Remembering a Writer on the Date of His Death: Died 22 July 1967 – Carl Sandburg, an American poet, writer, historian, editor, and three-time recipient of the Pulitzer Prize.
Two Poems by Carl Sandburg
The fog comes
on little cat feet.
It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.
Pile the bodies high at Austerlitz and Waterloo.
Shovel them under and let me work—
I am the grass; I cover all.
And pile them high at Gettysburg
And pile them high at Ypres and Verdun.
Shovel them under and let me work.
Two years, ten years, and passengers ask the conductor:
What place is this?
Where are we now?
I am the grass.
Let me work.
Below – “Golden Serpent”;“Fire Spirit Mask”; “Night Spirit Mask”
For Your Information: 22 July is National Penuche Fudge Day in the United States.
Art for Summer – Part II of III: Yumiko Kayukawa (Japanese, contemporary)
Below – “The planet far, far away”; “Small Universe”; “Quiet Please”
Remembering a Great Engineer on the Date of His Death: Died 22 July 1869 – John Augustus Roebling, a German-American engineer who designed the Brooklyn Bridge.
An excellent discussion of the design and construction of the Brooklyn Bridge is the chapter “The Builders” in David McCullough’s wonderful book “Brave Companions: Portraits in History.”
Below – John Augustus Roebling; “Unto us lowliest sometimes sweep, descend/And of the curveship lend a myth to God” – Hart Crane, from “The Bridge: To Brooklyn Bridge.”
Below – “Flower Princess”; “Lonely Sixties”; “Artist as a Young Man”
Remembering a Writer on the Date of His Birth: Born 22 July 1898 – Stephen Vincent Benet, an American poet, novelist, short story writer, and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize.
“Campus Sonnets: May Morning”
by Stephen Vincent Benet
I lie stretched out upon the window-seat
And doze, and read a page or two, and doze,
And feel the air like water on me close,
Great waves of sunny air that lip and beat
With a small noise, monotonous and sweet,
Against the window – and the scent of cool,
Frail flowers by some brown and dew-drenched pool
Possesses me from drowsy head to feet.
This is the time of all-sufficing laughter
At idiotic things some one has done,
And there is neither past nor vague hereafter.
And all your body stretches in the sun
And drinks the light in like a liquid thing;
Filled with the divine languor of late spring.
Below – Bill Bledsoe: “May Morning”
American Art – Steve Kaufman (1960-2010)
In the words of one writer, “Steve Kaufman was a legend. His paintings have found their way into the homes and hearts of so many, capturing the true American pop art experience. Steve Kaufman painted such timeless pieces such as: Coca Cola, Marilyn Monroe, Mozart, Beethoven, Wizard of Oz, Muhammad Ali, his money series, and his paintings of famous singers, actors and icons.”
Below – “Einstein State II”; “Tower Bridge”; “Napoleon State I”; “Abe Lincoln Portrait”; “Historical Famous Icons”; “Venus State II.”
Worth a Thousand Words: A photograph of the Milky Way during the Perseids meteor shower.
Contemporary American Art – Alex Katz: Part I of II:
In the words of one writer, “Alex Katz is one of the most innovative leaders in the return to figurative realism and representation among avant-garde artists in America and Europe today. By 1960, very early in Katz’ career, Alex Katz had already found his original and poetic solution to the dilemma of choice between earlier, dominant abstraction and realism by giving primacy to style over subject matter. With considerable brilliance and expressive power, Alex Katz managed to synthesize the artistic impulses of his own era with an earlier modernism, forging elements of Abstract Expressionism with the elegant forms of Manet and Matisse, artists who also explored color and planes, who compressed volume into flatness, and yet evoked convincing weight, movement and the human personality in their paintings.”
Below – “Sasha 2”; “Vivien X 5”; “10:30 AM”; “Oona”; “Grey Ribbon”; “Ariel Black and White.”
Remembering a Writer on the Date of His Birth: Born 22 July 1932 – Thomas Eugene “Tom” Robbins, an American novelist and author of “Even Cowgirls Get the Blues.”
Some quotes from the work of Tom Robbins:
“When we’re incomplete, we’re always searching for somebody to complete us. When, after a few years or a few months of a relationship, we find that we’re still unfulfilled, we blame our partners and take up with somebody more promising. This can go on and on–series polygamy–until we admit that while a partner can add sweet dimensions to our lives, we, each of us, are responsible for our own fulfillment. Nobody else can provide it for us, and to believe otherwise is to delude ourselves dangerously and to program for eventual failure every relationship we enter.”
“There are two kinds of people in this world : those who believe there are two kinds of people in this world and those who are smart enough to know better.”
“We waste time looking for the perfect lover, instead of creating the perfect love.”
“You should never hesitate to trade your cow for a handful of magic beans.”
“Our greatest human adventure is the evolution of consciousness. “We are in this life to enlarge the soul, liberate the spirit, and light up the brain.”
“Of the Seven Dwarfs, the only one who shaved was Dopey. That should tell us something about the wisdom of shaving.”
“The only authority I respect is the one that causes butterflies to fly south in fall and north in springtime.”
“The world is a wonderfully weird place, consensual reality is significantly flawed, no institution can be trusted, certainty is a mirage, security a delusion, and the tyranny of the dull mind forever threatens — but our lives are not as limited as we think they are, all things are possible, laughter is holier than piety, freedom is sweeter than fame, and in the end it’s love and love alone that really matters.”
“How can you admire a human who consciously embraces the bland, the mediocre, and the safe rather than risk the suffering that disappointment can bring?”
“Our similarities bring us to a common ground; Our differences allow us to be fascinated by each other.”
“The unhappy person resents it when you try to cheer him up, because that means he has to stop dwelling on himself and start paying attention to the universe. Unhappiness is the ultimate form of self-indulgence. When you’re unhappy, you get to pay a lot of attention to yourself. You get to take yourself oh so very seriously.”
“Curiosity, especially intellectual inquisitiveness, is what separates the truly alive from those who are merely going through the motions.
“You risked your life, but what else have you ever risked? Have you risked disapproval? Have you ever risked economic security? Have you ever risked a belief? I see nothing particularly courageous about risking one’s life. So you lose it, you go to your hero’s heaven and everything is milk and honey ’til the end of time. Right? You get your reward and suffer no earthly consequences. That’s not courage. Real courage is risking something that might force you to rethink your thoughts and suffer change and stretch consciousness. Real courage is risking one’s clichés.”
Contemporary American Art – Alex Katz: Part II of II:
In the words of one writer, “Since the seventies, in particular, Alex Katz’s paintings have drawn attention by reason of their large formats, simple reductions of form, abrupt and unexpected transitions, and for the suggestive metaphors embodied in his subject matter. Alex Katz unique style has managed the difficult feat of reconciling realism not only with mainstream modernism but with post modernism as well.”
Below – “Pas de Deux”; “Departure”; “Black Dress”; “Dog at Duck Trap”; “Olympic Swimmer”; “Cityscape.”