Sentient in Seattle – 1 May 2018

Greeting May

The Lily of the Valley is the flower associated with May.


May is named in honor of Maia; in Greek mythology she is the daughter of Atlas, the oldest of the Pleiades, and the mother of Hermes.

Below – A portrait of Maia, Goddess of Spring.

Happy May Day

Below – Thomas Dekker – “The Merry Month of May”

Art for May – Paul Szinyei Merse: “Picnic in May”

A Poem for May

“The May Queen is Waiting”
by Ruth Barren

The May Queen is waiting.
Feel the pulsing ground call you to journey,
To know the depths of your desire.
The May Queen is waiting.
Moving through the night, the bright moon’s flight.
In green and silver on the plain.
She waits for you to return again.
Do not keep Her waiting.
Her temper stings if you refuse to taste Her honey.
Surrender as enchantment brings
The first light of dawning.
Move with Her in sacred dance, through fear to feeling.
Bringing ecstasy to those who dare.
Living earth is breathing.
Loving through the night in the bright moonlight,
As seedlings open with the rain.
She’ll long for you to return again.
Do not keep Her waiting.
Below – Margaret Macdonald: “The May Queen”

Art for May – Willard Leroy Metcalf: “May Pastoral”

Musings in May: Charles Kingsley

“Oh! that we two were Maying
Down the stream of the soft spring breeze;
Like children with violets playing,
In the shade of the whispering trees.”

Art for May – Maurice Prendergast: “May Day Central Park”

Musings in May: Edwin Way Teale

“The world’s favorite season is the spring. 
All things seem possible in May.”

Art for May – John Henry Twachtman: “May Morn”

A Second Poem for May

“Song on May Morning”
by John Milton

Now the bright morning-star, Day’s harbinger,
Comes dancing from the East, and leads with her
The flowery May, who from her green lap throws
The yellow cowslip and the pale primrose.
Hail, bounteous May, that dost inspire
Mirth, and youth, and warm desire!
Woods and groves are of thy dressing;
Hill and dale doth boast thy blessing.
Thus we salute thee with our early song,
And welcome thee, and wish thee long.

Art for May – Simeon Solomon: “Sappho and Erin in a Garden at Mytilene”

A Third Poem for May

by Jonathan Galassi

The backyard apple tree gets sad so soon,
takes on a used-up, feather-duster look
within a week.

The ivy’s spring reconnaissance campaign
sends red feelers out and up and down
to find the sun.

Ivy from last summer clogs the pool,
brewing a loamy, wormy, tea-leaf mulch
soft to the touch

and rank with interface of rut and rot.
The month after the month they say is cruel
is and is not.

Art for May – Evert Pieters: “In the Month of May”

Musings in May: Samuel Scoville Jr.

“At last came the golden month of the wild folk– honey-sweet May, when the birds come back, and the flowers come out, and the air is full of the sunrise scents and songs of the dawning year.”

Art for May – Fred Morgan: “The Merry Month of May”

Remembering a Figure From the American Old West on the Date of Her Birth: Born 1 May 1852 – Martha Jane Canary, better known as Calamity Jane, a frontierswoman, professional scout, acquaintance of Wild Bill Hickok, and member of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show.

Below – Calamity Jane; Calamity Jane at Wild Bill Hickok’s gravesite, Deadwood, Dakota Territory.

Art for May – John William Waterhouse: “Ophelia”

This Date in Art History: Born 1 May 1855 – Cecilia Beaux, an American painter.

Below – “New England Woman”; “Sita and Sarita”; “Lady George Darwin”; “Landscape with Farm Building”; “Man with the Cat”; “Self-Portrait.”

Art for May – Dante Gabriel Rossetti: “Rosa Triplex”

Musings in May: Marty Rubin

“May: the lilacs are in bloom. Forget yourself.”

This Date in Art History: Born 1 May 1874 – Romaine Brooks, an American painter and illustrator.

Below – “The Black Cap”; “The Cross of France”; “Miss Natalie Barney, ‘L’Amazone’”; “Renata Borgatti at the Piano”; “Self-Portrait”; “White Azaleas.”

A Fourth Poem for May

“May Night”
by Sara Teasdale

The spring is fresh and fearless
And every leaf is new,
The world is brimmed with moonlight,
The lilac brimmed with dew.

Here in the moving shadows
I catch my breath and sing–
My heart is fresh and fearless
And over-brimmed with spring.

Art for May – Charles Daniel Ward: “The Progress of Spring”

Welcome, Lovely May

Below – Arthur Hughes: “In the Grass”

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