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REVIEW POTPOURRI – Writer: George Meredith

by Peter Cates George Meredith The English poet/novelist George Meredith (1828-1909) composed the following tribute to Queen Victoria (1819-1901), At the Funeral; February 2, 1901 : “Her sacred body bear – the tenement Of that strong soul now ranked with God’s Elect. Her heart upon her people’s heart she spent; Hence is she Royalty’s lodestar […]


by Peter Cates Rudy Vallee Singer Rudy Vallee (1901-1986) was one of the first matinee idol crooners, starting in the late ‘20s. Frantic mobs of teenage girls went berserk at his live appearances as they did later with Sinatra, Presley and the Beatles, although with the shortly coming emergence of Russ Colombo and Bing Crosby […]

REVIEW POTPOURRI: The Bronte sisters poetry

by Peter Cates In 1846, a slim volume, Poems by Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell, was published in Great Britain, sold two copies and generated three unsigned, but very positive reviews. Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell were, due to the damn-with-faint-praise prejudice against women writers, pseudonyms for Charlotte (1816-1855), Emily (1818-1848), and Anne (1820-1849) Bronte. […]


by Peter Cates Lee Marvin For me, Lee Marvin (1924-1987) was one of the most consistently fascinating actors to grace the movies and television. He was considered a director’s dream because he instinctively knew how to move for the camera. And his ability to convey character was formidable. Some background on his life is in […]

REVIEW POTPOURRI: Dame Cleo Laine & Nat King Cole

by Peter Cates Dame Cleo Laine Still living at 93, singer Dame Cleo Laine recorded a CD consisting of 12 songs on the BMG Classics label, simply entitled Jazz; they include Duke Ellington’s Just a Sittin’ and a Rock­in’, Mel Torme’s Walking Shoes, Johnny Mercer’s Midnight Sun, the Gershwin brothers’ Lady Be Good, W.C. Handy’s […]


by Peter Cates Poet Isaac McLellan Portland native Isaac McLellan (1806-1899), whom I have written about previously, celebrated our Pine Tree beauty, with wondrously enunciated place names in a minor masterpiece, The Shores of Maine; amidst the frigid long nights of January, one can hope that spring-pleasant temperatures arrive quickly and on time March 21: […]

REVIEW POTPOURRI: Romanian Christmas Carols

by Peter Cates Romanian Christmas Carols Electrechord, ST-EXE 01971, vinyl LP, recorded 1982) is a selection of 16 carols performed by soloists and the Choir of the Romanian Patriarchate, led by the Reverend Iulian Carstoiu. The annotator Valeriu Anania writes: “Romanian Christmas carols are deeply rooted into the soul of a nation who not only […]