Thanks in Old Age

Cockney Life at the Elephant and Castle, Salvation Army Hotel, Bert Hardy, 1949

 
 

Thanks in old age—thanks ere I go,

For health, the midday sun, the impalpable air—for life, mere
life,

For precious ever-lingering memories, (of you my mother dear
—you, father—you, brothers, sisters, friends,)

For all my days—not those of peace alone—the days of war the
same,

For gentle words, caresses, gifts from foreign lands,

For shelter, wine and meat—for sweet appreciation,

(You distant, dim unknown—or young or old—countless, un-
specified, readers belov’d,

We never met, and ne’er shall meet—and yet our souls embrace,
long, close and long;)

For beings, groups, love, deeds, words, books—for colors, forms,

For all the brave strong men—devoted, hardy men—who’ve for-
ward sprung in freedom’s help, all years, all lands,

For braver, stronger, more devoted men—(a special laurel ere I
go, to life’s war’s chosen ones,

The cannoneers of song and thought—the great artillerists—the
foremost leaders, captains of the soul:)

As soldier from an ended war return’d—As traveler out of
myriads, to the long procession retrospective,

Thanks—joyful thanks!—a soldier’s, traveler’s thanks.

Walt Whitman

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As They Celebrate Death in New Orleans

“You should celebrate the end of a love affair as they celebrate death in New Orleans, with songs, laughter, dancing and a lot of wine”

Françoise Sagan

 
 

Photo by Bert Hardy, 1955

Waves of Wine

 
 

Planet Waves is the fourteenth studio album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released on January 17, 1974. The album was originally set to be titled Ceremonies of the Horsemen, a reference to the song Love Minus Zero/No Limit, from the 1965 album Bringing It All Back Home; the release was delayed two weeks when Dylan decided to change the title at the last minute. Another, earlier working title was Wedding Song.

Dylan is supported on the album by longtime collaborators The Band, with whom he embarked on a major reunion tour following its release (documented on the live album Before the Flood).

The cover art is drawn by Dylan himself. Written on the right side of the cover image is the phrase, “Cast-iron songs & torch ballads,” apparently signaling Dylan’s own conception of the album. On the left side is written “Moonglow”, which is sometimes interpreted as a subtitle. The initial release also included an insert which reportedly set out excerpts from Dylan’s personal journals.

 
 

 
 

Bob Dylan is honored by ‘Planet Waves’, an Italian red wine produced by Marche’s Fattoria Le Terrazze. Named after Dylan’s 1974 album, the blend of Montepulciano and Merlot is offered in a bottle signed by the singer-songwriter legend.