Sentient in San Francisco – 30 October 2019

This Date in Art History – Born 30 October 1839 – Alfred Sisley, a French-English painter: Part I of II.

Below – “Rest along the Stream. Edge of the Wood”; “Molesey Weir – Morning”; “The Terrace at Saint-Germain, Spring”; “Bridge at Hampton Court”; “Snow on the Road Louveciennes”; “Women Going to the Woods.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 30 October 1885 – Ezra Pound, an expatriate American poet and critic: Part I of II.

Some quotes from the work of Ezra Pound:

“If a man isn’t willing to take some risk for his opinions, either his opinions are no good or he’s no good.”
“The technique of infamy is to start two lies at once and get people arguing heatedly over which is the truth.”
“Wars in old times were made to get slaves. The modern implement of imposing slavery is debt.”
“America is a lunatic asylum.”
“I did not enter into silence. Silence captured me.”
“Why fight for a flag when you can buy one for a nickel.”
“The only chance for victory over the brainwash is the right of every man to have his ideas judged one at a time. You never get clarity as long as you have these packaged words, as long as a word is used by twenty-five people in twenty-five different ways. That seems to me to be the first fight, if there is going to be any intellect left.”
“I have never known anyone worth a damn who wasn’t irascible.”
“And the days are not full enough And the nights are not full enough And life slips by like a field mouse Not shaking the grass.”

This Date in Art History – Born 30 October 1839 – Alfred Sisley, a French-English painter: Part II of II.

Below – “Small Meadows in Spring”; “Along the Woods in Autumn”; “Lane of Poplars at Moret”; “On the Banks of the River Loing”; “The Park”; “Plum and Walnut Trees in Spring.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 30 October 1885 – Ezra Pound, an expatriate American poet and critic: Part II of II.

“In a Station of the Metro”
by Ezra Pound

The apparition of these faces in the crowd:
Petals on a wet, black bough.

Note: Critic Richard Aldington has suggested that the inspiration for this poem might have been a Japanese woodblock print that Pound saw in the British Library – Suzuki Harunobu: “Woman Admiring Plum Blossoms at Night” (shown below).

Contemporary French Art – Bazévian DelaCapucinière

Below – “Portrait Eidolon Combinaison Nude”; “Portrait When the sea rises 001 girl”; “Post Synthétique 30”; “Portrait PS 69 nude woman”; “Portrait PS 49 Caramel, bonbons et chocolat woman”; “Portrait PachaMama Glósóli 007 Marianne Etc.”

This Date in Cultural History: Died 30 October 1987 – Joseph Campbell, an American scholar of comparative mythology and comparative religion, and author of “The Hero with a Thousand Faces” and “The Power of Myth” (with Bill Moyers).

Some quotes from the work of Joseph Campbell:

“If you see your path laid out in front of you – Step one, Step two, Step three – you only know one thing . . . it is not your path. Your path is created in the moment of action. If you can see it laid out in front of you, you can be sure it is someone else’s path. That is why you see it so clearly.”
“Myths are public dreams, dreams are private myths.”
“Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.”
“People forget facts, but they remember stories.”
“Nietzsche was the one who did the job for me. At a certain moment in his life, the idea came to him of what he called ‘the love of your fate.’ Whatever your fate is, whatever the hell happens, you say, ‘This is what I need.’ It may look like a wreck, but go at it as though it were an opportunity, a challenge. If you bring love to that moment-not discouragement-you will find the strength is there. Any disaster you can survive is an improvement in your character, your stature, and your life. What a privilege! This is when the spontaneity of your own nature will have a chance to flow.”
“Life is not a problem to be solved but a mystery to be lived. Follow the path that is no path, follow your bliss.”
“We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.”
“Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.”
“You must have a room, or a certain hour or so a day, where you don’t know what was in the newspapers that morning, you don’t know who your friends are, you don’t know what you owe anybody, you don’t know what anybody owes to you. This is a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be. This is the place of creative incubation. At first you may find that nothing happens there. But if you have a sacred place and use it, something eventually will happen.”
“No one in the world was ever you before, with your particular gifts and abilities and possibilities.”
“You are more than you think you are. There are dimensions of your being and a potential for realization and consciousness that are not included in your concept of yourself. Your life is much deeper and broader than you conceive it to be here. What you are living is but a fractional inkling of what is really within you, what gives you life, breadth, and depth.”

Contemporary American Art – Brendan Kramp

Below – “East Berlin Cafe”; “Hennepin Spyhouse”; “Spyhouse North Loop”; “Brooklyn Cafe, Carroll Gardens”; “March, Hennepin Ave”; “Northeast Spyhouse.”

A Poem for the Day before Halloween

“Curse of the Cat Woman”
by Edward Field

It sometimes happens
that the woman you meet and
fall in love with
is of that strange Transylvanian
with an affinity for cats.

You take her to a restaurant
or a show,
on an ordinary date, being attracted
by the glitter in her slitty eyes and her catlike walk,
and afterward of course you take her in your arms,
and she turns into a black panther
and bites you to death.

Or perhaps you are saved in the nick of time,
and she is tormented by the knowledge of her tendency:
that she daren’t hug a man
unless she wants to risk clawing him up.

This puts you both in a difficult position,
panting lovers who are prevented from touching
not by bars but by circumstance:
you have terrible fights and say cruel things,
for having the hots does not give you a sweet temper.

One night you are walking down a dark street
and hear the padpad of a panther following you,
but when you turn around there are only shadows,
or perhaps one shadow too many

You approach, calling, “Who’s there?”
and it leaps on you.
Luckily you have brought along your sword,
and you stab it to death.

And before your eyes it turns into the woman you love,
her breast impaled on your sword,
her mouth dribbling blood saying she loved you
but couldn’t help her tendency.

So death released her from the curse at last,
and you knew from the angelic smile on her dead face
that in spite of a life the devil owned,
love had won, and heaven pardoned her.

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