Remembering a Great Writer on the Date of His Birth: Born 29 September 1864, Miguel de Unamuno, a Spanish Basque essayist, novelist, poet, playwright, philosopher, professor of Greek and Classics, and later rector at the University of Salamanca.
“The Snowfall Is So Silent”
By Miguel de Unamuno
The snowfall is so silent,
bit by bit, with delicacy
it settles down on the earth
and covers over the fields.
The silent snow comes down
white and weightless;
snowfall makes no noise,
falls as forgetting falls,
flake after flake.
It covers the fields gently
while frost attacks them
with its sudden flashes of white;
covers everything with its pure
and silent covering;
not one thing on the ground
anywhere escapes it.
And wherever it falls it stays,
content and gay,
for snow does not slip off
as rain does,
but it stays and sinks in.
The flakes are skyflowers,
pale lilies from the clouds,
that wither on earth.
They come down blossoming
but then so quickly
they are gone;
they bloom only on the peak,
above the mountains,
and make the earth feel heavier
when they die inside.
Snow, delicate snow,
that falls with such lightness
on the head,
on the feelings,
come and cover over the sadness
that lies always in my reason.
Below – “Joseph the Carpenter”; “Dice Players”
Art for Autumn – Part II of II: Randy Hayashi (Canadian, contemporary)
Below “Gold on Minnewanka”
This Date in Art History: Born 29 September 1571, Michelangelo Marisa da Caravaggio, an Italian painter whose works, in the words of one writer, “combine a realistic observation of the human state, both physical and emotional, with a dramatic use of lighting, and they had a formative influence on Baroque painting.”
Below – “The Musicians”; ‘The Calling of Saint Matthew”; “Portrait of a Courtesan”; “Boy with a Basket of Fruit”; “Sacred Love Versus Profane Love”; “Boy Bitten by a Lizard.”
By Carson McCullers
Select your sorrows if you can,
Edit your ironies, even grieve with guile.
Adjust to a world divided
Which demands your candid senses stoop to labyrinthine wiles
What natural alchemy lends
To the scrubby grocery boy with dirty hair
The lustre of Apollo, or Golden Hyacinth’s fabled stare.
If you must cross the April park, be brisk:
Avoid the cadence of the evening, eyes from afar
Lest you be held as a security risk
Solicit only the evening star.
Your desperate nerves fuse laughter with disaster
And higgledy piggledy giggle once begun
Crown a host of unassorted sorrows
You never could manage one by one.
The world that jibes your tenderness
Jails your lust.
Bewildered by the paradox of all your musts
Turning from horizon to horizon, noonday to dusk:
It may be only you can understand:
On a mild sea afternoon of blue and gold
When the sky is a mild blue of a Chinese bowl
The bones of Hart Crane, sailors and the drugstore man
Beat on the ocean’s floor the same saraband.
This Date in Art History: Born 29 September 1891, Ian Fairweather, who, in the words of one writer, “was a Scottish painter resident in Australia for much of life. He is considered one of the greatest painters in Australia of all time, combining western and Asian influences in his work.”
Below – “Chinese Mountain”; “Tea Garden, Peking”; “West Lake, Hangchow”; “Sirius”; “Outside the City Gate, Peking”; “Triple Portrait.”
Contemporary British Art – Roy Fairchild-Woodard: Part I of II
In the words of one writer, “Roy Fairchild-Woodard is particularly influenced by the painters of the Renaissance. Fairchild visits Italy in particular to study frescos, tapestries and paintings, to see for him the techniques with which they were executed. Fairchild’s vision is colored by his immersion in the past. His surfaces are rich and sumptuous. He uses varied interwoven elements such as fabrics and flowers in his work. The crumbling plaster works of ancient frescos are, also alluded to in his use of plaster, as a base for acrylic and oil over-painting.”
Below – “Cradle Song”; “Only the Stars”; “Tableau I”; “Learning to Fly”; “Do You Remember Me?”; “A Better Way”; “Between the Lines.”
“The More Loving One”
By W. H. Auden
Looking up at the stars, I know quite well
That, for all they care, I can go to hell,
But on earth indifference is the least
We have to dread from man or beast.
How should we like it were stars to burn
With a passion for us we could not return?
If equal affection cannot be,
Let the more loving one be me.
Admirer as I think I am
Of stars that do not give a damn,
I cannot, now I see them, say
I missed one terribly all day.
Were all stars to disappear or die,
I should learn to look at an empty sky
And feel its total dark sublime,
Though this might take me a little time.
Contemporary British Art – Roy Fairchild-Woodard: Part II of II
In the words of one writer, “Roy Fairchild-Woodard eventually gained sufficient financial security to be able to give up his commercial illustrations and return full time to his own painting and printmaking which he does under his family name, Fairchild. As for his figure drawings, he still prefers to translate those images into etchings.”
Below – “Longing”; “From the Heart”; “Somewhere to Dream”; “Everything I See”; “Girl with White Lilies”; “Resting”; “Buy Some Golden Thread.”
Worth a Thousand Words: Prospectors climbing Chikoot Pass, Klondike Gold Rush, Alaska, 1898.
Contemporary American Art – Barbara Wood: Part I of II
In the words of one writer, “Barbara Wood is a native of Columbus, Ohio. Barbara, never knowing her real father, was raised by her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. Barbara Wood’s mother having to work in order to make ends meet, would often leave Barbara in the care of her grandmothers. The personalities of the three women formed a catalyst for her art.”
Below – “Two Sisters”; “Dress Rehearsal”; “Masquerade”; “Pensive Woman”; “Intermission”; “Romance.”
Remembering an American Poet on the Date of His Death: Died 29 September 2008, Hayden Carruth, poet and literary critic.
“Saturday at the Border”
By Hayden Carruth
“Form follows function follows form . . . , etc.”
–Dr. J. Anthony Wadlington
Here I am writing my first villanelle
At seventy-two, and feeling old and tired–
“Hey, Pops, why dontcha give us the old death knell?”–
And writing it what’s more on the rim of hell
In blazing Arizona when all I desired
Was north and solitude and not a villanelle,
Working from memory and not remembering well
How many stanzas and in what order, wired
On Mexican coffee, seeing the death knell
Of sun’s salvos upon these hills that yell
Bloody murder silently to the much admired
Dead-blue sky. One wonders if a villanelle
Can do the job. Granted, old men now must tell
Our young world how these bigots and these retired
Bankers of Arizona are ringing the death knell
For everyone, how ideologies compel
Children to violence. Artifice acquired
For its own sake is war. Frail villanelle,
Have you this power? And must Igo and sell
Myself? “Wow,” they say, and “cool”–this hired
Old poetry guy with his spaced-out death knell.
Ah, far from home and God knows not much fired
By thoughts of when he thought he was inspired,
He writes by writing what he must. Death knell
Is what he’s found in his first villanelle.
Contemporary American Art – Barbara Wood: Part II of II
In the words of one writer, “Over the past several decades, Barbara A. Wood has painted with vitalized energy, amazing color, and striking beauty, becoming one of the world’s most collected impressionistic artists. The list of collectors who own Barbara’s work is a virtual world wide Who’s Who of celebrities and art connoisseurs.”
Below – “Blue Lady”; “Cellist”; Untitled Two Seated Women; “Chi Cho”; “Solitaire”; “Chapeau.”