Sentient in San Francisco – 13 March 2019

This Date in Art History: Born 13 March 1825 – Hans Gude, a Norwegian painter.

Below – “By the Mill Pond”; “Ladies in the Sunshine”; “Fresh Breeze off the Norwegian Coast”; “Resting on the path”; “Under the Oak”; “Hardanger fjord.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 13 March 1900 – Giorgos Seferis, a Greek poet and recipient of the 1963 Nobel Prize for Literature.

“Flowers of the Rock”
by Giorgos Seferis

Flowers of the rock facing the green sea
with veins that reminded me of other loves
glowing in the slow fine rain,
flowers of the rock, figures
that came when no one spoke and spoke to me
that let me touch them after the silence
among pine-trees, oleanders, and plane-trees.

This Date in Art History: Born 13 March 1864 – Alexej von Jawlensky, a Russian painter.

Below – “Head in Blue”; “Young Girl in a Flowered Hat”; “Medusa”; “Violet Turban”; “Astonishment”; “Self-Portrait.”


This Date in Literary History: Died 13 March 1975 – Ivo Andric, a Yugoslav novelist, poet, short story writer, author of “The Bridge on the Drina,” and recipient of the 1961 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Some quotes from the work of Ivo Andric

“Of everything that man erects and builds in his urge for living nothing is in my eyes better and more valuable than bridges. They are more important than houses, more sacred than shrines. Belonging to everyone and being equal to everyone, useful, always built with a sense, on the spot where most human needs are crossing, they are more durable than other buildings and they do not serve for anything secret or bad.”
“Between the fear that something would happen and the hope that still it wouldn’t, there is much more space than one thinks. On that narrow, hard, bare and dark space a lot of us spend their lives.”
“What doesn’t hurt – is not life; what doesn’t pass – is not happiness.”
“To be a man, to have been born without knowing it or wanting it, to be thrown into the ocean of existence, to be obliged to swim, to exist; to have an identity; to resist the pressure and shocks from the outside and the unforeseen and unforeseeable acts – one’s own and those of others – which so often exceed one’s capacities. And what is more, to endure one’s own thoughts about all this: in a word, to be human.”
“Forgetfulness heals everything and song is the most beautiful manner of forgetting, for in song man feels only what he loves.”
“If people would know how little brain is ruling the world, they would die of fear.”

This Date in Art History: Born 13 March 1870 – William Glackens, an American painter and illustrator: Part I of II.

Below – “East River Park”; “Soda Fountain”; “Portsmouth Harbor, New Hampshire”; “At Mouquin’s”; “Bathers at Bellport”; “Nude with Apple.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 13 March 1943 – Stephen Vincent Benet, an American poet, short story writer, novelist, and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize.

“Campus Sonnets: May Morning”
by Stephen Vincent Benet

I lie stretched out upon the window-seat
And doze, and read a page or two, and doze,
And feel the air like water on me close,
Great waves of sunny air that lip and beat
With a small noise, monotonous and sweet,
Against the window – and the scent of cool,
Frail flowers by some brown and dew-drenched pool
Possesses me from drowsy head to feet.

This is the time of all-sufficing laughter
At idiotic things some one has done,
And there is neither past nor vague hereafter.
And all your body stretches in the sun
And drinks the light in like a liquid thing;
Filled with the divine languor of late spring.

This Date in Art History: Born 13 March 1870 – William Glackens, an American painter and illustrator: Part II of II.

Below – “Descending from the Bus”; Cape Cod Pier”; “Parade, Washington Square”; “Young Woman in Green”; “Cafe Lafayette (Kay Laurel)”; “Breezy Day Tugboats, New York Harbor.”

Remembering a Great Attorney on the Date of His Death: Died 13 March 1936 – Clarence Darrow, an American lawyer, author, and a leading member of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Some quotes from the work of Clarence Darrow:

“When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President. I’m beginning to believe it.”
“When we fully understand the brevity of life, its fleeting joys and unavoidable pains; when we accept the facts that all men and women are approaching an inevitable doom: the consciousness of it should make us more kindly and considerate of each other. This feeling should make men and women use their best efforts to help their fellow travelers on the road, to make the path brighter and easier as we journey on. It should bring a closer kinship, a better understanding, and a deeper sympathy for the wayfarers who must live a common life and die a common death.”
“The law does not pretend to punish everything that is dishonest. That would seriously interfere with business.”
“True patriotism hates injustice in its own land more than anywhere else.”
“A criminal is someone without the capital to incorporate.”
“Do you, good people, believe that Adam and Eve were created in the Garden of Eden and that they were forbidden to eat from the tree of knowledge? I do. The church has always been afraid of that tree. It still is afraid of knowledge. Some of you say religion makes people happy. So does laughing gas. So does whiskey. I believe in the brain of man.”
“Nothing is so loved by tyrants as obedient subjects.”
“As long as the world shall last there will be wrongs, and if no man objected and no man rebelled, those wrongs would last forever.”
“It is indeed strange that with all the knowledge we have gained in the past hundred years we preserve and practice the methods of an ancient and barbarous world in our dealing with crime. So long as this is observed and exercised there can be no change except to heap more cruelties and more wretchedness upon those who are the victims of our foolish system.”
“If you lose the power to laugh, you lose the power to think.”
“I have lived my life, and I have fought my battles, not against the weak and the poor – anybody can do that – but against power, against injustice, against oppression, and I have asked no odds from them, and I never shall.”
“The most human thing we can do is comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.”

This Date in Art History: Died 13 March 1971 – Rockwell Kent, an American painter and illustrator.

Below – “Alaska Impression”; “Winter Sunrise”; “Red Evening”; “Matterhorn”; “Mountain Road”; “Moonlight.”

A Poem for Today

“Sixth Grade”
by Jeanie Greenfelder

We didn’t like each other,
but Lynn’s mother had died,
and my father had died.

Lynn’s father didn’t know how to talk to her,
my mother didn’t know how to talk to me,
and Lynn and I didn’t know how to talk either.

A secret game drew us close:
we took turns being the prisoner,
who stood, hands held behind her back,

while the captor, using an imaginary bow,
shot arrow after arrow after arrow
into the prisoner’s heart.

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