A Poem for Today
By Ezra Pound
Winter is icummen in,
Lhude sing Goddamm.
Raineth drop and staineth slop,
And how the wind doth ramm!
Skiddeth bus and sloppeth us,
An ague hath my ham.
Freezeth river, turneth liver,
Damn you, sing: Goddamm.
Goddamm, Goddamm, ’tis why I am, Goddamm,
So ‘gainst the winter’s balm.
Sing goddamm, damm, sing Goddamm.
Sing goddamm, sing goddamm, DAMM.
Musings in the New Year: Craig D. Lounsbrough
“The road ahead is not some predetermined path that I am forced to trod, but it is a rich byway that I can help create.”
Art for Winter – Part I of II: R. H. Ives Gammell (American, 1893-1981)
Below – “Mrs. Richard Cary Curtis (Anita Grosvenor Curtis)”
A Second Poem for Today
By Willa Cather
A crimson fire that vanquishes the stars;
A pungent odor from the dusty sage;
A sudden stirring of the huddled herds;
A breaking of the distant table-lands
Through purple mists ascending, and the flare
Of water ditches silver in the light;
A swift, bright lance hurled low across the world;
A sudden sickness for the hills of home.
Musings in the New Year: V. C. Andrews
“I used to have this toy, a magic slate. You wrote or drew on it and then, just by pulling up the plastic cover, everything you did disappeared and you could start new. Maybe everyone feels that on New Year’s Eve: They can pull up the magic sheet and rewrite their lives.”
Art for Winter – Part II of II: Winckworth Allan Gay (American, 1821-1910)
Below – “Sailing off the Seashore, Cohasset, Massachusetts”
A Third Poem for Today
By Katie Peterson
I remembered what it was like,
knowing what you want to eat and then making it,
forgetting about the ending in the middle,
looking at the ocean for
a long time without restlessness,
or with restlessness not inhabiting the joints,
sitting Indian style on a porch
overlooking that water, smooth like good cake frosting.
And then I experienced it, falling so deeply
into the storyline, I laughed as soon as my character entered
the picture, humming the theme music even when I’d told myself
I wanted to be quiet by some freezing river
and never talk to anyone again.
And I thought, now is the right time to cut up your shirt.
Musings in the New Year: Rainer Maria Rilke
“And now let us believe in a long year that is given to us, new, untouched, full of things that have never been, full of work that has never been done, full of tasks, claims, and demands; and let us see that we learn to take it without letting fall too much of what it has to bestow upon those who demand of it necessary, serious, and great things.”
Russian Art – Elena Khmeleva
In the words of one writer, “Elena Khmeleva was born in 1966 in Saint-Petersburg, Russia. In 1986 she entered the Saint-Petersburg State Academy of Fine Arts and Architecture named after I. Repin, Department of Painting. Elena was in the class of the great Russian professor Vetrogonsky, and since her faculty for painting was obvious, she got a permission to attend special Academy courses, where the main subject was the Academic Painting and special features of Social Realism.”
A Fourth Poem for Today
By Galway Kinnell
Wait, for now.
Distrust everything if you have to.
But trust the hours. Haven’t they
carried you everywhere, up to now?
Personal events will become interesting again.
Hair will become interesting.
Pain will become interesting.
Buds that open out of season will become interesting.
Second-hand gloves will become lovely again;
their memories are what give them
the need for other hands. The desolation
of lovers is the same: that enormous emptiness
carved out of such tiny beings as we are
asks to be filled; the need
for the new love is faithfulness to the old.
Don’t go too early.
You’re tired. But everyone’s tired.
But no one is tired enough.
Only wait a little and listen:
music of hair,
music of pain,
music of looms weaving our loves again.
Be there to hear it, it will be the only time,
most of all to hear your whole existence,
rehearsed by the sorrows, play itself into total exhaustion.
Below – George Albert Thompson: “Woman Looking out a Window”
Musings in Winter: Natasha Farrant
“It has started to snow. We all ran out when it began, and played at catching flakes as we used to when we were children. But it was cold, and our boots and gloves and cloaks were soon wet – you feel these things more when you are grown-up.”
British Art – Michael Talbot
In the words of one writer, “Michael Talbot was born in Staffordshire in 1959. He studied at the Royal Academy of Arts London, as a post graduate student specialising in figurative sculpture. Michael works from life, creating the original sculpture from clay and casting into bronze before uniquely patinating each sculpture. The process is wholly under his control allowing him to enhance and refine the final image. Michael’s bronze sculpture capture the detail, spirit and emotion imbued in the original clay studies of the live model, giving a unique personality to the final work that sets Michael apart from other sculptors. Michael’s sculpture is in public and private collections throughout the world including: Patrick Lichfield, former chairman of the Arts Council Lord Gibson and the Nat West Bank.”
A Fifth Poem for Today
By Amy Lowell
Leisure, thou goddess of a bygone age,
When hours were long and days sufficed to hold
Wide-eyed delights and pleasures uncontrolled
By shortening moments, when no gaunt presage
Of undone duties, modern heritage,
Haunted our happy minds; must thou withhold
Thy presence from this over-busy world,
And bearing silence with thee disengage
Our twined fortunes? Deeps of unhewn woods
Alone can cherish thee, alone possess
Thy quiet, teeming vigor. This our crime:
Not to have worshipped, marred by alien moods
That sole condition of all loveliness,
The dreaming lapse of slow, unmeasured time.
Musings in Winter: Arthur C. Crandall
“Withstanding the cold develops vigor for the relaxing days of spring and summer. Besides, in this matter as in many others, it is evident that nature abhors a quitter.”
Canadian Art – Julie Massy
Julie Massy is an artist and illustrator from Montreal.
A Sixth Poem for Today
“The More Loving One”
By W. H. Auden
Looking up at the stars, I know quite well
That, for all they care, I can go to hell,
But on earth indifference is the least
We have to dread from man or beast.
How should we like it were stars to burn
With a passion for us we could not return?
If equal affection cannot be,
Let the more loving one be me.
Admirer as I think I am
Of stars that do not give a damn,
I cannot, now I see them, say
I missed one terribly all day.
Were all stars to disappear or die,
I should learn to look at an empty sky
And feel its total dark sublime,
Though this might take me a little time.
Musings in Winter: Terri Guillemets
“Winter winds sweep away the dead leaves of our lives.”
A Seventh Poem for Today
“What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why (Sonnet XLIII)”
By Edna St. Vincent Millay
What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why,
I have forgotten, and what arms have lain
Under my head till morning; but the rain
Is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh
Upon the glass and listen for reply,
And in my heart there stirs a quiet pain
For unremembered lads that not again
Will turn to me at midnight with a cry.
Thus in winter stands the lonely tree,
Nor knows what birds have vanished one by one,
Yet knows its boughs more silent than before:
I cannot say what loves have come and gone,
I only know that summer sang in me
A little while, that in me sings no more.
French Art – Do Fournier
In the words of one writer, “What she is seeking is to capture the transitory emotion, to catch it and to express it as simply as possible…In her painting, Nabis reminiscence is recognisable in watermarks by the stylisation of shapes and movement, the flat tints of contrasted colors…” Gérard Xuriguera “…We go deeper into the intimate scenes where the characters, seen in their daily actions, are surrounded by a decor of draped cloth, cushions, rugs, and curious objects…This painting is the expression of serene pleasure. It is the luxuriance and sweetness of living.”
An Eight Poem for Today
“No Possum, No Sop, No Taters”
By Wallace Stevens
He is not here, the old sun,
As absent as if we were asleep.
The field is frozen. The leaves are dry.
Bad is final in this light.
In this bleak air the broken stalks
Have arms without hands. They have trunks
Without legs or, for that, without heads.
They have heads in which a captive cry
Is merely the moving of a tongue.
Snow sparkles like eyesight falling to earth,
Like seeing fallen brightly away.
The leaves hop, scraping on the ground.
It is deep January. The sky is hard.
The stalks are firmly rooted in ice.
It is in this solitude, a syllable,
Out of these gawky flitterings,
Intones its single emptiness,
The savagest hollow of winter-sound.
It is here, in this bad, that we reach
The last purity of the knowledge of good.
The crow looks rusty as he rises up.
Bright is the malice in his eye…
One joins him there for company,
But at a distance, in another tree.
American Art – Dean Fisher
Artist Statement: “While normally being inspired to paint or draw just about any form which is bathed in light, I am particularly interested when challenged to arrange a grouping of forms within the format of my canvas or paper to suit my aesthetic needs.
The physical, ‘real’ world is visually fascinating to me; I strive to represent solid forms with fidelity; figure, tree, cup, etc. with a sense of breathable air around them combined with a tactile quality of surface which can bring the viewer closer to the painting and the made by hand process which was employed to make it.
My preference is for suggested color as opposed to saturated color.
I seek an interrelationship and fluidity between the forms represented.
The feeling which is most often repeated in my work is that of equilibrium and balance and occasionally a gentle lyricism.
Most importantly, I purposely try to avoid over explaining my art with the hope that the viewer comes away with her or his own impressions, interpretation or narrative of the work, when that happens naturally I feel the work is serving it’s purpose.”