Power or Action?

[Original German Blog-Post]

Remember that time is money.
Benjamin Franklin, Advice to a Young Tradesman

When Benjamin Franklin had “snatched the lightning from the skies” with the lightning rod and “the scepter from the tyrants” with the American Independence, it was hardly possible to doubt words of this titanic hero of the enlightenment. His most famous quote though, is neither related to science of nature nor with statesmanship, but sets a rule that would become the creed of an efficiency oriented economy: “Time is Money”.

The physical Term of Power P is defined by Work W (respectively Energy, then abbreviated with E) produced (resp. consumed) by unit of time t. Thus the equation
P = W / t corresponds quite good with the common understanding of power or even better: with effort: a factory worker producing 100 pieces per hour has double the power of his colleague for whom the same quantity would take two hours. And of course we take it for granted that the first worker would be paid a better salary for his higher effort.

And here ends the analogy of physics and economy. It is for sure not the case that a highly compensated member of the management would really take more efforts than the mediocrity at the bottom of the company’s hierachy. This thread of thought is followed by Werner Große, blogger and film maker in his post on the German SciLogs. There is another physical term that describes much better, on what the differences in salaries are ideally based: Action, effect.

Action in physics is not to be mistaken for activity. Action S is defined here as Work (resp. energy) multiplied by time, in mathematical notation

S = E ⋅ t

The simple mathematical equations that express the concepts relate easily to Slow Media: Because power is work by time (P = E / t), Action and Power are also closely tied together: S = P ⋅ t2
In words: I may achieve the same action or effect with half of the power, but it takes fourfold the time.

Therefore it is evident, that power or effort taken by itself leads quickly to mindless waste of energy – hey, it’s alright as long we slaved away as much as possible! From a different point of view, the meaning of action becomes even clearer. On her recommendable site “Grundfragen der Physik, neu gestellt und beantwortet von einer Frau” (in German; translates as “Fundamental Questions of Physics, newly asked and answered by some Women”), Brunhild Krüger writes:

If I had only 1 kWh of energy to use: with a bulb that has the power of 100 Watt, I could illuminate a room for 10 hours. But if I would only want to read a book, a table lamp with 40 Watt is sufficient, that can burn for 25 hours until the available energy would be consumed.
The smaller power is used, the longer one can profit from the available energy.

More and more power – that means more and more energy is consumed in even shorter periods of time. But usually it is essential what effect is achieved. This is true for machines and publications likewise. Instead of insisting on effort, on expenses, on labour, like has been used as an argumented for justifying Related Rights and prosecution of copyright infringements, the publishers should better take care that their work would lead to some action, would have effect.

Virtual Broadcasting

[Original German Blog-Post]

“What men share with all other forms of animal life was not considered to be human.”

“Action, the only activity that goes on directly between men without the intermediary of things or matter, corresponds to the human condition of plurality … this plurality is specifically the condition — not only the conditio sine qua non, but the conditio per quam — of all political life.”

“The distinctive trait of the household sphere was that in it men [sic] lived together because the were driven by their wants and needs.”

“Force and violence are justified in this [oiconomic] sphere because they are the only means to master necessity.”

“Society always demands that its members act as though they were members of one enormous family which has only one opinion and one interest”

Hannah Arendt, ‘The Human Condition’

The body – our Conditio Humana – ties us to the earth and sets natural boundaries to our longing for freedom. This common perception leads Hannah Arendt to the central thoughts of her philosophy of the ‘Human Condition’. In opposition to that is our ability to act, at least from time to time, to step outside the bodily confinement, to differentiate us as person, and jointly with others form the Polis, the public.

In this Aristotelian picture, Labour, Economy lie in contrast to that completely within the realm of the private, the Oikos. In modern societies, a restriction of work and production to the private household is no longer possible; the public is mixed with privacy – a “publication” of the economy and thus a “privatisation” of the public takes place – with grave consequences:
by this socialization, that was called “rise of the social” by Hannah Arendt, the freedom, which had been integral to the public space is subordinated under the “animalic” satisfaction of economic needs. In an oikonomised Polis it is only hardly possible, to set immaterial goals and to follow values outside the economy.

The Internet has been often called a modern Agora – also the term Forum is used in the Net with a purpose. In deed the Internet seamed to form the perfect public space in which a liberal society could unfold perfectly.

Economic enterprises like Google, Facebook, Twitter etc. make an elementary part of today’s Internet infrastructure. To stay in Hannah Arendt’s metaphor – an inleakage of economy into the political sphere.

One example shall make clear the very tangible consequences of this – in my opinion necessary and hardly avoidable development>

The ‘Collateral Murder’ video which Wikileaks had published had been known to the Washington Post for a longer time. When Wikileaks at last put the Video on Youtube, it was removed at once – likely after invention of the US government. Only international pressure and the illustriousness of Wikileaks made Google restoring the Video online.

Here we see how basically the freedom of the press is touched by this topic – what use is in independent journalism, when the publication does not reach out to anyone anymore, because (private run) enterprises that have monopolistic control on access or even execute censorship? And not out of evilness but for economic reason.

A Website not indexed by Google does de facto not exist; a book not offered by Amazon just as well be pulped right away; music that is not listed on i-tunes will hardly be listened to. It is high time that we – as the society – become active again, take initiative, raise our voice. And not by trying to keep everything in the old tracks by regulations and laws (which is effectless anyway). No, it is thus important to take an active role and not just to react.

For decades there was no doubt that media are part of the Polis and not of the Oikos. For media as public there are minimum requirements>

  • Non-discriminatory access (all information is equally available for all users)
  • Net neutrality (every publisher has the same right of distribution of his content)
  • Plurality (of choice)
  • Societal influence (transparent representation of ethic and cultural values)

In Europe’s and especially federal German media tradition since WWII this becomes particularly visible with broadcasting law. Out of these rules of democratic-political media culture the large public service broadcasting institutions were shaped, that took an important position in the public life of the European Societies.

As the Internet does not just substitute broadcasting (to adopted the regulations more or less unchanged would then be an easy task), but lead far above this classic media concept by displacing classic media in their relevance, the influence of these media on our society fades away.

Therefore we need a discussion on ‘Virtual Broadcasting’, on public or public-law Internet.

Thereto we want to invite to virtueller-rundfunk.de and hope for active participation!

Slow Media and borrowed time

When more than thirty years are told,
As good as dead one is indeed

Goethe, Faust II

“Why Slow Media?” This is certainly one of the questions we get asked most frequently on events and in many conversations. “Why do you ask for more slowness in media?” For me, Hippocrates’ famous aphorism Ὁ μὲν βίος βραχύς ἡ δὲ τέχνη μακρά that has been put even more concisely by Seneca, vita brevis, ars longa, is the foundation of Slow Media – if not for all different streams of the Slow Movement.

Life simply is too short to surround oneself with bad things,  to eat bad food or to read bad magazines, websites and books. Especially when approaching the middle years of one’s life and the last deadline (what an apt term!) is moving closer and closer. One of the most intense visualizations of this fact is the “Death of Altötting”, a figure that mows the remaining seconds of remaining time with a scythe.

The key question that has provoked many different answers in intellectual history, is: How to deal with this mismatch of limited life-time and unlimited culture and arts? How to deal with the awareness, that one can enjoy at best a tiny fraction of all books, films, magazines or people? Roughly sketched, there is a quantitative and a qualitative way to handle this dilemma.

The quantitative or Protestant way tries to realize as much as possible from this potential with the help of a strict plan or timetable. Benjamin Franklin’s slogan “time is money” is the clearest expression of this philosophy. It demands to productively exploit every single second of the day and to waste nothing of this precious resource by being lazy or self-indulgent. Thrift is the ideal, towards which the short remaining life should be oriented.

How different does the other way look! It focuses on quality of the borrowed time. Here, the aim is not to squeeze as much activity as possible into limited time – young adults in the U.S., for example, achieve to stuff 10:45 hours media time into just 7:38 hours life-time by parallel use of different media (Franklin surely would applaud this efficiency), but to spend the hours as well as possible. Our Slow Media Manifesto could be summed up in one sentence: Time is too short for bad media.

Collège de France philologist Harald Weinrich recounts all possible facets of this phenomenon in his highly readable book “On Borrowed Time”. One of his key points is the dualism between aged Chronos (Χρόνος), who is approaching death with a high tempo and always youthful Kairos (καιρός) who stands for the wise use of time and opportunity, which can be clearly seen in his most famous depiction:

One of his most peculiar features is his almost completely shaven head. Only on his forehead remains one head of hair. If a terrestrial being wants to catch and hold this agile god, he will have to face him and try to catch his hair. If he misses, than his hand will find no hold on the smooth skull and the right moment has been missed and slipped. [Own translation]

Even for media, there is a right time. Not every slow or fast medium is for everyone, everywhere and always the right one. But in many cases the slow, inspiring and sustainable option is the more convenient choice. And it also gives you the feeling that you have spend your brief time the best possible way.

Paradoxically, this will often be the cheaper option. Just as the flea market purchase of a high quality unused porcelain tea-set from 1957 is much cheaper than buying a nameless industrial product in a Swedish furniture store or faux-antique goods in nostalgia supermarkets, the joy of reading a very well-made book with a patina will be less expensive than the collection of cheap novel editions of newspaper publishers.

Slow Media should not to be misunderstood as a plea for something one could describe with reference to period furniture as period media. Slow Media advocates authentic media, regardless of whether bought at the newsstand (Wired, Intelligent Life, Make, Brand eins) or passed down for generations. Anything else is time wasted.

See original post in German

What remains of printing

[see german post]

Yesterday the printing house in our neigboroughood was getting rid of unuseful things. Lots of printing and typesetting tools, drawers and letter cases were on the street: bulky waste waiting for the garbagemen. Yesterday I already took a big “O” and three small letter cases with me to give them a new home. Today I came by the same place. The garbage pressing machine already hat eaten up and digested the bigger parts of the typesetting leftovers. The smaller ones which still lied on the sideway had been carefully picked up and swept away. Yet I found in the corners of the stone paving some minuscule leftovers – very tiny letters that had passed the brushes of the diligent garbagemen.

And looking at the tiny “ö” and the graceful “c” with the microscopic cedilla it touches me to think: How incredibly laborious it was to set types and to print. How incredible hard work it was to set all those so tiny little letters in their right place, to form words, sentences, whole books. And now I click on “publish” and everything is done.

De mémoire, de réflexion
et pas simplement d’informations.

Jaques Delors on Slow Media

[Original German Blog-Post]
“Lord Weidenfeld peut opposer à ces violentes critiques [des médias], d’une part la dette de la démocratie envers les médias, dits lents, que sont le journal et le livre. Ils ont beaucoup contribué à l’éveil et au développement de la démocratie. Et il peut aussi mieux que tout autre, par son action pendant la guerre, indiquer la dette que nous avons envers les libertés lorsque, comme lui, on tentait de diffuser au-delà du terrain de la guerre et des atrocités une vision du monde plus acceptable et un avenir que l’on pouvait croire meilleur. Mais puisque j’ai évoqué les médias lents par opposition aux médias courts, je ne peux m’empêcher de plaider pour la vigilance à l’égard de ces médias courts. Vigilance ne veut pas dire procès. Nous avons besoin de mémoire, de réflexion et pas simplement d’informations. Cette réflexion me vient tout naturellement à l’esprit en pensant aux types d’informations qui concernent la construction européenne.”

Media as means of stabilizing democracy and as weapon against disposal and artrocity is what Jacques Delors defends against ideologically motivated critics on ocassion of his speech honoring the awarding of the “Médaille Charlemagne pour des Médias Européens” to George Weidenfeld: Poison à ne pas avaler Media is much more then The rape of crowds by political propaganda. And thus already ten years ago Delors has shown a distinction, which anticipates our thoughts of the Slow Media Manifesto. Particularily the delicate process of the peaceful unification of Europe, often poisoned by national myths, is prone to foreshortened presentation and hardly to be reduced to the buzz-words of the Media Courts.

“Memory, reflection and not just information” form in opposite the Media Lents, the Slow Media. And accordingly his laudation on the truly cosmopolitan publisher Weidenfeld ends with a quote by UNESCO-secretary Federico Mayor on the continuity of the book:

“The book is the irreplaceable vehicle, unrivalled in the broadest reaches of the world of information and knowledge, of dreams and escape, and there is nothing to justify our foretelling its imminent disappearance.”

And regarding sustainability and duration of media, the chairman of the UNESCO executive board Golan Ali Raadi tells on occation of the opening of the headquarters in Paris with Firdausi’s words:

“The best-constructed buildings crumble under the action of the rain and burning sun,
But neither wind nor rain shall have any hold on the monument my verse has built.”

Paper and Sustainability

[Original German Blog-Post]

Traunsteiner Salzmeierzyklus “Sustainability” says the man in the video on the screen, “means to do the same things all day. The opposite of flexible”
– For me this marks one of the most impressive moments of the Mediamundo Congress for sustainable media production that took place in Berlin these days.

For some this term is already degraded to marketing buzzword, whilst most people just misunderstand it. Good start to become an empty shell, a dead word.

The concept of sustainability roots in forestry.It has been clear to lumber men for century, that one can only fell as much as can grow again. Since in this industry often two or more generations pass between seeding and harvesting, it is no wonder that latest with the rise of wood intensive products at the end of the middle ages, like the growing fleets sailing ships becoming bigger and bigger or the salines with their increasing need of fuel to evaporate the brine, sustainability entered the economy explicitly. At the age of steal and black coal and later petrol the concept of sustainability apparently at first became obsolete.

Of the 390 million tons of paper that is produced annually, Europe and the US consume just under the half. Germany with a per capita consumption of 256 kg (in 1950 it used to be just 40 kg) is just a bit short behind the US and far above the European average. Just the portion of 7.4 million tons of paper that is produced from freshly cut trees and not from recycling used paper are more then what whole Africa consumes. At first it is the huge area of forests – 20 % of global wood harvest goes for producing paper; more than 50 million cubic metres just for Germany. Apart from that a major factor is the water that is consumed in paper production. 7 litres go for one kilogramme of paper, the larger part of that remains as toxic waste.

It seems to be a long way until print will become sustainable. Although newspapers are nowadays produced from recycled paper completely, for other printed matters the portion of used paper has been declining for years. Thus it is to aim at these three goals:

1) Avoid
Particularly with advertising matters it is unintelligible how even valuable brands send spam mailings unabashed to distribution lists hardly filtered. Also catalogue retailers hardly ever manage to adopt to their customer’s needs, who are tired from waste paper to jam letterbox or paper basket. Junk mailings and free standing inserts that get tossed out of the newspaper by most of the readers (“de-bonning” – it has even a name!). Then the printing out Emails and other office stuff. And finally also an appeal to printer manufacturers: as long as it is even hard for technically skilled personnel to get two-sided documents printed straightaway, the back sides remain unused.

2) Recycle
Recycling paper has to become standard again. The German administrations often refer to EU law and would see a distortion of competition in restricting on certain paper qualities. Also by bid invitations no recycling ration would be provided. That this is just pretext is proofed by the Netherlands with their negotiated agreement to commit ecological paper in administration. However it is again the hardware manufacturers that are in charge here: as long as it is unclear, in how far recycling paper leads to higher abrasion and more frequent maintenance for the devices, at least some uncertainty remains for the use of recycled paper.

3) Certification
Even a strictly ecologically oriented printing shop has to use fresh fibre paper. Trees as commodity cannot be replaced. But it is exactly here where another strength of paper lies, compared say with electronic media: it is renewable resource, to some extend CO2 is even bound permanently. It is time to return to forestry of the times prior to the industrial revolution – to let regrow the wood that is cut.

International transparent attestations like the certificate of the Forrest Stewardship Council provide the paper processing companies the security, that they would in fact buy commodity that is produced sustainably – and not just do greenwashing. It is gratifying as it is already accepted and deployed in wide parts of the business. The demand on clean wood is however so strong, that it is hardly possible to cover the needs with FSC certificated forests. To not become just utopia, a certificate has to compromise, which is not without problems. “While for some we already ring hollow, our criteria are still unaffordable for many others.”, describes Uwe Sayer of FSC Germany the predicament between credibility and practice.

Paper is a wonderful medium – under reasonable good conditions, it keeps its content readable for centuries. No playing devices are necessary, no power supply. Under this aspect paper has been sustainable as such ever since.
All the more important is to take the step to give also paper manufacturing a long term perspective for the future!

“Well, now, this is a surprise; a glorious surprise too,” said the paper. “I am now finer than ever, and I shall be written upon, and who can tell what fine things I may have written upon me. This is wonderful luck!” And sure enough the most beautiful stories and poetry were written upon it, and only once was there a blot, which was very fortunate. Then people heard the stories and poetry read, and it made them wiser and better; for all that was written had a good and sensible meaning, and a great blessing was contained in the words on this paper.”Hans-Christian Andersen, The Flax

Slow Media Camp 2010

Amor Addit. Emblem mit geflügelter Schildkröte. Slow Media Camp 2010[Original German Blog-Post]

The first Slow Media Camp #slow10 will take place on June 9th 2010.

New Media Hype or Media Denial? Slow Media is about a third way to follow.

In the sessions we will present examples of Slow Media, discuss how Slow Media will evolve in the future and especially in howfar valueable communication is generated solely from idealism and personal enthusiasm – or is there a chance to earn good money with good media.


Hewlett-Packard GmbH
Schickardstrasse 32 (Buidling Businesspark)
D-71034 Böblingen, Germany

How to get there.


Wednesday, June 9th 11am to 06pm

Registration and Contact

Email: slow10 [at] slow-media.net
Registration and submissions (via Mixxt): slowmediacamp.mixxt.de

The Slow Media Camp is organized together with Forum Wertvolle Kommunikation and is sponsored by Hewlett-Packard GmbH.

The End of History – for creative professionals.

[Original German Blog Post]

Félicien Rops: PornocratesEternal must that progress be
Which Nature through futurity
Decrees the human soul;
Capacious still, it sthttp://en.slow-media.net/wp-admin/edit.phpill improves
As through the abyss of time it moves,
Or endless ages roll.

Its knowledge grows by every change;
Through science vast we see it range
That none may here acquire;
The pause of death must come between
And Nature gives another scene
More brilliant, to admire.

Philip Freneau

This morning I printed out a song by Schubert from IMSLP.
Before having considered to play the first note, I listened to seven different versions of this song on Youtube – from every decade between 1930 till now. Why? Because I wanted to compile from those my own interpretation of the piece.
Apart from pulling the music score from the web in the very moment it came to my mind to play the song – my way of interpreting does not only fall back on my own teachers or the style of my contemporaries that I can adopt or from which I can distinguish, but now has countless varieties of 100 years of music recording at hand!

Art appeared to be driven by progress, because the artists always had some teacher or belonged to a certain school which gave the base of their own creative work from one generation to the next. It is just the distinguishing form the teacher’s style, the longing for improving something, what generated this gradual evolution of art which in retrospection frequently looked like an advancement.

Even if a painter could generally learn about past epochs by means of the local monarch’s art gallery, these works remained mostly anachronistic, relics from a past to be only indirectly connected.
More dramatic was the situation with music – before the invention of the record, interpretations of times past where lost – only what could be heard live was palpable.
My initial example should illustrate how the conditions of formation of style have changed fundamentally by having available nearly the complete creative production of mankind well structured and indexed by search engines – for everyone.

Bruce Stirling gave a remarkable speech at this year’s Transmediale: “Atemporality for Creative Artists”.
Stirling pictures by the term atemorality (autonomy in time) the availability of all knowledge and all products independent from their time of production; a phenomenon characterising our time – as said above.
The point when all men in their minds become completely independent from time and space was defined by the French anthropologist and philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin SJ as the Omega Point. Taken from the biblical eschatology “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” (Rev 22,13) this point at human evolution marks the end of history and the entrance of mankind in a time when the idea of progress has become obsolete.

To think about progress finally coming to an end is likely as ancient as the term progress itself. The concept of progression, that is the Weltgeist slowly and gradually moving to perfection (like in Frenau’s poem above) is fundamental belief of many religions and ideologies. Dissolution in the Nirvana like in Buddhism, entering the classless society like in Dialectic Materialism or Endsieg of the markets like with Fukuyama – in the end there stands a state of motionlessness, the end of flushing and rushing.

Without pondering if the return of Messiah or the end of class struggle is pending, Bruce Stirling pragmatically asks how being thus independent from time and space effects the artist.
Despite Fukuyama or Marx making us hope – the world does not become more simple at all: “The situation now is one of growing disorder. A failed state, a potentially failed globe, a collapsed WTO, a collapsed Copenhagen, financial collapses, lifeboat economics.” But he soothes us: “I don’t think that requires a moral panic. I think it ought to be regarded as something like moving into a new town.”
And for not getting blinded by panic of the new, Bruce Stirling recommends to keep a point of view from some distance. If we are looking for today’s avantgarde we should take the perspective of 20 years past. “Strip away the sci-fi chrome, the sense of wonder, no longer allow yourself to be hypnotised by the sense of technical novelty. Accept that it is already passe’, and create it from that point of view.”. – If it works, it’s obsolete.

The exquisite corpse will drink the new wine.

How to make art in a post historic time, when thus progress seams to be nearly impossible? Art after the End of Art? Bruce Stirling sketches two paths that today’s art development may follow – not alternatively but complementary: Favela Chic and Gothic High-Tech. The ruins of a castle, bound for decay sits erected high on top of the muddle of the slum – not a pleasant place but at least still vibrant with life.

Gothic High-Tech is alimented by the glory of the past, by desire for an alternative present.

Punk is the obvious reaction on our epoch with no future perspective: “You have taken my future now I Kill somebody, kill myself, throw bricks to policemen” – a primitive anti-statement that would be as useless nowadays as would be the other poses of the 20th century. But Punk is also about making your clothes and accessories yourself – the Bricolage – the handicraft work as that might be translated, the denial of mass culture and pop by one’s own creativity.

The Frankenstein Mashup is the logical consequence, an eklekticism of finds glued together as in DJ music or post modern architecture. And from the lost utopias of the past wistfully collaged to Lost Futures: Where is My Space Age? – Steampunk, Atompunk, Dieselpunk.

Favela Chic won’t give you the grandiose staging, no ingenious creations of a centennial artist, but lives from swarming which might be found from time to time loosely organized in the Net.
From that two completely new approaches evolve: Generative Art is created by software, if taken strictly by the letter it is only indirectly to be regarded as art, for the visible or audible appearence is technically produced by an algorithm. Collaborative Art makes use of the option to create jointly in the Web, loosely tight together as Wiki-Art or Art-Mob.

These perspectives for making art after the End of Progress are likewise to be transferred on other parts of culture: publishing, film production, cuisine, even laws could be collaboratively negotiated.

Thus decomposed, or recombined,
To slow perfection moves the mind
And may at last attain
A nearer rank with that first cause
Which distant, though it ever draws,
Unequalled must remain.

Schoenheit von Vogelsang

[Original German blog post}

“Every time I hear about Twitter I want to yell Stop. The notion of sending and getting brief updates to and from dozens or thousands of people every few minutes is an image from information hell. It scares me, not because I’m morally superior to it, but because I don’t think I could handle it.”
Many agree with the cold panic of information hell that New York Times’ author and correspondent George Packer associates with Twitter as he describes in his blog post; last but not least the fugatiousness of twitter is something wonderful as well as frightening: nothing seems of value, nothing of lastingness.

“Education needs time – and that is lacking in the Net”, says philosopher Markus Gabriel in an interview on FAZ.net – and on Twitter one might want to add, immediate transientness is even baked into the system – Twitter’s own search does only reach two days back into the past. All the beautiful thoughts sink so quickly into the depth of the timeline that we would like to stay, but a storm is blowing from Paradise that drives us irresistibly into the future.

If we regard Twitter as news channel, I can sympathize with Parker’s panic very well. Every bit of news that has reached me (by Re-Tweet) for the second time seems outdated, somehow no longer relevant. And how desolate it feels when even the absolute media-mainstream gets replicated by Re-Tweet like here today: “Man Resigns On Twitter per Haiku”.

However just this piece of news leads us to something in Twitter that is beautiful and valuable: lyrics and aphorism, beauty in linguistic cautiousness. The remarkable with Sun’s CEO’s resigning is not that he proclaimed it via Twitter. Twitter has become the most efficient channel for declarations of that kind – that’s all over town, been told by the host of social media experts for years. Remarkable is that Jonathan Schwartz chooses the meter of the Haiku. Brief real poems or exclamations resonating in their syllables are the beauty of Twitter for me. An update like “Mars can be seen all night” might have a factual background in astronomy. But regarded as solitary verse, the six monosyllabic words become a myth in which we get sight of the God of War, victorious over the realm of Neith.

If you do not just see Twitter as a short messaging service but take the metaphor “twitter” serious, the never ending deluge of text loses its terror – it is no longer information but becomes music indeed, a stream you may drift away with.

Sound of vernal showers
On the twinkling grass,
Rain-awaken’d flowers—
All that ever was
Joyous and clear and fresh—thy music doth surpass.

Teach us, sprite or bird,
What sweet thoughts are thine:
I have never heard
Praise of love or wine
That panted forth a flood of rapture so divine.
(Shelley, To a Skylark)