Sentient in San Francisco – 3 September 2019

This Date in Art History: Born 3 September 1810 – Paul Kane, an Irish-born Canadian painter, famous for his works depicting Native Americans.

Below – “Indian Encampment on Lake Huron”; “Assiniboine hunting buffalo”:”Mount St. Helens erupting at night”; “A Plains Cree warrior and pipe stem carrier”; “The Surveyor: Portrait of Captain John Henry Lefoy”; “Flathead woman and child (Caw Wacham).”

This Date in Literary History: Died 3 September 1963 – Louis MacNeice, a British poet and playwright from Northern Ireland: Part I of II.


The room was suddenly rich and the great bay-window was
Spawning snow and pink roses against it
Soundlessly collateral and incompatible:
World is suddener than we fancy it.

World is crazier and more of it than we think,
Incorrigibly plural. I peel and portion
A tangerine and spit the pips and feel
The drunkenness of things being various.

And the fire flames with a bubbling sound for world
Is more spiteful and gay than one supposes—
On the tongue on the eyes on the ears in the palms of one’s hands—
There is more than glass between the snow and the huge roses.

Below – Paula Thury: “Roses on Windowsill, Snow Outside”

This Date in Art History: Died 3 September 1942 – Seraphine Louis, a French painter in the naive style.

Below – “The Tree of Life”; “Oiseau et branche de cerisiers”; “Deux grandes marguerites”; “Nature morte aux cerises”; “Grand Bouquet de fleurs”; “Branche fleurie.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 3 September 1963 – Louis MacNeice, a British poet and playwright from Northern Ireland: Part II of II.

“The Sunlight in the Garden”

The sunlight on the garden
Hardens and grows cold,
We cannot cage the minute
Within its nets of gold,
When all is told
We cannot beg for pardon.
Our freedom as free lances
Advances towards its end;
The earth compels, upon it
Sonnets and birds descend;
And soon, my friend,
We shall have no time for dances.

The sky was good for flying
Defying the church bells
And every evil iron
Siren and what it tells:
The earth compels,
We are dying, Egypt, dying

And not expecting pardon,
Hardened in heart anew,
But glad to have sat under
Thunder and rain with you,
And grateful too
For sunlight on the garden.

Below – Terry Oats: “Front Yard Garden”

This Date in Art History: Died 3 September 1996 – Emily Kame Kngwarreye, an Indigenous Australian painter.

Below – “Emily’s Country”; “Yam Seed Dreaming”; “Wet Season”; “Desert Abundance”; “Fertile Desert”; “The First Flowers of Summer.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 3 September 1926 – Alison Lurie, an American novelist, essayist, author of “Foreign Affairs” and “Don’t Tell the Grown-Ups: The Subversive Power of Children’s Literature,” and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize.

Some quotes from the work of Alison Lurie:

“In a sense much great literature is subversive, since its very existence implies that what matters is art, imagination, and truth. In what we call the real world, on the other hand, what usually counts is money, power, and public success.”
“America has a history of political isolation and economic self-sufficiency; its citizens have tended to regard the rest of the world as a disaster area from which lucky or pushy people emigrate to the Promised Land.”
“Nature can seem cruel, but she balances her books.”
“Real literature, like travel, is always a surprise.”
“If nothing will finally survive of life besides what artists report of it, we have no right to report what we know to be lies.”
“You get into the habit of being angry and hurt by life, and then when something good happens you can’t accept it because it doesn’t fit the pattern.”
“The great subversive works of children’s literature suggest that there are other views of human life besides those of the shopping mall and the corporation. They mock current assumptions and express the imaginative, unconventional, noncommercial view of the world in its simplest and purest form. They appeal to the imaginative questioning, rebellious child within all of us, renew our instinctive energy, and act as a force for change. This is why such literature is worthy of our attention and will endure long after more conventional tales have been forgotten.”
“In this culture, where energy and egotism are rewarded in the young and good-looking, plain aging women are supposed to be self-effacing, uncomplaining–to take up as little space and breathe as little air as possible.”
“Many Americans think of the rest of the world as a kind of Disneyland, a showplace for quaint fauna, flora and artifacts. They dress for travel in cheap, comfortable, childish clothes, as if they were going to the zoo and would not be seen by anyone except the animals.”
“As we leave the tribal culture of childhood behind, we lose contact with instinctive joy in self-expression: with the creative imagination, spontaneous emotion, and the ability to see the world as full of wonders.”
“Most of the great works of juvenile literature are subversive in one way or another: they express ideas and emotions not generally approved of or even recognized at the time; they make fun of honored figures and piously held beliefs; and they view social pretenses with clear-eyed directness, remarking – as in Andersen’s famous tale – that the emperor has no clothes.”

Contemporary Australian Art – Remy Gerega

Below (photographs) – “Ice Blue”; “Blue Tide”; “Summer Dip”; “Positano Parasols”; “Whirlpool”; “Bronte Beach Ants.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 3 September 1962 – E. E. Cummings, an award-winning American poet and playwright.

“dive for dreams”
by E. E. Cummings

dive for dreams
or a slogan may topple you
(trees are their roots
and wind is wind)

trust your heart
if the seas catch fire
(and live by love
though the stars walk backward)

honour the past
but welcome the future
(and dance your death
away at this wedding)

never mind a world
with its villains or heroes
(for god likes girls
and tomorrow and the earth)

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