Wandering in Woodacre – 27 January 2021

This Date in Art History: Born 27 January 1842 – Arkhip Kuindzhi, a Russian painter of Greek descent.

Below – “Moonlit Night on the Dnieper”; “The Birch Grove”; “Elbrus”; “Moonspots in the Forest, Winter”; “Red Sunset on the Dneiper”; “Dneiper in the Morning.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 27 January 2010 – J. D. Salinger, an American novelist, short story writer, and author of “The Catcher in the Rye.”

Some quotes from the work of J. D. Salinger:

“Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody’s around – nobody big, I mean – except me. And I’m standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff – I mean if they’re running and they don’t look where they’re going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That’s all I do all day. I’d just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it’s crazy, but that’s the only thing I’d really like to be.”
“I have so much I want to tell you, and nowhere to begin.”
“Among other things, you’ll find that you’re not the first person who was ever confused and frightened and even sickened by human behavior. You’re by no means alone on that score, you’ll be excited and stimulated to know. Many, many men have been just as troubled morally and spiritually as you are right now. Happily, some of them kept records of their troubles. You’ll learn from them—if you want to. Just as someday, if you have something to offer, someone will learn something from you. It’s a beautiful reciprocal arrangement. And it isn’t education. It’s history. It’s poetry.”
“I’ll read my books and I’ll drink coffee and I’ll listen to music, and I’ll bolt the door.”

This Date in Art History: Born 27 January 1850 – John Collier, an English painter.

Below – “Lady Godiva”; “Angela Mcinnes”; “Circe”; “Queen Guinevre’s Maying”; “The Death of Cleopatra”; “In the Forest of Arden.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 27 January 1924 – Harvey Shapiro, an American poet.

“Key West”
by Harvey Shapiro

At the corner of Simonton and Amelia
there is a small junkyard that is
as beautiful to me as the deep
blue sea stretching from here to Cuba.
It has an arching tree over it
and its shards of old cars, tractors,
boating gear shine in the tropic sun
but with an American splendor
like rolling waves of grain. How odd
to have been taught to respond to
junk by my culture, and with
a patriotic fervor, so that the colors
red, white, and blue blaze through the rust.

This Date in Art History: Born 27 January 1885 – Seison Maeda, a Japanese painter.

Below – “Thousand Cranes”; “Red and White Plum Blossoms”; “Peony”; “Off Manazuru”; “Tiger Valley: Three Wise Men”; “Warm Spring.”

This Date in Intellectual History: Died 27 January 2010 – Howard Zinn, an award-winning American historian, playwright, philosopher, social and political activist, and author of “A People’s History of the United States.”

Some quotes from the work of Howard Zinn:

“To be hopeful in bad times is based on the fact that human history is not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand Utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.”
“We don’t have to engage in grand, heroic actions to participate in the process of change. Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.”
“Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is that people all over the world have obeyed the dictates of leaders…and millions have been killed because of this obedience…Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war, and cruelty. Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves… (and) the grand thieves are running the country. That’s our problem.”
“If patriotism were defined, not as blind obedience to government, not as submissive worship to flags and anthems, but rather as love of one’s country, one’s fellow citizens (all over the world), as loyalty to the principles of justice and democracy, then patriotism would require us to disobey our government, when it violated those principles.”
“But I suppose the most revolutionary act one can engage in is… to tell the truth.”
“I am convinced that imprisonment is a way of pretending to solve the problem of crime. It does nothing for the victims of crime, but perpetuates the idea of retribution, thus maintaining the endless cycle of violence in our culture. It is a cruel and useless substitute for the elimination of those conditions–poverty, unemployment, homelessness, desperation, racism, greed–which are at the root of most punished crime. The crimes of the rich and powerful go mostly unpunished.”
“Democracy depends on citizens being informed, and since our media, especially television (which is the most important source of news for most Americans) reports mostly what the people in power do, and repeats what the people in power say, the public is badly informed, and it means we cannot really say we have a functioning democracy.”
“What most of us must be involved in–whether we teach or write, make films, write films, direct films, play music, act, whatever we do–has to not only make people feel good and inspired and at one with other people around them, but also has to educate a new generation to do this very modest thing: change the world.”
“The Constitution. . . illustrates the complexity of the American system: that it serves the interests of a wealthy elite, but also does enough for small property owners, for middle-income mechanics and farmers, to build a broad base of support. The slightly prosperous people who make up this base of support are buffers against the blacks, the Indians, the very poor whites. They enable the elite to keep control with a minimum of coercion, a maximum of law–all made palatable by the fanfare of patriotism and unity.”
“We all have an enormous responsibility to bring to the attention of others information they do not have, which has the potential of causing them to rethink long-held ideas.”

Contemporary American Art – Hazel Miller: Part I of II.

Below – “Woman with Cat”; “Swan Dream”; “Olga in Rainbows”; “Anthurium”; “Great Bliss Queen”; “Luncheon in the Grass.”

Contemporary American Art – Hazel Miller: Part II of II.

Below – “The Weeping Woman”; “Look Alive”; “Summer Promenade”; “Benevolence of the Orchid”; “I Can Honestly Say”; “Gone are the grapes.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 27 January 2009 – John Updike, an American novelist, poet, short story writer, art critic, literary critic, author of the four-part “Rabbit” series, two-time recipient of the National Book Award, and two-time recipient of the Pulitzer Prize: Part I of II.

Some quotes from the work of John Updike:

“It is easy to love people in memory; the hard thing is to love them when they are there in front of you.”
“I like old men. They can be wonderful bastards because they have nothing to lose. The only people who can be themselves are babies and old bastards.”
“The world … is full of people who never knew what hit ’em, their lives are over before they wake up.”
“Our lives fade behind us before we die.”
“Mozart’s music gives us permission to live.”
“A healthy male adult bore consumes each year one and a half times his own weight in other people’s patience.”
“A photograph offers us a glimpse into the abyss of time.”
“Existence itself does not feel horrible; it feels like an ecstasy, rather, which we have only to be still to experience.”

Contemporary Russian Art – Natalia Baykalova

Below – “Mix me with flowers”; “Gracious message”; “Magically”; “Poetics for a woman”; “Air”; “The new world”; “Pheromones.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 27 January 2009 – John Updike, an American novelist, poet, short story writer, art critic, literary critic, author of the four-part “Rabbit” series, two-time recipient of the National Book Award, and two-time recipient of the Pulitzer Prize: Part II of II.

by John Updike

The days are short,
The sun a spark,
Hung thin between
The dark and dark.

Fat snowy footsteps
Track the floor.
Milk bottles burst
Outside the door.

The river is
A frozen place
Held still beneath
The trees of lace.

The sky is low.
The wind is gray.
The radiator
Purrs all day.

Below – Yuanyuan Liu: “Winter Landscape”

Posted in Art and Photography, Books, Movies, Music, and Television, Opinion | Leave a comment

Wandering in Woodacre – 26 January 2021

This Date in Art History: Born 26 January 1861 – Louis Anquetin, a French painter.

Below – “Reading Woman”; “Woman at the Champs-Elysees by Night”; “Moulin Rouge”; “Woman with Umbrella”; “Inside Bruant’s Mirliton”; “L’Avenue de Clichy, cinq heures du soir.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 26 January 2014 – Jose Emilio Pacheco, an award-winning Mexican poet, essayist, novelist, and short story writer.

by Jose Emilio Pacheco

At twenty they told me: “You must
Sacrifice yourself for Tomorrow”.

And we offered life up on the altar
Of the god that never arrives.

At the end of things I would like to find myself
With my old teachers from that time.

They would have to tell me if
All the present’s horror truly was Tomorrow.

Below – Kasia Derwinska: “tomorrow Is today’s dream” (photograph)

This Date in Art History: Born 26 January 1877 – Kees van Dongen, a Dutch painter.

Below – “Femme courchee”; “Avenue du Bois de Boulogne”; “Scene de rue”; “Woman with Black Stockings”; “La Baigneuse Deauville”; “Woman with Large Hat.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 26 January 910 – Luo Yin, a Chinese poet.

“Cheering Up Oneself or Self Consolation”
by Luo Yin

When I win, I sing loudly, when I lose, I rest promptly
Woes and regrets are the unending way to sorrow
Today, drink and be drunk, this wine is still mine,
If worries come, as worries will, worry not until tomorrow

A win I sing, a loss I am sullen,
Worries and regrets linger far too long.
If there is wine today, then today get drunk,
Worry about tomorrow when tomorrow comes.
(Tomorrow there is time enough to worry)

Below – Torrie Smiley: “Glass of Red Wine II”

Contemporary American Art – Deb Breton

Below – “Date Night”; “Dimming of the Day”; “Flowers by the window”: “Stella Therapy Dog”; “Spring in the Mountains”; “Van Gogh in Wine Country.”

A Poem for Today

“Cautionary Tales”
by Mark Vinz

Beyond the field of grazing, gazing cows
the great bull has a pasture to himself,
monumental, black flanks barely twitching
from the swarming flies. Only a few strands of
wire separate us—how could I forget
my childhood terror, the grownups warning
that the old bull near my uncle’s farm
would love to chase me, stomp me, gore me
if I ever got too close. And so I
skirted acres just to keep my distance,
peeking through the leaves to see if he still
was watching me, waiting for some foolish move—
those fierce red eyes, the thunder in the ground—
or maybe that was simply nightmares. It’s
getting hard to tell, as years themselves keep
gaining ground relentlessly, their hot breath
on my back, and not a fence in sight.

Posted in Art and Photography, Books, Movies, Music, and Television, Opinion | Leave a comment

Wandering in Woodacre – 25 January 2021

Contemporary Spanish Art – Cristina Canamero

Below – “Lightness II”; “Sad girl”; “Into Matisse”;“Why do we like Matisse?”; “Winter’s tale”; “Recogimiento.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 25 January 1882 – Virginia Woolf, an English novelist, essayist, short story writer, critic, and author of “Mrs. Dalloway” and “To the Lighthouse.”

Some quotes from the work of Virginia Woolf:

“A self that goes on changing is a self that goes on living.”
“Until we can comprehend the beguiling beauty of a single flower, we are woefully unable to grasp the meaning and potential of life itself.”
“I have a deeply hidden and inarticulate desire for something beyond the daily life.”
“But when the self speaks to the self, who is speaking? The entombed soul, the spirit driven in, in, in to the central catacomb; the self that took the veil and left the world — a coward perhaps, yet somehow beautiful, as it flits with its lantern restlessly up and down the dark corridors.”
“If people are highly successful in their professions they lose their sense. Sight goes. They have no time to look at pictures. Sound goes. They have no time to listen to music. Speech goes. They have no time for conversation. Humanity goes. Money making becomes so important that they must work by night as well as by day. Health goes. And so competitive do they become that they will not share their work with others though they have more themselves. What then remains of a human being who has lost sight, sound, and sense of proportion? Only a cripple in a cave.”
“A perfect treat must include a trip to a second-hand bookshop.”
“Books are the mirrors of the soul.”
“Let us simmer over our incalculable cauldron, our enthralling confusion, our hotchpotch of impulses, our perpetual miracle – for the soul throws up wonders every second. Movement and change are the essence of our being; rigidity is death; conformity is death; let us say what comes into our heads, repeat ourselves, contradict ourselves, fling out the wildest nonsense, and follow the most fantastic fancies without caring what the world does or thinks or says. For nothing matters except life.”

Contemporary American Art – Marie Lavalee

Below – “The Messenger”; “The School of Life”; “Blue Velvet”; “Road Running Panache”; “Blue Reflections”; “Holding On By a Thread.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 25 January 1885 – Kitahara Hakushi (pen name of Kitahara Ryukichi), a Japanese poet.

by Kitahara Hakushu

The drop of milk
Which had fallen
On the light red polish
Of her nails
Made me yearn for the past

Contemporary American Art – Maria Morales

Below -“Twilight with Broken Trees”; “Distant Attractions”; “Magnolia”; “Evening Glow”; “Red”; “At Rest”; “Enchanting.”

A Poem for Today

“Helping My Daughter Move into Her First Apartment”
by Sue Ellen Thompson

This is all I am to her now:
a pair of legs in running shoes,

two arms strung with braided wire.
She heaves a carton sagging with CDs

at me and I accept it gladly, lifting
with my legs, not bending over,

raising each foot high enough
to clear the step. Fortunate to be

of any use to her at all,
I wrestle, stooped and single-handed,

with her mattress in the stairwell,
saying nothing as it pins me,

sweating, to the wall. Vacuum cleaner,
spiny cactus, five-pound sacks

of rice and lentils slumped
against my heart: up one flight

of stairs and then another,
down again with nothing in my arms.

Below – Woman walking down apartment stairs (photograph).

Posted in Art and Photography, Books, Movies, Music, and Television, Opinion | Leave a comment

Wandering in Woodacre – 24 January 2021

This Date in Art History: Born 24 January 1872 – Konstantine Bogaevsky, a Russian painter.

Below – “Ships. Evening Sun”; “Tropical Landscape”; “Cloud”; “Rainbow”; “Italian Landscape”; “Port of an Imaginable City.”

A Poem for Today

by Mitsuo Basho

Even that old horse
is something to see this
snow-covered morning

Below – Lu Anne Tyrrell: “Solo Horse” (photograph)

Contemporary South Korean Art – Barerum Kim

Below – “Spring waltz”; “pond”; “flower #54”; “flower #45”; “flower #58.”

A Poem for Today

“The cat’s song”
by Marge Piercy

Mine, says the cat, putting out his paw of darkness.
My lover, my friend, my slave, my toy, says
the cat making on your chest his gesture of drawing
milk from his mother’s forgotten breasts.

Let us walk in the woods, says the cat.
I’ll teach you to read the tabloid of scents,
to fade into shadow, wait like a trap, to hunt.
Now I lay this plump warm mouse on your mat.

You feed me, I try to feed you, we are friends,
says the cat, although I am more equal than you.
Can you leap twenty times the height of your body?
Can you run up and down trees? Jump between roofs?

Let us rub our bodies together and talk of touch.
My emotions are pure as salt crystals and as hard.
My lusts glow like my eyes. I sing to you in the mornings
walking round and round your bed and into your face.

Come I will teach you to dance as naturally
as falling asleep and waking and stretching long, long.
I speak greed with my paws and fear with my whiskers.
Envy lashes my tail. Love speaks me entire, a word

of fur. I will teach you to be still as an egg
and to slip like the ghost of wind through the grass.

Below – Kazuaki Maitani: “What a cat staring at the moon imagines?”

Contemporary British Art – Phil Bower

Below – “Pond Girl”; “Motel Pool”; “Sunbathing shadows”; “Dreamy Beach”; “Mid Century style”; “Winter Green Trees.”

A Poem for Today

“Mongrel Heart”
by David Baker

Up the dog bounds to the window, baying
like a basset his doleful, tearing sounds
from the belly, as if mourning a dead king,

and now he’s howling like a beagle – yips, brays,
gagging growls – and scratching the sill paintless,
that’s how much he’s missed you, the two of you,

both of you, mother and daughter, my wife
and child. All week he’s curled at my feet,
warming himself and me watching more TV,

or wandered the lonely rooms, my dog shadow,
who like a poodle now hops, amped-up windup
maniac yo-yo with matted curls and snot nose

smearing the panes, having heard another car
like yours taking its grinding turn down
our block, or a school bus, or bird-squawk,

that’s how much he’s missed you, good dog,
companion dog, dog-of-all-types, most excellent dog
I told you once and for all we should never get.

Below – Kaeko Nakagawa: “This is Mali (mongrel)”

Contemporary British Art – Valery Koroshilov

Below – “As The Storm Blows Over”; “Halfway Moment”; “The Best Part of Me is You”; “The Regatta Day”; “Winter Heaven”; “Being Me”; “Alice @ Wonderland.”

A Poem for Today

“Indian summer”
by Diane Glancy

There’s a farm auction up the road.
Wind has its bid in for the leaves.
Already bugs flurry the headlights
between cornfields at night.
If this world were permanent,
I could dance full as the squaw dress
on the clothesline.
I would not see winter
in the square of white yard-light on the wall.
But something tugs at me.
The world is at a loss and I am part of it
migrating daily.
Everything is up for grabs
like a box of farm tools broken open.
I hear the spirits often in the garden
and along the shore of corn.
I know this place is not mine.
I hear them up the road again.
This world is a horizon, an open sea.
Behind the house, the white iceberg of the barn.

Below – Mary Chamberlain: “White Barn”

Posted in Art and Photography, Books, Movies, Music, and Television, Opinion | Leave a comment

Wandering in Woodacre – 23 January 2021

This Date in Art History: Born 23 January 1832 – Edouard Manet, a French painter.

Below – “A Bar at the Folies-Bergere”; “Boating”; “The Fifer”; “The reading”; “The Luncheon on the Grass”; “Railway.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 23 January 2018 – Nicanor Parra, a Chilean poet.

“The Last Toast”
by Nicanor Parra

Whether we like it or not,
We have only three choices:
Yesterday, today and tomorrow.

And not even three
Because as the philosopher says
Yesterday is yesterday
It belongs to us only in memory:
From the rose already plucked
No more petals can be drawn.

The cards to play
Are only two:
The present and the future.

And there aren’t even two
Because it’s a known fact
The present doesn’t exist
Except as it edges past
And is consumed…,
like youth.

In the end
We are only left with tomorrow.
I raise my glass
To the day that never arrives.

But that is all
we have at our disposal.

Below – Donna Schaffer: “Let’s Toast”

This Date in Art History: Died 23 January 1944 – Edvard Munch, a Norwegian painter and illustrator.

Below – “The Scream”; “Ashes”; “Melancholy”; “Young woman on the shore”; “Nude”; “Lady from the sea.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 23 January 1930 – Derek Walcott, a Saint Lucian poet, playwright, and recipient of the 1992 Nobel Prize in Literature: Part I of II.

“Midsummer, Tobago”
by Derek Walcott

Broad sun-stoned beaches.
White heat.
A green river.
A bridge,
scorched yellow palms
from the summer-sleeping house
drowsing through August.
Days I have held,
days I have lost,
days that outgrow, like daughters,
my harbouring arms.

Below – Karin Dawn Kaishali-Best: “Eventide Tobago”

This Date in Art History: Born 23 January 1927 – Fred Williams, an Australian painter.

Below – “Sapling Forest”; “Hillock”; “Iron ore landscape”; “Waterpond in a landscape II”; “Saplings Mittagong II”; “Upwey Landscape II.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 23 January 1930 – Derek Walcott, a Saint Lucian poet, playwright, and recipient of the 1992 Nobel Prize in Literature: Part II of II.

“Love After Love”
by Derek Walcott

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

Below – Anne Weirich: “The old man and the sea”

This Date in Art History: Died 23 January 1989 – Salvador Dali, a Spanish painter and sculptor.

Below – “The Persistence of Memory”; “Galatea of the Spheres”; “Landscape with Butterflies”; “My Wife Nude Contemplating Her Own Flesh Becoming Stairs, Three Vertebra of a Column, Sky and Architecture”; “The Poetry of America”; “Leda Atomica.”

A Poem for Today

“Baby Wrens’ Voices”
by Thomas R. Smith

I am a student of wrens.
When the mother bird returns
to her brood, beak squirming
with winged breakfast, a shrill
clamor rises like jingling
from tiny, high-pitched bells.
Who’d have guessed such a small
house contained so many voices?
The sound they make is the pure sound
of life’s hunger. Who hangs our house
in the world’s branches, and listens
when we sing from our hunger?
Because I love best those songs
that shake the house of the singer,
I am a student of wrens.

Contemporary British Art – Richard Seekins

Below – “Moving On”; “Desire”; “Breath”; “Relax”; “Purple Dancer”; “Dragon Tattoo.”

A Poem for Today

“Ah, Ah”
by Joy Harjo

for Lurline McGregor

Ah, ah cries the crow arching toward the heavy sky over the marina.
Lands on the crown of the palm tree.

Ah, ah slaps the urgent cove of ocean swimming through the slips.
We carry canoes to the edge of the salt.

Ah, ah groans the crew with the weight, the winds cutting skin.
We claim our seats. Pelicans perch in the draft for fish.

Ah, ah beats our lungs and we are racing into the waves.
Though there are worlds below us and above us, we are straight ahead.

Ah, ah tattoos the engines of your plane against the sky—away from these waters.
Each paddle stroke follows the curve from reach to loss.

Ah, ah calls the sun from a fishing boat with a pale, yellow sail. We fly by
on our return, over the net of eternity thrown out for stars.

Ah, ah scrapes the hull of my soul. Ah, ah.

Below – Photograph courtesy of Yasuaki Segawa.

Posted in Art and Photography, Books, Movies, Music, and Television, Opinion | Leave a comment

Wandering in Woodacre – 22 November 2021

Contemporary British Art – Irina An

Below – “Leaving mood”; “Palm trees and Alina”; “Malena and her trees”; “Abstract Breath”; “Khloe”; “Fantasy Trust.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 22 January 1788 – Lord Byron, an English poet and playwright.

“She Walks in Beauty”
by Lord Byron

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes;
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o’er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express,
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!

Contemporary American Art – Sandra Speidel: Part I of II.

Below- “Veranda Afternoon”; “Homeward”; “I Think Therefore”; “Intrepid”; “Thinking of You”; “All the Days.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 22 January 1887 – Helen Hoyt, an American poet.

“Park Going to Sleep”
by Helen Hoyt

The shadows under the trees
And in the vines by the boat-house
Grow dark,
And the lamps gleam softly.

On the street, far off,
The sound of the cars, rumbling,
Moves drowsily.
The rocks grow dim on the edges of the shore.

The boats with tired prows against the landing
Have fallen asleep heavily:
The monuments sleep
And the trees
And the smooth slow-winding empty paths sleep.

Below – Richard Kizner: “Park at night”

Contemporary American Art – Sandra Speidel: Part II of II.

Below – “Crossroads”; “When One Door Closes”; “In the Whispers”; “Summertime”; “First Sunny Day” “Summer.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 22 January 1922 – Howard Moss, an American poet, playwright, critic, and recipient of the National Book Award.

“Four Birds”
by Howard Moss

Wake to the sun,” the rooster croaked,
First bird of the day. The world, light-flecked,
Chiselled its lineaments into form.
Where was all that fine light coming from?

“Trance at the wonder,” the second sang.
Whose five dry notes urged the ongoing
Afternoon on. “Why wake and stir?”
It asked. And asked. There was no answer.

“Live through the muddle.” That from the next one.
Not very helpful. It looked like rain,
Or fog in the offing. Twilight. Then
It sang again from an oak or pine.

Silence. How I waited for the fourth!
Time was a negative dipped into its bath,
The dark a fixative that slowly made
For every windowpane its window shade.

No messages arrived. No music bared
The soul for its penitence. Up the stairs
No hint of a footfall. The night passed.
“Croak by your hand,” said the crow at last.

Below – Nayfe Slusjan: “Crow”

Posted in Art and Photography, Books, Movies, Music, and Television, Opinion | Leave a comment

Wandering in Woodacre – 21 January 2021

Contemporary Indian Art – Sonal Poghat

Below – “Longing”; “Secret midnight falls”; “My secret place”; “Moon Child”; “A memory?…Or a dream maybe…”; “Her cosmic dance.”

A Poem for Today

by Bruce Guernsey

The potato that ate all its carrots,
can see in the dark like a mole,

its eyes the scars
from centuries of shovels, tines.

May spelled backwards
because it hates the light,

pawing its way, padding along,
there in the catacombs.

Below – Nicholas Chagouris: “I Am A Yam”

Contemporary Bulgarian Art – Trayko Popov

Below – “Leaving My Troubles Behind Me”; “You’ve GOT to Read This Book”; “Swimming. Diving. Passing Through”; “She’s Leaving”; “Birds Know the Way”; “Walk-Through. Obstacles. Hurdles.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 21 January 1950 – George Orwell (pen name of Eric Arthur Blair), an English novelist, essayist, journalist, critic, and author of “Animal Farm,” Nineteen Eighty-Four,” and “Homage to Catalonia.”

Some quotes from the work of George Orwell:

“The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it.”
“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”
“War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.”
“Big Brother is watching you.”
“The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.”
“All tyrannies rule through fraud and force, but once the fraud is exposed they must rely exclusively on force.”
“The people will believe what the media tells them they believe.”
“It’s frightful that people who are so ignorant should have so much influence.”
“There is no swifter route to the corruption of thought than through the corruption of language.”
“Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations.”

Contemporary Russian Art – Alex Van der Bellen

Below – “Ghosts”; “Winter girl”; “Nimph”; “The snow Queen”; “Revenge”; “The smell of a woman.”

A Poem for Today

By Dore Kiesselbach

“Take me with you”
my mother says
standing in her nightgown
as, home from college,
I prepare to leave
before dawn.
The desolation
she must face
was once my concern
but like a bobber
pulled beneath
the surface
by an inedible fish
she vanished
into the life
he offered her.
It stopped occurring
to me she might return.
“I’ll be back” I say
and then I go.

Below – Janos Huszti: “Leaving”

Posted in Art and Photography, Books, Movies, Music, and Television, Opinion | Leave a comment

Wandering in Woodacre – 20 January 2021

Contemporary American Art – Douglas Manry: Part I of II.

Below – “Cats Chasing Spirits”; “The Hospital at 4 am”; “Circus Ghosts”; “Endless Night”; “The Magic Shop”; “Carnival.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 20 January 1962 – Robinson Jeffers, an American poet and philosopher: Part I of II.

“The House Dog’s Grave (Haig, an English bulldog)”
by Robinson Jeffers

I’ve changed my ways a little; I cannot now
Run with you in the evenings along the shore,
Except in a kind of dream; and you, if you dream a moment,
You see me there.

So leave awhile the paw-marks on the front door
Where I used to scratch to go out or in,
And you’d soon open; leave on the kitchen floor
The marks of my drinking pan.

I cannot lie by your fire as I used to do
On the warm stone,
Nor at the foot of your bed; no, all the night through
I lie alone.

But your kind thought has laid me less than six feet
Outside your window where firelight so often plays,
And where you sit to read–and I fear often grieving for me–
Every night your lamplight lies on my place.

You, man and woman, live so long, it is hard
To think of you ever dying
A little dog would get tired, living so long.
I hope than when you are lying

Under the ground like me your lives will appear
As good and joyful as mine.
No, dear, that’s too much hope: you are not so well cared for
As I have been.

And never have known the passionate undivided
Fidelities that I knew.
Your minds are perhaps too active, too many-sided. . . .
But to me you were true.

You were never masters, but friends. I was your friend.
I loved you well, and was loved. Deep love endures
To the end and far past the end. If this is my end,

I am not lonely. I am not afraid. I am still yours.

Below – Robinson Jeffers and Haig.

Contemporary American Art – Douglas Manry: Part II of II.

Below – “The Black Cat”; “She Died”; “When Sun Shines Through the Rain”; “The Hospital at 4 am”; “Remembering Lenny (Legs)”; “Closing Time.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 20 January 1962 – Robinson Jeffers, an American poet and philosopher: Part II of II.

“Boats in a Fog”
by Robinson Jeffers

Sports and gallantries, the stage, the arts, the antics of dancers,
The exuberant voices of music,
Have charm for children but lack nobility; it is bitter earnestness
That makes beauty; the mind
Knows, grown adult.
A sudden fog-drift muffled the ocean,
A throbbing of engines moved in it,
At length, a stone’s throw out, between the rocks and the vapor,
One by one moved shadows
Out of the mystery, shadows, fishing-boats, trailing each other
Following the cliff for guidance,
Holding a difficult path between the peril of the sea-fog
And the foam on the shore granite.
One by one, trailing their leader, six crept by me,
Out of the vapor and into it,
The throb of their engines subdued by the fog, patient and
Coasting all round the peninsula
Back to the buoys in Monterey harbor. A flight of pelicans
Is nothing lovelier to look at;
The flight of the planets is nothing nobler; all the arts lose virtue
Against the essential reality
Of creatures going about their business among the equally
Earnest elements of nature.

Contemporary Estonian Art – Eduard Zentsik

Below – “Berry Fairy”; “Morning”; “Sky girl”; “Music tenderness”; “Angel and the swan”; “Secret of heart.”

A Poem for Today

“The Paleontologist’s Blind Date”
by Philip Memmer

‘You have such lovely bones,’ he says,
holding my face in his hands,

and although I can almost feel
the stone and the sand

sifting away, his fingers
like the softest of brushes,

I realize after this touch
he would know me

years from now, even
in the dark, even

without my skin.
‘Thank you,’ I smile—

then I close the door
and never call him again.

Below (photograph) – Larry Simon: “Walking Away”

Posted in Art and Photography, Books, Movies, Music, and Television, Opinion | Leave a comment

Wandering in Woodacre – 19 January 2021

This Date in Art History: Born 19 January 1920 – Bernard Dunstan, an English painter.

Below – “The Ironing Board”; “Model in the studio I”; “Bathers Surprised”; “Misty Morning, Santa Maria Formosa”; “Portrait of Dana, the Artist’s Wife”; “Venetian Interior.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 19 January 1997 – James Dickey, an American poet, novelist, author of “Deliverance,” and recipient of the National Book Award.

“The Heaven of Animals”
by James Dickey

Here they are. The soft eyes open.
If they have lived in a wood
It is a wood.
If they have lived on plains
It is grass rolling
Under their feet forever.

Having no souls, they have come,
Anyway, beyond their knowing.
Their instincts wholly bloom
And they rise.
The soft eyes open.

To match them, the landscape flowers,
Outdoing, desperately
Outdoing what is required:
The richest wood,
The deepest field.

For some of these,
It could not be the place
It is, without blood.
These hunt, as they have done,
But with claws and teeth grown perfect,

More deadly than they can believe.
They stalk more silently,
And crouch on the limbs of trees,
And their descent
Upon the bright backs of their prey

May take years
In a sovereign floating of joy.
And those that are hunted
Know this as their life,
Their reward: to walk

Under such trees in full knowledge
Of what is in glory above them,
And to feel no fear,
But acceptance, compliance.
Fulfilling themselves without pain

At the cycle’s center,
They tremble, they walk
Under the tree,
They fall, they are torn,
They rise, they walk again.

Contemporary Italian Art – Domenico Antonio Frassineti

Below – “Lina”; “The girl from the Old Antigua Inn”; “Madame E”;
“Citta Nuova”; “The Voyager”; “Sinbad’s memories.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 19 January 1946 – Julian Barnes, an award-winning English novelist, short story writer, essayist, critic, and author of “The Sense of an Ending.”

Some quotes from the work of Julian Barnes:

“I certainly believe we all suffer damage, one way or another. How could we not, except in a world of perfect parents, siblings, neighbours, companions? And then there is the question on which so much depends, of how we react to the damage: whether we admit it or repress it, and how this affects our dealings with others.Some admit the damage, and try to mitigate it; some spend their lives trying to help others who are damaged; and there are those whose main concern is to avoid further damage to themselves, at whatever cost. And those are the ones who are ruthless, and the ones to be careful of.”
“Books say: She did this because. Life says: She did this. Books are where things are explained to you; life is where things aren’t. I’m not surprised some people prefer books.”
“In life, every ending is just the start of another story.”
“When you read a great book, you don’t escape from life, you plunge deeper into it. There may be a superficial escape – into different countries, mores, speech patterns – but what you are essentially doing is furthering your understanding of life’s subtleties, paradoxes, joys, pains and truths. Reading and life are not separate but symbiotic.”
“Later on in life, you expect a bit of rest, don’t you? You think you deserve it. I did, anyway. But then you begin to understand that the reward of merit is not life’s business.”
“Does character develop over time? In novels, of course it does: otherwise there wouldn’t be much of a story. But in life? I sometimes wonder. Our attitudes and opinions change, we develop new habits and eccentricities; but that’s something different, more like decoration. Perhaps character resembles intelligence, except that character peaks a little later: between twenty and thirty, say. And after that, we’re just stuck with what we’ve got. We’re on our own. If so, that would explain a lot of lives, wouldn’t it? And also – if this isn’t too grand a word – our tragedy.”

Contemporary American Art – Lynn Stein

Below – “Models Falling”; “In the Beginning it was Fun”; “Dancing in a Box”; “Almost Snow Wnite” “Sammy” “Hold.”

A Poem for Today

“The Whistle”
by Robert Hayden

You could whistle me home from anywhere
in the neighborhood; avenues away,
I’d pick out your clear, alternating pair
of notes, the signal to quit my child’s play
and run back to our house for supper,
or a Saturday trip to the hardware store.
Unthrottled, wavering in the upper
reaches, your trilled summons traveled farther
than our few blocks. I’ve learned too, how your heart’s
radius extends, though its beat
has stopped. Still, some days a sudden fear darts
through me, whether it’s my own city street
I hurry across, or at a corner in an unknown
town: the high, vacant air arrests me—where’s home?

Below – George Gosti: “Walking Alone”


Posted in Art and Photography, Books, Movies, Music, and Television, Opinion | Leave a comment

Wandering in Woodacre – 18 January 2021

Contemporary German Art – Midori Tanabe

Below – Untitled; Untitled; Untitled; Untitled; Untitled.

This Date in Literary History: Died 18 January 1889 – Bruce Chatwin, an English travel writer, novelist, journalist, and author of “In Patagonia.”

Some quotes from the work of Bruce Chatwin

“Man’s real home is not a house, but the Road, and that life itself is a journey to be walked on foot.”
“Travel doesn’t merely broaden the mind. It makes the mind.”
“I haven’t got any special religion this morning. My God is the God of Walkers. If you walk hard enough, you probably don’t need any other god.”
“Walking is a virtue, tourism is a deadly sin.”
“As a general rule of biology, migratory species are less ‘aggressive’ than sedentary ones. There is one obvious reason why this should be so. The migration itself, like the pilgrimage, is the hard journey: a ‘leveller’ on which the ‘fit’ survive and stragglers fall by the wayside. The journey thus pre-empts the need for hierarchies and shows of dominance. The ‘dictators’ of the animal kingdom are those who live in an ambience of plenty. The anarchists, as always, are the ‘gentlemen of the road’.”
“A Sufi manual, the Kashf-al-Mahjub, says that, towards the end of his journey, the dervish becomes the Way not the wayfarer, i.e. a place over which something is passing, not a traveller following his own free will.”
“I climbed a path and from the top looked up-stream towards Chile. I could see the river, glinting and sliding through the bone-white cliffs with strips of emerald cultivation either side. Away from the cliffs was the desert. There was no sound but the wind, whirring through thorns and whistling through dead grass, and no other sign of life but a hawk, and a black beetle easing over white stones.”
“It’s an old sailor’s idea that every ship has a rope with one end made fast to her bows and the other held by the loved ones at home.”
“I pictured a low timber house with a shingled roof, caulked against storms, with blazing log fires inside and the walls lined with all the best books, somewhere to live when the rest of the world blew up.”

Contemporary Mexican Art – Zoe Lunar: Part I of II.

Below – “Sometimes in the morning”; “After the departure”; “A day to think about”; “Sometimes I think it happened yesterday”; “A question of look”; “Light caress of water.”

A Poem for Today

“One Art”
by Elizabeth Bishop

The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.

—Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident
the art of losing’s not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

Below – Mariam Dolidze: “Lost Love”

Contemporary Mexican Art – Zoe Lunar: Part II of II.

Below – “Mirage”; “Vision”; “Mirrors”; “Morning #3”; “One day in another reality”; “Morning sun.”

A Poem for Today

by Nate Marshall

after Lisel Mueller

on her profile i see she has 2 kids,
now 1 she had in high school, now none
at all. she unaborts 1.
she is unpregnant
in 8th grade. she unresembles
her favorite pop singer Pink. she uncuts
her hair, it pulls into her scalp from clumps on the floor.
her new boyfriend forgets the weight of her.
she leaves her new boyfriend. he’s forgetting
her phone number. she becomes my girlfriend
she picks up the phone & i am on the line
ungiving a goodbye. her best friend trades letters
between us. we each open lettters
from ourselves with hearts on the outside.
she transfers to our magnet school. she moves
to a neighborhood close by. we separate
at the lips. we have never kissed behind the school.
she unchecks the yes box on the note & i take away
my middle school love letter. i unmeet her cop father
& her Chicano moms. we walk backwards into Baskin-Robbins
throwing up gold medal ribbon ice cream into cups.
it rounds into scoops, flattens into gallon drums
of sugar & cream & coldness. we are six years old.
maybe we can go back to then. i unlearn
her name, the way it is spelled the same
backward. how it flips on a page, or in my mouth.
i never knew words could do that
until 5 minutes from now.

Below (photograph) – William Dey: “RETURN TO YESTERDAY Yesterday Once More”

Posted in Art and Photography, Books, Movies, Music, and Television, Opinion | Leave a comment