January Offerings – Part XIII: Something to Delight both Head and Heart

American Art – Part I of IV: William Coleman Mills

In the words of one critic, “Mills is far more interested in ‘the memory of a place, with its inherent inaccuracies and overlays of emotions, than a photographic recollection.’”

Below (left to right) – “Water’s Edge Afternoon”; “Sunset at Grand Lagoon”; “Water’s Edge Palmettos”; “Water’s Edge Sea Oats”; “Water’s Edge Sugar Cane.”

From the Music Archives: The Beatles

13 January 1969 – The Beatles release their “Yellow Submarine” album.

In the words of one writer, painter Sardar Kestay was “born in 1973 in Duhok-Kurdistan and is a member of the Kurdistan Artists Organization.”

Died 13 January 2002 – Gregorio Fuentes (born 1897), a Cuban fisherman and the reputed model for Santiago, the protagonist in Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea.” Fuentes was the first mate of the “Pilar” – Hemingway’s fishing boat. He never read “The Old Man and the Sea.”

Above – Gregorio Fuentes in 1993
Below – Fuentes on his 100th birthday.

Italian Art – Part I of III: Moreno Bondi

Italian painter Moreno Bondi (born 1959) is a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome.


13 January 1957 – The Bollingen Prize for poetry is awarded to Allen Tate.

“The Mediterranean”

Where we went in the boat was a long bay
a slingshot wide, walled in by towering stone–
Peaked margin of antiquity’s delay,
And we went there out of time’s monotone:

Where we went in the black hull no light moved
But a gull white-winged along the feckless wave,
The breeze, unseen but fierce as a body loved,
That boat drove onward like a willing slave:

Where we went in the small ship the seaweed
Parted and gave to us the murmuring shore
And we made feast and in our secret need
Devoured the very plates Aeneas bore:

Where derelict you see through the low twilight
The green coast that you, thunder-tossed, would win,
Drop sail, and hastening to drink all night
Eat dish and bowl–to take that sweet land in!

Where we feasted and caroused on the sandless
Pebbles, affecting our day of piracy,
What prophecy of eaten plates could landless
Wanderers fulfil by the ancient sea?

We for that time might taste the famous age
Eternal here yet hidden from our eyes
When lust of power undid its stuffless rage;
They, in a wineskin, bore earth’s paradise.

Let us lie down once more by the breathing side
Of Ocean, where our live forefathers sleep
As if the Known Sea still were a month wide–
Atlantis howls but is no longer steep!

What country shall we conquer, what fair land
Unman our conquest and locate our blood?
We’ve cracked the hemispheres with careless hand!
Now, from the Gates of Hercules we flood

Westward, westward till the barbarous brine
Whelms us to the tired land where tasseling corn,
Fat beans, grapes sweeter than muscadine
Rot on the vine: in that land were we born.

Below – “Straits of Gibraltar from Estepona Beach,” by Bob Gray.

Italian Art – Part II of III: Daniela Tesi

Daniela Tesi has studied art in Florence, Rome, Bari, and Milan.

13 January 1981 – The Bollingen Prize for poetry is awarded to May Swenson (shared with Howard Nemerov).


Body my house
my horse my hound
what will I do
when you are fallen

Where will I sleep
How will I ride
What will I hunt

Where can I go
without my mount
all eager and quick
How will I know
in thicket ahead
is danger or treasure
when Body my good
bright dog is dead

How will it be
to lie in the sky
without roof or door
and wind for an eye

With cloud for shift
how will I hide?


Italian Art – Part III of III: Claudia Venuto

Italian artist Claudia Venuto (born 1978) studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence.

13 January 1981 – The Bollingen Prize for poetry is awarded to Howard Nemerov (shared with May Swenson).

“Because You Asked About The Line Between Prose And Poetry”

Sparrows were feeding in a freezing drizzle

That while you watched turned into pieces of snow

Riding a gradient invisible

From silver aslant to random, white, and slow.

There came a moment that you couldn’t tell.

And then they clearly flew instead of fell.

Argentinean Art – Part I of II: Alejandro Rosemberg

Painter Alejandro Rosemberg (born 1981) studied Visual Arts the National University of Cordoba. He lives and works in Buenos Aires.

Alejandro Rosemberg _ pinturaaRos2
Alejandro Rosemberg _ pintura
Alejandro Rosemberg _ pintura

Argentinean Art – Part II of II: Miguel Avataneo

In the words of one writer, “Avataneo (born 1962) is one of the brightest talents in Argentina’s art world. He is a painter of images that combine a love of classicism with the South American tradition of magical realism. His images are rooted in the real world of European classicism but are infused with a naturally fantastical element. Exquisitely drawn figures are placed in dreamlike environments.
Avataneo’s imagery is sensual and evocative and employs a luxurious use of color and detail that give his canvases a luminous quality that is mesmerizing.”

“I will tell you what I will do and what I will not do. I will not serve that in which I no longer believe, whether it calls itself my home, my fatherland, or my church: and I will try to express myself in some mode of life or art as freely as I can and as wholly as I can, using for my defense the only arms I allow myself to use — silence, exile, and cunning.” – James Joyce, Irish novelist, short story writer, poet, and author of “Ulysses,” who died 13 January 1941.

Some quotes from the work of James Joyce:

“Think you’re escaping and run into yourself. Longest way round is the shortest way home.”
“His heart danced upon her movements like a cork upon a tide. He heard what her eyes said to him from beneath their cowl and knew that in some dim past, whether in life or reverie, he had heard their tale before.”
“‘History,’ Stephen said, ‘is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.’”
“Shut your eyes and see.”
“You made me confess the fears that I have. But I will tell you also what I do not fear. I do not fear to be alone or to be spurned for another or to leave whatever I have to leave. And I am not afraid to make a mistake, even a great mistake, a lifelong mistake and perhaps as long as eternity too.”
“Love loves to love love.”
“A man of genius makes no mistakes. His errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery.”
“I was a Flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.”
“But my body was like a harp and her words and gestures were like fingers running upon the wires.”
“A few light taps upon the pane made him turn to the window. It had begun to snow again. He watched sleepily the flakes, silver and dark, falling obliquely against the lamplight. The time had come for him to set out on his journey westward. Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.”
“He wanted to cry quietly but not for himself: for the words, so beautiful and sad, like music.”
“Your battles inspired me – not the obvious material battles but those that were fought and won behind your forehead.”
“I am tomorrow, or some future day, what I establish today. I am today what I established yesterday or some previous day.”
“The sea, the snotgreen sea, the scrotumtightening sea.”
“Welcome, O life! I go to encounter for the millionth time the reality of experience and to forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race.”
“They lived and laughed and loved and left.”
“One by one they were all becoming shades. Better pass boldly into that other world, in the full glory of some passion, than fade and wither dismally with age.”
“Every life is in many days, day after day. We walk through ourselves, meeting robbers, ghosts, giants, old men, young men, wives, widows, brothers-in-love. But always meeting ourselves.”

Above – James Joyce.
Below – The great book; Marilyn Monroe reading “Ulysses.”

In the words of one writer, “Alfredo Roldan was born in Madrid in 1965. At the age of 22, having had no formal artistic training, he started drawing professionally, selling his work in street markets, at the same time presenting his work at major competitions, of which he won several. In 1996 he was named a Member of the Senate ‘Honoris Causa’ of the Academy of Modern Art of Rome.”

From the American Old West: Wyatt Earp

“Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything.” – Wyatt Earp, gambler, city policeman, Pima County Deputy Sheriff, buffalo hunter, bouncer, saloon keeper, brothel owner, pimp, miner, boxing referee, and, most famously, Deputy Town Marshall in Tombstone Arizona, during which tenure he took part in the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, who died 13 January 1929.

Above – Wyatt Earp and his mother Virginia Cooksey Earp, circa 1856.
Below – Wyatt Earp at about age 21; Bat Masterson (left) and Wyatt Earp in Dodge City, 1876; Earp at about age 33 (his age when he fought at the O.K. Corral); Tombstone in 1881 (the year of the gunfight); Wyatt at home on August 9, 1923, at age 75.

American Art – Part II of IV: Paul Rahilly

In the words of one writer, “For over three decades, Paul Rahilly has been exhibiting his lush, painterly works in shows that have been received with delight by enthusiasts of painting. Writing in the Boston Globe in 1991, Nancy Stapen said, ‘Rahilly’s art is almost sinful; it is an art of movement, light, and delight, where all aspects of nature are sensually proffered for the viewer’s pleasure.’
Rahilly is often called a realist, but the term doesn’t fit well for a few reasons. The figures typically at the center of his large works, female nudes or livestock or both, are generally set in situations so odd or fantastic – beneath towered castles, under absurdly gnarled trees, picnicking beside a mausoleum – that their world is more aptly termed surrealist, or fabulist. As Rahilly has famously remarked, commenting on the tendency to overstate the role of image in painting, ‘No one goes to opera for the plot.’”

In January – Part I of III: Richard Wilbur

“Orchard Trees, January”

It’s not the case, though some might wish it so
Who from a window watch the blizzard blow

White riot through their branches vague and stark,
That they keep snug beneath their pelted bark.

They take affliction in until it jells
To crystal ice between their frozen cells,

And each of them is inwardly a vault
Of jewels rigorous and free of fault,

Unglimpsed until in May it gently bears
A sudden crop of green-pronged solitaires.

Below – “January (winter sleep),” by Jan Yates.

In January – Part II of III: Helen Hunt Jackson

“A Calendar of Sonnets: January”

O Winter! frozen pulse and heart of fire,
What loss is theirs who from thy kingdom turn
Dismayed, and think thy snow a sculptured urn
Of death! Far sooner in midsummer tire
The streams than under ice. June could not hire
Her roses to forego the strength they learn
In sleeping on thy breast. No fires can burn
The bridges thou dost lay where men desire
In vain to build.
O Heart, when Love’s sun goes
To northward, and the sounds of singing cease,
Keep warm by inner fires, and rest in peace.
Sleep on content, as sleeps the patient rose.
Walk boldly on the white untrodden snows,
The winter is the winter’s own release.



In January – Part III of III: Ted Kooser

“In January”

Only one cell in the frozen hive of night
is lit, or so it seems to us:
this Vietnamese café, with its oily light,
its odors whose colorful shapes are like flowers.
Laughter and talking, the tick of chopsticks.
Beyond the glass, the wintry city
creaks like an ancient wooden bridge.
A great wind rushes under all of us.
The bigger the window, the more it trembles.

American Art – Part III of IV: Martin Eichinger

In the words of one critic, “Martin Eichinger’s bronzes are refreshingly unique. They are evidence of a visionary artist who has something positive and eternal to say with his talent. He is much more than a skilled craftsman at the sculptor’s turntable.
A profound comprehension of human anatomy has allowed Eichinger to place his sculpture studies on the edge of possibility without losing their sense of grace. At the same time he is a romantic who sometimes adds bright colors, gems, iridescence and unusual basing to his work. His series of characters from an imaginary circus each includes a poem that adds another layer to our understanding of the work.”

A Poem for Today

“Extenuating Circumstances,”
By Paul Violi

I don’t know how fast I was going
but, even so, that’s still
an intriguing question, officer,
and deserves a thoughtful response.
With the radio unfurling
Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, you might
consider anything under 80 sacrilege.
Particularly on a parkway as lovely
as the one you’re fortunate enough
to patrol—and patrol so diligently.
A loveliness that, if observed
at an appropriate rate of speed,
affords the kind of pleasure
which is in itself a reminder
of how civilization depends
on an assurance of order and measure,
and the devotion of someone
like yourself to help maintain it.
Yes, man the measurer!
The incorrigible measurer.
And admirably precise measurements
they are—Not, of course, as an end
in themselves but, lest we
forget, as a means to propel
us into the immeasurable,
where it would be anybody’s guess how fast
the west wind was blowing
when it strummed a rainbow
and gave birth to Eros.
Never forget that a parkway
is a work of art, and the faster
one goes the greater the tribute
to its power of inspiration,
a lyrical propulsion that approaches
the spiritual and tempts—demands
the more intrepid of us
to take it from there.
That sense of the illimitable,
when we feel we are more the glory
than the jest or riddle of the world
—that’s what kicked in, albeit
briefly, as I approached
the Croton Reservoir Bridge.
And on a night like this, starlight
reignited above a snowfall’s last
flurry, cockeyed headlights scanning
the girders overhead, eggshell
snowcrust flying off the hood,
hatching me on the wing
like a song breaking through prose,
the kind I usually sing
through my nose:

So much to love,
A bit less to scorn.
What have I done?
To what end was I born?

To teach and delight.
Delight … or offend.
Luck’s been no lady,
Truth a sneaky friend.

Got the heater on full blast,
Window jammed down,
Odometer busted,
Speedometer dead wrong:
Can’t tell how fast I’m going,
Don’t care how far I’ve gone.

American Art – Part IV of IV: Charles J. Dwyer, Jr.

In the words of one writer, “Charles J. Dwyer, Jr. was born in 1961. A Wisconsin native, Dwyer graduated from the Milwaukee School of Art, where he studied fine arts, painting and printmaking.
Dwyer has shown his work in a variety of galleries across the U.S.A.
Those who view Dwyer’s art are captivated by the combination of the female form with autobiographical elements or hidden images. In many of the works, Dwyer combines hand-written script with the images. Working in mixed media for both his limited edition prints and unique works of art, the artist builds up a tactile surface. Style and technique enhance each other to present a romantic form of his very personal expressionism.”

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