so high and it is so wrong to waste food. In this situation, the farmland is destroyed, so the loss of one crop, one season, cannot be evaluated when the actual time element is "gone forever".

Monday, August 18, 2008

A Swedish stamp shows art by Bror Hjorth, a portrait of Walt Whitman, Christ, and Socrates. I saw a relief by Bror Hjorth at Liljevalch's Konsthall that featured Walt Whitman when I visited Sweden in 1990.

Friday, August 15, 2008

There was some rain during some of the poetry readings at Showcase Tacoma. Some of the students hurried along the walkway beside the light rail tracks with flowing cloth painted in tie dye colors, a little like a dragon.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Showcase Tacoma

The state poet laureate Sam Green will be at Showcase Tacoma today. When the Urban Grace group reads poems I will also read one poem. Showcase Tacoma is at the U of W Tacoma Branch.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The months of May, June, and July I blogged twice a month and in August I think I will blog from time to time. There are reasons to recognize a priority for participation in electronic writing. Outside the library the trees are green and filled with sun.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Windmill in Finland, 1930

In Finland during the summer of 1930 my mother and her aunt went one day to visit a relative. I think my mother's aunt took this photo of a windmill on that day. Sometimes there were windmills in Finland, though that is not an image I associate with Finland. I associate images of textiles with Finland, woven materials sewn into vests and aprons with colorful sashes and tassels. Today I scanned a few old pictures onto a cd. (In August my blog entries return to a random pattern after May, June, and July with an entry twice a month.)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Folk Dancers and Singers July 1st

The first and second of July I attended concerts in Seattle and Olympia by singers and dancers from Swedish-speaking Finland.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The piano accompanist for choir concerts by the Runeberg Choir in 1930 was Linnea Gord, my mother (Linnea Gord Jensen). She saved lots of things, including ribbons (pctured). She wrote about June 21, 1930 in Jacobstad, "The concert was held at Bradkorshuset. The hall was packed, but it was a small hall. We received a wreath, with pink carnations. It sure was beautiful."

The poet Johan Ludwig Runeberg, born 1804 in Osterbotten, a Swedish-speaking national poet of Finland, wrote narrative a lyric poems and hymns. He adapted "Himlars Rymd Sin Konung Ärar" from Psalm 19. English translation by Laura Jensen, who is not fluent in Swedish. She studied Swedish as a U. of Washington undergraduate. She translated "Himlars Rymd Sin Konung Ärar" for the observation that preceded the 125th anniversary year of First Lutheran Church in Tacoma, Washington.

This hymn is performed at some concerts by the Runeberg Choirs in different years.

Himlars Rymd Sin Konung Ärar

Himlars Rymd sin konung ärar

Himlars härar prisa den dem väsen gett.

Fästet skaparns namn förkunnar, stjärne munnar

sjonga utan vila det.

Dagen spegla vill för dagen

Anletsdragen av den sok som evig är.

Natt, som var, åt natt, som bliver, Budskap Giver,

att den högsta spiran bär.

Hvar ett språk förnims och höres

Tunga röres, hvar ett ord kan talas här,

Hvar en suck, ett ljud kan höjas, Stamma böjas,

allt om Herren vittne här.

All ting skapedt lyder herran,

När och fjärran, i hans vilja röres allt,

Skåda dagens konungs bana

Se och spana, går han ej, som Gud befallt?

Som en brudgrum fram han träder,

Ler och gläder, tröttner och till hvila går

Nästa dag han syns med samma

Väg och flamma som för tusen, tusen år.

Vill du lifvets visdom finna,

Vill du vinna, för ditt hjärta frid och tröst,

Lyft mot herran i det höga upp

ditt öga, se hans verk och hör hans röst.

Herrans lagar rubba icki,

Hvart bi blicke, se vi, hur de fasta stå.

Herrans vittnesbörd och lika,

Kan ej svika; vis är den, som tror därpå.

Herrans bud de äro klara,

Uppenbara och upp lysa ögonen.

Herrans fruktan hjärtan renar,

Ädelstenar smycka mänskan ej som den.

Herre, se dock oss, de svaga

Justar jaga, syden för oss på sin stråt.

Ho förstår, hur tidt han bryter,

Håg förbyter? Fräls oss, Herre, och förlåt.

Ära vare Gud I Hojden

Friden, Fröjden, Saligheten vare hans.

Han skall oket sönderkrossa,

Oss förlossa, som om igen synd mer fans.

God Rules All The Stars And Planets

God rules all the stars and planets.

Heaven's praises ring out of the starry sky.

Since the fimament spoke God's name

The star's voices sing and do not hesitate.

In its mirror the day wishes

The sun's image which is an eternal face.

Night which was to night which will be

Brings a message in the highest, tallest place.

Where a language, heard, shapes being

Where a tongue moves to be speech from just a word.

Where a sigh, a sound car rise, or -

Stammer bow down - all bears witness about God.

All created things obey God.

Near and far off God's will animates it all.

See today the path the king walks -

See it clearly, does it not go as God wills?

God moves like a happy wedding,

Glad, proud, all day and then weary and to rest.

God repeats this every morning -

Waves and brights flames for a thousand happy years.

If you want life's finest wisdom,

Wish your heart healed of its wrong and be at peace

Look to God up in the highest,

Lift your eyes up - hear the song and see the work.

What God mends will not be shaken.

All we glance at, we see it securely is.

Testimonies and God's wittness

Can't deceive us. Those who trust in that are wise.

Messages from God up lift us,

Clearly teach us and illuminate the eye.

That we fear God makes our hearts clean.

Wealthy jewels cannot decorate that way.

God, look down upon us weak ones,

Hunt for justice and correct us on your path.

Who can know how times breaks open,

Providential? God forgive us, God please save.

God is in the heights of heaven.

Perfect peace, joy, and eternal bliss are there.

God shall tear all chains asunder

For us lost ones, we will not sin anymore.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Historic Preservation

When students wanted to study a foreign language in the 1960's, one barrier they faced was structure - for instance, of buildings. From the University of Washington Catalogue, Laura Jensen saw she could take Swedish, instead of French. To get permission, she went to Padelford Hall's three modern entrances that did not connect inside, to the elevator, marked in numbers and Braille, and went to the lower level, to Scandinavian Studies. It was Spring, 1968. At the dormitory in her desk light, it was a challenge to gaze at Swedish noun declensions.

A portrait of Nelson Bentley from the 1970's shows his desk in Padelford Hall in the 1970's, it is piled with student papers. It was January, 1972, Laura Jensen handed in her paper on Taylor to Whittier. On January 25, 1972, there were three feet of snow.

Snow snapshots at the rooming house she lived at then show Melissa at a third floor window, Tess with a dog by an icicle at the side kitchen door.

Another barrier - the card catalogue, many drawers in cabinets, led the search for Johan Ludwig Runeberg to a different part of Suzallo Library among Dewey Decimal System books. In February, 1972, Laura Jensen turned in her paper with eight poem translations in Scandinavian Culture.

Valiant Attempt, wrote Raymond Jarvi in red.

Scandinavian Culture had chair-desks with book racks under. American Immigrant descendants moved out - as waves when a pebble drops in water - and up, from city centers, in concentric rings.

In Spring, 1972, Laura Jensen's mother wrote that the Runeberg Choir would sing again at Point Defiance Park's Gardener's Paradise, that in 1971 it rained so hard they sang inside a greenhouse.

In Eighth Grade Laura Jensen chose French, not German or Spanish, because she was interested in art and her uncle was in World War One in France. Laura meant Laura in French. Others were awarded French names, Margaret became Marguerite, but Laura was Laura.

In a movie about college, High Time (1960), with Fabian and Bing Crosby, at a dance the band medleys briefly into The Best of Everything, a Johnny Mathis Hit. Johnny Mathis sang the title tune and appeared in a movie about college, A Certain Smile. He played a night club singer performing the title tune. The French girl at the Sorbonne came from Yonne by a river. Jaune means yellow, Rire Jaune means, a sickly smile. The Happy Face.

Bing Crosby, the fifty-plus fraternity pledge, arrived at the High Time dance in a horse-drawn carriage - he spills from the carriage door wearing a wig and a hoop skirt for he must impersonate a woman at a restored plantation mansion. This costume ball was a kind of Living History experience - such events brought to life dances and songs that had been written down from a hundred years earlier.

In April 2006 at Fort Nisqually rain fell in veils through trees, poured off gutters into 1850's rain barrels, a girl carried a stringed instrument in a shawl for songs under the porch roof. In the factor's house on the mantel a shell, a bust of Robert Burns (To A Mouse, Should Auld Acquainance Be Forgot), two women and a sewing machine patented in 1861.

It was the first mechanical thing I dealt with, a sewing machine. I jumped in and took it apart. I was always the one.

Laura Jensen interacts - Yes, family birth order place. Do you car pool? I've never owned a car, I use public transportation, walk, or ride a bicycle.

Everyone comes in on a bus at one October event. It happens in the nighttime.

What are the books?

Cookbooks. Aesop's fables. Orthography and Etymology, so important, things the little boys dragged in, and parlor games!

Their hair is up, their skirts gathered tight.

In 1990 Laura Jensen was taken in a car to a crafts and history museum in Finland. With cousins first she had seen the site where her grandmother was born, then the house that was reassembled, board by board, at the museum. A horse and rider went by. At the museum store she bought a record.

At Point Defiance in the 1990's there is wind in trees, waves on rocks, and Laura Jensen's plastic Yamaha recorder. A young person stops.

Did you write the songs you're playing?

The notes are black in the green music notebook. I copied them from a book. They're folk songs.

The young person walks on.

The songs were written down during a nineteenth century historic preservation project in Finland. The collection is extensive. They had been passed along person to person and in groups as tradition.

But it is dogma - that people can compose songs. Hoagy Carmichael, for example, composed Stardust. This proves that people can compose songs.

From 1988 to 1993, Laura Jensen did six dozen lyric translations from Swedish to English.

(The photo shows the Runeberg Choir in 1926 in Tacoma at a Schottish Rites Temple across the street from Wrights Park).

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

In May, June, and July entries will be blogged twice a month, on or about the 10th and the 24th.

Three You Tubes Illustrate A Swedish Folk Song

Below, You Tubes show Vartinna, then a performance of a Swedish folk song - two entries on Memorial Day, and a second You Tube performance of the Swedish folk song.

Saturday, May 24, 2008


also video

September 26, 1937 Husmodern

In the September 26, 1937 issue of Husmodern, Sally Salminen is interviewed for the second time that year, pictured this time seated in a summery field with her mother, another picture on the page a landscape view of her Åland Island village. The article tells of the author's summer with her family and of the progress of the prize novel:

KATRINA är nu översatt till norska, finska, holländska och franska, och i höst väntas de engelska, tyska, danska, och tjeckoslovakiska upplagorna bli klara.

(KATRINA is now translated into Norwegian, Finnish, Dutch, and French, and in autumn will be English, German, Danish, and Checkoslovakian translations.)

The title's question -

Skall Sally Salminens KATRINA Filmas?

(Can Sally Salminen's KATRINA be made into a film?) -

is answered -

Det är heller inte omöjligt att man en dag får se Katrina som film. Man har nog sina planer i den riktningen i Hollywood. Sally Salminens amerikanska agent har föreslagit den ryska filmskådespelerskan Anna Sten för hvudrollen, och författartinnan tror också, att hon skulle vara utmärkt som Katrina.

(It is not impossible that one day one could see Katrina as a film. The plans are well-enough advanced in Hollywood. Sally Salminen's American agent has recommended the Russian film actress Anna Sten for the lead role, and the author believes also, that she would be a good Katrina.)

At the end of the article we learn:

Denna tidnings utlåning i förvärvssyfte förbjudes.

(I think it is forbidden to republish the article without permission.)

On the internet I learn that KATRINA was made into a film in 1943, and released in the United States with English subtitles in 1949.

On the internet also I learn KATRINA was made into a music theatre production by composer Jack Mattson, his music was written for an orchestra of 27 players and a choir of 25. It was produced to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Åland Home Rule in 1997.

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The Translation On Memorial Day

(See the You Tube below for the song Varvindar Friska. ) My mother was a talented piano player all her life and there was music in the family. This is a picture that looks very much like my mother's Uncle Eric - my mother's farbror Eric - in one earlier photo he is even shown with a violin. But his real instrument was the accordian. In the late 1980's I began to copy down sheet music with a whistle. In Minneapolis I found a plastic Yamaha recorder and began a first song translation from a song book my mother had left. I started with Vårvindar friska - as it happens, there are renditions of this song on You Tube.

There is one by Ingrid Bergman in a Bing Crosby movie that shows that folk music is experienced in intimate, very small groups. Then there is one by singers of today that express that folk music is experienced in very large groups - folk music has always been experienced this way, and has always even been played privately by one person alone.

The notes on staff are shown at the site, My Scandinavian Folk Music -

Vårvindar friska leka och hviska

lunderna kring likt älskande par.

Strömmarne ila finna ej hvita

förr är i halvet stort vågen far.

Klappa mitt hjärta klaga och hör,

vallhornets klang bland klipporna dör,

ström karlen spelar, sorgerna delar

vaken kring berg och dal.

(Winds in the spring dance play and whisper

Groves into circles paired into lovers

Streams whirl thoughts unsettled

soon in the dusk we take on a wave.

Hold back with heart's lament and hear

horns of spring echo and clang in the rocks

Streams tell the people that sorrow's watches

wake round the mountain and field.)

The words are appropriate for Memorial Day. They are meant for Valborgsmassoafton, an evening of celebrating and bonfires just before May 1.

Yesterday I put flowers on my mother's Uncle Eric's grave. I knew Uncle Eric. Uncle Eric died in 1957. I took my bike to that cemetery along a few miles. And I thought about the versions of the song I had been listening to on You Tube.

These are songs in Swedish. My mother's mother was from Finland, but from the minority that speaks Swedish. The national poets of Finland often write Swedish, but extol and support the self-identity of the Finland Nationals, who speak Finnish. Here is a song by Varttina, years ago Scandinavian Hour began to feature pieces they recorded. They are from Finland but sing in Finnish.

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Saturday, May 10, 2008

Public Melody #1

Click here to view Pulblic Melody #1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwcQzhlu1fg - The selection from Artists and Models is referred to in the post directly below called Mother's Day Weekend.

Mother's Day Weekend

Some second-hand books come with luggage, an earlier owner has placed a relevant clipping inside. Inside my mother's copy of Sally Salminen's KATRINA she has placed a clipping of an interview with Sally Salminen from Husmodern #11, 1937. (Forts. fr. sid 25.) is a very tiny scrap attached with a shiny silver straight pin. There are three photos, - the author, her mother, and her mother's small but homey house, where there is a lot of snow. Here I have made a translation of one or two paragraphs.

Sally Salminen

Svarar här på husmoderns samvetsfrågor

Sally Slminen

Answer Husmodern's Questions of Conscience

Sally Salminen, den unga åländskan som i våras blev vår tids Selma Lagerlöf genom sin prisroman Katrina svarar i dag på Husmoderns frågor om mörka tider och ljusa. Sällen ha vi fått dessa ganska begrundansvärda frågor så klart och exakt utredda på stående fot som Sally Salminens melodiska röst gjorde det. Ämnet var tydligen något som hennes tanke sysslat med förut. Så har hon ju också själv ett egendomlift öde bakom sig. Hon stod i butik, skaffade sig bildning genom korrespondenskurser, for till Amerika som hembiträde - och är i dag Ålands berömdhet. --Här nu hennes svar på vara frågor.

Sally Salminen, the young Åland Islander who in spring became springtime's Selma Lagerlöf through her prize novel, Katrina, answers today Husmodern's questions of dark times and light. Seldom have we these very meditative. serious questions as clearly and exactly unraveled to a good standing as Sally Salminen's melodious voice has. The material is obviously something of an idea she has had business with before. So has she also herself had a fate behind her. She stood (served) in a shop, gained her training through correspondence courses, before America as a domestic helper. And is today Åland's celebrity. Here now she answers our questions ---


Tror ni på ett slags mer regalbunden växling mellan mörka tider och ljusa? Har ni vissa olyskstider?

Do you believe there is an alternation between dark times and light?

Börjar vår "mörka tid" kanske egentligen med vår egen tanke?

To begin with the "dark time" perhaps properly with our own idea?

Har ni något motto, som rör det vi frågar om?

Do you have some motto which relates to what we ask about?

Jag har haft olika motton under olika tider, men intet som jag vill sätta som min egentliga ledstjärna. Jag brukar, när det är tungt och svårt, försöka se livet som en väg och är det svårt i uppförsbacken blir det lättare när man väl är uppe. En väg är ju inte baa uppförsbacke. - Det hjälper också att under den tunga vandringen inte känna efter för mycket, utan se bort från sin egen lilla person och försöka hjälpa någon medandrare som har ännu tyngre börda. Sådana får man alltid sällskap med. ---Den inställningen ger mig också bot i mörka tider.

I have had a different motto at different times, but none which I would set as my own guiding star. I use, when it is heavy and hard, - try to see life as a road and it is hard as you rise, it becomes easier when one is well up. A road is not only uphill. It also helps to, under the heavy travel, to not try to achieve too much. without looking away from their own small person and attempting to help some fellow wanderer who has a yet heavier burden. Such is one with society. This adjustment gives to me also a solution in gloomy times.

Tror ni pa förangingar?

Do you believe in foreboding?

(And so the questions and answers go.)

It was 1937. After their family orchestra had performed with the lodge convention and choir in Olympia, Linnea was invited to Eureka. She took her vacation from her job as a secretery in August and traveled on the train to San Francisco. She saw the new Golden Gate Bridge that opened in June. On a postcard she told the family she saw Artists and Models at the Fabulous Fox Theater in San Francisco. That it was good and her mother should go to see it.

Parts of movies , movie sequences, were attached, like luggage, and were easy to remove . After critics heavily berated Martha Raye for her performance with Louis Armstrong in Artists and Models, the music sequence for Public Melody #1 was removed when the movie was shown in Southern theaters.

But the punch line of the music sequence and its song, Public Melody #1 (like Public Enemy #1), is the music cases musicians carry: mobsters disguised themselves as musicians so they could carry music cases that contained weapons.

I went into a bank the other day. A man at the managers desk had a music case open and was playing a guitar. At this bank there is a lot of emotional memory that they call baggage. (As it happens I also have the two suitcases from the bank's 1960 Grand Opening we got for opening savings accounts.) However, as the guitar played, I thought only of a cartoon I made up and think about sometimes -

Panel one -A bank line of smokers.

Panel two - A bank line with a NO SMOKING sign.

Panel three - A bank line with one person playing a guitar, another an harmonica tapping their feet and having a nice time.

Panel four - A bank line of smokers and a NO MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS sign.

Today is the first National Train Day. It is also the day the project at Wright's Park in Tacoma holds the official rededication of the park.