Sentient in San Francisco – 24 August 2019

This Date in Art History: Died 24 August 1958 – Paul Henry, an Irish painter.

Below – “Peat Stacks, Connemara”; “Pullough Bay, Achill”; “A Kerry Bog”; “Mountainous Landscape, West of Ireland”; “Evening Silence and Peace, County Mayo”; “The Only Tree in the Burren.”

This Date in Intellectual/Literary History: Died 24 August 1943 – Simone Weil, a French philosopher, mystic, and political activist.

Some quotes from the work of Simone Weil:

“Human beings are so made that the ones who do the crushing feel nothing; it is the person crushed who feels what is happening. Unless one has placed oneself on the side of the oppressed, to feel with them, one cannot understand.”
“Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.”
What a country calls its vital economic interests are not the things which enable its citizens to live, but the things which enable it to make war. Petrol is more likely than wheat to be a cause of international conflict.”
“There are only two things that pierce the human heart. One is beauty. The other is affliction.”
“The love of our neighbor in all its fullness simply means being able to say, ‘What are you going through?’”
“Never react to an evil in such a way as to augment it.”
“To be rooted is perhaps the most important and least recognized need of the human soul.”
“The work of art which I do not make, none other will ever make.”
“Human existence is so fragile a thing and exposed to such dangers that I cannot love without trembling.”
“There is no greater joy for me than looking at the sky on a clear night with an attention so concentrated that all my other thoughts disappear; then one can think that the stars enter into one’s soul.”
“Everything which originates from pure love is lit with the radiance of beauty.”
“Love: To feel with one’s whole self the existence of another being.”

Contemporary American Art – Antonio Mari

Artist Statement: “I am a Brazilian born American photographer with a Masters Degree in Photography from New York University and a B.A. in Social Communication from the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil.”

Below – “Americana_Downtown Livingston”; “Escape”; “Bipolar Day”; “Dog Days of Summer”; “New York Street Photo_Coney Island Fun”; “Rajasthan, India_Desert Musicians-2.”

A Poem for Today

“The Cherry Tree”
by David Wagoner

Out of the nursery and into the garden
where it rooted and survived its first hard winter,
then a few years of freedom while it blossomed,
put out its first tentative branches, withstood
the insects and the poisons for insects,
developed strange ideas about its height
and suffered the pruning of its quirks and clutters,
its self-indulgent thrusts
and the infighting of stems at cross purposes
year after year.  Each April it forgot
why it couldn’t do what it had to do,
and always after blossoms, fruit, and leaf-fall,
was shown once more what simply couldn’t happen.

Its oldest branches now, the survivors carved
by knife blades, rain, and wind, are sending shoots
straight up, blood red, into the light again.

Contemporary French Art – Yvan Favre

Below – “Deep eyes”; “take the path”; “focus”; “n ’80”; “Christina”; “no need to argue.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 24 August 1898 – Malcolm Cowley, an American novelist, poet, historian, literary critic, and author of “Blue Juniata” and “Exile’s Return: A Literary Odyssey of the 1920s”: Part I of II.

Some quotes from the work of Malcolm Cowley:

“They tell you that you’ll lose your mind when you grow older. What they don’t tell you is that you won’t miss it very much.”
“Be kind and considerate with your criticism… It’s just as hard to write a bad book as it is to write a good book.”
“Going back to Hemingway’s work after several years is like going back to a brook where you had often fished and finding the woods as deep and cool as they used to be.”
“Everywhere was the atmosphere of a long debauch that had to end; the orchestras played too fast, the stakes were too high at the gambling tables, the players were so empty, so tired, secretly hoping to vanish together into sleep and … maybe wake on a very distant morning and hear nothing, whatever, no shouting or crooning, find all things changed.”
“Put cotton in your ears and pebbles in your shoes. Pull on rubber gloves. Smear Vaseline over your glasses, and there you have it: instant old age.”
“The late 1920s were an age of islands, real and metaphorical. They were an age when Americans by thousands and tens of thousands were scheming to take the next boat for the South Seas or the West Indies, or better still for Paris, from which they could scatter to Majorca, Corsica, Capri or the isles of Greece. Paris itself was a modern city that seemed islanded in the past, and there were island countries, like Mexico, where Americans could feel that they had escaped from everything that oppressed them in a business civilization. Or without leaving home they could build themselves private islands of art or philosophy; or else – and this was a frequent solution – they could create social islands in the shadow of the skyscrapers, groups of close friends among whom they could live as unconstrainedly as in a Polynesian valley, live without moral scruples or modern conveniences, live in the pure moment, live gaily on gin and love and two lamb chops broiled over a coal fire in the grate. That was part of the Greenwich Village idea, and soon it was being copied in Boston, San Francisco, everywhere.”
“Age is not different from earlier life as long as you’re sitting down.”

Contemporary British Art – Jeremy Pemberton

Below – “Noosa Springs Paperbark Tree with Honeyeaters”; “Battery Point Tree”; “Noosa Boiling Pot Pandanus”; “Noosa Springs Tree with Pondweed”; “Noosa Springs Bush.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 24 August 1898 – Malcolm Cowley, an American novelist, poet, historian, literary critic, and author of “Blue Juniata” and “Exile’s Return: A Literary Odyssey of the 1920s”: Part II of II.

“Blue Juniata”
by Malcolm Cowley

Farmhouses curl like horns of plenty, hide
scrawny bare shanks against a barn, or crouch
empty in the shadow of a mountain. Here
there is no house at all—

only the bones of a house,
lilacs growing beside them,
roses in clumps between them,
honeysuckle over;
a gap for a door, a chimney
mud-chinked, an immense fireplace,
the skeleton of a pine,

and gandy dancers working on the rails
that run not thirty yards from the once door.

I heard a gandy dancer playing on a jew’s harp
Where is now that merry party I remember long ago?
Nelly was a lady … twice … Old Black Joe,
as if he laid his right hand on my shoulder,
saying, “Your father lived here long ago,
your father’s father built the house, lies buried
under the pine—”
Sing Nelly was a lady
… Blue Juniata … Old Black Joe:

for sometimes a familiar music hammers
like blood against the eardrums, paints a mist
across the eyes, as if the smells of lilacs,
moss roses, and the past became a music
made visible, a monument of air.

(A note: In the words of one writer, “‘The Blue Juniata’ is a popular song written by Marion Dix Sullivan in 1844. It was one of the most popular parlor songs of the nineteenth century, and the first commercially successful song written by an American woman. The song was referenced by Mark Twain in his autobiography[ and recorded in 1937 by Roy Rogers and the early Sons of the Pioneers.
In ‘The Blue Juniata’, bright Alfarata, the Indian girl, sings the praises of her warrior while she travels along the Juniata River. This character is the namesake of the city of Alpharetta, Georgia.”).”

Below – Steven Holder: “Abandoned House

Contemporary Canadian Art – Madeline Gross

Below – In the words of one writer, “Madeleine Gross is a Toronto-based artist who customizes her photographs with paint in a way designed to ‘abstract landscapes but without completely abstracting reality.’”

Below – “Feels like Summer”; “Lake Stars”; “Drinks?”; “Miami Beach Sunset 2019.”

A Poem for Today

“The Animals are Leaving”
by Charles Harper Webb

One by one, like guests at a late party
They shake our hands and step into the dark:
‘Arabian ostrich; Long-eared kit fox; Mysterious starling.’

One by one, like sheep counted to close our eyes,
They leap the fence and disappear into the woods:
‘Atlas bear; Passenger pigeon; North Island laughing owl;   
Great auk; Dodo; Eastern wapiti; Badlands bighorn sheep.’

One by one, like grade school friends,
They move away and fade out of memory:
‘Portuguese ibex; Blue buck; Auroch; Oregon bison;   
Spanish imperial eagle; Japanese wolf; Hawksbill   
Sea turtle; Cape lion; Heath hen; Raiatea thrush.’

One by one, like children at a fire drill, they march outside,
And keep marching, though teachers cry, “Come back!”
‘Waved albatross; White-bearded spider monkey;   
Pygmy chimpanzee; Australian night parrot;   
Turquoise parakeet; Indian cheetah; Korean tiger;   
Eastern harbor seal ; Ceylon elephant ; Great Indian rhinoceros.’

One by one, like actors in a play that ran for years
And wowed the world, they link their hands and bow
Before the curtain falls.

Below – Some of many endangered species.

Endangered Species Charts Luxury Endangered Animal Chart

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