Sentient in San Francisco – 24 February 2020

This Date in Art History: Born 24 February 1836 – Winslow Homer, an American painter and illustrator: Part I of III.

Below – “Long Branch, New Jersey”; “Crossing the Pasture”; “Artists Sketching in the White Mountains”; “Breezing Up (A Fair Wind)”; “Eastern Point Light”; “Girl in the Hammock.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 24 February 1999 – Andre Dubus, an award-winning American short story writer, essayist, and memoirist.

Some quotes from the work of Andre Dubus:

“It is not hard to live through a day, if you can live through a moment.”
“What creates despair is the imagination, which pretends there is a
future, and insists on predicting millions of moments, thousands of days, and so drains you that you cannot live the moment at hand.”
“I think the deeper you go into questions, the deeper or more interesting the questions get. And I think that’s the job of art.”
“Fear is a ghost; embrace your fear, and all you’ll see in your arms is yourself.”
“There are some beautiful books out there. But the ones that leave me cold are the ones where I feel—it’s that postmodern thing—it’s more experimentation with language than it is a deep compassionate falling into another human being’s experience.”
“I have always known that writing fiction had little effect on the world; that if it did, young men would not have gone to war after The Iliad.”
“And I felt more like me than I ever had, as if the years I’d lived so far had formed layers of skin and muscle over myself that others saw as me when the real one had been underneath all along, and I knew writing- even writing badly- had peeled away those layers, and I knew then that if I wanted to stay awake and alive, if I wanted to stay me, I would have to keep writing.”


This Date in Art History: Born 24 February 1836 – Winslow Homer, an American painter and illustrator: Part II of III.

Below – “The Four Leaf Clover”; “The Green Hill”; “On the Stile”; “Moonlight”; “Sunlight on the Coast”; “Girl and Laurel.”


This Date in Literary History: Born 24 February 1914 – Weldon Kees, an American poet, critic, novelist, short story writer, and playwright.

“The Beach in August”
by Weldon Kees

The day the fat woman
In the bright blue bathing suit
Walked into the water and died,
I thought about the human
Condition. Pieces of old fruit
Came in and were left by the tide.

What I thought about the human
Condition was this: old fruit
Comes in and is left, and dries
In the sun. Another fat woman
In a dull green bathing suit
Dives into the water and dies.
The pulmotors glisten. It is noon.

We dry and die in the sun
While the seascape arranges old fruit,
Coming in and the tide, glistening
At noon. A woman, moderately stout,
In a nondescript bathing suit,
Swims to a pier. A tall woman
Steps toward the sea. One thinks about the human
Condition. The tide goes in and goes out.

Below – Sue Zimmermann: “Ebb Tide”

This Date in Art History: Born 24 February 1836 – Winslow Homer, an American painter and illustrator: Part III of III.

Below – “The Fog Warning”; “The Gulf Stream”; “The Hudson River”; “Mink Pond”; “Summer Night”; “Girl Carrying a Basket.”

Musings in Winter: Billy Connolly

“There’s no such thing as bad weather – only the wrong clothes.”

Contemporary American Art – Susan Kinsella

Below – “Reverie”; “At the Shore”; “In the Light”; “Light After The Storm”; “Ocean Meditation”; “Fresh Plums.”

A Poem for Today

“Faith”
By David Baker

It was midday before we noticed it was morning.
The boy cousins brought us a tray—soup and cheese,
warm soda, and a soft cloth and candy for her fever.
They wouldn’t come in, the tray weighing between them.
They stood like woodwork inside the door frame.

By afternoon the old procession—silence at the lip
of a dozen night travelers tired and grieving, one
by one, or pairs floating to the bed and back
with a touching of hands like humming,
and the one we gathered for slipping farther

for all the good we could do. She lay in her shadow.
She looked to no one. Her daylilies bobbed wide
open out in the wild, blue sun and the same bee
kept nosing her window to reach them.
Dusk: even the boys were back watching it try.

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