A Painting for Today
Below – Jihyun Ra (Korean/American, contemporary): “Diversity from One Seed”
Some quotes from the work of our National Poet:
“I celebrate myself, and sing myself, And what I assume you shall assume, For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.”
“A child said What is the grass? fetching it to me with full hands; How could I answer the child? I do not know what it is any more than he.”
“Either define the moment or the moment will define you.”
“Every hour of every day is an unspeakably perfect miracle.”
“Re-examine all that you have been told… dismiss that which insults your soul.”
“Now I see the secret of making the best person: it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth.”
“Happiness, not in another place but this place…not for another hour, but this hour.”
“Not I, nor anyone else can travel that road for you. You must travel it by yourself. It is not far. It is within reach. Perhaps you have been on it since you were born, and did not know. Perhaps it is everywhere – on water and land.”
“If you want me again look for me under your bootsoles.
You will hardly know who I am or what I mean,
But I shall be good help to you nevertheless
And filter and fiber your blood.
Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged,
Missing me one place search another,
I stop some where waiting for you.”
Below – “Kimono”; “The Gypsies”; “The Monk’s Road”; “Fellowship – Beyond”; “Treasure Hunt”; “The New Explorers.”
This Date in Literary History: Born 26 March 1859 – A. E. Housman, an English poet and scholar.
“Loveliest of Trees, the Cherry Now”
by A. E. Housman
Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.
Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.
And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.
Below – Janos Huszti (Hungarian, contemporary): “Dark Blue Sky”
This Date in Literary History: Born 26 March 1874 – Robert Frost, an
American poet and four-time recipient of the Pulitzer Prize.
“Acquainted with the Night”
by Robert Frost
I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain—and back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light.
I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.
I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
When far away an interrupted cry
Came over houses from another street,
But not to call me back or say good-bye;
And further still at an unearthly height,
One luminary clock against the sky
Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.
I have been one acquainted with the night.
Below – “Shirt (in red and tan)”; “Sunbather II”; “Mean Girls”; “Of Land and Sky”; “Say Again?”; “Bare Hands”; “Undomesticated Interior No. 4.”
This Date in Literary History: Died 26 March 1969 – John Kennedy Toole, an American novelist, author of “Confederacy of Dunces,” and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize.
Some quotes from the work of John Kennedy Toole:
“Having once been so high, humanity fell so low. What had once been dedicated to the soul was now dedicated to the sale.”
“You could tell by the way he talked, though, that he had gone to school a long time. That was probably what was wrong with him.”
“I am at the moment writing a lengthy indictment against our century. When my brain begins to reel from my literary labors, I make an occasional cheese dip.”
“The only problem that those people have anyway is that they don’t like new cars and hair sprays. That’s why they are put away. They make the other members of the society fearful. Every asylum in this nation is filled with poor souls who simply cannot stand lanolin, cellophane, plastic, television, and subdivisions.”
“With the breakdown of the medieval system, the gods of chaos, lunacy, and bad taste gained ascendancy.”
“The only excursion of my life outside of New Orleans took me through the vortex to the whirlpool of despair: Baton Rouge. . . . New Orleans is, on the other hand, a comfortable metropolis which has a certain apathy and stagnation which I find inoffensive.”
“Employers sense in me a denial of their values…they fear me. i suspect that they can see that i am forced to function in a century which i loathe.”
A Painting for Today
Below – Hyunju Kim (American, contemporary): “Last Spring”
“The Mad Yak”
by Gregory Corso
I am watching them churn the last milk they’ll ever get from me.
They are waiting for me to die;
They want to make buttons out of my bones.
Where are my sisters and brothers?
That tall monk there, loading my uncle, he has a new cap.
And that idiot student of his — I never saw that muffler before.
Poor uncle, he lets them load him.
How sad he is, how tired!
I wonder what they’ll do with his bones?
And that beautiful tail!
How many shoelaces will they make of that!
Below – “Death and the Maidens”; “Death and the Maidens”; “Death and the Maidens”; “The three ages of man”; “The kiss”; “The voyagers”; “The kiss.”
This Date in Literary History: Died 26 March 2016 – Jim Harrison, an American poet, novelist, and essayist. In the words of one writer,
“He was a prolific and versatile writer publishing over three dozen books in several genres including poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and children’s literature. He wrote screenplays, book reviews, literary criticism, and published essays on food, travel, and sport.”
Some quotes from the work of Jim Harrison:
“The simple act of opening a bottle of wine has brought more happiness to the human race than all the collective governments in the history of earth.”
“Barring love I’ll take my life in large doses alone–rivers, forests, fish, grouse, mountains. Dogs.”
“The danger of civilization, of course, is that you will piss away your life on nonsense.”
“The wilderness does not make you forget your normal life so much as it removes the distractions for proper remembering.”
“In a life properly lived, you’re a river.”
“Some people hear their own inner voices with great clearness and they live by what they hear. Such people become crazy, or they become legends.”
“Death steals everything except our stories.”
“The world that used to nurse us now keeps shouting inane instructions. That’s why I ran to the woods.”
“We Are All One. When we allow ourselves to become aware of this statement in its purest form, we open the doors to reveal the oneness of being. Using the process of conscious evolution we begin to recognise our true underlying identity, for once we have glimpsed the existence of this realm, we then begin to reveal what it is . . . . our true natural state.”
“Poetry at its best is the language your soul would speak if you could teach your soul to speak.”
“One of the curious effects of a bad hangover is that you think you’re wrong whether you are or not. Not wrong in particulars, but wrong in general, wrong about everything.”
“I did not want to live out my life in the strenuous effort to hold a ghost world together. It was plain as the stars that time herself moved in grand tidal sweeps rather than the tick-tocks we suffocate within, and that I must reshape myself to fully inhabit the earth rather than dawdle in the sump of my foibles.”
“I’m hoping to be astonished tomorrow by I don’t know what.”