Sentient in San Francisco – 13 July 2019

This Date in Art History: Died 12 July 1949 – Walt Kuhn, an American painter.

Below – “Athene”; “Clowns”; “Pink Roses in Blue Pitcher”; “Trees at Stone Wall”; “Drum Girl”; “Bareback Rider.”

Musings in Summer: Edgar Allan Poe

“I felt that I breathed an atmosphere of sorrow.”

Below – Paul Gauguin: “Nevermore”

Contemporary German Art – Regine Wolff: Part I of II.

Below – “Night”; “Interlunium”; “Macondo”; “Fight or Flight”; “Night Flight”; “Return Journey I.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 13 July 1934 – Wole Soyinka, a Nigerian playwright, poet, essayist, and recipient of the 1986 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Some quotes from the work of Wole Soyinka:

“The greatest threat to freedom is the absence of criticism.”
“Don’t take shadows too seriously. Reality is your only safety. Continue to reject illusion.”
“I don’t know any other way to live but to wake up everyday armed with my convictions, not yielding them to the threat of danger and to the power and force of people who might despise me.
“Books and all forms of writing are terror to those who wish to suppress the truth.”
“We live in a materialist world, and materialism appeals so strongly to humanity, no matter where.”
“I cannot accept the definition of collective good as articulated by a privileged minority in society, especially when that minority is in power.”
“Looking at faces of people, one gets the feeling there’s a lot of work to be done.”
“The man dies in all those that keep silent.”
“History teaches us to beware of the excitation of the liberated and the injustices that often accompany their righteous thirst for justice.”
“Religion has really spawned some monsters. It always has, historically. Go all the way back to the Inquisition, you know, the Crusades, the Jihad and so on.”
“Well, some people say I’m pessimistic because I recognize the eternal cycle of evil. All I say is, look at the history of mankind right up to this moment and what do you find?”

Contemporary German Art – Regine Wolff: Part II of II.
Below – “And then”; “Northern Sky”; “Ghostly Landscape”; “Three”; “Heroe III”; “etude 8.”

Musings in Summer: John Keats

“But when the melancholy fit shall fall
Sudden from heaven like a weeping cloud,
That fosters the droop-headed flowers all,
And hides the green hill in an April shroud.”

Below – Frederic Leighton: “Lachrymae”

Contemporary American Art – Maria Jost

Below – “Amulet”; “Salmon”; “Sea Star”; “Jellyfish”; “Hermit Crab”; “Adaptation 2.”


A Poem for Today

“Old Man Throwing a Ball”
by David Baker

He is tight at first, stiff, stands there atilt
tossing the green fluff tennis ball down
the side alley, but soon he’s limber,
he’s letting it fly and the black lab

lops back each time. These are the true lovers,
this dog, this man, and when the dog stops
to pee, the old guy hurries him back, then
hurls the ball farther away.  Now his mother

dodders out, she’s old as the sky, wheeling
her green tank with its sweet vein, breath.
She tips down the path he’s made for her,
grass rippling but trim, soft underfoot,

to survey the yard, every inch of it
in fine blossom, set-stone, pruned miniature,
split rails docked along the front walk,
antique watering cans down-spread—up

huffs the dog again with his mouthy ball—
so flowers seem to spill out, red geraniums,
grand blue asters, and something I have
no name for, wild elsewhere in our world

but here a thing to tend. To call for, and it comes.

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