Sentient in San Francisco – 23 February 2019

This Date in Art History: Born 23 February 1931 – Tom Wesselmann, an American painter and sculptor associated with the Pop Art movement.

Below – “Still Life #20”; “Still Life #30”; “Bedroom Painting No. 15”; “Nude”; “Seated Nude with Matisse Odalisque”; “Great American Nude 2.”


A Poem for Today

“The Kiss”
By Kurt Brown

That kiss I failed to give you.
How can you forgive me?
The kiss I would have spent on you is still
There, within me. It will probably die there.
But it will be the last of me to die.

Below – Ryan Fox: “Couple Kissing”


Contemporary American Art – Aaron Dotan

Below – “The Dream”; “Sisters”; “Peter and Barbie”; “Under the Hat”; “They Saw What They Wanted to See”; “Something New.”

Remembering a Comic Genius on the Date of His Death: Died 23 February 1965 – Stan Laurel, an English actor, comedian, writer, director, and member of the comedy team Laurel and Hardy.

Contemporary American Art – Michael Bergt: Part I of II.

Below – “The Reach”; “Shape Shifter”; “Ancient Mysteries”; “Venus”; “Borrow”; “Forage.”


This Date in Literary History: Died 23 February 1900 – Ernest Dowson, an English poet, novelist, and short story writer.

“Non Sum Qualis Eram Bonae Sub Regno Cynarae”
by Ernest Dawson

Last night, ah, yesternight, betwixt her lips and mine
There fell thy shadow, Cynara! thy breath was shed
Upon my soul between the kisses and the wine;
And I was desolate and sick of an old passion,
Yea, I was desolate and bowed my head:
I have been faithful to thee, Cynara! in my fashion.

All night upon mine heart I felt her warm heart beat,
Night-long within mine arms in love and sleep she lay;
Surely the kisses of her bought red mouth were sweet;
But I was desolate and sick of an old passion,
When I awoke and found the dawn was gray:
I have been faithful to thee, Cynara! in my fashion.

I have forgot much, Cynara! gone with the wind,
Flung roses, roses riotously with the throng,
Dancing, to put thy pale, lost lilies out of mind;
But I was desolate and sick of an old passion,
Yea, all the time, because the dance was long:
I have been faithful to thee, Cynara! in my fashion.

I cried for madder music and for stronger wine,
But when the feast is finished and the lamps expire,
Then falls thy shadow, Cynara! the night is thine;
And I am desolate and sick of an old passion,
Yea, hungry for the lips of my desire:
I have been faithful to thee, Cynara! in my fashion.

Below – Lawrence Alma Tadema (Dutch-British, 1836-1912): “Ask Me No More” (1906)


Contemporary American Art – Michael Bergt: Part II of II:

Below – “After Picasso”; “Revelation”; “Constellation”; “Lotus”; “Demoiselle”; “Ancient Reminder.”


This Date in Literary History: Died 23 February 1821 – John Keats, an English poet and one of the greatest poets to have written in the English language.

“Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art”
by John Keats

Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art—
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like nature’s patient, sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth’s human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors—
No—yet still stedfast, still unchangeable,
Pillow’d upon my fair love’s ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever—or else swoon to death.

Below – J. M. W. Turner (English, 1775-1851):“A Couple in Bed” (1802)

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