Sentient in San Francisco – 7 May 2019

This Date in Art History: Died 7 May 1840 – Caspar David Friedrich, a German painter: Part I of II.

Below – “Wanderer above the Sea of Fog”; “Abbey Among Oak Trees”; “Bohemian Landscape”; “Calm in Snow”; “Evening on the River”; “Hill and Ploughed Field near Dresden.”

A Poem for Today

“In Childhood”
by Sarah A. Chavez

In childhood Christy and I played in the dumpster across the street
from Pickett & Sons Construction. When we found bricks, it was best.
Bricks were most useful. We drug them to our empty backyard
and stacked them in the shape of a room. For months
we collected bricks, one on top another. When the walls
reached as high as my younger sister’s head, we laid down.
Hiding in the middle of our room, we watched the cycle
of the sun, gazed at the stars, clutched hands and felt at home.

This Date in Art History: Died 7 May 1840 – Caspar David Friedrich, a German painter: Part II of II.

Below – “Man and Woman Contemplating the Moon”; “Northern Sea in the Moonlight”: “Swans in the Reeds at First Dawn”; “Woman Before the Rising Sun”; “Moonrise by the Sea.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 7 May 1940 – Angela Carter, an English novelist, short story writer, and journalist.

Some quotes from the work of Angela Carter:

“Home is where the heart is and hence a movable feast.”
“Nostalgia, the vice of the aged. We watch so many old movies our memories come in monochrome.”
“Cities have sexes: London is a man, Paris a woman, and New York a well-adjusted transsexual.”
“Love is desire sustained by unfulfillment.”
“A broken heart is never a tragedy. Only untimely death is a tragedy.
“I think it’s one of the scars in our culture that we have too high an opinion of ourselves. We align ourselves with the angels instead of the higher primates.”
“It’s every woman’s tragedy, that, after a certain age, she looks like a female impersonator. Mind you, we’ve known some lovely female impersonators, in our time.”
“Reading a book is like re-writing it for yourself. You bring to a novel, anything you read, all your experience of the world. You bring your history and you read it in your own terms.”

Contemporary British Art – Abi Whitlock

Below – “Surfacing”; “Bliss”; “Under the Rainbow”; “Born of the Sun”; “Underneath VIII.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 7 May 1812 – Robert Browning, an English poet and playwright.

“Home-Thoughts, from Abroad”
by Robert Browning

Oh, to be in England
Now that April’s there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
In England—now!

And after April, when May follows,
And the whitethroat builds, and all the swallows!
Hark, where my blossomed pear-tree in the hedge
Leans to the field and scatters on the clover
Blossoms and dewdrops—at the bent spray’s edge—
That’s the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over,
Lest you should think he never could recapture
The first fine careless rapture!
And though the fields look rough with hoary dew,
All will be gay when noontide wakes anew
The buttercups, the little children’s dower
—Far brighter than this gaudy melon-flower!

Below – Marianne Stokes: “In a Field of Buttercups”

Contemporary Czech Art – Igor Shulman

Below – “Project ‘My Neighbors’..No2”; “The Hairdresser.Spring”; “Winter rain”; “Sunday”; “Portrait of the Victorian era.”

A Poem for Today

“Prairie Sure”
by Carol Light

Would I miss the way a breeze dimples
the butter-colored curtains on Sunday mornings,
or nights gnashed by cicadas and thunderstorms?
The leaning gossip, the half-alive ripple
of sunflowers, sagging eternities of corn
and sorghum, September preaching yellow, yellow
in all directions, the windowsills swelling
with Mason jars, the blue sky bluest borne
through tinted glass above the milled grains?
The dust, the heat, distrusted, the screen door
slapping as the slat-backed porch swing sighs,
the hatch of houseflies, the furlongs of freight trains,
and how they sing this routine, so sure, so sure—
the rote grace of every tempered life?

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