Sentient in San Francisco – 22 February 2020

This Date in Art History: Born 22 February 1906 – Constance Stokes, an Australian painter.

Below – “The village”; “Young Girl”; “Woman and Her Children”; “Woman drying her hair”; “Girl in Red Tights”; “Reclining Nudes.”

This Date in Literary History: Botrn 22 February 1926 – Gerald Stern, an American poet and recipient of the National Book Award.

“Swan Song”
by Gerald Stern

A bunch of old snakeheads down by the pond
carrying on the swan tradition — hissing
inside their white bodies, raising and lowering their heads
like ostriches, regretting only the sad ritual
that forced them to waddle back into the water
after their life under the rocks, wishing they could lie again
in the sun

and dream of spreading their terrifying wings;
wishing, this time, they could sail through the sky like
their tails rigid, their white manes fluttering,
their mouths open, their sharp teeth flashing,
drops of mercy pouring from their eyes,
bolts of wisdom from their foreheads.

This Date in Art History: Died 22 February 1980 – Oskar Kokoschka, an Austrian painter.

Below – “Portrait of a Young Girl”; “Alice in Wonderland”; “Girl with a Yellow Headband”; “Dolomite Landscape: Tre Croci”; “Two Children”; “Knight Errant (Self-Portrait).”

This Date in Intellectual History: Born 22 February 1788 – Arthur Schopenhauer, a German philosopher.

Some quotes from the work of Arthur Schopenhauer:

“It is difficult to find happiness within oneself, but it is impossible to find it anywhere else.”
“A pessimist is an optimist in full possession of the facts.”
“The majority of men… are not capable of thinking, but only of believing, and… are not accessible to reason, but only to authority.”
“The assumption that animals are without rights and the illusion that our treatment of them has no moral significance is a positively outrageous example of Western crudity and barbarity. Universal compassion is the only guarantee of morality.”
“We seldom think of what we have but always of what we lack. Therefore, rather than grateful, we are bitter.”
“Hope is the confusion of the desire for a thing with its probability.”
“The real meaning of persona is a mask, such as actors were accustomed to wear on the ancient stage; and it is quite true that no one shows himself as he is, but wears his mask and plays his part. Indeed, the whole of our social arrangements may be likened to a perpetual comedy; and this is why a man who is worth anything finds society so insipid, while a blockhead is quite at home in it.”
“The person who writes for fools is always sure of a large audience.” “Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.”
“Just remember, once you’re over the hill you begin to pick up speed.”

This Date in Art History: Died 22 February 1987 – Andy Warhol, an American painter and photographer.

Below – “Triple Elvis”; “Campbell’s Soup Cans”; “Marilyn”; From the Endangered Species Series: “Grevy’s Zebra”; “Black Rhinoceros”; “Giant Panda.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 22 February 1938 – Ishmael Reed, an award-winning American poet, novelist, and essayist.

“beware: do not read this poem”
by Ishmael Reed

tonite, thriller was
abt an ol woman , so vain she
surrounded herself w/
many mirrors
it got so bad that finally she
locked herself indoors & her
whole life became the

one day the villagers broke
into her house , but she was too
swift for them . she disappeared
into a mirror

each tenant who bought the house
after that , lost a loved one to
the ol woman in the mirror :
first a little girl
then a young woman
then the young woman/s husband

the hunger of this poem is legendary
it has taken in many victims
back off from this poem
it has drawn in yr feet
back off from this poem
it has drawn in yr legs

back off from this poem
it is a greedy mirror
you are into the poem . from
the waist down
nobody can hear you can they ?
this poem has had you up to here
this poem aint got no manners
you cant call out frm this poem
relax now & go w/ this poem
move & roll on to this poem
do not resist this poem
this poem has yr eyes
this poem has his head
this poem has his arms
this poem has his fingers
this poem has his fingertips
this poem is the reader & the
reader this poem

statistic : the us bureau of missing persons re-
ports that in 1968 over 100,000 people
disappeared leaving no solid clues
nor trace     only
a space     in the lives of their friends

Contemporary German Art – Heiko Muller

Below – “Brother”; “Eskimos”; “The Inner Light”; “Behind the Curtain”; “Henchmen”; “Guard”; “Bear.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 22 February 1892 – Edna St. Vincent Millay, an American poet, playwright, and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize.

“Love Is Not All”
by Edna St. Vincent Millay

Love is not all: it is not meat nor drink
Nor slumber nor a roof against the rain;
Nor yet a floating spar to men that sink
And rise and sink and rise and sink again;
Love can not fill the thickened lung with breath,
Nor clean the blood, nor set the fractured bone;
Yet many a man is making friends with death
Even as I speak, for lack of love alone.
It well may be that in a difficult hour,
Pinned down by pain and moaning for release,
Or nagged by want past resolution’s power,
I might be driven to sell your love for peace,
Or trade the memory of this night for food.
It well may be. I do not think I would.

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