Sentient in San Francisco – 22 May 2019

This Date in Art History: Born 22 May 1844 – Mary Cassatt, an American painter: Part I of II.

Below – “The Boating Party”; “Young Woman in a Black and Green Bonnet”; “Tea”; “Summertime”; “Woman Standing Holding a Fan.”

This Day in Literary History: Died 22 May 1972 – Cecil Day-Lewis, an Anglo-Irish poet and the Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom from 1968 until 1972.

“Where Art The War Poets?” (1943)
By Cecil Day-Lewis

They who in folly or mere greed
Enslaved religion, markets, laws,
Borrow our language now and bid
Us to speak up in freedom’s cause.

It is the logic of our times,
No subject for immortal verse –
That we who lived by honest dreams
Defend the bad against the worse

Below – Frank Ernest Halliday: “Cecil Day-Lewis”

This Date in Art History: Born 22 May 1844 – Mary Cassatt, an American painter: Part II of II.

Below – “Young Woman in Green, Outdoors in the Sun”; “Lydia Leaning on Her Arms, Seated in a Loge”; “The Fitting”; “Nurse Reading to a Little Girl.”

A Poem for Today

“Crossing Shoal Creek”
by J. T. Ledbetter

The letter said you died on your tractor
crossing Shoal Creek.
There were no pictures to help the memories fading
like mists off the bottoms that last day on the farm
when I watched you milk the cows,
their sweet breath filling the dark barn as the rain
that wasn’t expected sluiced through the rain gutters.
I waited for you to speak the loud familiar words
about the weather, the failed crops—
I would have talked then, too loud, stroking the Holstein
moving against her stanchion—
but there was only the rain on the tin roof,
and the steady swish-swish of milk into the bright bucket
as I walked past you, so close we could have touched.

Below – James Ward: “Cow in Barn”

This Date in Art History: Born 22 May 1848 – Fritz von Uhde, a German painter.

Below – “Heathland Princess”; “Summer Resort”; “At the Window”; “Sisters in the Sewing Room”; “Winter Landscape”; “In the Garden.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 22 May 1859 – Arthur Conan Doyle, a British author and the creator of Sherlock Holmes.

Some quotes from the work of Arthur Conan Doyle:

“A dog reflects the family life. Whoever saw a frisky dog in a gloomy family, or a sad dog in a happy one? Snarling people have snarling dogs, dangerous people have dangerous ones.”
“When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking.”
“The love of books is among the choicest gifts of the gods.”
“You have a grand gift for silence, Watson. It makes you quite invaluable as a companion.”
“Education never ends, Watson. It is a series of lessons, with the greatest for the last.”
“‘Is there any point to which you would wish to draw my attention?’
‘To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.’
‘The dog did nothing in the night-time.’
‘That was the curious incident,’ remarked Sherlock Holmes.”
“It is a great thing to start life with a small number of really good books which are your very own.”
“Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent.”

Contemporary Dutch Art – Hennie van de Lande

Below – “Wild Flowers”; “Ice Fun”; “Large Poppie Field”; “China Town”; “A good place to swim -9-“; “Poppiefield in the morning”; “Pink Flowers.”

A Poem for Today

“Winter Sun”
by Molly Fisk

How valuable it is in these short days,
threading through empty maple branches,
the lacy-needled sugar pines.

Its glint off sheets of ice tells the story
of Death’s brightness, her bitter cold.

We can make do with so little, just the hint
of warmth, the slanted light.

The way we stand there, soaking in it,
mittened fingers reaching.

And how carefully we gather what we can
to offer later, in darkness, one body to another.

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