Sentient in San Francisco – 25 February 2019

This Date in Art History: Born 25 February 1841 – Pierre-Auguste Renoir, a French painter and sculptor: Part I of II.

Below – “The Swing”; “The Theater Box”; “Dance at Le Moulin Galette”; “Luncheon of the Boating Party”; “Lise Sewing”; “Claude Monet Painting in His Garden at Argenteuil”: “By the Water.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 25 February 1917 – Anthony Burgess, an English author, playwright, and critic.

Some quotes from the work of Anthony Burgess:

“To be left alone is the most precious thing one can ask of the modern world.”
“Sanity is a handicap and liability if you’re living in a mad world.”
“It’s always good to remember where you come from and celebrate it.
To remember where you come from is part of where you’re going.”
“Language exists less to record the actual than to liberate the imagination.”
“Literature ceases to be literature when it commits itself to moral uplift; it becomes moral philosophy or some such dull thing.”
“Every dogma has its day.”

This Date in Art History: Born 25 February 1841 – Pierre-Auguste Renoir, a French painter and sculptor: Part II of II.

Below – “Children at the Beach at Guernsey”; “Sleeping Girl with Cat”; “Girl Braiding Her Hair”; “Two Sisters”; “Young Girl with Red Hair”; “The Large Bathers”; “Nude in the Sun.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 25 February 1980 – Robert Hayden, an American poet.

“Those Winter Sundays”
by Robert Hayden

Sundays too my father got up early
and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold,
then with cracked hands that ached
from labor in the weekday weather made
banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.

I’d wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.
When the rooms were warm, he’d call,
and slowly I would rise and dress,
fearing the chronic angers of that house,

Speaking indifferently to him,
who had driven out the cold
and polished my good shoes as well.
What did I know, what did I know
of love’s austere and lonely offices?

This Date in Art History: Died 25 February 1910 – Thomas Worthington Whittredge, an American painter of the Hudson River School.

Below – “Adirondack Woodland with Two Deer”; “Sunlight in the Forest”; “Home by the Seaside”; “Landscape Near Fort Collins”; “Crossing the River Platte”; “The Camp Meeting.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 25 February 1983 – Tennessee Williams, an American playwright, poet, short story writer, essayist, and memoirist.

Some quotes from the work of Tennessee Williams:

“There is a time for departure even when there’s no certain place to go.”
“The object of art is to make eternal the desperately fleeting moment.”
“There comes a time when you look into the mirror and you realize that what you see is all that you will ever be. And then you accept it. Or you kill yourself. Or you stop looking in mirrors.”
“What is straight? A line can be straight, or a street, but the human heart, oh, no, it’s curved like a road through mountains.”
“America has only three cities: New York, San Francisco, and New Orleans. Everywhere else is Cleveland.”
“Life is an unanswered question, but let’s still believe in the dignity and importance of the question.”
“In memory everything seems to happen to music.”

This Date in Art History: Died 25 February 1964 – Alexander Archipenko, a Ukrainian sculptor and illustrator.

Below – “Family Life”; “Statuette”; “The Kiss”; “The Hero”; “Two Bodies”; “Flat Torso.”

A Poem for Today

“Coffee Break”
by Kwame Dawes

It was Christmastime,
the balloons needed blowing,
and so in the evening
we sat together to blow
balloons and tell jokes,
and the cool air off the hills
made me think of coffee,
so I said, “Coffee would be nice,”
and he said, “Yes, coffee
would be nice,” and smiled
as his thin fingers pulled
the balloons from the plastic bags;
so I went for coffee,
and it takes a few minutes
to make the coffee
and I did not know
if he wanted cow’s milk
or condensed milk,
and when I came out
to ask him, he was gone,
just like that, in the time
it took me to think,
cow’s milk or condensed;
the balloons sat lightly
on his still lap.

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