Beleaguered in Bothell – 22 January 2018

Remembering an Influential Writer on the Date of His Birth: Born 22 January 1788 – Lord Byron, an English poet, playwright, and a leading figure in the Romantic movement.

“She Walks in Beauty”
by Lord Byron

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes;
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o’er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express,
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!

Art for Winter – Part I of IV: Max Papart – French, 1911-1994.

Below – “Circus, Circus”; “Into the Future”; “Le Voyageur”

Remembering an Influential Writer on the Date of His Birth: Born 22 January 1729 – Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, a German writer, philosopher, dramatist, art critic, and one of the most outstanding representatives of the Enlightenment era.

Some quotes from the work of Lessing:

“A heretic is a man who sees with his own eyes.”
“The search for truth is more precious than its possession.”
“For me the greatest beauty always lies in the greatest clarity.”
“Think wrongly, if you please, but in all cases think for yourself.”
“They make glorious shipwreck who are lost in seeking worlds.”

Below – Anna Rosina Lisiewska: “Portrait of Lessing”

Art for Winter – Part II of IV: Alessandro Papetti (Italian, contemporary)

Below – “Sei del mattino”; “Acqua – Il bagno di not”; “Bosco”


Worth a Thousand Words: A view from the Eiffel Tower.

Art for Winter – Part III of IV: Violet Parkhurst (American, 1921-2008)

Below – “Swan of Love”; “Incoming Fog”; “Struggle of Man”

Remembering a Vocalist on the Date of His Birth: Born 22 January 1931 – Sam Cooke, an American singer-songwriter. In the words of one writer, “Influential as both a singer and composer, he [Cooke] is commonly known as the King of Soul for his distinctive vocals and importance within popular music… His pioneering contributions to soul music contributed to the rise of Aretha Franklin, Bobby Womack, Al Green, Curtis Mayfield, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, and Billy Preston, and popularized the likes of Otis Redding and James Brown.”

Art for Winter – Part IV of IV: Alex Pauker (Russian, contemporary)

Below – “Beloved Haven”; “Mountain Road”; “Tranquility”

Remembering a Writer on the date of His Birth: Born 22 January 1849 – August Strindberg, a Swedish playwright, novelist, poet, essayist, and painter.

Some quotes from the work of August Strindberg:

“if you are afraid of loneliness, don’t get married.”
“Everything can happen, everything is possible and probable. Time and place do not exist; on a significant bases of reality, the imagination spins, weaving new patterns; a mixture of memories, experiences, free fancies, incongruities and improvisations.”
“He saw the cause of his unhappiness in the family–the family as a social institution, which does not permit the child to become an independent individual at the proper time.”
“A man with a so-called character is often a simple piece of mechanism; he has often only one point of view for the extremely complicated relationships of life.”
“There are poisons that blind you, and poisons that open your eyes.”
“Autumn is my spring!”
“I dream, therefore I exist.”

Below – Three of Strindberg’s paintings: “Flower at the Beach”; “Snowstorm on the Sea”; “Seascape.”

This Date in Art History: Died 22 January 2012 – Clarence Tillenius, a Canadian painter, environmentalist, and advocate for the protection of wildlife and wilderness.

Below – Untitled (Ermine and deer mouse); “Ruffled grouse on drumming log”; Untitled (Snowshoe hare); “Bull Moose and reflection”; “Aspens aflame”; “Creekside grove.”

For Your Information: 22 January is National Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day in the United States. Good luck.

Contemporary Indian Art – Jitendra Patel

Artist Statement: “My sculpture designs in 3D software which are my own creation. These sculptures can be made in any scale & media. I am introducing them as Techno Sculpture.”

Below – “Singer” (fiberglass); “Twisting Torso” (wood); “Relaxation” (fiber and acrylic paint); “Rhythmic Form” (clear acrylic); “Twisting Lady” (wood); “Awake” (acrylic and wood).

Remembering a Famous Incompetent on the Date of His Birth: Born 22 January 1907 – Douglas “Wrong Way” Corrigan, an American aviator.. Corrigan garnered the nickname “Wrong Way” after what he claimed was a navigational error caused him to fly from New York City to Ireland rather than to his scheduled destination – Long Beach, California. In my view, anyone named Corrigan is automatically “Wrong.”

Below – Douglas Corrigan; Corrigan Neralich.

Contemporary American Art – Ramon Parmenter

In the words of one writer, “Ramon Parmenter was born September 14, 1954 in Eugene, Oregon. He received his formal training at both Walla Walla College, and the Southern Oregon College of Art. From a very young age Ramon showed an avid interest in drawing and demonstrated an uncanny ability to represent the living form in great creative detail. An art critic once stated, ‘Ramon Parmenter shows a classic genius for drawing and sculpting the living form. Two works possessing the muscular sensuousness of a Michelangelo combined with the elegant flowing forms of Cellini and touched by the classic grace of Canova, this young artist has added his own fearless obsession for risk-taking by showing his figures, not standing on terra firma, but caught in the act of movement, suspended in dramatic special conflict.’”

Below (all bronze) – “Graceful Power”; “Gentle Breeze”; “Escape”; “By the Sea”; “Windswept”; “Garden Walk.”

Remembering a Writer on the Date of Her Birth: Born 22 January 1887 – Helen Hoyt, an American poet and author.

“Park Going to Sleep”
by Helen Hoyt

The shadows under the trees
And in the vines by the boat-house
Grow dark,
And the lamps gleam softly.
On the street, far off,
The sound of the cars, rumbling,
Moves drowsily.
The rocks grow dim on the edges of the shore.
The boats with tired prows against the landing
Have fallen asleep heavily:
The monuments sleep
And the trees
And the smooth slow-winding empty paths sleep.

Contemporary American Art – Michael Parkes

In the words of one writer, “Michael Parkes was born in 1944. Michael Parkes studied graphic art and painting at the University of Kansas and then traveled for three years throughout Asia and Europe. In 1975 Michael Parkes settled definitively in Spain, where he now lives. Throughout Michael Parkes’ career, numerous international exhibitions underline the importance of Parkes’work. Michael Parkes is both a uniquely talented painter and master of the art of original stone lithography. What is unusual about Michael Parkes is that in his paintings and lithographs, metaphysical and spiritual elements are joined into reality.”

Below – “Black Panther White Wings”; “Sacred Fire I”; “Practice Ring”; “Summer”; “Pale Swan”; “Persepolis.”

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Current Events – 22 January 2018

Current Events – 22 January 2018

“The essence of intercultural education is the acquisition of empathy-the ability to see the world as others see it, and to allow for the possibility that others may see something we have failed to see, or may see it more accurately. The simple purpose of the exchange program…is to erode the culturally rooted mistrust that sets nations against one another. The exchange program is not a panacea but an avenue of hope.” – J. William Fulbright.

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Beleaguered in Bothell – 21 January 2018

Musings in Winter: Anais Nin

“We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.”

Art for Winter – Part I of IV: Ouaichai (Thai, contemporary)

Below – “Beauty of Asia XXIV”; “Chinatown Streets I”; “Streets of Bangkok VIII”

Remembering an Important Activist on the Date of His Birth: Born 21 January 1884 – Roger Nash Baldwin, an American activist, pacifist, and one of the founders of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in 1920. Baldwin served as the organization’s executive director until 1950, and many of the ACLU’s landmark cases took place under his direction, including the Scopes Monkey Trial and the ban on James Joyce’s “Ulysses.”

Some quotes from the work of Roger Nash Baldwin:

“I always felt from the beginning that you had to defend people you disliked and feared as well as those you admired.”
“The smallest deed is better than the grandest intention.”
“So long as we have enough people in this country willing to fight for their rights, we’ll be called a democracy.”
“The rule of law in place of force, always basic to my thinking, now takes on a new relevance in a world where, if war is to go, only law can replace it.”

Art for Winter – Part II of IV: Bill Owen (American, contemporary)

Below – “In a Storm”; “Work of Big Medicine”; “Muy Bronco”

Musings in Winter: Alan Watts

“Belief…is the insistence that the truth is what one would ‘lief’ or (will or) wish to be…Faith is an unreserved opening of the mind to the truth, whatever it may turn out to be. Faith has no preconceptions; it is a plunge into the unknown. Belief clings, but faith let’s go…faith is the essential virtue of science, and likewise of any religion that is not self-deception.”

Art for Winter – Part III of IV: Charles Pabst (American, contemporary)

Below – “Out of the Woods”; “Saguaro Shadows”; Untitled Flowers

For Your Information: 21 January is National Hugging Day in the United States. How perfectly awful.

Below – An acceptable way to celebrate the day.

Art for Winter – Part IV of IV: Mimmo Paladino (Italian, contemporary)

Below – “Mathematica Portfolio”; “Muto with Seal Fur”; “Come in Uno Specchio”

A Poem for Today

“Blue Girls”
By John Crowe Ransom

Twirling your blue skirts, travelling the sward
Under the towers of your seminary,
Go listen to your teachers old and contrary
Without believing a word.

Tie the white fillets then about your hair
And think no more of what will come to pass
Than bluebirds that go walking on the grass
And chattering on the air.

Practice your beauty, blue girls, before it fail;
And I will cry with my loud lips and publish
Beauty which all our power shall never establish,
It is so frail.

For I could tell you a story which is true;
I know a woman with a terrible tongue,
Blear eyes fallen from blue,
All her perfections tarnished — yet it is not long
Since she was lovelier than any of you.

This Date in Art History: Born 21 January 1928 – John Olsen, an Australian painter.

Below – “Summer in the you beaut country”; “Pied beauty”; “Nightfall, when wattle stains the doubting heart”; “Salute to Cerberus”; “Joie de vivre”; “Sydney Harbor.”

Remembering a Patriot on the Date of His Birth: Born 21 January 1738 – Ethan Allen, an American farmer, businessman, philosopher, writer, and American Revolutionary War hero. Allen is perhaps best known for capturing Fort Ticonderoga from the British while leading the legendary Green Mountain Boys.

Some quotes from the work of Ethan Allen:

“Ever since I arrived to a state of manhood, I have felt a sincere passion for liberty. The history of nations doomed to perpetual slavery, in consequence of yielding up to tyrants their natural born liberties, I read with a sort of philosophical horror; so that the first systematical and bloody attempt at Lexington, to enslave America, thoroughly electrified my mind, and fully determined me to take part with my country.”
“In those parts of the world where learning and science has prevailed, miracles have ceased; but in such parts of it as are barbarous and ignorant, miracles are still in vogue; which is of itself a strong presumption that in the infancy of letters, learning and science, or in the world’s non-age, those who confided in miracles, as a proof of the divine mission of the first promulgators of revelation, were imposed upon by fictitious appearances instead of miracles.”
“I have generally been denominated a Deist, the reality of which I never disputed, being conscious I am no Christian, except mere infant baptism make me one; and as to being a Deist, I know not, strictly speaking, whether I am one or not, for I have never read their writings; mine will therefore determine the matter; for I have not in the least disguised my sentiments, but have written freely without any conscious knowledge of prejudice for, or against any man, sectary or party whatever; but wish that good sense, truth and virtue may be promoted and flourish in the world, to the detection of delusion, superstition, and false religion; and therefore my errors in the succeeding treatise, which may be rationally pointed out, will be readily rescinded.”

Below – Ethan Allen; Fort Ticonderoga today; the flag of the Green Mountain Boys.

Contemporary Japanese Art – Hisashi Otsuka: Part I of II:

In the words of one writer, “Like the Samurai in many of his paintings on Fabric, Hisashi Otsuka is an artist of remarkable dedication. Schooled in Zen and the martial arts, he has lived and worked by the warrior’s code of discipline and duty. Rooted in Japanese tradition yet adventurous in nature, he is known throughout the World for his boldness of color and style that mark him as truly unique. Otsuka’s work today is a powerful balance of ancient Eastern techniques and modern Western ideas. His time- honored poets and warriors, kabuki figures, ukiyo-e women, and elegant calligraphy are steeped in the classical past. Yet in color and composition, his work achieves a vigorous, contemporary context.”

Below – “47 Ronin Warrior”; “Eyes of Otsuka – Light Rays”; “Lady Murasaki Revisted”; “Lion of Fire”; “Timeless Beauty”; “Double Kiss.”

Worth a Thousand Words: A view from the summit of the Matterhorn.

Contemporary Japanese Art – Hisashi Otsuka: Part II of II:

In the words of one writer, “Monumental in scope and meticulous in detail, it (Otsuka’s work) offers a total aesthetic of heroic and subtle impact at once. Otsuka came to the west, Hawaii, in 1979. Until that time his painting had been historical in subject and theme. But now has emerged from the past in ways that are very exciting. In his brilliant neo- deco style, Otsuka’s compositions have evolved to a decorative elegance. Otsuka’s art has achieved an important transition: a cross cultural excellence that not only appeals to East and West artistically, but also brings them together in understanding. This, after all, is Otsuka’s personal mission and he pursues it with splendid dedication. In New York, London, Paris, San Francisco, Tokyo, and Hawaii, Otsuka’s one man shows have earned the highest praise. HIs international prominence increase year by year, making him truly a dominant force on the World art scene. To Otsuka, life and art create each other. He, the master, the warrior, devotes himself to the fabric of both, wielding his brush like a sword.”

Below – “A Perfect Blossom”; “Autumn Kimono”; “Spring Enchantment”; “Nature’s Keeper”; “Kiss of the Black Swan”; “Autumn.”

Musings in Winter: Lawrence Durrell

“Does not everything depend on our interpretation of the silence around us?”

Contemporary American Art – Anne Packard

In the words of one writer, “Born and raised in Hyde Park, NJ, Anne Packard spent summers as a child in Provincetown. She moved here year round in 1977 after raising her 5 children. A self-taught artist, initially her art was worked on wood panels and weathered shingles. She studied with the late Phil Malcoat. Anne has painted the Outer Cape, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Mexico for over 30 years

Below- “Two Dorries”; “Ocean Beach”; “Wharf”; “Dune Shack”; “West End”; “Cat Boat.”

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Current Events – 21 January 2018

“Worlds self-made are so full of monsters and demons.” – Anais Nin.

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Beleaguered in Bothell – 20 January 2018

Remembering a Writer on the Date of His Death: Died 20 January 1900 – John Ruskin, English art critic, social thinker, and watercolorist.

Some quotes from the work of John Ruskin:

“Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather. ”
“All books are divisible into two classes: the books of the hours, and the books of all Time.”
“The purest and most thoughtful minds are those which love color the most.”
“Every increased possession loads us with new weariness.”
“Remember that the most beautiful things in the world are the most useless.”
“Nature is painting for us, day after day, pictures of infinite beauty if only we have the eyes to see them.”
“Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so shall you become.”

Art for Winter – Part I of III: Agudelo-Botero Orlando (Columbian, contemporary)

Below – “Unison”; “Silent Passion”; “Eye of the Storm”

Remembering an Actor on the Date of His Birth: Born 20 January 1900 – Colin Clive, an English stage and screen actor best remembered for his portrayal of Dr. Henry Frankenstein in the 1931 classic “Frankenstein” (in which the monster is portrayed by Boris Karloff).

Below – Perhaps the most memorable moment in the movie:

Art for Winter – Part II of III: Dan Christensen (American, 1942 – 2007)

Below – “Blues for Kenny”; Untitled; “Autumn Park I”

Remembering a Writer on the Date of His Death: Died 20 January 1955 – Robert P.T. Coffin, an American poet.

“The Secret Heart”
by Robert P. T. Coffin

Across the years he could recall
His father one way best of all.
In the stillest hour of night
The boy awakened to a light.
Half in dreams, he was his sire
With his great hands full of fire.
The man had struck a match to see
If his son slept peacefully.
He held his palms each side the spark
His love had kindled in the dark.
His two hands were curved apart
In the semblance of a heart.
He wore, it seemed to his small son,
A bare heart on his hidden one,
A heart that gave out such a glow
No son awake could bare to know.
It showed a look upon a face
Too tender for the day to trace.
One instant, it lit all about,
And then the secret heart went out.
But shone long enough for one
To know that hands held up the sun.

Art for Winter – Part III of III: Trinidad Osorio (Mexican, 1929-2002)

Below – “Nina En Caballo”; “Woman with a Pink Hat in a Field of Flowers”; “Girl in the Garden“

Remembering a Writer on the Date of Her Death – Died 20 January 2013 – Toyo Shibata (born 1911), a Japanese poet. In the words of one writer, “Toyo Shibata was a poet who came to writing late in life and found success in two best-selling collections of verse. The first of these, ‘Kujikenaide’ (‘Don’t Lose Heart’), was published in her 98th year and has since sold more than 1.6 million copies in her native Japan.”

“The Answer”
by Toyo Shibata

The wind in my ear
“It’s about time now
for the next world
Let’s go, what do you say?”
in a soothing voice, like stroking a cat

So I answered quickly
“I will stay here
a little longer
I have things left to do”

The wind
with a troubled face
stopped and went home.

This Date in Art History: Died 20 January 1900 – John Ruskin, an English painter.

Below – “Bellizona”; “View of Amalfi”; “River Seine and its Islands”; “Rocks in Unrest”; “Zermatt.”

Remembering an Important Figure in Cinema on the Date of His Death: Died 20 January 1971 – Broncho Billy Anderson, an American actor, writer, film director, film producer, and the first star in the Western movie genre.

If you are interested in the early history of American cinema – or American history generally – I invite you to watch the instructive video below.

This Date in Art History: Born 20 January 1899 – Clarice Cliff, an English potter.

Below – “Ravel” pattern on conical shape coffee pot, sugar and cream; “Original Bizarre” pattern on an Athens shape jug; “Crocus” pattern; “Red Autumn” pattern; “Honolulu” pattern on an Athens shape jug.

Worth a Thousand Words: Part of the Khajuraho Group of Monuments in Madhya Pradesh, India.

This Date in Art History: Born 20 January 1900 – Dorothy Annan, an English painter, potter, and muralist.

Below – “Still Life with Flowers”; “Radio Communications and Television”; “Flowers in Green Vase II”; “Girl with an Apple”; “The Parade, Leamington Spa, Warwichshire.”

Remembering a Champion of Sanity on the Date of His Birth: Born 20 October 1956 – Bill Maher, American comedian, political commentator, media critic, television host, and producer.

Some quotes from the work of Bill Maher:

“[F]reedom isn’t free. It shouldn’t be a bragging point that ‘Oh, I don’t get involved in politics,’ as if that makes you somehow cleaner. No, that makes you derelict of duty in a republic. Liars and panderers in government would have a much harder time of it if so many people didn’t insist on their right to remain ignorant and blindly agreeable.”
“I have a problem with people who take the Constitution loosely and the Bible literally.”
“Don’t get so tolerant that you tolerate intolerance.”
“I’ll show you Obama’s birth certificate when you show me Sarah Palin’s high school diploma.”
“We have a Bill of Rights. What weneed is a Bill of Responsibilities.”
“New Rule: Stop asking Miss USA contestants if they believe in evolution. It’s not their field. It’s like asking Stephen Hawking if he believes in hair scrunchies. Here’s what they know about: spray tans, fake boobs and baton twirling. Here’s what they don’t know about: everything else. If I cared about the uninformed opinions of some ditsy beauty queen, I’d join the Tea Party.”
“Idiots must stop claiming that atheism is a religion. Religion is defined as the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power. And atheism is… precisely not that. Atheism is a religion like abstinence is a sex position”
“To most Christians, the Bible is like a software license. Nobody actually reads it. They just scroll to the bottom and click ‘I agree’.”

Contemporary Canadian Art – Victor Ostrovsky

In the words of one writer, “Viewers simply cannot look at the canvases of Victor Ostrovsky without thinking far beyond the imagery presented. The tantalizing, mystical and curious images reflect the enterprise and language of the international intelligence communities, which are no stranger to this intriguing and talented artist. Hats, gloves, scarves and umbrellas hide the identities of Ostrovsky’s inscrutable figures, lending intrigue and adventure to his theatrical imagery.”

Below – “Cannon Fodder”; “Night Walker”; “Avenue of the Angels”; “Ting Shao Kuang Summer Breeze”; “Game”; “Puppeteer.”

Remembering a Writer on the Date of His Death: Died 20 January 1962 – Robinson Jeffers, an American poet.

“The Bed by the Window
by Robinson Jeffers

I chose the bed downstairs by the sea-window for a good death-bed
When we built the house, it is ready waiting,
Unused unless by some guest in a twelvemonth, who hardly suspects
Its latter purpose. I often regard it,
With neither dislike nor desire; rather with both, so equalled
That they kill each other and a crystalline interest
Remains alone. We are safe to finish what we have to finish;
And then it will sound rather like music
When the patient daemon behind the screen of sea-rock and sky
Thumps with his staff, and calls thrice: ‘Come, Jeffers.’

Below- The bed described in the poem.

Contemporary American Art – Leo E. Osborne

In the words of one writer, “Leo continues to investigate many mediums and potentialities in art, as with his paintings, which he refers to as “acrylusion”, the fusion of acrylic paint over gold leaf gilded panels. He refuses to get locked into a niche and play the same tune over and over. He has always been a sort of rebel. His philosophy is that ART transcends all borders and boundaries. Each creation of our hands comes from the heart and mind and reflects the creative spirit and energy of the Universal Maker. Therefore, we must honor it as sacred. As caretakers of this planet, we must in all hospitality and with consciousness leave this life having given back something of beauty. We must be led by spirit and like so many artists prior, we are storytellers of our time. Painting and sculpture are rhythm, musical form, mood, feeling, the jazz and the energy within. Release that from wood or with paint and the story unfolds.”

Below – “Lunar Spirits” (bronze); “Winter Wanderer”; “Meeting at Aspen Grove”; “Daphne” (bronze); “Of Grace” (bronze); “Magi” (bronze).

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Current Events – 20 January 2008

“The problem is that the people with the most ridiculous ideas are always the people who are most certain of them.” – Bill Maher.

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Beleaguered in Bothell – 19 January 2018

Musings in Winter: Annie Dillard

“Their song reminds me of a child’s neighborhood rallying cry—ee-ock-ee—with a heartfelt warble at the end. But it is their call that is especially endearing. The towhee has the brass and grace to call, simply and clearly, “tweet”. I know of no other bird that stoops to literal tweeting.”

Art for Winter – Part I of IV: Chris Ofili (British, contemporary)

Below – “Celestial”; “Rincon Falls Black Leaf”; “Damascus Nude”

Worth a Thousand Words: Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Canada.

Art for Winter – Part II of IV: Manuel Nunez (Spanish, contemporary)

Below – “Arise My Love”; “Violet Serene”; “Luna de Fuego”

Musings in Winter: Richard Dawkins

“It’s been suggested that if the super-naturalists really had the powers they claim, they’d win the lottery every week. I prefer to point out that they could also win a Nobel Prize for discovering fundamental physical forces hitherto unknown to science. Either way, why are they wasting their talents doing party turns on television?
By all means let’s be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out.”

Art for Winter – Part III of IV: Julian Opie (British, contemporary)

Below – “I Thing I Usually…”; “Evening Sun”; “Tourist with Beard”

Remembering a Great Writer on the Date of His Birth: Born 19 January 1809 – Edgar Allan Poe, an American poet, short story writer, and critic.

“The Raven”
by Edgar Allan Poe

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—
Only this and nothing more.”

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow;—vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore—
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
“’Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door—
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;—
This it is and nothing more.”

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
“Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you”—here I opened wide the door;—
Darkness there and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore?”
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!”—
Merely this and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
“Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore—
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;—
’Tis the wind and nothing more!”

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore;
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door—
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door—
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
“Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore—
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning—little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door—
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as “Nevermore.”

But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing farther then he uttered—not a feather then he fluttered—
Till I scarcely more than muttered “Other friends have flown before—
On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before.”
Then the bird said “Nevermore.”

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
“Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore—
Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore
Of ‘Never—nevermore’.”

But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door;
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore—
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking “Nevermore.”

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o’er,
But whose velvet-violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o’er,
She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
“Wretch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee—by these angels he hath sent thee
Respite—respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore;
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!—
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted—
On this home by Horror haunted—tell me truly, I implore—
Is there—is there balm in Gilead?—tell me—tell me, I implore!”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us—by that God we both adore—
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

“Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!” I shrieked, upstarting—
“Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken!—quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted—nevermore!

Art for Winter – Part IV of IV: Dennis Oppenheim (American, contemporary)

Below – Untitled Landscape; “Study for Heavy Dog Kiss”; “No Room for Horses”

Musings in Winter: Camille Paglia

“Twentieth-century physics, going full circle back to Heracleitus, postulates that all matter is in motion. In other words, there is no thing, only energy.”

This Date in Art History: Born 19 January 1839 – Paul Cezanne, a French painter.

Below – “Woman in a Green Hat”; “Apples”; “Bathers”; “Clearing”; “Orchard in Pontoise”; “The Rum Punch.”

Musings in Winter: Larry McMurtry

“The eastern sky was red as coals in a forge, lighting up the flats along the river. Dew had wet the million needles of the chaparral, and when the rim of the sun edged over the horizon the chaparral seemed to be spotted with diamonds. A bush in the little backyard was filled with the little rainbows as the sun touched the dew.”

Contemporary American Art – Gert Olsen

In the words of one writer, “He was born and educated in Denmark. He immigrated to Canada in 1956, then to the United States in 1962, where he gained citizenship. Gert’s career began as a woodcarver and then expanded into church carving. His transition to stone was in the late 1970’s. Gert gained familiarity with marble by first hand observation in Pietrasanta, Italy, home of the famous Cararra marble. Numerous trips abroad led to the importation of tons of European and Italian marble for carving at his Jupiter studio. He sculpts in domestic marble and Indiana limestone as well. Gert works with the natural texture and color of the stone to create representative sculpture of animals and human forms and to develop abstract shapes. Sizes range from tabletop to monumental for both indoor and outdoor display.”

Below – “Freja”; “Moon Rosso”; “Muse I”; “Reclining Woman”; “Turning Bear”; “Katrin.”

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Current Events – 19 January 2018

“The single most exciting thing you encounter in government is competence, because it’s so rare.” – Daniel Patrick Moynihan, American politician and sociologist.

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Beleaguered in Bothell – 18 January 2018

Musings in Winter: Camille Paglia

“Human beings are not nature’s favorites. We are merely one of a multitude of species upon which nature indiscriminately exerts its force.”

Art for Winter – Part I of II: Chris Noel (American, contemporary)

Below – “Deep Down and Far Away”; “Down by the Lake”; “Alpine Retreat”

Remembering a Writer on the Date of His Birth: Born 18 January 1882 – A. A. Milne, an English author, poet, and playwright, best known for his books about Winnie-the-Pooh.

by A. A. Milne

I have a house where I go
When there’s too many people,
I have a house where I go
Where no one can be;
I have a house where I go,
Where nobody ever says ‘No’;
Where no one says anything- so
There is no one but me.

Art for Winter – Part II of II: Andreas Nottebohm (German/American, contemporary)

Below – Untitled (painting on aluminum); “Red Moon”; “Obscure Entrance”

Remembering a Comic Genius on the Date of His Death: Died 18 January 1952 – Jerome Lester Horowitz, better known by his stage name Curly Howard, an American comedian, vaudevillian, actor, and member of the Three Stooges.

French Art – Philippe Noyer (1917-1985)

In the words of one writer, “French Artist Philippe Noyer’s stylised images featuring the material luxury and ephemera surrounding early 20th century high society have an art deco feel. The luminosity in his works comes from a technique he discovered and perfected in which he avoids white in favor of pure colors.”

Below – “Ladies in Red”; “Girl Reclining”; ““Girl Sitting”; “La Nymphe”; “Ladies and Leopards” (5 piece suite); “Girl Sitting.”

Worth a Thousand Words: Marpha, the Apple Capital of Nepal.

This Date in Art History: Born 18 January 1981 – Otgonbayar Ershuu (artist name (OTGO), a Mongolain painter and illustrator.

Below – “Hun”; “Fly and Fly”; “Deeshee deeshee”; “Zebras 7”; “Roaring Hoofs – 57.”

A Poem for Today

“For My Young Friends Who Are Afraid”
by William Stafford

There is a country to cross you will
find in the corner of your eye, in
the quick slip of your foot–air far
down, a snap that might have caught.
And maybe for you, for me, a high, passing
voice that finds its way by being
afraid. That country is there, for us,
carried as it is crossed. What you fear
will not go away: it will take you into
yourself and bless you and keep you.
That’s the world, and we all live there.

Below – William Stafford.

This Date in Art History: Died 19 January 2015 – Eugenio Cruz Vargas, a Chilean painter.

Below – “Rio Maipo”; “Trasluz I”; “Altraccion destellan”; “Cascada rompiente”; “Estacion ferroviaria Puangue.”

Musings in Winter: Guy Davenport

“When Heraclitus said that everything passes steadily along, he was not inciting us to make the best of the moment, an idea unseemly to his placid mind, but to pay attention to the pace of things. Each has its own rhythm: the nap of a dog, the procession of the equinoxes, the dances of Lydia, the majestically slow beat of the drums at Dodona, the swift runners at Olympia.”

Contemporary American Art – Bruce Nowlin

In the words of one writer, “Bruce Carlton (B.C.) Nowlin was born in 1949 in Alameda, New Mexico. He spent his childhood on the edge of the Sandia Pueblo Reservation. His teenage mother spent her early years in the Laguna Pueblo earning her the Indian name ‘Little Bird’. His father, Duke, worked in Albuquerque at a highly classified government job. B.C.’s Native-American friends gave him the symbol; the bird-and-moon, a calligraphic logo he signs to every piece of artwork.”

Below – “Mirage”; “Light Fall”; “Will Stay”; “Within”; “This Way”; “Lakota – In Red.”

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Current Events – 18 January 2018

“The central conservative truth is that it is culture, not politics, that determines the success of a society. The central liberal truth is that politics can change a culture and save it from itself.” – Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

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