Sentient in San Francisco – 29 July 2019

This Date in Art History: Died 29 July 1890 – Vincent van Gogh, a Dutch painter and illustrator.

Below – “The Starry Night”; “Wheatfield with Crows”; “Flowering Plum Orchard (after Hiroshige)”; “Starry Night Over the Rhone”; “Bedroom in Arles”; “Self-Portrait with Straw Hat.”

From the Sounds Vaguely Familiar Department
This Date in Political History: Born 29 July 1883 – Benito Mussolini, 27th Prime Minister of Italy and unapologetic fascist.

Some quotes from the work of Benito Mussolini:

“Democracy is talking itself to death. The people do not know what they want; they do not know what is the best for them. There is too much foolishness, too much lost motion. I have stopped the talk and the nonsense. I am a man of action. Democracy is beautiful in theory; in practice it is a fallacy. You in America will see that some day.”
“The press of Italy is free, freer than the press of any other country, so long as it supports the regime.”
“The Socialists ask what is our program? Our program is to smash the heads of the Socialists.”
“I have been a racist since 1921.”
“The fascist state is the corporate state.”
“Peace is absurd: Fascism does not believe in it.”

Contemporary German Art – Martin Koester

Below – “Singapore late night III”; “Hong Kong noon I”; “New York at afternoon”; “Singapore late night IV”; “Blue Afternoon in NYC”; “New York sunrise III.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 29 July 1905 – Stanley Kunitz, an American poet and translator: Part I of II:

Some quotes from the work of Stanley Kunitz:

“When you look back on a lifetime and think of what has been given to the world by your presence, your fugitive presence, inevitably you think of your art, whatever it may be, as the gift you have made to the world in acknowledgment of the gift you have been given, which is the life itself… That work is not an expression of the desire for praise or recognition, or prizes, but the deepest manifestation of your gratitude for the gift of life.”
“We have to learn how to live with our frailties. The best people I know are inadequate and unashamed.”
“Memory is each man’s poet-in-residence.”
“Poetry is ultimately mythology, the telling of stories of the soul. The old myths, the old gods, the old heroes have never died. They are only sleeping at the bottom of our minds, waiting for our call. We have need of them, for in their sum they epitomize the wisdom and experience of the race.”
“I dropped my hoe and ran into the house and started to write this poem, ‘End of Summer.’ It began as a celebration of wild geese. Eventually the geese flew out of the poem, but I like to think they left behind the sound of their beating wings.”


Contemporary Polish Art – Marta Wakula-Mac

Below (linocut, etching, and printmaking) – “Tulips I”; “Dublin Bay V”; “Dublin Bay II”; “Sea”; “Magnolia IV”; “Dublin Port.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 29 July 1905 – Stanley Kunitz, an American poet and translator: Part II of II:

“End of Summer”
by Stanley Kunitz

An agitation of the air,
A perturbation of the light
Admonished me the unloved year
Would turn on its hinge that night.

I stood in the disenchanted field
Amid the stubble and the stones,
Amazed, while a small worm lisped to me
The song of my marrow-bones.

Blue poured into summer blue,
A hawk broke from his cloudless tower,
The roof of the silo blazed, and I knew
That part of my life was over.

Already the iron door of the north
Clangs open: birds, leaves, snows
Order their populations forth,
And a cruel wind blows.

Contemporary Australian Art – Trisha Lambi

Below – “Storm In A Teacup”; “Secrets of Summer”; “When The Owl Sings”; “Taurus Rising”; “Life’s A Beach”; “Endless Summer.”


A Poem for Today

“Aubade”
by Dore Kiesselbach

“Take me with you”
my mother says
standing in her nightgown
as, home from college,
I prepare to leave
before dawn.
The desolation
she must face
was once my concern
but like a bobber
pulled beneath
the surface
by an inedible fish
she vanished
into the life
he offered her.
It stopped occurring
to me she might return.
“I’ll be back” I say
and then I go.

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