Wandering in Woodacre – 12 July 2020

This Date in Art History: Born 12 July 1917 – Andrew Wyeth, an American painter.

Below – “Christina’s World”; “Winter”; “Braids”; “Thawing”; “Sundown 1969”; “Daydreams.”

Contemporary British Art – Nathalie Kingdon

Below – “Jour d’été”; “Saudade”; “Petite filles du soleil”; “Sous le soleil exactement”; “La Cabanon.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 12 July 1910 – Harvey Pekar, an award-winning American underground comic book writer best known for his autobiographical “American Splendor” series.

Some quotes from the work of Harvey Pekar:

“[My work is] autobiography written as it’s happening. The theme is about staying alive, getting a job, finding a mate, having a place to live, finding a creative outlet. Life is a war of attrition. You have to stay active on all fronts. It’s one thing after another. I’ve tried to control a chaotic universe. And it’s a losing battle. But I can’t let go. I’ve tried, but I can’t.”
“I think the people who would be the least interested in my work would be people who read lots of comic books.”
“Everybody’s like everybody else, and everybody’s different from everybody else.”
“I try and write the way things happen. I don’t try and fulfill people’s wishes.”
“It makes you feel good to know that there’s other people afflicted like you.”
“I came up with American Splendor. Some people think it’s American Squalor.”
“American Splendor is just an ongoing journal. It’s an ongoing autobiography. I started it when I was in my early 30s, and I just keep going.”

Contemporary American Art – Vahe Yeremyan

Below – “Farm Road”; “Lakeside”; “Vibrant Trees”; “Turquoise Breeze”; “Summer Time”; “Winter Trees.”

A Poem for Today

by Ron Koertge

No one would take her when Ruth passed.
As the survivors assessed some antiques,
I kept hearing, “She’s old. Somebody
should put her down.”

I picked her up instead. Every night I tell her
about the fish who died for her, the ones
in the cheerful aluminum cans.

She lies on my chest to sleep, rising
and falling, rising and falling like a rowboat
fastened to a battered dock by a string.

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Wandering in Woodacre – 11 July 2020

This Date in Art History: Born 11 July 1834 – James Abbot McNeill Whistler, an American painter and illustrator.

Below – “Symphony in White No. 1: The White Girl”; “Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1” (popularly known as “Whistler’s Mother”); “Nocturne in Black and Gold: The Falling Rocket”; “The Princess from the Land of Porcelain”; “Whistler in His Studio”; “Nocturne: Blue and Gold – Old Battersea Bridge.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 11 July 1966 – Delmore Schwartz, an award-winning American poet and short story writer.

Some quotes from the work of Delmore Schwartz:

“Each minute bursts in the burning room,
The great globe reels in the solar fire,
Spinning the trivial and unique away.
(How all things flash! How all things flare!)
What am I now that I was then?
May memory restore again and again
The smallest color of the smallest day:
Time is the school in which we learn,
Time is the fire in which we burn.”
“I am a book I neither wrote nor read.”
“What was the freedom to which the adult human being rose in the morning, if each act was held back or inspired by the overpowering ghost of a little child?”
“In this our life there are no beginnings but only departures entitled beginnings, wreathed in the formal emotions thought to be appropriate and often forced. Darkly rises each moment from the life which has been lived and which does not die, for each event lives in the heavy head forever, waiting to renew itself.”
“Existentialism means that no one else can take a bath for you.”

This Date in Art History: Born 11 July 1946 – Martin Wong, an American painter.

Below – “Golden State MKT (storefront)”; “Puerto Rican Day Parade”; “Store Front, Chinatown SF”; “WACO Studio Loft”; “The babysitter”; “Self-portrait.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 11 July 1899 – E. B. White, an American author, essayist, journalist, and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize.

Some quotes from the work of E. B. White:

“If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.”
“A library is a good place to go when you feel unhappy, for there, in a book, you may find encouragement and comfort. A library is a good place to go when you feel bewildered or undecided, for there, in a book, you may have your question answered. Books are good company, in sad times and happy times, for books are people – people who have managed to stay alive by hiding between the covers of a book.”
“I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority.”
“I am reminded of the advice of my neighbor. “Never worry about your heart till it stops beating. ”
“The world is full of people who have never, since childhood, met an open doorway with an open mind.”
“There is a book out called Dog Training Made Easy, and it was sent to me the other day by the publisher, who rightly guessed that it would catch my eye. I like to read books on dog training. Being the owner of dachshunds, to me a book on dog discipline becomes a volume of inspired humor. Every sentence is a riot. Some day, if I ever get a chance, I shall write a book, or warning, on the character and temperament of the Dachshund and why he can’t be trained and shouldn’t be. I would rather train a striped zebra to balance an Indian club than induce a dachshund to heed my slightest command. For a number of years past I have been agreeably encumbered by a very large and dissolute dachshund named Fred. Of all the dogs whom I have served I’ve never known one who understood so much of what I say or held it in such deep contempt. When I address Fred I never have to raise either my voice or my hopes. He even disobeys me when I instruct him in something that he wants to do. And when I answer his peremptory scratch at the door and hold the door open for him to walk through, he stops in the middle and lights a cigarette, just to hold me up.”
“All that I hope to say in books, all that I ever hope to say, is that I love the world.”
“Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder.”

Contemporary American Art – Michael Lopez

Below – “Seated woman with hat”; “Nomen Nescio 2020”; “Lily of the field”; “Seated Woman II”; “Man Standing in Light.”

A Poem for Today

by Faith Shearin

Go north a dozen years
on a road overgrown with vines
to find the days after you were born.
Flowers remembered their colors and trees
were frothy and the hospital was

behind us now, its brick indifference
forgotten by our car mirrors. You were
revealed to me: tiny, delicate,
your head smelling of some other world.
Turn right after the circular room

where I kept my books and right again
past the crib where you did not sleep
and you will find the window where
I held you that June morning
when you opened your eyes. They were

blue, tentative, not the deep chocolate
they would later become. You were gazing
into the world: at our walls,
my red cup, my sleepless hair and though
I’m told you could not focus, and you

no longer remember, we were seeing
one another after seasons of darkness.

Below – Kartick Dutta: “mother holding her baby”

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Wandering in Woodacre – 10 July 2020

This Date in Art History: Born 10 July 1830 – Camille Pissarro, a Danish-French painter.

Below – “Bath Road, Chiswick”; “Two Women Walking by the Sea, St. Thomas”; “Orchard in Bloom”; “Hay Harvest at Eragny”; “The Woods at Marly”; “Conversation.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 10 July 1931 – Alice Munro, a Canadian short story writer and recipient of the 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Some quotes from the work of Alice Munro:

“The constant happiness is curiosity.”
“Always remember that when a man goes out of the room, he leaves everything in it behind. When a woman goes out she carries everything that happened in the room along with her.”
“Why is it a surprise to find that people other than ourselves are able to tell lies?”
“Few people, very few, have a treasure, and if you do you must hang onto it. You must not let yourself be waylaid, and have it taken from you.”
“I can’t play bridge. I don’t play tennis. All those things that people learn, and I admire, there hasn’t seemed time for. But what there is time for is looking out the window.”
“Memory is the way we keep telling ourselves our stories – and telling other people a somewhat different version of our stories.”
“People are curious. A few people are. … They will put things together, knowing all along that they may be mistaken. You see them going around with notebooks, scraping the dirt off gravestones, reading microfilm, just in the hope of seeing this trickle in time, making a connection, rescuing one thing from the rubbish.”
“In your life there are a few places, or maybe only the one place, where something happened, and then there are all the other places.”

Contemporary American Art – Hazel Miller

Below – “The Paradise”; “On seeing Emerald”; “Olga in Rainbows”; “Brain Damage (I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon)’: “Lucid Dream”; “Gone are the grapes”; “Undying is the reddest rose.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 10 July 1871 – Marcel Proust, a French novelist, critic, essayist, and author of “Inn Search of Lost Time.”

Some quotes from the work of Marcel Proust:

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”
“Do not wait for life. Do not long for it. Be aware, always and at every moment, that the miracle is in the here and now.”
“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”
“Remembrance of things past is not necessarily the remembrance of things as they were.”
“The bonds between ourselves and another person exists only in our minds. Memory as it grows fainter loosens them, and notwithstanding the illusion by which we want to be duped and which, out of love, friendship, politeness, deference, duty, we dupe other people, we exist alone. Man is the creature who cannot escape from himself, who knows other people only in himself, and when he asserts the contrary, he is lying.”
“Reading is that fruitful miracle of a communication in the midst of solitude.”
“Happiness is beneficial for the body, but it is grief that develops the powers of the mind.”
“If we are to make reality endurable, we must all nourish a fantasy or two.”
“The creation of the world did not occur at the beginning of time, it occurs every day.”
“Love is space and time measured by the heart.”
“Always try to keep a patch of sky above your life.”
“We do not receive wisdom, we must discover it for ourselves, after a journey through the wilderness which no one else can make for us, which no one can spare us, for our wisdom is the point of view from which we come at last to regard the world.”

Contemporary Australian Art – Vynka Hallam

Below – “Nostalgia”; “Going Places”; “Burnt Skies”; “Laguna”; “Moonlight”; “Secret Beach.”

A Poem for Today

“What I Need to Do Most of the Time”
by Jo’lene Dailey

It feels like I need
To go to my dad’s house
And when I’m at my dad’s house
I want to go to my mom’s house
I want to be at both houses

Note: Jo’lene Dailey wrote and published this poem when she was six years old.

Below – Cecile Berce Busson: “Evasion”

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Wandering in Woodacre – 9 July 2020

Contemporary American Art – Denise Dalzess

Below – “Staircase”; “Unity”; “Evening”; “Outside San Pancras”; “Escalator”; “Landing.”

A Poem for Today

“Just Red”
by Anya Krugovoy Silver

I stand in Walgreens while my mother sleeps.
The store is fluorescent and almost empty.
My father is ailing in a nursing home,
my friend is dying in the hospital.
What I want tonight is lipstick.
As pure a red as I can find—no coral
undertones, no rust or fawn. Just red.
Ignoring the salespeople, I untwist tubes
and scrawl each color on my wrist,
till the blue veins beneath my skin
disappear behind smeared bars. I select one.
Back in my mother’s apartment, silence.
I limn my lips back out of my wan face.
There they are again: smacky and wanting.

Contemporary Australian Art – Sara Roberts

Below – “Fade Into You”; “Silence Far Away”; “Les Baigneurs”; “Washed Out”; “I Thought I saw You (In the Trees)”; “Places Between Us.”

A Poem for Today

“That New”
by Susan Rothbard

At the market today, I look for Piñata
apples, their soft-blush-yellow. My husband
brought them home last week, made me guess at
the name of this new strain, held one in his hand
like a gift and laughed as I tried all
the names I knew: Gala, Fuji, Honey
Crisp—watched his face for clues—what to call
something new? It’s winter, only tawny
hues and frozen ground, but that apple bride
was sweet, and I want to bring it back to him,
that new. When he cut it, the star inside
held seeds of other stars, the way within
a life are all the lives you might live,
each unnamed, until you name it.

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Wandering in Woodacre – 8 July 2020

This Date in Art History: Died 8 July 1917 – Tom Thomson, a Canadian painter: Part I of II.

Below – “The Jack Pine, Winter”; “Black Spruce and Maple”; “Northern Lake, Winter”; “Old Lumber Dam, Algonquin Park, Spring”; “The Canoe, Spring”; “Mississagi.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 8 July 1892 – Richard Aldington, an English writer and poet.

Some quotes from the work of Richard Aldington:

“All nations teach their children to be ‘patriotic’, and abuse the other nations for fostering nationalism.”
“Adventure is allowing the unexpected to happen to you. Exploration is experiencing what you have not experienced before. How can there be any adventure, any exploration, if you let somebody else – above all, a travel bureau – arrange everything before-hand?”
“Cats are like donkeys and camels, they won’t ever quite give in to human tyranny, they won’t try to imitate the human soul.”
“By the sense of mystery I understand the experience of certain places and times when one’s whole nature seems to be in touch with a presence, a genius loci, a potency.”
“I have sat here happy in the gardens, Watching the still pool and the reeds And the dark clouds. . . . But though I greatly delight In these and the water lilies, That which sets me nighest to weeping Is the rose and white colour of the smooth flag-stones, And the pale yellow grasses Among them.”
“At night, the moon, a pregnant woman, walks cautiously over the slippery heavens.”
“Patriotism is a lively sense of collective responsibility.”

This Date in Art History: Died 8 July 1917 – Tom Thomson, a Canadian painter: Part II of II.

Below – “Evening, Fall”; “Cottage on a Rocky Shore, Summer”; “In Algonquin Park, Winter”; “Autumn Foliage”; “Spring Ice, Winter”; “Fire-Swept Hills.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 8 July 2015 – James Tate, an American poet and recipient of both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize: Part I of II.

“Never Again the Same”
by James Tate

Speaking of sunsets,
last night’s was shocking.
I mean, sunsets aren’t supposed to frighten you, are they?
Well, this one was terrifying.
People were screaming in the streets.
Sure, it was beautiful, but far too beautiful.
It wasn’t natural.
One climax followed another and then another
until your knees went weak
and you couldn’t breathe.
The colors were definitely not of this world,
peaches dripping opium,
pandemonium of tangerines,
inferno of irises,
Plutonian emeralds,
all swirling and churning, swabbing,
like it was playing with us,
like we were nothing,
as if our whole lives were a preparation for this,
this for which nothing could have prepared us
and for which we could not have been less prepared.
The mockery of it all stung us bitterly.
And when it was finally over
we whimpered and cried and howled.
And then the streetlights came on as always
and we looked into one another’s eyes?
ancient caves with still pools
and those little transparent fish
who have never seen even one ray of light.
And the calm that returned to us
was not even our own.

Below – Gene Sheffield: “Flaming Sunset” (photograph)

Contemporary Australian Art – Megan Barrass

Below – “Luscious flowers on black background”; “Beachgoers and bright coloured umbrellas”; “Mixed bunches” series No. 3; “Natives”; “Magnolia Bud”; “Mixed Bunches” series No. 1.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 8 July 2015 – James Tate, an American poet and recipient of both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize: Part II of II.

“Failed Tribute to the Stonemason of Tor House, Robinson Jeffers”
by James Tate.

We traveled down to see your house,
Tor House, Hawk Tower, in Carmel,
California. It was not quite what
I thought it would be: I wanted it
to be on a hill, with a view of the ocean
unobstructed by other dwellings.
Fifty years ago I know you had
a clean walk to the sea, hopping
from boulder to boulder, the various
seafowl rightly impressed with
your lean, stern face. But today

with our cameras cocked we had to
sneak and crawl through trimmed lawns
to even verify the identity of
your strange carbuncular creation,
now rented to trillionaire non-
literary folk from Pasadena.
Edged in on all sides by trilevel
pasteboard phantasms, it took
a pair of good glasses to barely see
some newlyweds feed popcorn
to an albatross. Man is

a puny thing, divorced,
whether he knows it or not, and
pays his monthly alimony,
his child-support. Year after year
you strolled down to this exceptionally
violent shore and chose your boulder;
the arms grew as the house grew
as the mind grew to exist outside
of time, beyond the dalliance
of your fellows. Today I hate
Carmel: I seek libation in the Tiki

Bar: naked native ladies are painted
in iridescent orange on velvet cloth:
the whole town loves art.
And I donate this Singapore Sling
to the memory of it, and join
the stream of idlers simmering outside.
Much as hawks circled your head
when you cut stone all afternoon,
kids with funny hats on motorscooters
keep circling the block.
Jeffers, …

Below – Tor House and Hawk Tower.

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Wandering in Woodacre – 7 July 2020

Contemporary Austrian Art – Daniel Wimmer

Below – “warming”; “secret”; “bomb”; “down is the new up 6”; “sun bath”; “curves.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 7 July 1984 – George Oppen, an American poet and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize.

Some quotes from the work of George Oppen:

“I think there is no light in the world
but the world
and I think there is light…’
“Ultimately the air
Is bare sunlight where must be found
The lyric valuable.”
“There are things
We live among ‘and to see them
Is to know ourselves’.”
‘It is impossible the world should be either good or bad
If its colors are beautiful or if they are not beautiful
If parts of it taste good or if no parts of it taste good
It is as remarkable in one case as the other…’

Contemporary Australian Art – Loui Jover

Below – “dragons and dreams”; “optimistic daze”; “epiphany”; “fast”; “northern light”; “suncity”; “possibility.”

A Poem for Today

“Love Poem”
by Alan Feldman

The sail is so vast when it’s laid out on the driveway.
I stake it with a screwdriver through the shackle
at the tack to stretch it smooth,
pulling on the head and clew. Now it’s smooth
as a night’s worth of new snow.

My wife, my partner, has been torn from her busy day.
We face each other across the sail’s foot
and with my right hand and her left hand
(I’m right handed, she’s left handed)
we pull an arm’s length of the sail
down over itself, then do this again,
keeping my left hand, and her right hand, towards the foot.

Each fold is easier since the sail grows narrower
near the top. Then we fold towards each other
and I wrap my arms around it, while she holds the bag’s mouth open,
the gray bag that will cover it through the winter.
Then I thank her. And the driveway is visible again
as it is in spring, when all the snow has melted.

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Wandering in Woodacre – 6 July 2020

This Date in Art History: Born 6 July 1907 – Frida Kahlo, a Mexican painter.

Below – “Self-Portrait with Necklace of Thorns”; “The Two Fridas”; “Self-portrait with monkeys”; “TwoWomen”; “Self-Portrait on the Border Line Between Mexico and the United States”; “Self-Portrait.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 6 July1962 – William Faulkner, an American writer, two-time recipient of the National Book Award, two-time recipient of the Pulitzer Prize, and recipient of the 1949 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Some quotes from the work of William Faulkner:

“The past is never dead. It’s not even past. All of us labor in webs spun long before we were born, webs of heredity and environment, of desire and consequence, of history and eternity. Haunted by wrong turns and roads not taken, we pursue images perceived as new but whose providence dates to the dim dramas of childhood, which are themselves but ripples of consequence echoing down the generations. The quotidian demands of life distract from this resonance of images and events, but some of us feel it always.”
“You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.”
“Don’t bother just to be better than others. Try to be better than yourself.”
“Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world…would do this, it would change the earth.”
“Time is a fluid condition which has no existence except in the momentary avatars of individual people. There is no such thing as was – only is.”
“How often have I lain beneath rain on a strange roof, thinking of home.”
“I decline to accept the end of man. It is easy enough to say that man is immortal simply because he will endure: that when the last dingdong of doom has clanged and faded from the last worthless rock hanging tideless in the last red and dying evening, that even then there will still be one more sound: that of his puny inexhaustible voice, still talking. I refuse to accept this. I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance. The poet’s, the writer’s, duty is to write about these things. It is his privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart, by reminding him of the courage and honor and hope and pride and compassion and pity and sacrifice which have been the glory of his past. The poet’s voice need not merely be the record of man, it can be one of the props, the pillars to help him endure and prevail.”

Contemporary Italian Art – Sanja Milenkovic

Below – “Paths”; “Playing in the water”; “Outdoor shower”; “Woodland”; “Perfect place”; “Blu.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 6 July 1952 – Hilary Mantel, an award-winning English writer of historical fiction, memoirs, and short stories.

Some quotes from the work of Hilary Mantel:

“The things you think are the disasters in your life are not the disasters really. Almost anything can be turned around: out of every ditch, a path, if you can only see it.”
“Truth can break the gates down, truth can howl in the street; unless truth is pleasing, personable and easy to like, she is condemned to stay whimpering at the back door.”
“It is the absence of facts that frightens people: the gap you open, into which they pour their fears, fantasies, desires.”
“You’re only young once, they say, but doesn’t it go on for a long time? More years than you can bear.”
“When you are writing laws you are testing words to find their utmost power. Like spells, they have to make things happen in the real world, and like spells, they only work if people believe in them.”
“A statute is written to entrap meaning, a poem to escape it.”

Contemporary American Art – Dean Rosso

Below -“Infinite”; “Alive”; “Image”; “Not Your Fool”; “Cyrin.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 6 July 1932 – Kenneth Grahame, a Scottish writer and author of the timeless classic “The Wind in the Willows.”

Some quotes from the work of Kenneth Grahame:

“The strongest human instinct is to impart information, the second strongest is to resist it.”
“There is nothing — absolutely nothing — half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. In or out of ’em, it doesn’t matter.
Nothing seems really to matter, that’s the charm of it. Whether you get away, or whether you don’t; whether you arrive at your destination or whether you reach somewhere else, or whether you never get anywhere at all, you’re always busy, and you never do anything in particular; and when you’ve done it there’s always something else to do, and you can do it if you like, but you’d much better not.”
“After all, the best part of a holiday is perhaps not so much to be resting yourself, as to see all the other fellows busy working.”
“As a rule, indeed, grown-up people are fairly correct on matters of fact; it is in the higher gift of imagination that they are so sadly to seek.”
“The smell of that buttered toast simply spoke to Toad, and with no uncertain voice; talked of warm kitchens, of breakfasts on bright frosty mornings, of cozy parlour firesides on winter evenings, when one’s ramble was over and slippered feet were propped on the fender; of the purring of contented cats, and the twitter of sleepy canaries.”
“All this he saw, for one moment breathless and intense, vivid on the morning sky; and still, as he looked, he lived; and still, as he lived, he wondered.”
“But Mole stood still a moment, held in thought. As one wakened suddenly from a beautiful dream, who struggles to recall it, but can recapture nothing but a dim sense of the beauty in it, the beauty! Till that, too, fades away in its turn, and the dreamer bitterly accepts the hard, cold waking and all its penalties.”
“There he got out the luncheon-basket and packed a simple meal, in which, remembering the stranger’s origin and preferences, he took care to include a yard of long French bread, a sausage out of which the garlic sang, some cheese which lay down and cried, and a long-necked straw-covered flask wherein lay bottled sunshine shed and garnered on far Southern slopes.”
“Here today, up and off to somewhere else tomorrow! Travel, change, interest, excitement! The whole world before you, and a horizon that’s always changing!”
“Come along inside… We’ll see if tea and buns can make the world a better place.”

Contemporary American Art – Lori Mills

Below – “Peaceful Room II”; “Westward Beach Point Dune Malibu”; “Pacific Palisades II”; “Soulful Space”; “broad beach malibu”; “Mary’s House.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 6 July 1916 – Harold Norse, an award-winning American writer and poet of the Beat Generation,

“The Business of Poetry”
by Harold Norse

The business of poetry

is the image of a young man

making music and love

to a girl whose interest

in love and music coincides

with an enormous despair in both

their inner selves like a plucked

guitar in the dry hot sun of

hope where savage and brutal men

are tearing life like a page

from a very ancient

and yellow


Below – Daniel Gerhartz: “Warmth”

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Wandering in Woodacre – 5 July 2020

Contemporary French Art – Rocio Navarro

Below – “Montana #7”; “Portrait of Frida Kahlo”; “Montana #3”;
“Montana #6”; “Orange mantis”; “Montana #5.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 5 July 1991 – Howard Nemerov, an American poet and recipient of then Bollingen Prize, the National Book Award, and the Pulitzer Prize: Part I of III.

Some quotes from the work of Howard Nemerov:

“Nothing in the universe can travel at the speed of light, they say, forgetful of the shadow’s speed.”
“This Constitutional Republic called America is an historic aberration. Any honest student of history will note that the prevailing socio-economic system is feudalism, where a tiny minority control the vast majority of wealth, power, and resources. In doing so, they have absolute control over the 99% of the population. Power equals control.”
“The spirit world doesn’t admit to communicating with me, so it’s fairly even.”
“I liked the kid who wrote me that he had to do a term paper on a modern poet and he was doing me because, though they say you have to read poems twice, he found he could handle mine in one try.”
“The secrets of success are a good wife and a steady job. My wife told me.”

Contemporary British Art – Yvonne Coomber

Below – “All The Love Songs of Sweet Summer Days”; “You Are My Passion”; “Tangerine Dreams”; “Your Love Is King”; “Joy Kisses the Earth”; “You Have My Heart.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 5 July 1991 – Howard Nemerov, an American poet and recipient of then Bollingen Prize, the National Book Award, and the Pulitzer Prize: Part II of III.

by Howard Nemerov

When in still air and still in summertime
A leaf has had enough of this, it seems
To make up its mind to go; fine as a sage
Its drifting in detachment down the road.

Below – Billy Sunarta: “Leaf 5”

Contemporary British Art – David Wightman

Below – “Helena”; “Ariadne ii”; “Penelope ii”; “Andromeda”; “Celine iv”; “Herculine.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 5 July 1991 – Howard Nemerov, an American poet and recipient of then Bollingen Prize, the National Book Award, and the Pulitzer Prize: Part III of III.

“A Spell Before Winter”
by Howard Nemerov

After the red leaf and the gold have gone,
Brought down by the wind, then by hammering rain
Bruised and discolored, when October’s flame
Goes blue to guttering in the cusp, this land
Sinks deeper into silence, darker into shade.
There is a knowledge in the look of things,
The old hills hunch before the north wind blows.

Now I can see certain simplicities
In the darkening rust and tarnish of the time,
And say over the certain simplicities,
The running water and the standing stone,
The yellow haze of the willow and the black
Smoke of the elm, the silver, silent light
Where suddenly, readying toward nightfall,
The sumac’s candelabrum darkly flames.
And I speak to you now with the land’s voice,
It is the cold, wild land that says to you
A knowledge glimmers in the sleep of things:
The old hills hunch before the north wind blows.

Below – Amanda Horvath: “Woodland Dreams”

Contemporary American Art – Kristin Hart

Below (color washed photographs) – “California Desert – Rose”; “California Color 2”; “Desert Dream, Tucson”; “Desert Garden – Pale Blue”; “Shadows, Joshua Tree”; “Desert Garden – Aquamarine.”

A Poem for Today

“The Print the Whales Make”
by Marge Saiser

You and I on the boat notice
the print the whales leave,
the  huge ring their diving draws
for a time on the surface.
Is it like that when we
lose one another? Don’t
know, can’t. But
I want to believe
when we can no longer
walk across a room
for a hug, can no longer
step into the arms of the other,
there will be this:
some trace that stays
while the great body
remains below out of sight,
dark mammoth shadow
flick of flipper
body of delight
diving deep.

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Independence Day 2020

Happy Independence Day!

Below – Kendra Larson: “Delicacy and Destruction”

Art for Independence Day – Hilary J England: “The Fourth of July”

A Poem for Independence Day

by Tony Hoagland

Then one of the students with blue hair and a tongue stud
Says that America is for him a maximum-security prison

Whose walls are made of RadioShacks and Burger Kings, and MTV episodes
Where you can’t tell the show from the commercials,

And as I consider how to express how full of shit I think he is,
He says that even when he’s driving to the mall in his Isuzu

Trooper with a gang of his friends, letting rap music pour over them
Like a boiling Jacuzzi full of ballpeen hammers, even then he feels

Buried alive, captured and suffocated in the folds
Of the thick satin quilt of America

And I wonder if this is a legitimate category of pain,
or whether he is just spin doctoring a better grade,

And then I remember that when I stabbed my father in the dream last night,
It was not blood but money

That gushed out of him, bright green hundred-dollar bills
Spilling from his wounds, and—this is the weird part—,

He gasped “Thank god—those Ben Franklins were
Clogging up my heart—

And so I perish happily,
Freed from that which kept me from my liberty”—

Which was when I knew it was a dream, since my dad
Would never speak in rhymed couplets,

And I look at the student with his acne and cell phone and phony ghetto clothes
And I think, “I am asleep in America too,

And I don’t know how to wake myself either,”
And I remember what Marx said near the end of his life:

“I was listening to the cries of the past,
When I should have been listening to the cries of the future.”

But how could he have imagined 100 channels of 24-hour cable
Or what kind of nightmare it might be

When each day you watch rivers of bright merchandise run past you
And you are floating in your pleasure boat upon this river

Even while others are drowning underneath you
And you see their faces twisting in the surface of the waters

And yet it seems to be your own hand
Which turns the volume higher?

Below – Dan Fowler: “Soup Line”

Art for Independence Day – Leif Rogers: “Fourth of July Fireworks”

A Poem for Independence Day

“Learning to Love America”
by Shirley Geok-Lin Lim

because it has no pure products

because the Pacific Ocean sweeps along the coastline
because the water of the ocean is cold
and because land is better than ocean

because I say we rather than they

because I live in California
I have eaten fresh artichokes
and jacaranda bloom in April and May

because my senses have caught up with my body
my breath with the air it swallows
my hunger with my mouth

because I walk barefoot in my house

because I have nursed my son at my breast
because he is a strong American boy
because I have seen his eyes redden when he is asked who he is
because he answers I don’t know

because to have a son is to have a country
because my son will bury me here
because countries are in our blood and we bleed them

because it is late and too late to change my mind
because it is time.


Below – Nguyen Thanh Binh: Untitled 05

Art for Independence Day – Brian Nash: “Fireworks are hailing over little Eden tonight”

A Poem for Independence Day

“Of History and Hope”
by Miller Williams

We have memorized America,
how it was born and who we have been and where.
In ceremonies and silence we say the words,
telling the stories, singing the old songs.
We like the places they take us. Mostly we do.
The great and all the anonymous dead are there.
We know the sound of all the sounds we brought.
The rich taste of it is on our tongues.
But where are we going to be, and why, and who?
The disenfranchised dead want to know.
We mean to be the people we meant to be,
to keep on going where we meant to go.

But how do we fashion the future? Who can say how
except in the minds of those who will call it Now?
The children. The children. And how does our garden grow?
With waving hands—oh, rarely in a row—
and flowering faces. And brambles, that we can no longer allow.

Who were many people coming together
cannot become one people falling apart.
Who dreamed for every child an even chance
cannot let luck alone turn doorknobs or not.
Whose law was never so much of the hand as the head
cannot let chaos make its way to the heart.
Who have seen learning struggle from teacher to child
cannot let ignorance spread itself like rot.
We know what we have done and what we have said,
and how we have grown, degree by slow degree,
believing ourselves toward all we have tried to become—
just and compassionate, equal, able, and free.

All this in the hands of children, eyes already set
on a land we never can visit—it isn’t there yet—
but looking through their eyes, we can see
what our long gift to them may come to be.
If we can truly remember, they will not forget.

Below – Jacob Lawrence: “Migration Chalk Board”

Art for Independence Day – Kendra Larson: “The Rupture Lakeside”

A Poem for Independence Day

“I Am Waiting”
by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

I am waiting for my case to come up
and I am waiting
for a rebirth of wonder
and I am waiting for someone
to really discover America
and wail
and I am waiting
for the discovery
of a new symbolic western frontier
and I am waiting
for the American Eagle
to really spread its wings
and straighten up and fly right
and I am waiting
for the Age of Anxiety
to drop dead
and I am waiting
for the war to be fought
which will make the world safe
for anarchy
and I am waiting
for the final withering away
of all governments
and I am perpetually awaiting
a rebirth of wonder

I am waiting for the Second Coming
and I am waiting
for a religious revival
to sweep thru the state of Arizona
and I am waiting
for the Grapes of Wrath to be stored
and I am waiting
for them to prove
that God is really American
and I am waiting
to see God on television
piped onto church altars
if only they can find
the right channel
to tune in on
and I am waiting
for the Last Supper to be served again
with a strange new appetizer
and I am perpetually awaiting
a rebirth of wonder

I am waiting for my number to be called
and I am waiting
for the Salvation Army to take over
and I am waiting
for the meek to be blessed
and inherit the earth
without taxes
and I am waiting
for forests and animals
to reclaim the earth as theirs
and I am waiting
for a way to be devised
to destroy all nationalisms
without killing anybody
and I am waiting
for linnets and planets to fall like rain
and I am waiting for lovers and weepers
to lie down together again
in a new rebirth of wonder

I am waiting for the Great Divide to be crossed
and I am anxiously waiting
for the secret of eternal life to be discovered
by an obscure general practitioner
and I am waiting
for the storms of life
to be over
and I am waiting
to set sail for happiness
and I am waiting
for a reconstructed Mayflower
to reach America
with its picture story and tv rights
sold in advance to the natives
and I am waiting
for the lost music to sound again
in the Lost Continent
in a new rebirth of wonder

I am waiting for the day
that maketh all things clear
and I am awaiting retribution
for what America did
to Tom Sawyer
and I am waiting
for Alice in Wonderland
to retransmit to me
her total dream of innocence
and I am waiting
for Childe Roland to come
to the final darkest tower
and I am waiting
for Aphrodite
to grow live arms
at a final disarmament conference
in a new rebirth of wonder

I am waiting
to get some intimations
of immortality
by recollecting my early childhood
and I am waiting
for the green mornings to come again
youth’s dumb green fields come back again
and I am waiting
for some strains of unpremeditated art
to shake my typewriter
and I am waiting to write
the great indelible poem
and I am waiting
for the last long careless rapture
and I am perpetually waiting
for the fleeing lovers on the Grecian Urn
to catch each other up at last
and embrace
and I am awaiting
perpetually and forever
a renaissance of wonder

Below – Tracie Kiernan: “American Flag Sky”

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Wandering in Woodacre: 3 July 2020

Contemporary American Art – Amy Smith

Below – “Nevermind Yellow Neon”; “Sweet”; “Queen”; “Shine Bright Natural”; “Kate”; “A rose by any other name.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 3 July 1974 – John Crowe Ransom, an American poet, literary critic, essayist, and recipient of both the Bollingen Prize and the National Book Award: Part I of II.

“Bells for John Whiteside’s Daughter”
by John Crowe Ransom

There was such speed in her little body,
And such lightness in her footfall,
It is no wonder her brown study Astonishes us all

Her wars were bruited in our high window.
We looked among orchard trees and beyond
Where she took arms against her shadow,
Or harried unto the pond

The lazy geese, like a snow cloud
Dripping their snow on the green grass,
Tricking and stopping, sleepy and proud,
Who cried in goose, Alas,

For the tireless heart within the little
Lady with rod that made them rise
From their noon apple-dreams and scuttle
Goose-fashion under the skies!

But now go the bells, and we are ready,
In one house we are sternly stopped
To say we are vexed at her brown study,
Lying so primly propped.

Below – Camille Pissarro: “A Little Goose Girl”

Contemporary Belgian Art – Lize Vandenbreeden

Below – “Shibuya kit”; “The pleasures of friendship are exquisite”; “She is neither pink nor pale”; “The blond commuter”; “Hello darling”; “A Bird, came down the Walk.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 3 July 1974 – John Crowe Ransom, an American poet, literary critic, essayist, and recipient of both the Bollingen Prize and the National Book Award: Part II of II.

“Winter Remembered”
by John Crowe Ransom

Two evils, monstrous either one apart,
Possessed me, and were long and loath at going:
A cry of Absence, Absence, in the heart,
And in the wood the furious winter blowing.

Think not, when fire was bright upon my bricks,
And past the tight boards hardly a wind could enter,
I glowed like them, the simple burning sticks,
Far from my cause, my proper heat and center.

Better to walk forth in the frozen air
And wash my wound in the snows; that would be healing;
Because my heart would throb less painful there,
Being caked with cold, and past the smart of feeling.

And where I walked, the murderous winter blast
Would have this body bowed, these eyeballs streaming,
And though I think this heart’s blood froze not fast
It ran too small to spare one drop for dreaming.

Dear love, these fingers that had known your touch,
And tied our separate forces first together,
Were ten poor idiot fingers not worth much,
Ten frozen parsnips hanging in the weather.

Contemporary American Art – Bo Kravchenko

Below – “Road to the Light”; “At Night”; “Good Day”; “Grassy Waters Like”; “Noon”; “Orange Beach.”

A Poem for Today

“All the Questions”
by Robert Tremmel

When you step through
the back door
into the kitchen
father is still
sitting at the table
with a newspaper
folded open
in front of him
and pen raised, working
the crossword puzzle.

In the living room
mother is sleeping
her peaceful sleep
at last, in a purple
robe, with her head
back, slippered feet
up and twisted
knuckle hands crossed
right over left
in her lap.

Through the south window
in your old room
you see leaves
on the giant ash tree
turning yellow again
in setting sun
and falling slowly
to the ground and one
by one all the questions
you ever had become clear.

Number one across:
a four-letter word
for no longer.

Number one down:
an eleven letter word
for gone.

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