American Art – Part I of VI: Tom Fawkes
7 January 1962 – The Bollingen Prize for poetry is awarded to John Hall Wheelock.
Dark-eyed, out of the snow-cold sea you came,
The young blood under the cheek like dawn-light showing,
Stray tendrils of dark hair in the sea-wind blowing,
Comely and grave, out of the sea you came.
Slim covered thigh and slender stockinged foot
In swift strides over the burnished shingle swinging,
Sweet silence of your smile, soft sea-weed clinging,
Here and there, to the wet bathing-suit.
O fierce and shy, your glance so piercing-true
Shot fire to the struck heart that was as tinder–
The fire of your still loveliness, the tender
High fortitude of the spirit shining through.
And the world was young. O love and song and fame
Were part of youth’s still ever believed-in story,
And hope crowned all, when in dear and in queenly glory,
Out of the snow-cold sea to me you came.
Here is the Artist Statement of British painter Pam Hawkes: “Storytelling, myths and religious iconography show us the possibilities of change, alchemical transmutations from the mundane life we lead. Through traditional imagery, text materials and painting methodology my work invites a questioning of the ideal. (I create) paintings that hint at the seduction of beauty, jewels and brocades.”
7 January 1973 – The Bollingen Prize for poetry is awarded to James Merrill.
The panes flash, tremble with your ghostly passage
Through them, an x-ray sheerness billowing, and I have risen
But cannot speak, remembering only that one was meant
To rise and not to speak. Young storm, this house is yours.
Let our eye darken, your rain come, the candle reeling
Deep in what still reflects control itself and me.
Daybreak’s great gray rust-veined irises humble and proud
Along your path will have laid their foreheads in the dust.
7 January 1975 – The Bollingen Prize for poetry is awarded to A. R. Ammons.
I don’t know somehow it seems sufficient
to see and hear whatever coming and going is,
losing the self to the victory
of stones and trees,
of bending sandpit lakes, crescent
round groves of dwarf pine:
for it is not so much to know the self
as to know it as it is known
by galaxy and cedar cone,
as if birth had never found it
and death could never end it:
the swamp’s slow water comes
down Gravelly Run fanning the long
hair and narrowing roils between
the shoulders of the highway bridge:
holly grows on the banks in the woods there,
and the cedars’ gothic-clustered
spires could make
green religion in winter bones:
so I look and reflect, but the air’s glass
jail seals each thing in its entity:
no use to make any philosophies here:
I see no
god in the holly, hear no song from
the snowbroken weeds: Hegel is not the winter
yellow in the pines: the sunlight has never
heard of trees: surrendered self among
unwelcoming forms: stranger,
hoist your burdens, get on down the road.
“We have reason to be afraid. This is a terrible place.” – John Berryman, American poet and scholar, who died 7 January 1972.
“Dream Song 14”
Life, friends, is boring. We must not say so.
After all, the sky flashes, the great sea yearns,
we ourselves flash and yearn,
and moreover my mother told me as a boy
(repeatingly) ‘Ever to confess you’re bored
means you have no
Inner Resources.’ I conclude now I have no
inner resources, because I am heavy bored.
Peoples bore me,
literature bores me, especially great literature,
Henry bores me, with his plights & gripes
as bad as achilles,
who loves people and valiant art, which bores me.
And the tranquil hills, & gin, look like a drag
and somehow a dog
has taken itself & its tail considerably away
into mountains or sea or sky, leaving
behind: me, wag.
“What we now want is closer contact and better understanding between individuals and communities all over the earth, and the elimination of egoism and pride which is always prone to plunge the world into primeval barbarism and strife… Peace can only come as a natural consequence of universal enlightenment.” – Nikola Tesla, Serbian-American inventor, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, and futurist, who died 7 January 1943.
Some quotes from the work of Nikola Tesla:
“I don’t care that they stole my idea . . I care that they don’t have any of their own.”
“If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.”
“The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.”
“If your hate could be turned into electricity, it would light up the whole world.”
“My brain is only a receiver, in the Universe there is a core from which we obtain knowledge, strength and inspiration. I have not penetrated into the secrets of this core, but I know that it exists.”
“I do not think there is any thrill that can go through the human heart like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success . . . Such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends, love, everything.”
“All that was great in the past was ridiculed, condemned, combated, suppressed — only to emerge all the more powerfully, all the more triumphantly from the struggle.”
“Of all things, I liked books best.”
American Art – Part II of VI: Ben Ferry
Thinking About Time: Part I of IV: Jim Harrison
Back in the blue chair in front of the green studio
another year has passed, or so they say, but calendars lie.
They’re a kind of cosmic business machine like
their cousin clocks but break down at inopportune times.
Fifty years ago I learned to jump off the calendar
but I kept getting drawn back on for reasons
of greed and my imperishable stupidity.
Of late I’ve escaped those fatal squares
with their razor-sharp numbers for longer and longer.
I had to become the moving water I already am,
falling back into the human shape in order
not to frighten my children, grandchildren, dogs and friends.
Our old cat doesn’t care. He laps the water where my face used to be.
American Art – Part III of VI: Barbara Kassel
Painter Barbara Kassel (born 1952) earned an M.F.A. in Painting from Yale University.
Thinking About Time: Part II of IV: Czeslaw Milosz
“A Song On the End of the World”
On the day the world ends
A bee circles a clover,
A fisherman mends a glimmering net.
Happy porpoises jump in the sea,
By the rainspout young sparrows are playing
And the snake is gold-skinned as it should always be.
On the day the world ends
Women walk through the fields under their umbrellas,
A drunkard grows sleepy at the edge of a lawn,
Vegetable peddlers shout in the street
And a yellow-sailed boat comes nearer the island,
The voice of a violin lasts in the air
And leads into a starry night.
And those who expected lightning and thunder
And those who expected signs and archangels’ trumps
Do not believe it is happening now.
As long as the sun and the moon are above,
As long as the bumblebee visits a rose,
As long as rosy infants are born
No one believes it is happening now.
Only a white-haired old man, who would be a prophet
Yet is not a prophet, for he’s much too busy,
Repeats while he binds his tomatoes:
No other end of the world will there be,
No other end of the world will there be.
American Art – Part IV of VI: Susy Keely
Artist Statement: “I am an artist working in Los Angeles, California. I have been selling my paintings online for the past few years, and very much enjoyed the process of sending my work around the world.
I paint primarily in oil, and my subject matter is primarily figures and urban landscapes.”
Thinking About Time: Part III of IV: Rainer Maria Rilke
“Archaic Torso of Apollo” – Rainer Maria Rilke
We cannot know his legendary head
with eyes like ripening fruit. And yet his torso
is still suffused with brilliance from inside,
like a lamp, in which his gaze, now turned to low,
gleams in all its power. Otherwise
the curved breast could not dazzle you so, nor could
a smile run through the placid hips and thighs
to that dark center where procreation flared.
Otherwise this stone would seem defaced
beneath the translucent cascade of the shoulders
and would not glisten like a wild beast’s fur:
American Art – Part V of VI: Tricia Cline
In the words of one writer, “Tricia Cline is self-taught and has been sculpting from direct observation in the female and animal form for over 20 years. Her small, highly detailed porcelain clay sculptures are complex metaphors describing our relationship to animals and to ourselves as … Animals.
Cline writes, ‘This body of work is an ode to the Animal, its ability to perceive, and our return to that perception. Each kind of animal is an ambassador of its perfected niche (a definition of holiness). An animal is it’s very form. Its function is its form. They have become so perfected, that they are archetypes inside of us; archetypes that are beyond our insistence of meaning and yet completely shape our feelings.’”
Thinking About Time: Part IV of IV: Jim Harrison
Let’s not get romantic or dismal about death.
Indeed it’s our most unique act along with birth.
We must think of it as cooking breakfast,
it’s that ordinary. Break two eggs into a bowl
or break a bowl into two eggs. Slip into a coffin
after the fluids have been drained, or better yet,
slide into the fire. Of course it’s a little hard
to accept your last kiss, your last drink,
your last meal about which the condemned
can be quite particular as if there could be
a cheeseburger sent by God. A few lovers
sweep by the inner eye, but it’s mostly a placid
lake at dawn, mist rising, a solitary loon
call, and staring into the still, opaque water.
We’ll know as children again all that we are
destined to know, that the water is cold
and deep, and the sun penetrates only so far.
American Art – Part VI of VI: William S. Hung
In the words of one critic, “William S. Hung’s works display a profound knowledge of the traditions and techniques of both East and West.
In harmony of composition and precision of execution, they reflect the restraint and refinement of the Chinese tradition. In the use of gauzy layers of color to build images from flakes of light, he recalls the 19th century French artists, while his subjects are often reminiscent of classical sources. Extraordinarily gifted and thoroughly schooled, he produces exquisitely sensitive, intellectually provocative, and delicately rendered portraits and nudes.”