Musings in Autumn: Mary Oliver
“And to tell the truth I don’t want to let go of the wrists of idleness, I don’t want to sell my life for money, I don’t even want to come in out of the rain.”
Below – ByeByeFlower: “Standing in the Rain”
Art for Autumn – Part I of II: Phillipe-Laurent Roland (French, 1746-1816)
Below – “Homer”
By Jim Harrison
Warm enough here in Patagonia AZ to read
the new Mandelstam outside in my underpants
which is to say he was never warm enough
except in summer and he was without paper to write
and his belly was mostly empty most of the time
like that Mexican girl I picked up on a mountain road
the other day who couldn’t stop weeping. She had slept
out two nights in a sweater in below-freezing weather.
She had been headed to Los Angeles but the coyote
took her money and abandoned her in the wilderness.
Her shoes were in pieces and her feet bleeding.
I took her to town and bought her food. She got a ride
to Nogales. She told us in Spanish that she just wanted
to go home and sleep in her own bed. That’s what Mandelstam
wanted with mother in the kitchen fixing dinner. Everyone
wants this. Mandelstam said, “To be alone is to be alive.”
“Lost and looked in the sky’s asylum eye.” “What of
her nights?” Maybe she was watched by some of the fifty
or so birds I have in the yard now. When they want to
they just fly away. I gave them my yard and lots of food.
They smile strange bird smiles. She couldn’t fly away.
Neither can I though I’ve tried a lot lately to migrate
to the Camargue on my own wings. When they are married,
Mandelstam and the Mexican girl, in heaven they’ll tell
long stories of the horrors of life on earth ending each session
by chanting his beautiful poems that we did not deserve.
Below – Pierre-Auguste Renoir: “Couple Reading”
Art for Autumn – Part II of II: John Marin (American, 1870-1953)
Below – “New York Landscape”
A Second Poem for Today
“Only to read childrens’ books”
By Osip Mandelstam
Only to read childrens’ books
only to love childish things,
throwing away adult things,
rising from saddest looks.
I am wearied to death with life.
There’s nothing it has that I want,
but I celebrate my naked earth,
there’s no other world to descant.
A plain swing of wood;
the dark, of the high fir-tree,
in the far-off garden, swinging;
remembered by feverish blood.
Below – Timothy Easton: “Irises and Two Fir Trees”
Below – “Pleasures of Love”; “The Feast (Festival of Love)”; “The Embarkment for Cythera”; “The Italian Comedians”; “Polish Woman.”
This Date in Art History: Born 10 October 1700 – Lambert-Sigisbert Adam, a French sculptor and illustrator.
Below – “Neptune Calming the Waves”
Remembering an American Musician on the Date of His Birth: Born 10 October 1917 – Thelonious Monk, pianist and composer.
This Date in Art History: Died 10 October 1990 – Nikolaos Pavlopoulos, Greek sculptor.
Below – “Archer”
“We each want nothing more than to live for the moment. Nature hardwired us perpetually to follow the call of the wild, cull all the highs in life, and rejoice in life by dancing, singing, jumping, building nests, creating beauty, and playing with our young. We each find ourselves happiest when we are engaging in conduct that makes us feel alive.”
American Art – Andrew Wyeth (1917-2009)
In the words of one writer, “Andrew Wyeth was the Poet Laureate of the United States, the highest honor a living artist can receive. Wyeth was also honored twice by American presidents.”
Below – “Bird in the House”; “Beauty Mark”; “Dogwood”; “Afternoon Flight”; “Karl”; “Black Water.”