Sentient in San Francisco – 23 January 2019

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

Below – “Music in the Tuileries”; “The Luncheon on the Grass”; “Berthe Morisot with a Bouquet of Violets”; “The Cafe Concert”; “A Bar at the Folies-Bergere”; “Olympia.”

Musings in Winter: Leonardo da Vinci

“I love those who can smile in trouble.”

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

Below – “Boating”; “The Reading”; “Young Flautist”; “Woman with Parrot”; “The Guitar Player”; “The surprised nymph.”

A Poem for Today

by Vanessa Stauffer

To crease a sheet of paper is to change
its memory, says the origami
master: what was a field of snow
folded into flake. A crane, erect,
structured from surface. A tree
emerges from a leaf—each form undone

reveals the seams, pressed
with ruler’s edge. Some figures take
hundreds to be shaped, crossed
& doubled over, the sheet bound
to its making—a web of scars
that maps a body out of space,

how I fashion memory: idling
at an intersection next to Jack Yates High,
an hour past the bell, I saw a girl
fold herself in half to slip beneath
the busted chain-link, books thrust
ahead, splayed on asphalt broiling

in Houston sun. What memory
will she retain? Her cindered palms,
the scraped shin? Braids brushing
the dirt? The white kite of her homework
taking flight? Finding herself
locked out, or being made

to break herself in.

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

Below – “Sherbrooke Forest number 1”; “Lai-Lai Falls”; “Forest of gum trees”; “Burnt landscape, Upwey no 1”; “The Metropolitan”; “You Yangs landscape number 1.”

Musings in Winter: Joseph Conrad

“Facing it, always facing it, that’s the way to get through. Face it.”

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

Below – “The Persistence of Memory”; “Leda Atomica”; “Velazquez Painting the Infanta Margarita with the Lights and Shadows of his own Glory”; “My Wife Nude Contemplating Her Own Flesh Becoming Stairs, Three Vertebra of a Column, Sky and Architecture”; “Gala in the Window”; “Figure at a Window.”

A Poem for Today

“Playing His Heart Out”
By Sharon Chmielarz

That day we were trapped
between chartreuse living
room walls and the godly
cleanliness of afghans
saving sofas and chairs.

We were talking about
anything except Uncle Carl—
gone, how we’d miss him—
when Uncle Gus came down
the hall and stood in

the archway, his wiry
body strapped under a black
accordion. “Haven’t played,”
he said, “for a long time.”
So he played a waltz and I

squirmed in my chair under
the slow flow of grief. He
played a polka and I heard
my sister clapping lightly
for the mourner bending over

the keys. His cheek-bones,
red as Heligoland’s
cliffs on the North Sea. Gulls
whirled and screamed around
the black load on his heart.

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