Sentient in San Francisco – 9 April 2019

This Date in Art History: Died 9 April 1882 – Dante Gabriel Rossetti, an English painter: Part I of II.

Below – “Lady Lilith”; “The Blessed Damozel”; “Proserpine.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 9 April 1821 – Charles Baudelaire, a French poet.

“Meditation”
by Charles Baudelaire

Wise up, Sorrow. Calm down.
You always lay claim to twilight. Well, here it is, brother,
It descends. Obscurity settles over the town,
bringing peace to one, worry to another.

The restless crowd, whipped on by pleasure—
our dogged torturer—carry their hearts’ raw
remorse with them as they serve their vapid leisure,
while you, my Sorrow, drop by here, take my hand, and draw

me apart from them. We watch the dying years
in faded gowns lean out from heaven’s balconies, as Regret rears,
smiling, out of the deep dark where the dead ones march.

Dragging its long train—now a shroud—from its early light
in the East, the sun goes to sleep under an arch.
Listen, Sorrow, beloved, to the soft approach of Night.

Below – Eugeny Lushpin: “Winter Twilight Town”

This Date in Art History: Died 9 April 1882 – Dante Gabriel Rossetti, an English painter: Part II of II.

Below – “The Bower Meadow”; “Aurelia”; “The Beloved (The Bride)”; “Helen of Troy”; “La Ghirlandata.”

Remembering a Great Statesman on the Date of His Birth: Born 9 April 1905 – J. William Fulbright, attorney, politician, and founder of the Fulbright Program.

Some quotes from the work of J. William Fulbright:

“The essence of intercultural education is the acquisition of empathy-the ability to see the world as others see it, and to allow for the possibility that others may see something we have failed to see, or may see it more accurately. The simple purpose of the exchange program…is to erode the culturally rooted mistrust that sets nations against one another. The exchange program is not a panacea but an avenue of hope.”
“When public men indulge themselves in abuse, when they deny others a fair trial, when they resort to innuendo and insinuation, to libel, scandal, and suspicion, then our democratic society is outraged, and democracy is baffled. It has no apparatus to deal with the boor, the liar, the lout, and the antidemocrat in general.”
“Educational exchange can turn nations into people, contributing as no other form of communication can to the humanizing of international relations.”
“The age of warrior kings and of warrior presidents has passed. The nuclear age calls for a different kind of leadership…. a leadership of intellect, judgment, tolerance and rationality, a leadership committed to human values, to world peace, and to the improvement of the human condition. The attributes upon which we must draw are the human attributes of compassion and common sense, of intellect and creative imagination, and of empathy and understanding between cultures.”
“In a democracy dissent is an act of faith. Like medicine, the test of its value is not in its taste, but in its effects.”
“In the long course of history, having people who understand your thought is much greater security than another submarine.”
“The rapprochement of peoples is only possible when differences of culture and outlook are respected and appreciated rather than feared and condemned, when the common bond of human dignity is recognized as the essential bond for a peaceful world.”
“Education is a slow-moving but powerful force. It may not be fast enough or strong enough to save us from catastrophe, but it is the strongest force available for that purpose and in its proper place, therefore, is not at the periphery, but at the center of international relations.”
“A nation’s budget is full of moral implications; it tells what a society cares about and what it does not care about; it tells what its values are.”
“There are two Americas. One is the America of Lincoln and Adlai Stevenson; the other is the America of Teddy Roosevelt and the modern superpatriots. One is generous and humane, the other narrowly egotistical; one is self-critical, the other self-righteous; one is sensible, the other romantic; one is good-humored, the other solemn; one is inquiring, the other pontificating; one is moderate, the other filled with passionate intensity; one is judicious and the other arrogant in the use of great power.”
“The price of empire is America’s soul, and that price is too high.”
“To criticize one’s country is to do it a service…. Criticism, in short, is more than a right; it is an act of patriotism-a higher form of patriotism, I believe, than the familiar rituals and national adulation.”

This Date in Art History: Died April 9 1893 – Charles E. Burchfield, an American painter.

Below – “The Bower”; “Backyard – Late Winter”; “Golden Dream”; Untitled (The Freight Train); “February Thaw”; “Freight Train.”

Musings in Spring: Robert Henri

“Why do we love the sea? It is because it has some potent power to make us think things we like to think.”

Contemporary Polish Art – Jacek Malinowski

Below – “in the orchard”; “Touscany XXXI”; “Landscape III”; “Light II.”


A Poem for Today

“Things”
by Lisel Mueller

What happened is, we grew lonely
living among the things,
so we gave the clock a face,
the chair a back,
the table four stout legs
which will never suffer fatigue.

We fitted our shoes with tongues
as smooth as our own
and hung tongues inside bells
so we could listen
to their emotional language,

and because we loved graceful profiles
the pitcher received a lip,
the bottle a long, slender neck.

Even what was beyond us
was recast in our image;
we gave the country a heart,
the storm an eye,
the cave a mouth
so we could pass into safety.

Below – A grandfather clock.

 

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