Musings in Autumn: Walt Whitman
“We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. So medicine, law, business, engineering… these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love… these are what we stay alive for.”
Art for Autumn – Part I of V: Guo Yongqun (Chinese, contemporary)
Below – “Lady Under Umbrella”
A Poem for Today
By Mary Oliver
Isn’t it plain the sheets of moss, except that
they have no tongues, could lecture
all day if they wanted about
spiritual patience? Isn’t it clear
the black oaks along the path are standing
as though they were the most fragile of flowers?
Every morning I walk like this around
the pond, thinking: if the doors of my heart
ever close, I am as good as dead.
Every morning, so far, I’m alive. And now
the crows break off from the rest of the darkness
and burst up into the sky—as though
all night they had thought of what they would like
their lives to be, and imagined
their strong, thick wings.
Art for Autumn – Part II of V: Carl Young (American, contemporary)
Below – “Dancer in Blue Glass” (sculpture); “Heartbreaker” (glass sculpture)
Remembering a Comedian on the Date of His Birth: Born 5 October 1910, Louis Feinberg, known professionally as Larry Fine, who was, in the words of one writer, “an American actor, comedian, violinist and boxer, who is best known as a member of the comedy act The Three Stooges.”
Art for Autumn – Part III of V: Purvis Young (American, 1943-2000)
Below – “Guardian” (mixed media on wood)
Art for Autumn – Part IV of V: Yuroz (Armenian, contemporary)
Below – “Boy with Guitar”; “Flute Serenade”
Art for Autumn – Part V of V: Alexander Zakharov (Ukrainian, contemporary)
Below – “Toscana”; “Italian Still Life”
Remembering a Great Man on the Date of His Death: Died 5 October 1813, Tecumseh, who was, in the words of one writer, “a Native American Shawnee warrior and chief, who became the primary leader of a large, multi-tribal confederacy in the early years of the nineteenth century.”
Some quotes from Tecumseh:
“No tribe has the right to sell, even to each other, much less to strangers…. Sell a country! Why not sell the air, the great sea, as well as the earth? Didn’t the Great Spirit make them all for the use of his children? The way, the only way to stop this evil is for the red man to unite in claiming a common and equal right in the land, as it was first, and should be now, for it was never divided. We gave them forest-clad mountains and valleys full of game, and in return what did they give our warriors and our women? Rum, trinkets, and a grave.”
“So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people. Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide.”
“Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and grovel to none.”
“When Jesus Christ came upon the Earth, you killed Him. The son of your own God. And only after He was dead did you worship Him and start killing those who would not.”
“Where today are the Pequot? Where are the Narragansett, the Mohican, the Pcanet, and other powerful tribes of our people? They have vanished before the avarice and oppression of the white man, as snow before the summer sun.”
“When the legends die, the dreams end; there is no more greatness.”
“When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.”
Contemporary Chinese Art – Yamin Young
In the words of one writer, “Yamin Young was born in 1959 in the city of Shanghai, China. He was a child of eight when the Cultural Revolution began. Yamin’s father was a sea captain and his mother was a professor at the Suzhou Art Institute. Suzhou is a traditional art center and is known as the Venice of the East. He developed his deep interest in art from his mother. His bold creativity was an inheritance from his father. Yamin took a large measure of his inspiration from works of art from the Tang Dynasty whose artists painted in simple elegant lines. Some of these paintings have a Matisse like quality. There is an international as well as a distinctive Chinese quality about the Dunhuang art because the caves were positiioned on the famous East West Silk Route, made famous by Marco Polo.”
Below – “Black Swans”; “Introspection”; “Wings”; Untitled; “Princessa Del Rio”; “Carousel”; “Hot Pursuit.”
By Jim Harrison
Most of my life was spent
building a bridge out over the sea
though the sea was too wide.
I’m proud of the bridge
hanging in the pure sea air. Machado
came for a visit and we sat on the
end of the bridge, which was his idea.
Now that I’m old the work goes slowly.
Ever nearer death, I like it out here
high above the sea bundled
up for the arctic storms of late fall,
the resounding crash and moan of the sea,
the hundred-foot depth of the green troughs.
Sometimes the sea roars and howls like
the animal it is, a continent wide and alive.
What beauty in this the darkest music
over which you can hear the lightest music of human
behavior, the tender connection between men and galaxies.
So I sit on the edge, wagging my feet above
the abyss. Tonight the moon will be in my lap.
This is my job, to study the universe
from my bridge. I have the sky, the sea, the faint
green streak of Canadian forest on the far shore.
Contemporary Chinese-American Art – Caroline R. Young
Caroline R. Young is an adopted child of American ex-pats living in Hong Kong. She is fascinated with Chinese lore and mythology, and delights in portraying figures from Oriental tales in her paintings.
Below – “Secrets of the Bamboo Forest”; “Autumn Moon”; “Fan Dancer”; “Mountain Retreat”; “Crane”; “Dragon King’s Daughter.”