Sentient in San Francisco – 25 April 2019

This Date in Art History: Born 25 April 1931 – David Shepherd, an English painter, conservationist, and author.

Below – “A Tiger in the Bush”; “Zebras”; “Bat Eared Fox”; “Lion”; “Bull Elephant”; “A Rhino Emerging from the Bush.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 25 April 1873 – Walter de la Mare, an English poet, short story writer, and novelist: Part I of II.

“The Listeners”
by Walter de la Mare

‘Is there anybody there?’ said the Traveller,
Knocking on the moonlit door;
And his horse in the silence champed the grasses
Of the forest’s ferny floor:
And a bird flew up out of the turret,
Above the Traveller’s head:
And he smote upon the door again a second time;
‘Is there anybody there?’ he said.
But no one descended to the Traveller;
No head from the leaf-fringed sill
Leaned over and looked into his grey eyes,
Where he stood perplexed and still.
But only a host of phantom listeners
That dwelt in the lone house then
Stood listening in the quiet of the moonlight
To that voice from the world of men:
Stood thronging the faint moonbeams on the dark stair,
That goes down to the empty hall,
Hearkening in an air stirred and shaken
By the lonely Traveller’s call.
And he felt in his heart their strangeness,
Their stillness answering his cry,
While his horse moved, cropping the dark turf,
’Neath the starred and leafy sky;
For he suddenly smote on the door, even
Louder, and lifted his head:—
‘Tell them I came, and no one answered,
That I kept my word,’ he said.
Never the least stir made the listeners,
Though every word he spake
Fell echoing through the shadowiness of the still house
From the one man left awake:
Ay, they heard his foot upon the stirrup,
And the sound of iron on stone,
And how the silence surged softly backward,
When the plunging hoofs were gone.


This Date in Art History: Born 25 April 1938 – Ton Schulten, a Dutch painter and graphic designer.

Below – “Boathouse”; Untitled; “Land Des Vergangenen Jahres”; “Boerderij in zonlicht”; “Weidelandschap”; “Village.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 25 April 1873 – Walter de la Mare, an English poet, short story writer, and novelist: Part II of II.

Some quotes from the work of Walter de la Mare:

“Without imagination of the one kind or of the other, mortal existence is indeed a dreary and prosaic business… Illumined by the imagination, our life, whatever its defeats – is a never-ending unforeseen strangeness and adventure and mystery.”
“For beauty with sorrow Is a burden hard to be borne: The evening light on the foam, and the swans, there; That music, remote, forlorn.”
“What a haunting, inescapable riddle life was.”
“Slowly, silently, now the moon
Walks the night in her silver shoon.”
“He got out of bed and peeped through the blinds. To the east and opposite to him gardens and an apple-orchard lay, and there in strange liquid tranquility hung the morning star, and rose, rilling into the dusk of night the first grey of dawn. The street beneath its autumn leaves was vacant, charmed, deserted.”
“It was a pity thoughts always ran the easiest way, like water in old ditches.”
“A lost but happy dream may shed its light upon our waking hours, and the whole day may be infected with the gloom of a dreary or sorrowful one; yet of neither may we be able to recover a trace.”
“When music sounds, gone is the earth I know, And all her lovelier things even lovelier grow; Her flowers in vision flame, her forest trees Lift burdened branches, stilled with ecstasies. When music sounds, out of the water rise Naiads whose beauty dims my waking eyes, Rapt in strange dream burns each enchanted face, With solemn echoing stirs their dwelling-place. When music sounds, all that I was I am Ere to this haunt of brooding dust I came; And from Time’s woods break into distant song The swift-winged hours, as I hasten along.”


Contemporary British Art – Anna Sims: Part I of II.

Below – “Ellie”; “Young lady”; “The Evacuees”; “Games”; “Sensual.”


A Poem for Today

“Trick or Treat”
by Nancy Price

The ghost is a torn sheet,
the skeleton’s suit came from a rack in a store
the witch is flameproof, but who knows
what dark streets they have taken here?
Brother Death, here is a candy bar.
For the lady wearing the hat from Salem: gum.
And a penny for each eye, Lost Soul.
They fade away with their heavy sacks.
Thanks! I yell just in time.
Thanks for another year!


Contemporary British Art – Anna Sims: Part II of II.

Below – “The Piano Player”; “Puppy Love”; “Three Friends 1950s.”


A Poem for Today

“Finding the Scarf”
by Wyatt Townley

The woods are the book
we read over and over as children.
Now trees lie at angles, felled
by lightning, torn by tornados,
silvered trunks turning back

to earth. Late November light
slants through the oaks
as our small parade, father, mother, child,
shushes along, the wind searching treetops
for the last leaf. Childhood lies

on the forest floor, not evergreen
but oaken, its branches latched
to a graying sky. Here is the scarf
we left years ago like a bookmark,

meaning to return the next day,
having just turned our heads
toward a noise in the bushes,
toward the dinnerbell in the distance,

toward what we knew and did not know
we knew, in the spreading twilight
that returns changed to a changed place.

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