Sentient in San Francisco – 22 March 2019

This Date in Art History: Born 22 March 1873 – Ernest Lawson, a Canadian-American painter: Part I of II.

Below – “Approaching Storm”; “New England Birches”; “Spring Night, Harlem River”; “Abandoned Mine, Cripple Creek”; “Aqueduct at Little Falls, New Jersey”; “Artist’s Wife and Daughter on a Porch.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 22 March 1832 – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, a German writer and statesman.

Some quotes from the work of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe:

“You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.”
“Courage is the commitment to begin without any guarantee of success.”
“Every day we should hear at least one little song, read one good poem, see one exquisite picture, and, if possible, speak a few sensible words.”
“We do not have to visit a madhouse to find disordered minds; our planet is the mental institution of the universe.”
“Why look for conspiracy when stupidity can explain so much?”
“The best slave is the one who thinks he is free.”
“There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.”
“A man sees in the world what he carries in his heart.”

This Date in Art History: Born 22 March 1873 – Ernest Lawson, a Canadian-American painter: Part II of II.

Below – “Blue Night”; “The Bronx River”; “Brooklyn Bridge”; “Path in the Forest”; “Bathers”; “Poplars along a River.”

A Poem for Today

“A Story Can Change Your Life”
by Peter Everwine

On the morning she became a young widow,
my grandmother, startled by a sudden shadow,
looked up from her work to see a hawk turn
her prized rooster into a cloud of feathers.
That same moment, halfway around the world
in a Minnesota mine, her husband died,
buried under a ton of rockfall.
She told me this story sixty years ago.
I don’t know if it’s true but it ought to be.
She was a hard old woman, and though she knelt
on Sundays when the acolyte’s silver bell
announced the moment of Christ’s miracle,
it was the darker mysteries she lived by:
shiver-cry of an owl, black dog by the roadside,
a tapping at the door and nobody there.
The moral of the story was plain enough:
miracles become a burden and require a priest
to explain them. With signs, you only need
to keep your wits about you and place your trust
in a shadow world that lets you know hard luck
and grief are coming your way. And for that
—so the story goes—any day will do.

Contemporary American Art – Abd Latin Maulan: Part I of II.

Below – “Beauty and The Beast”; “Morning Glory”; “Tales of the Apocalypse”; “The Boy who Loved Rain”; “Flight to Mars”; “The Victim.”

A Poem for Today

“On the Death of Friends in Childhood”
by Donald Justice

We shall not ever meet them bearded in heaven
Nor sunning themselves among the bald of hell;
If anywhere, in the deserted schoolyard at twilight,
forming a ring, perhaps, or joining hands
In games whose very names we have forgotten.
Come memory, let us seek them there in the shadows.

Contemporary American Art – Abd Latin Maulan: Part II of II.
Below – “Fantasy Dreams”; “The Monopolygamy”; “The Elixir of Life”; “My Sacred Marbles”; “Fragmentation”; “Tales of the Apocalypse III.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 22 March 1941 – Billy Collins, an American poet.

by Billy Collins

The name of the author is the first to go
followed obediently by the title, the plot,
the heartbreaking conclusion, the entire novel
which suddenly becomes one you have never read,
never even heard of,

as if, one by one, the memories you used to harbor
decided to retire to the southern hemisphere of the brain,
to a little fishing village where there are no phones.

Long ago you kissed the names of the nine Muses goodbye
and watched the quadratic equation pack its bag,
and even now as you memorize the order of the planets,

something else is slipping away, a state flower perhaps,
the address of an uncle, the capital of Paraguay.

Whatever it is you are struggling to remember,
it is not poised on the tip of your tongue,
not even lurking in some obscure corner of your spleen.

It has floated away down a dark mythological river
whose name begins with an L as far as you can recall,
well on your own way to oblivion where you will join those
who have even forgotten how to swim and how to ride a bicycle.

No wonder you rise in the middle of the night
to look up the date of a famous battle in a book on war.
No wonder the moon in the window seems to have drifted
out of a love poem that you used to know by heart.

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