Sentient in San Francisco – 25 September 2019

This Date in Art History: Born 25 September 1865 – Henri Lebasque, a French painter: Part I of II.

Below – “La cigarette”; “Sous la lampe”; “Young Woman Sitting in a Garden”; “On the Green Bank, Sanary”; “Before Bathing”; “Una joven en el bosque.”

This Date in Literary and Cultural History: Born 25 September 1881 – Lu Xun, a Chinese writer, essayist, poet, and literary critic.

Some quotes from the work of Lu Xun:

“Hope is like a path in the countryside. Originally, there is nothing – but as people walk this way again and again, a path appears.”
“The ability to forget the past enables people to free themselves gradually from the pain they once suffered; but it also often makes them repeat the mistakes of their predecessors.”
“To be suspicious is not a fault. To be suspicious all the time without coming to a conclusion is the defect.”
“Whoever thinks he is objective must already be half drunk.”
“I could not blot out hope, for hope belongs to the future.”
“You have to reform yourself before reforming society and the world.”
“Trust only him who doubts.”


This Date in Art History: Born 25 September 1865 – Henri Lebasque, a French painter: PartI I of II.

Below – “The Blue Robe”: “Nono by the Sea”; “Young Girl Picking Flowers”; “Afternoon in the Garden”; “Woman in a White Dress”; “Saint-tropez, Maiden Resting in the Garden.”

A Poem for Today

“Seeing the Eclipse in Maine”
by Robert Bly

It started about noon.  On top of Mount Batte,
We were all exclaiming.  Someone had a cardboard
And a pin, and we all cried out when the sun
Appeared in tiny form on the notebook cover.

It was hard to believe.  The high school teacher
We’d met called it a pinhole camera,
People in the Renaissance loved to do that.
And when the moon had passed partly through

We saw on a rock underneath a fir tree,
Dozens of crescents—made the same way—
Thousands!  Even our straw hats produced
A few as we moved them over the bare granite.

We shared chocolate, and one man from Maine
Told a joke.  Suns were everywhere—at our feet.


This Date in Art History: Born 25 September 1898 – Robert Brackman, a Ukrainian-born American painter: Part I of II.

Below – “A Plant for Elizabeth”; “Persephone And Flowers”; “Early Chores”; “Life & Still Life”; “Flowers for Jennifer”; “Life About Me.”

Musings in Autumn: Joe L. Wheeler

“There is something incredibly nostalgic and significant about the annual cascade of autumn leaves.”

Below – Vincent van Gogh: “Falling Autumn Leaves”

This Date in Art History: Born 25 September 1898 – Robert Brackman, a Ukrainian-born American painter: Part II of II.

Below – “Charles Lindbergh”; “Anne Morrow Lindbergh”; “Girl From The Village”; “Somewhere in America”; “Nude With Basket”; “End of Day.”

A Poem for Today

“Dead Butterfly”
by Ellen Bass

For months my daughter carried
a dead monarch in a quart mason jar.
To and from school in her backpack,
to her only friend’s house.   At the dinner table
it sat like a guest alongside the pot roast.
She took it to bed, propped by her pillow.

Was it the year her brother was born?
Was this her own too-fragile baby
that had lived—so briefly—in its glassed world?
Or the year she refused to go to her father’s house?
Was this the holding-her-breath girl she became there?

This plump child in her rolled-down socks
I sometimes wanted to haul back inside me
and carry safe again.   What was her fierce
commitment?   I never understood.
We just lived with the dead winged thing
as part of her, as part of us,
weightless in its heavy jar.

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