Sentient in San Francisco – 17 February 2020

Contemporary Dutch Art – Teis Albers: Part I of II.

Below – “XXVIII”; “Desirable”; “Bouquet V”; “Floriage”; “Bouquet XXVII”; “Pinnacle.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 17 February 1955 – Mo Yan (pen name of Guan Moye), a Chinese novelist, short story writer, author of “Red Sorghum,” and recipient of the 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Some quotes from the work of Mo Yan:

“Possibly because I’ve lived so much of my life in difficult circumstances, I think I have a more profound understanding of life.”
“I am also well aware that literature only has a minimal influence on political disputes or economic crises in the world, but its significance to human beings is ancient.”
“People who are strangers to liquor are incapable of talking about literature.”
“The sun, a red wheel, was sinking slowly in the west. Besides being spectacularly beautiful, the early-summer sunset was exceedingly soft and gentle: black mulberry leaves turned as red as roses; pristine white acacia petals shed an enshrouding pale-green aura. Mild evening breezes made both the mulberry leaves and the acacia petals dance and whirl, filling the woods with a soft rustle.”
“I think writers write for their consciences, they write for their own true audiences, for their souls.”

Contemporary Dutch Art – Teis Albers: Part II of II.

Below – “Vibrations”; “Exciting Light”; “Oracle”; “Astronaut Moonwalk”; “Duality”; “Variety.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 17 February 1918 – William Bronk, an American poet and recipient of the National Book Award: Part I of II.

“What We Are”
by William Bronk

What we are? We say we want to become
what we are or what we have an intent to be.
We read the possibilities, or try.
We get to some. We think we know how to read.
We recognize a word, here and there,
a syllable: male, it says perhaps,
or female, talent – look what you could do –
or love, it says, love is what we mean.
Being at any cost: in the end, the cost
is terrible but so is the lure to us.
We see it move and shine and swallow it.
We say we are and this is what we are
as to say we should be and this is what to be
and this is how. But, oh, it isn’t so.

Below – Rezan Ozger: “Confused”

Contemporary Portuguese Art – Mario Henrique

Below – “Apparentia No. 4, Series III”; “Apparentia No. 2, Series III”; “Apparentia No. 5, Series III”; “Apparentia No. 8, Series I”; “Apparentia No. 3, Series III”; “Somnium No. 16, Series III.”

Musings in Winter: James M. Barrie

“Make your feet your friend.”

Contemporary American Art: George Paul Miller

Artist Statement: “My desire is to use a simple line, a curve, a shadow to create the illusion of form and provoke emotion or thought, to bring a little joy or beauty, or to open a wound and create a little scar. Fascinated and inspired by the human figure in classical realism and extreme contrast. I am working primarily in oils, charcoal and graphite, and currently exploring techniques in black and white and muted color to create contemporary fine art.”

Below – “Lullaby”; “The Inception of Dissociation”; Untitled Portrait of Freedom; “Sonata”; “Symphony”; “Alpha Centauri”; “Love.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 17 February 1918 – William Bronk, an American poet and recipient of the National Book Award: Part II of II.

“The Smile on the Face of a Kouros”
by William Bronk

This boy, of course, was dead, whatever that
might mean. And nobly dead. I think we should feel
he was nobly dead. He fell in battle, perhaps,
and this carved stone remembers him
not as he may have looked, but as if to define
the naked virtue the stone describes as his.
One foot is forward, the eyes look out, the arms
drop downward past the narrow waist to hands
hanging in burdenless fullness by the heavy flanks.
The boy was dead, and the stone smiles in his death
lightening the lips with the pleasure of something achieved:
an end. To come to an end. To come to death
as an end. And coming, bring there intact, the full
weight of his strength and virtue, the prize with which
his empty hands are full. None of it lost,
safe home, and smile at the end achieved.
Now death, of which nothing as yet – or ever – is known,
leaves us alone to think as we want of it,
and accepts our choice, shaping the life to the death.
Do we want an end? It gives us; and takes what we give
and keeps it; and has, this way, in life itself,
a kind of treasure house of comely form
achieved and left with death to stay and be
forever beautiful and whole, as if
to want too much the perfect, unbroken form
were the same as wanting death, as choosing death
for an end. There are other ways; we know the way
to make the other choice for death: unformed
or broken, less than whole, puzzled, we live
in a formless world. Endless, we hope for no end.
I tell you death, expect no smile of pride
from me. I bring you nothing in my empty hands.

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