Sentient in San Francisco – 18 December 2019

This Date in Art History: Born 18 December 1869 – Edward Willis Redfield, an American painter.

Below – “Boothbay, Maine”; “The Studio Garden”; “The Hill Country”; Untitled; “Evening at the farm”; “First Spring Thaw, On the Delaware.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 18 December 1977 – Louis Untermeyer, an American poet, critic, and anthologist.

by Louis Untermeyer

You have not conquered me—it is the surge
Of love itself that beats against my will;
It is the sting of conflict, the old urge
That calls me still.

It is not you I love—it is the form
And shadow of all lovers who have died
That gives you all the freshness of a warm
And unfamiliar bride.

It is your name I breathe, your hands I seek;
It will be you when you are gone.
And yet the dream, the name I never speak,
Is that that lures me on.

It is the golden summons, the bright wave
Of banners calling me anew;
It is all beauty, perilous and grave—
It is not you.

Below – Herman Richter: “Woman with a Veil”

This Date in Art History: Died18 December 1939 – Ernest Lawson, a Canadian-American painter.

Below – “Approaching Storm”; “New England Birches”; “Spring Night, Harlem River”; “Landscape”; “Old Stone Bridge”; “The Red Mill.”

Musings in Autumn: Louis Untermeyer

“Come, drink the mystic wine of Night, Brimming with silence and the stars; While earth, bathed in this holy light, Is seen without its scars.”

Contemporary German Art – Stefanie Schneider: Part I of II.

Below (photographs) – “Purple Valley (Wastelands)”; “Max by the Pool (29 Palms, CA)”; “Horizon (Zuma Beach) – Malibu”; “The Village Motel Blue (The Last Picture Show)”; “Cyclone (Stay)”; Untitled (Last Picture Show).

A Poem for Today

“What I Learned From My Mother”
by Julia Kasdorf

learned from my mother how to love
the living, to have plenty of vases on hand
in case you have to rush to the hospital
with peonies cut from the lawn, black ants
still stuck to the buds. I learned to save jars
large enough to hold fruit salad for a whole
grieving household, to cube home-canned pears
and peaches, to slice through maroon grape skins
and flick out the sexual seeds with a knife point.
I learned to attend viewings even if I didn’t know
the deceased, to press the moist hands
of the living, to look in their eyes and offer
sympathy, as though I understood loss even then.
I learned that whatever we say means nothing,
what anyone will remember is that we came.
I learned to believe I had the power to ease
awful pains materially like an angel.
Like a doctor, I learned to create
from another’s suffering my own usefulness, and once
you know how to do this, you can never refuse.
To every house you enter, you must offer
healing: a chocolate cake you baked yourself,
the blessing of your voice, your chaste touch.

Contemporary German Art – Stefanie Schneider: Part II of II.

Below (photographs) – “Radha Shooting II (Stranger than Paradise)”; “Playgirl (Heavenly Falls)”; “Radha doing her Nails II (29 Palms, CA)”; “Radha at Fence (29 Palms, CA)”; “Spare Parts (29 Palms, CA); “Blue Sky Palm Trees (Sidewinder).”

A Poem for Today

“There Is Another Way”
by Pat Schneider

There is another way to enter an apple:
a worm’s way.
The small, round door
closes behind her. The world
and all its necessities
ripen around her like a room.

In the sweet marrow of a bone,
the maggot does not remember
the wingspread
of the mother, the green
shine of her body, nor even
the last breath of the dying deer.

I, too, have forgotten
how I came here, breathing
this sweet wind, drinking rain,
encased by the limits
of what I can imagine
and by a husk of stars.

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