Sentient in San Francisco – 13 October 2019

This Date in Art History: Died 13 October 1822 – Antonio Canova, an Italian sculptor.

Below – “Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss”; “Theseus and the Minotaur”; “Reclining Naiad”; “The Three Graces”; “Venus Italica”; “Orpheus.”


This Date in Literary History: Died 13 October 2016 – Dario Fo, an Italian playwright and recipient of the 1997 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Some quotes from the work of Dario Fo:

“Know how to live the time that is given you.”
“With comedy I can search for the profound.”
“It is hard for power to enjoy or incorporate humour and satire in its system of control.”
“Our homeland is the whole world. Our law is liberty. We have but one thought, revolution in our hearts.”
“Comedy makes the subversion of the existing state of affairs possible.”
“It is extremely dangerous to talk about limits or borders. It is vital, instead, that we remain completely open, that we are always involved, and that we aim to contribute personally in social events.”
“All forms of power – even based on the consensus of the democratic system – react when they are being attacked, or when those who exercise power become a target.”
“Best while you have it use your breath, There is no drinking after death.”

This Date in Art History: Died 13 October 1979 – Antonio Berni, an Argentinian painter, illustrator, and engraver.

Below – “Nina con jarra”; “Still Life with Fruit and Bottle”; “Unemployment”; “La Espera”; “Public Demonstration”; “The Grand Illusion.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 13 October 1890 – Conrad Richter, an American novelist, author of “The Town” and “The Waters of Kronos,” and recipient of both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award.”

Some quotes from the work of Conrad Richter:

“As far as the eye could reach, this lonely forest sea rolled on and on till its faint blue billows broke against an incredibly distant horizon.”
“The brilliant sunshine lay like a golden shawl over the rich mountain city that morning my train set me down for the first time in my life in young Denver. The names of strange railroads incited me from the sides of locomotives at the depot. As I passed up 17th Street a babble of voices from the doors of clothing stores, auction houses and pawn broker shops coaxed and flattered me with ‘Sir’ and ‘Young Gentleman’. There was something in the streets I walked that morning, in the costly dress of the ladies in passing carriages, in the very air that swept down from the mountains, something lavish, dashing and sparkling, like Lutie Brewton herself, and I thought I began to understand a little of her fever for this prodigal place that was growing by leaps and bounds.”
“Everywhere about the house in my dream, the sand was endlessly blowing, burying the print of the coyote and lizard, rattling in the vibora weed, drifting close to the ground like barren snow so that the whole earth seemed to be moving, a restless gray ghost of itself trying to find those lusty prairie breasts, fertile as a woman and flowing with milk and wild honey, that used to be.”
“The sun beats down with a merciless white fire until the cloudless sky is scarcely blue but rather like the blade of a knife that for days has been ground to the stone.”


This Date in Art History: Born 13 October 1929 – Walasse Ting, a Chinese-American painter: Part I of II.

Below – “Lady with Fruit”; “Two Parrots”; “Fish”; “Beige Cat by Flowering Bushes”; “Geishas aux perroquets”; “Beauty Fantasy.”


A Poem for Today

“The Lady and the Tramp”
by Bruce Guernsey

As my mother’s memory dims
she’s losing her sense of smell
and can’t remember the toast
blackening the kitchen with smoke
or sniff how nasty the breath of the dog
that follows her yet from room to room,
unable, himself, to hear his own bark.

It’s thus they get around,
the wheezing old hound stone deaf
baying like a smoke alarm
for his amnesiac mistress whose back
from petting him is bent forever
as they shuffle towards the flaming toaster
and split the cindered crisp that’s left.

Below – Joan Kathleen Hardy Eardley: Old Woman with Dog outside a Cottage Door”


This Date in Art History: Born 13 October 1929 – Walasse Ting, a Chinese-American painter: Part II of II.

Below – “Pink Horse, Three Geishas”; “Three Cats”; “Blue Parrots Yellow Flowers”; “Two Girls, Many Fans”; “Three Ladies, Six Parrots”; “Girl with Orange Flower.”


A Poem for Today

“I Am In Need Of Music”
by Elizabeth Bishop

I am in need of music that would flow
Over my fretful, feeling fingertips,
Over my bitter-tainted, trembling lips,
With melody, deep, clear, and liquid-slow.
Oh, for the healing swaying, old and low,
Of some song sung to rest the tired dead,
A song to fall like water on my head,
And over quivering limbs, dream flushed to glow!

There is a magic made by melody:
A spell of rest, and quiet breath, and cool
Heart, that sinks through fading colors deep
To the subaqueous stillness of the sea,
And floats forever in a moon-green pool,
Held in the arms of rhythm and of sleep.

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