Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Leisure, The Subway, and Music

Joshua Bell is one of the world's most accomplished violinists. He plays a violin made 1713 by Antonio Stradivari during the Italian master's "golden period," toward the end of his career, when he had access to the finest spruce, maple and willow, and when his technique had been refined to perfection. It is estimated Mr. Bell paid $3.5 million for it.

Gene Weingarten of the Washington Post just won a Pulitzer prize for
a wonderful story he wrote about an experiment. Joshua Bell was asked to play his violin in the DC Metro - to see what would happen. The video is below.

This poem is quoted in the article, and sums up well the life most of us lead:

W. H. Davies

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?—

No time to stand beneath the boughs,
And stare as long as sheep and cows:

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass:

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night:

No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance:

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began?

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

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