Sentient in San Francisco – 10 March 2019

This Date in Art History: Born 10 March 1844 – Marie Spartali Stillman, a British Pre-Raphaelite painter.

Below – “Love’s Messenger”; “Madonna Pietra degli Scrovigni”; “A Rose from Armida’s Garden”; “Beatrice”; “Love Sonnets”; “Mariana.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 10 March 1966 – Frank O’Connor, an Irish short story writer, novelist and poet.

Some quotes from the work of Frank O’Connor:

“Always in the short story there is this sense of outlawed figures wandering about the fringes of society…. As a result there is in the short story at its most characteristic something we do not often find in the novel–an intense awareness of human loneliness.”
“The short story is the art form that deals with the individual when there is no longer a society to absorb him, and when he is compelled to exist, as it were, by his own inner light.”
“I was a great believer in hot buttered toast at all hours of the day.”
“Even if there were only two men left in the world and both of them saints they wouldn’t be happy. One them would be bound to try and improve the other. That is the nature of things.”
“I suppose we all have our little hiding-hole if the truth was known, but as small as it is, the whole world is in it, and bit by bit grows on us again till the day You find us out.”


This Date in Art History: Born 10 March 1876 – Anna Hyatt Huntington, an American sculptor.

Below – “Fighting Stallions”; “The Torch Bearers”; “Mother Bear and Cubs”; “Wolves”; “Don Quixote”; “Young Abe Lincoln on Horseback.”

Musings in Winter: Gary Snyder

“Range after range of mountains. Year after year after year. I am still in love.”

Below – The Sierra Nevada Mountains.


This Date in Art History: Born 10 March 1881 – Jessie Boswell, an English painter who spent most of her career in Piedmont, Italy.

Below – “La lettura”; “Le Tre Finestre””; “Donna con fiori”; “Interno”; “View from the window”; “Red Carpet.”

This Date in Literary History: Anita Brookner, an English novelist, historian, author of “Hotel du Lac,” and recipient of the Man Booker Prize.

Some quotes from the work of Anita Brookner:

“Real love is a pilgrimage. It happens when there is no strategy, but it is very rare because most people are strategists.”
“In real life, it is the hare who wins. Every time. Look around you. And in any case it is my contention that Aesop was writing for the tortoise market. Hares have no time to read. They are too busy winning the game.”
“The essence of romantic love is that wonderful beginning, after which sadness and impossibility may become the rule.”
“Problems of human behavior still continue to baffle us, but at least in the Library we have them properly filed.”
“Great writers are the saints for the godless.”
“I suppose what one wants really is ideal company and books are ideal company.”
“Time misspent in youth is sometimes all the freedom one ever has.”
“Existentialism is about being a saint without God; being your own hero, without all the sanction and support of religion or society.”
“For once a thing is known, it can never be unknown. It can only be forgotten.”
“There are moments when you feel free, moments when you have energy, moments when you have hope, but you can’t rely on any of these things to see you through. Circumstances do that.
When you make a break for freedom you don’t necessarily find company on the way.”

This Date in Art History: Born 10 March 1922 – Kiyoshi Yamashita, a Japanese artist.
Note: In the words of one writer, “He (Yamashita) was famous for his wanderings throughout Japan, during which he wore only a vest, garnering the nickname ‘The Naked General’.”

Below – “Mt. Fuji from Nihondaira”; “Fireworks in Nagaoka”; “Landscape with Tunnels”; “Sakurajima”; “Fireworks”; “Self-Portrait.”


A Poem for Today

“The Ring Toss Lady Breaks a Five”
By Mark Kraushaar

It’s all of it rigged, she says,
Bust-one-wins, Hi-striker, even the Dozer.
It’s like you think you’ll score that giant panda
for the wife except you can’t, or not
without you drop another twenty
and then—what?—then you win
a thumb-sized monkey or a little comb.
She hands me five ones and then stands.
She’s worked the whole of the midway,
she says, funnel cake to corn-dogs.
She’s worked every game
plus half the rides, Krazy Koaster,
Avalanche, Wing-Ding, Tilt-a-Whirl
and if there’s somebody sick she’ll do
a kiddy ride too, Li’l Choo-choo, maybe
the Tea Cup.
There’s a collapsing soft sigh
and she sits, opens the paper, turns a page
and as if she were the one assigned to face forwards,
as if it were her job to intuit the world
and interpret the news,
Anymore, she says, it’s out of our hands,
it’s all we can do—it’s not up to you.
You see that bald bronco tearing
tickets at the carousel?
We worked the Bottle-drop
and now he’s mine: he’s no genius
but he loves me and he’s mine.
Things happen, she says, you
can’t take them back.

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