Sentient in San Francisco – 30 April 2019

Contemporary American Art – Catherine Graffam

Below – “Hold That Pose for Me”; “michael”; “Horses or Heaven”; “Head High, Tears Dray”; “Get Back.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 30 April 1888 – John Crowe Ransom, an American poet, literary critic, scholar, and essayist.

“Bells for John Whiteside’s Daughter”
by John Crowe Ransom

There was such speed in her little body,
And such lightness in her footfall,
It is no wonder her brown study Astonishes us all

Her wars were bruited in our high window.
We looked among orchard trees and beyond
Where she took arms against her shadow,
Or harried unto the pond

The lazy geese, like a snow cloud
Dripping their snow on the green grass,
Tricking and stopping, sleepy and proud,
Who cried in goose, Alas,

For the tireless heart within the little
Lady with rod that made them rise
From their noon apple-dreams and scuttle
Goose-fashion under the skies!

But now go the bells, and we are ready,
In one house we are sternly stopped
To say we are vexed at her brown study,
Lying so primly propped.

Below – Seymour Joseph Guy: “The Goose Girl”


Contemporary Romanian Art – Felicia Simion

Below (photographs) – “Titcaca”; Untitled home; “enlightenment”; “Sequence by the Black Sea”; “Stardust.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 30 April 1936 – A. E. Housman, an English poet and classical scholar.

“To an Athlete Dying Young”
by A. E. Housman

The time you won your town the race
We chaired you through the market-place;
Man and boy stood cheering by,
And home we brought you shoulder-high.

To-day, the road all runners come,
Shoulder-high we bring you home,
And set you at your threshold down,
Townsman of a stiller town.

Smart lad, to slip betimes away
From fields where glory does not stay
And early though the laurel grows
It withers quicker than the rose.

Eyes the shady night has shut
Cannot see the record cut,
And silence sounds no worse than cheers
After earth has stopped the ears:

Now you will not swell the rout
Of lads that wore their honours out,
Runners whom renown outran
And the name died before the man.

So set, before its echoes fade,
The fleet foot on the sill of shade,
And hold to the low lintel up
The still-defended challenge-cup.

And round that early-laurelled head
Will flock to gaze the strengthless dead,
And find unwithered on its curls
The garland briefer than a girl’s.

Contemporary British Art – David Rees

Below –  “Chin Up”; “Oi!”; “Mufasa”; “Wolf”; “Pride.”

This Date in Music History: Born 30 April 1945 – Margarita Mimi Baez Farina, an American singer-songwriter, activist, wife of Richard Farina, and sister of Joan Baez.

Contemporary Italian Art – Cecchin Lilioana

Below – “Ghosts in the city”; “Hong Kong airport last call for the flight”; “The ghosts”; “tifo rosso”; “Courenda dancers”; “The red ghost.”


A Poem for Today

“The Promise”
by Jane Hirshfield

Stay, I said
to the cut flowers.
They bowed
their heads lower.

Stay, I said to the spider,
who fled.

Stay, leaf.
It reddened,
embarrassed for me and itself.

Stay, I said to my body.
It sat as a dog does,
obedient for a moment,
soon starting to tremble.

Stay, to the earth
of riverine valley meadows,
of fossiled escarpments,
of limestone and sandstone.
It looked back
with a changing expression, in silence.

Stay, I said to my loves.
Each answered,
‘Always’.

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