November Offerings – Part XVII: Something to Delight both Head and Heart

American Art – Part I of III: Renee Treml

Artist statement: “I seek to capture the subtle details in my paintings – like the delicate weave of a bird’s nest or the curious look of a fledgling bird – things that might otherwise go unnoticed. My paintings feature birds and animals that are in my local environment and through my paintings I hope to make people more aware of the environment around them.”
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A Poem for Today

“Later Autumn Song,”
By Edward Dowden

This is the year’s despair: some wind last night
Utter’d too soon the irrevocable word,
And the leaves heard it, and the low clouds heard;
So a wan morning dawn’d of sterile light;
Flowers droop’d, or show’d a startled face and white;
The cattle cower’d, and one disconsolate bird
Chirp’d a weak note; last came this mist and blurr’d
The hills, and fed upon the fields like blight.
Ah, why so swift despair! There yet will be
Warm noons, the honey’d leavings of the year,
Hours of rich musing, ripest autumn’s core,
And late-heap’d fruit, and falling hedge-berry,
Blossoms in cottage-crofts, and yet, once more,
A song, not less than June’s, fervent and clear.
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From the Music Archives: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

17 November 1876 – Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s patriotic Slavonic March premieres in Moscow.

A Second Poem for Today

“November Through a Giant Copper Beech,”
By Edwin Honig

This almost bare tree is racing
taut in the wind, leaves flaring,
jet fire fed by a hurrying
keen whistling bird, against

hundred-limbed elephant branches,
steadied in wrinkled gray molten
antediluvian skin,
wrapped tight to stay where it is.

Think of sheer endlessness, beauty
patient in form, forever
uncrumbled between time’s nickering
teeth — oh brutal necessity!

Think of the still and the flowing —
Heraclitus’s ‘everything passes,’
the one-eyed conviction against
the rockheaded ‘everything dozes.’

On this bleary white afternoon,
are there fires lip up in heaven
against such faking of quickness
and light, such windy discoursing?

While November numbly collapses,
this beech tree, heavy as death
on the lawn, braces for throat-
cutting ice, bandaging snow.
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Vala Ola is a contemporary Icelandic sculptor and painter whose work has won many awards. She has lived and worked in the United States since 1994.

Below – “Falling Water”; “Venus”; “Awakening”; “On the Horizon”; “River Song.”
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A Third Poem for Today

“The Barnacle,”
By A. E. Stallings

The barnacle is rather odd —
It’s not related to the clam
Or limpet. It’s an arthropod,
Though one that doesn’t give a damn.

Cousin to the crab and shrimp,
When larval, it can twitch and swim,
And make decisions — tiny imp
That flits according to its whim.

Once grown, with nothing more to prove
It hunkers down, and will remain
Stuck fast. And once it does not move,
Has no more purpose for a brain.

Its one boast is, it will not budge,
Cemented where it chanced to sink,
Sclerotic, stubborn as a grudge.
Settled, it does not need to think.
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Born 17 November 1921 – Albert Bertelsen, a Dutch artist known for his landscape paintings and portraits of people he met as a boy and whom he attempted to paint as though seen through a child’s eyes.
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From the Movie Archives: Peter Cook

“Mawwage. Mawwage is what bwings us togethew today. Mawwage, that bwessed awwangement, that dweam within a dweam.” – Peter Cook, English actor, satirist, writer and comedian, who was born 17 November 1937, portraying the “Impressive Clergyman” in “The Princess Bride.”

From the American Old West: Fort Buchanan

17 November 1856 – The United States Army establishes Fort Buchanan on the Sonoita River in present-day southern Arizona, in order to help control new land acquired in the Gadsen Purchase.

Below – The ruins of fort Buchanan in 1914.
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American Art – Part II of III: Isamu Noguchi

Born 17 November 1904 – Isamu Noguchi, a Japanese-American artist, sculptor, and landscape architect.

Below – “Leda”; “Portrait of My Uncle”; “Lunar Infant”; “The Kiss”; “Remembrance”; “Strange Bird.”
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A Fourth Poem for Today

“Self and Dream Self,”
By Les Murray

Routines of decaying time
fade, and your waking life
gets laborious as science.

You huddle in, becoming
the deathless younger self
who will survive your dreams
and vanish in surviving.

Dream brings on its story
at the pace of drift
in twilight, sunless color,

its settings are believed,
a library of wood shingles,
plain mythic furniture

vivid drone of talk,
yet few loves return:
trysts seem unkeepable.

Urgencies from your time
join with the browner suits
walking those arcades with you
but then you are apart,

aghast, beside the numberless
defiling down steep fence
into an imminence —

as in the ancient burrow
you, with an ever-changing cast,
survive deciding episodes
till you are dismissed

and a restart of tense
summons your waking size
out through shreds of story.

Below – Jackson Pollock: “Portrait and a Dream”
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In the words of one critic, Dutch painter Joke Frima (born 1952) “attended two art schools in The Netherlands, but had to go to Florence to find the kind of training she was looking for.”
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A Fifth Poem for Today

“Weather Man,”
By Patricia Traxler

When it snows, he stands
at the back door or wanders
around the house to each
window in turn and
watches the weather
like a lover. O farm boy,
I waited years
for you to look at me
that way. Now we’re old
enough to stop waiting
for random looks or touches
or words, so I find myself
watching you watching
the weather, and we wait
together to discover
whatever the sky might bring.
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In the words of one writer, “Mark Lang was born in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada in 1966. He now lives in Montreal, where he and his wife have raised a family. He was educated at the Alberta College of Art and Design in Calgary, and The School of Visual Arts in New York City, and received scholarships and awards at both institutions.”
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A Sixth Poem for Today

“Rock and Hawk,”
By Robinson Jeffers

Here is a symbol in which
Many high tragic thoughts
Watch their own eyes.

This gray rock, standing tall
On the headland, where the seawind
Lets no tree grow,

Earthquake-proved, and signatured
By ages of storms: on its peak
A falcon has perched.

I think, here is your emblem,
To hang in the future sky;
Not the cross, not the hive,

But this; bright power, dark peace;
Fierce consciousness joined with final
Disinterestedness;

Life with calm death; the falcon’s
Realist eyes and act
Married to the massive

Mysticism of stone,
Which failure cannot cast down
Nor success make proud.

Below – Robinson Jeffers looking seaward from atop Hawk Tower, which he built on his property with local stones.
Photo/John Stanton. Courtesy of the Tor House Foundation

American Art – Part III of III: Lisa Lindholm

In the words of one critic, “Lisa Lindholm lives and works in the Oak Cliff area of Dallas, Texas. She completed studies in computer visualization at Texas A&M University in 2000. After serving time in assorted cubicles in assorted large corporations making computers do assorted things, she leapt into life as a full-time artist in 2005. Lindholm currently works as a painter, graphic designer, and proprietor of FreeLisa Designs and Banner Theory. Her current series of works deals with the relationships between an organic and natural existence with a created and imagined presence.”
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