Sentient in San Francisco – 27 October 2019

Today marks the beginning of Diwali, a festival of lights that is celebrated by Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and some Buddhists. In the words of one writer, Diwali symbolizes “the spiritual victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance.”

This Date in Art History: Born 27 October 1877 – Walt Kuhn, an American painter.

Below “American Beauty”; “Athene”; “Kitchen Interior”; “Trees at Stone Wall”; “Pink Roses”; “Drumm Girl.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 27 October 1932 – Sylvia Plath, an American poet, novelist, short story writer, and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize: Part I of II.

Some quotes from the work of Sylvia Plath:

“It’s a hell of a responsibility to be yourself. It’s much easier to be somebody else or nobody at all.”
“If you expect nothing from anybody, you’re never disappointed.
“If I didn’t think, I’d be much happier.”
“Hour by hour, day by day, life becomes possible.”
“The hardest thing, I think, is to live richly in the present, without letting it be tainted & spoiled out of fear for the future or regret for a badly-managed past.”
“Opinions are like orgasms…mine matters most and I really don’t care if you have one.”
“How we need another soul to cling to, another body to keep us warm. To rest and trust; to give your soul in confidence: I need this, I need someone to pour myself into.”
“I can never read all the books I want; I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want. I can never train myself in all the skills I want. And why do I want? I want to live and feel all the shades, tones and variations of mental and physical experience possible in life. And I am horribly limited.”
“Remember, remember, this is now, and now, and now. Live it, feel it, cling to it. I want to become acutely aware of all I’ve taken for granted.”

This Date in Art History: Born 27 October 1885 – Sigrid Hjerten, a Swedish painter.

Below – “Beach”; “At the Theater”; “The Blue Locomotive”; “Chalk Cliffs”; “The Green Couch”; “Nightmare.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 27 October 1932 – Sylvia Plath, an American poet, novelist, short story writer, and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize: Part II of II.

“You’re”
by Sylvia Plath

Clownlike, happiest on your hands,
Feet to the stars, and moon-skulled,
Gilled like a fish. A common-sense
Thumbs-down on the dodo’s mode.
Wrapped up in yourself like a spool,
Trawling your dark as owls do.
Mute as a turnip from the Fourth
Of July to All Fools’ Day,
O high-riser, my little loaf.

Vague as fog and looked for like mail.
Farther off than Australia.
Bent-backed Atlas, our traveled prawn.
Snug as a bud and at home
Like a sprat in a pickle jug.
A creel of eels, all ripples.
Jumpy as a Mexican bean.
Right, like a well-done sum.
A clean slate, with your own face on.

Below – Simone Valle: “Mother”


This Date in Art History: Born 27 October 1926 – Boris Chetkov, a Russian painter.

Below – “A Walk”; “Texas”; “Still life”; “A Walk”; “Still life”; “Landscape on a river.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 27 October 1991 – George Barker, an English author and poet.

“O Child Beside The Waterfall”
by George Barker

O Child beside the Waterfall
what songs without a word
rise from those waters like the call
only a heart has heard-
the Joy, the Joy in all things
rise whistling like a bird.

O Child beside the Waterfall
I hear them too, the brief
heavenly notes, the harp of dawn,
the nightingale on the leaf,
all, all dispel the darkness and
the silence of our grief.

O Child beside the Waterfall
I see you standing there
with waterdrops and fireflies
and hummingbirds in the air,
all singing praise of paradise,
paradise everywhere.

Below – John Simmons: “A Girl Standing by a Waterfall”

Contemporary Polish Art – Romuald Mulk Musiolik

Below – “Laurantis Danks”; “Surumi East Town”; “Sunlight”; “Cancun”; “Kotzebue Silence”; “Lemon Street 54.”


This Date in Literary History: Born 27 October 1914 – Dylan Thomas, a Welsh poet and playwright.

“Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night”
by Dylan Thomas

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on that sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

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