Sentient in San Francisco – 10 December 2019

Contemporary Russian Art – Anna Kasso

Below – “The Flight”; “No makeup”; “Russian winter”; “The Dove”; “The bird.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 10 December 1891 – Nelly Sachs, a German-Swedish poet, playwright, and recipient of the 1966 Nobel Prize in Literature.

“Behind the Door”
by Nelly Sachs

Behind the door
you pull on the rope of longing
until tears come
in this well
is your reflection –

Contemporary British Art – Lynne Douglas Part I of II.

Below (photographs) – “Not just any day…”; “Ride the White Horses”; “Fire on the Water”; “On Distant Hills”; “Stargazer”; “Enigma.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 10 December 1972 – Mark Van Doren, an American poet, critic, and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize.

“Spring Thunder”
by Mark Van Doren

Listen, The wind is still,
And far away in the night —
See! The uplands fill
With a running light.

Open the doors. It is warm;
And where the sky was clear–
Look! The head of a storm
That marches here!

Come under the trembling hedge–
Fast, although you fumble…
There! Did you hear the edge
of winter crumble?

Below – Narcisse-Virgile Diaz de la Pena: “The Approaching Storm”

Contemporary British Art – Lynne Douglas Part II of II.

Below (photographs) – “Atlantic Poetry”; “Skyefall II”; “New Dawn”; “Heaven’s Escape”; “Once upon a time…”; “Never Look Down.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 10 December 1907 – Margaret Rumer Godden, an English author of more than sixty books.

Some quotes from the work of Margaret Rumer Godden:

“There is an Indian proverb that says that everyone is a house with four rooms, a physical, a mental, an emtional, and a spiritual . Most of us tend to live in one room most of the time but unless we go into every room every day, even if only to keep it aired, we are not a complete person.”
“When you learn to read you will be born again…and you will never be quite so alone again.”
“You must remember garden catalogues are as big liars as house-agents.”
“Most grown people are like icebergs, three-tenths showing, seven-tenths submerged – that is why a collision with one of them is unexpectedly hurtful.”
“You can be a nuisance to your family. You mustn’t be a nuisance to your friends.”
“As one gets older being sad and miserable can become a bit of a habit. To counteract this, she suggests making a point of savoring such things as the tastiness of a piece of fruit, or other small things we might have been prone to overlook during our younger, busier days.”
“Memory is the only friend of grief.”

Contemporary Belarusian Art – Elena Mille

Below – “Blue cat”; “Blue on Gold”; “Shrek”; “Labyrinth”; “Don Quijote.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 10 December 1925 – Carolyn Kizer, an American poet and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize.

“Amusing Our Daughters”
by Carolyn Kizer

after Po Chü-i,
for Robert Creeley

We don’t lack people here on the Northern coast,
But they are people one meets, not people one cares for.
So I bundle my daughters into the car
And with my brother poets, go to visit you, brother.

Here come your guests! A swarm of strangers and children;
But the strangers write verses, the children are daughters like yours.
We bed down on mattresses, cots, roll up on the floor:
Outside, burly old fruit trees in mist and rain;
In every room, bundles asleep like larvae.

We waken and count our daughters. Otherwise, nothing happens.
You feed them sweet rolls and melon, drive them all to the zoo;
Patiently, patiently, ever the father, you answer their questions.
Later, we eat again, drink, listen to poems.
Nothing occurs, though we are aware you have three daughters
Who last year had four. But even death becomes part of our ease:
Poems, parenthood, sorrow, all we have learned
From these of tenderness, holds us together
In the center of life, entertaining daughters
By firelight, with cake and songs.

You, my brother, are a good and violent drinker,
Good at reciting short-line or long-line poems.
In time we will lose all our daughters, you and I,
Be temperate, venerable, content to stay in one place,
Sending our messages over the mountains and waters.

Below – Vickie Wade: “Father And Three Daughters In The Garden”

Contemporary New Zealand Art – Angela Maritz

Below – “Think of Me”; “Vases on Paper I”;“Vases on Paper, Series III”; “Streletzia’s Dance”; “Petal Lines I”; “Petal Lines IV.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 10 December 1830 – Emily Dickinson, an American poet.

“‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers”
by Emily Dickinson

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –

And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
And sore must be the storm –
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm –

I’ve heard it in the chillest land –
And on the strangest Sea –
Yet – never – in Extremity,
It asked a crumb – of me.

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