A Poem for Today
“It’s all I have to bring today”
By Emily Dickinson
It’s all I have to bring today—
This, and my heart beside—
This, and my heart, and all the fields—
And all the meadows wide—
Be sure you count—should I forget
Some one the sum could tell—
This, and my heart, and all the Bees
Which in the Clover dwell.
Musings in Autumn: Arthur Schopenhauer
“The assumption that animals are without rights and the illusion that our treatment of them has no moral significance is a positively outrageous example of Western crudity and barbarity. Universal compassion is the only guarantee of morality.”
Art for November – Part I of II: Morris Graves
Below – “Spirit Bird”
Musings in Autumn: Neil Postman
“What we are confronted with now is the problem posed by the economic and symbolic structure of television. Those who run television do not limit our access to information but in fact widen it. Our Ministry of Culture is Huxleyan, not Orwellian. It does everything possible to encourage us to watch continuously. But what we watch is a medium which presents information in a form that renders it simplistic, nonsubstantive, nonhistorical and noncontextual; that is to say, information packaged as entertainment. In America, we are never denied the opportunity to entertain ourselves.”
American Art – Paul Havas
Artist Statement: “I actively look for painting sites, for places or subjects that might trigger my interest. Sometimes it seems they find me, the unplanned glimpse through piers of a bridge or the reflections of a window on a black piano… At night, shapes can suddenly disappear into the matrix of darkness. It’s ambiguous. It gives me great liberties. If I see a hint of color from some electric light, I just take off.”
Below – “River Mouth Fog”; “Red Alder”; “Tidewater Snowmelt with Cormorant”; “Road Near LaConner”; “Willapa Reflections”; “Willapa Eagle.”
A Second Poem for Today
By Helen Hay Whitney
Dear, did we meet in some dim yesterday?
I half remember how the birds were mute
Among green leaves and tulip-tinted fruit,
And on the grass, beside a stream, we lay
In early twilight; faintly, far away,
Came lovely sounds adrift from silver lute,
With answered echoes of an airy flute,
While Twilight waited tiptoe, fain to stay.
Her violet eyes were sweet with mystery.
You looked in mine, the music rose and fell
Like little, lisping laughter of the sea;
Our souls were barks, wind-wafted from the shore—
Gold cup, a rose, a ruby, who can tell?
Soft—music ceases—I recall no more.
Musings in Autumn: William Hazlitt
“Modern fanaticism thrives in proportion to the quantity of contradictions and nonsense it pours down the throats of the gaping multitude, and the jargon and mysticism it offers to their wonder and credulity.”
Art for November – Part II of II: Janet Holly Blench Middleton
Below – “Upper Falls Canadian Rockies”
Marianne Moore (1887-1972) was an American poet, translator, and editor.
Some quotes from the work of Marianne Moore:
“The deepest feeling always shows itself in silence; not in silence, but restraint.”
“I must fight
Til I have conquered
what causes war.”
“The passion for setting people right is in itself an afflictive disease.”
“And whence is courage: the unanswered question, the resolute doubt,— dumbly calling, deafly listening—that in misfortune, even death, encourages others and in its defeat, stirs the soul to be strong?”
“The cure for loneliness is solitude.”
“Poetry is the art of creating imaginary gardens with real toads.”
“They fought the enemy, we fight fat living and self-pity. Shine, o shine, unfalsifying sun, on this sick scene.”
Musings in Autumn: Matt Taibbi
“To be robbed and betrayed by a fiendish underground conspiracy, or by the earthly agents of Satan, is at least a romantic sort of plight – it suggests at least a grand Hollywood-ready confrontation between good and evil – but to be coldly ripped off over and over again by a bunch of bloodless, second-rate schmoes, schmoes you chose, you elected, is not something anyone will take much pleasure in bragging about.”
A Third Poem for Today
By Kurt Brown
A man spends his whole life fishing in himself
for something grand. It’s like some lost lunker, big enough
to break all records. But he’s only heard rumors, myths,
vague promises of wonder. He’s only felt the shadow
of something enormous darken his life. Or has he?
Maybe it’s the shadow of other fish, greater than his,
the shadow of other men’s souls passing over him.
Each day he grabs his gear and makes his way
to the ocean. At least he’s sure of that: or is he? Is it the ocean
or the little puddle of his tears? Is this his dinghy
or the frayed boards of his ego, scoured by storm?
He shoves off, feeling the land fall away under his boots.
Soon he’s drifting under clouds, wind whispering blandishments
in his ears. It could be today: the water heaves
and settles like a chest. . . He’s not far out.
It’s all so pleasant, so comforting–the sunlight,
the waves. He’ll go back soon, thinking: “Maybe tonight.”
Night with its concealments, its shadow masking all other shadows.
Night with its privacies, its alluringly distant stars.
Canadian Art – Part I of II: Randolph Parker
In the words of one writer, “Randolph Parker was born on June 27, 1954 and grew up in Huntsville Ontario. He became serious about drawing and painting at a very early age. His formal art training began at Mt. Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick. He later attended the Banff Centre and continued to study at York University in Ontario. He studied under such eminent instructors as David Silverberg, Takao Tanabe, Paul Sloggett and Ken Carpenter.
Randolph has taught art and art history at the Ottawa School of Art and Ottawa Board of Education. Parker is an artist with a strong ability to create in oil, acrylic and watercolour. From his Salt Spring Island studio, he creates his panoramic vistas, inspired by the Canadian landscape.”
Below – “Prairie Pastoral”; “Pinnacle, Trophy Mountains”; “Winter Wisps”; “Northern Experience”; “Beauty Above The Bow”; “Western Ambience.”
Musings in Autumn: John Grogan
“Such short little lives our pets have to spend with us, and they spend most of it waiting for us to come home each day.
It is amazing how much love and laughter they bring into our lives and even how much closer we become with each other because of them.”
A Fourth Poem for Today
“My life has been the poem I would have writ”
By Henry David Thoreau
My life has been the poem I would have writ
But I could not both live and utter it.
Musings in Autumn: Carol Emshwiller
“It’s American to be from somewhere else, and it’s American to go from East to West. It’s American to seek your fortune someplace other than where you are, or to be escaping something.”
A Fifth Poem for Today
“Song as Abridged Thesis of George Perkin Marsha’s ‘Man and Nature’”
By Major Jackson
(Poem on the Occasion of the Centenary of the National Park Service)
The pendulous branches of the Norway spruce slowly move
as though approving our gentle walk in Woodstock,
and the oak leaves yellowing this early morning
fall in the parking lot of Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller.
We hear beneath our feet their susurrus
as the churning of wonder, found, too, in the eyes of a child
who has just sprinted toward a paddock of Jersey cows.
The fate of the land is the fate of man.
Some have never fallen in love with a river of grass
or rested in the dignity of the Great Blue Heron
standing alone, saint-like, in a marshland nor envied
the painted turtle sunning on a log, nor thanked as I have,
the bobcat for modeling how to navigate dynasties of snow,
for he survives in both forests and imaginations
away from the dark hands of developers and myths of profits.
The fate of the land is the fate of man.
Some are called to praise as holy, hillocks, ponds, and brooks,
to renew the sacred contract of live things everywhere,
the cold pensive roamings of clouds above Mount Tom,
to extol silkworm and barn owls, gorges and vales,
the killdeer, egret, tern, and loon; some must rest
at the sandbanks, in deep wilderness, by a lagoon,
estuaries or floodplain, standing in the way of the human storm:
the fate of the land is the fate of man.
Canadian Art – Part II of II: Kenneth Gordon
In the words of one writer, “Kenneth Gordon was born in Winnipeg in 1929 and began painting at an early age. After studying at the Winnipeg School of Art, he was employed as a commercial artist before working as an art instructor at R.B. Russell Vocational High School for 17 years.
Gordon retired early to pursue his painting full-time, residing and working in the town of Winnipeg Beach. Following in the footsteps of the Group of Seven, Gordon was inspired by the Canadian landscape and created small oil sketches from his many hiking and canoe trips through Canada’s wilderness country. in the early 1990s he painted abandoned Haida villages on the Queen Charlotte Islands in British Columbia.”
Below – “Gulch Hill”; “Sheds and Barn”; “Autumn at the Wharf”; “Whiteshell Manitoba”; “Lake Winnipeg, Winter”; “Crumbling Log House – Rembrandt Manitoba.”