Sentient in San Francisco – 22 April 2019

Today Is Earth Day

Below – The unofficial Earth Day Flag created by John McConnell.

This Date in Art History: Born 22 April 1917 – Sidney Nolan, an Australian painter.

Below – “Dry Jungle”; ““Pretty Polly Mine”; “The galaxy”; “Carron Plains”; “Leda and the Swan”; “Burke.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 22 April 1995 – Jane Kenyon, an America poet.

“Alone for a Week”
by Jane Kenyon

washed a load of clothes
and hung them out to dry.
Then I went up to town
and busied myself all day.
The sleeve of your best shirt
rose ceremonious
when I drove in; our night-
clothes twined and untwined in
a little gust of wind.

For me it was getting late;
for you, where you were, not.
The harvest moon was full
but sparse clouds made its light
not quite reliable.
The bed on your side seemed
as wide and flat as Kansas;
your pillow plump, cool,
and allegorical. . . .

Contemporary French Art – Jean David: Part I of II.

Below – “Flooded Lane”; “Marais Poitevin IV”; “Oak Tree”; “Three Poplars”; “Riverbank Walk II”; “Marais Poitevin II.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 22 April 18173 – Ellen Glasgow, an American novelist, critic, and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize.

Some quotes from the work of Ellen Glasgow:

“All change is not growth, as all movement is not forward.”
“What happens is not as important as how you react to what happens.”
“It is human nature to overestimate the thing you’ve never had.”
“I have little faith in the theory that organized killing is the best prelude to peace.”
“Do you know there is always a barrier between me and any man or woman who does not like dogs?”
“The older I grow the more earnestly I feel that the few joys of childhood are the best that life has to give.”
“Life is never what one dreams. It is seldom what one desires, but for the vital spirit and the eager mind, the future will always hold the search for buried treasure and the possibility of high adventure.”

Contemporary French Art – Jean David: Part II of II.

Below – “Orchids III”; “The Sèvre Niortaise”; “Tai O II”; “Charente riverbank.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 22 April 1943 – Louise Gluck, an American poet, recipient of the National Book Award, and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize.

“A Fantasy”
by Louise Gluck

‘ll tell you something: every day
people are dying. And that’s just the beginning.
Every day, in funeral homes, new widows are born,
new orphans. They sit with their hands folded,
trying to decide about this new life.

Then they’re in the cemetery, some of them
for the first time. They’re frightened of crying,
sometimes of not crying. Someone leans over,
tells them what to do next, which might mean
saying a few words, sometimes
throwing dirt in the open grave.

And after that, everyone goes back to the house,
which is suddenly full of visitors.
The widow sits on the couch, very stately,
so people line up to approach her,
sometimes take her hand, sometimes embrace her.
She finds something to say to everbody,
thanks them, thanks them for coming.

In her heart, she wants them to go away.
She wants to be back in the cemetery,
back in the sickroom, the hospital. She knows
it isn’t possible. But it’s her only hope,
the wish to move backward. And just a little,
not so far as the marriage, the first kiss.
Below – Paul Gosselin: “Portrait of a Widow”

Contemporary Norwegian Art – Line Schjolberg

Below – “The far away garden”; “Camouflage”; “Secret days”; “Victory”; “Recollection”; “Magic day”; “Strange bird”; “Performance”;

A Poem for Today

“Family Vacation”
by Judith Slater

Four weeks in, quarreling and far
from home, we came to the loneliest place.
A western railroad town. Remember?
I left you at the campsite with greasy pans
and told our children not to follow me.
The dying light had made me desperate.
I broke into a hobbled run, across tracks,
past warehouses with sun-blanked windows
to where a playground shone in a wooded clearing.
Then I was swinging, out over treetops.
I saw myself never going back, yet
whatever breathed in the mute woods
was not another life. The sun sank.
I let the swing die, my toes scuffed earth,
and I was rocked into remembrance
of the girl who had dreamed the life I had.
Through night, dark at the root, I returned to it.

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