Sentient in San Francisco – 3 December 2018

This Date in Art History: Died 3 December 1919 – Pierre-Auguste Renoir, a French painter and sculptor.

Below – “The Theater Box”; “The Swing”; “Dance at Le Moulin de la Galette”; “Luncheon of the Boating Party”; “Claude Monet Painting in His Garden at Argenteuil”; “By the Water”; “Sleeping Girl with a Cat.”

Musings in Autumn: Edgar Allan Poe

“Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.”

Below – An engraving by Gustave Dore (1882) for an 1884 edition of “The Raven.”

This Date in Art History: Died 3 December 1941 – Pavel Filonov, a Russian painter.

Below – “Portrait of E. N. Glebova” (the artist’s sister); “Universal Flowering”; “Animals”; “Faces on an Icon”; “Horses”; “Heads.”

A Poem for Today

“For Elizabeth, Who Loved to Square Dance”
by Christine Stewart-Nunez

I wore Grandma Liz’s pearls
for play, a plastic strand long
enough to pool on the carpet
over my stubbed toes. When I pull
them over my head now, I smell
phantoms: cigarettes, Esteé
Lauder. I don’t smoke or spritz
on perfume. I don’t layer polyester
or perm my hair. I’ve slipped off
my wedding ring as she did, signed
divorce. What advice would she offer
for life between husbands? ‘Wear red
lipstick and always leave it behind.’

Contemporary American Art – Shih Young An

Below – “Ocular Trophy”; “Women in History”; “The Civil Rights Movement”; “Knotting Yellow Ribbons”; “A Spring Breeze”; “Feeding.”

A Poem for Today

“The Letter”
by Linda Pastan

It is December in the garden,
an early winter here, with snow
already hiding my worst offenses —
the places I disturbed your moss
with my heavy boots; the corner
where I planted in too deep a hole
the now stricken hawthorne: crystals
hanging from its icy branches
are the only flowers it will know.

When did solitude become
mere loneliness and the sounds
of birds at the feeder seem
not like a calibrated music
but the discordant dialects
of strangers simply flying through?
I have tried to construct a life
alone here — coffee at dawn; a jog
through the chilling air

counting my heartbeats,
as if the doctor were my only muse;
books and bread and firewood —
those usual stepping-stones from month
to freezing month. but the constricted light,
the year closing down on itself with all
the vacancies of January ahead, leave me
unreconciled even to beauty.
When will you be coming back?

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