Sentient in San Francisco – 25 April 2020

This Date in Art History: Born 25 April 1938 – Ton Schulten, a Dutch painter.

Below – “Colorful Landscape”; Untitled; “Towards the Horizon”; “Ontluikende tulpen.”


This Date in Literary History: Born 25 April 1873 – Walter de La Mare, an English poet, short story writer, and novelist. Critic J.B. Priestly described Walter de La Mare as “an artist who never lost sight of this childhood.”: Part I of II.

Some quotes from the work of Walter de La Mare:

“All day long the door of the sub-conscious remains just ajar; we slip through to the other side, and return again, as easily and secretly as a cat.”
“Without imagination of the one kind or of the other, mortal existence is indeed a dreary and prosaic business… Illumined by the imagination, our life, whatever its defeats – is a never-ending unforeseen strangeness and adventure and mystery.”
“After all, what is every man? A horde of ghosts – like a Chinese nest of boxes – oaks that were acorns that were oaks. Death lies behind us, not in front – in our ancestors, back and back until.”
“He got out of bed and peeped through the blinds. To the east and opposite to him gardens and an apple-orchard lay, and there in strange liquid tranquility hung the morning star, and rose, rilling into the dusk of night the first grey of dawn. The street beneath its autumn leaves was vacant, charmed, deserted.”
“So, blind to Someone I must be.”
“And some win peace who spend
The skill of words to sweeten despair
Of finding consolation where
Life has but one dark end.”
“Lear, Macbeth. Mercutio – they live on their own as it were. The newspapers are full of them, if we were only the Shakespeares to see it. Have you ever been in a Police Court? Have you ever watched tradesmen behind their counters? My soul, the secrets walking in the streets! You jostle them at every corner. There’s a Polonius in every first-class railway carriage, and as many Juliets as there are boarding-schools. … How inexhaustibly rich everything is, if you only stick to life.”
“Too late for fruit, too soon for flowers.”
“Very old are the woods; And the buds that break Out of the brier’s boughs, When March winds wake, So old with their beauty are– Oh, no man knows Through what wild centuries Roves back the rose.”
“When music sounds, gone is the earth I know, And all her lovelier things even lovelier grow; Her flowers in vision flame, her forest trees Lift burdened branches, stilled with ecstasies. When music sounds, out of the water rise Naiads whose beauty dims my waking eyes, Rapt in strange dream burns each enchanted face, With solemn echoing stirs their dwelling-place. When music sounds, all that I was I am Ere to this haunt of brooding dust I came; And from Time’s woods break into distant song The swift-winged hours, as I hasten along.”
“For beauty with sorrow Is a burden hard to be borne: The evening light on the foam, and the swans, there; That music, remote, forlorn.”


Contemporary Turkish Art – Said Mingu

Below – “In Wonderland”; “Crossing”; “Wavy”; “The Other”; “Random V”; “Homesick.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 25 April 1873 – Walter de La Mare, an English poet, short story writer, and novelist. Critic J.B. Priestly described Walter de La Mare as “an artist who never lost sight of this childhood.”: Part II of II.

“The Listeners”
by Walter de La Mare

“Is there anybody there?” said the Traveller,
Knocking on the moonlit door;
And his horse in the silence champed the grass
Of the forest’s ferny floor;
And a bird flew up out of the turret,
Above the Traveller’s head:
And he smote upon the door again a second time;
“Is there anybody there?” he said.
But no one descended to the Traveller;
No head from the leaf-fringed sill
Leaned over and looked into his grey eyes,
Where he stood perplexed and still.
But only a host of phantom listeners
That dwelt in the lone house then
Stood listening in the quiet of the moonlight
To that voice from the world of men:
Stood thronging the faint moonbeams on the dark stair,
That goes down to the empty hall,
Hearkening in an air stirred and shaken
By the lonely Traveller’s call.
And he felt in his heart their strangeness,
Their stillness answering his cry,
While his horse moved, cropping the dark turf,
‘Neath the starred and leafy sky;
For he suddenly smote on the door, even
Louder, and lifted his head:–
“Tell them I came, and no one answered,
That I kept my word,” he said.
Never the least stir made the listeners,
Though every word he spake
Fell echoing through the shadowiness of the still house
From the one man left awake:
Ay, they heard his foot upon the stirrup,
And the sound of iron on stone,
And how the silence surged softly backward,
When the plunging hoofs were gone.


Contemporary French Art – Patrick Marie

Below – “Etretat”; “Cote bretonne No. 10”; “Champs de fleurs savages”; “Buisson au bord de la Seine”; “Pommier en fleur au printemps”; “wild flowers.”


This Date in Literary History: Born 25 April 1949 – James Fenton, an English poet, journalist, and literary critic.

“How Can the Heart Live?”
by James Fenton

How can the heart live that loved once so well?
The body that knew love without deceit?
For I remember now I was not mad
Loving my bright unblemished luck
And finding a simple joy in what I had.

And I remember now I was not deceived.
The tongue lies. Really, the body does not lie.
And long before the breaking of the wave
I knew there was some great good I had mislaid
And logic tells me what I lost was love.

Affection with an electric charge of hope
Is what love was. Affection died in the flames.
There’s no insurance: earthquake, fire and flood,
War, famine, pestilence – all such are deemed
The visitations of some love-crossed god.

On some remote Olympus of the soul,
Hidden beyond the brain’s cloud-forest line,
Some ancient grudge-match is being fought to the last.
It seems that we were proxies in the fight
And there’s no compensation, no redress.

Live without hope for a time, unlucky heart.
Unlucky lover in this ruined city,
Live with this loss, these lucky ruined lives.


Contemporary American Art – Jessica Niello-White

Below – “Flamingo Blamingo”; “Kuan Yin with glitter crown”; “Temporality”; “Turtle Woman”; “Two Eyes”; “Tiger.”

A Poem for Today

“And People Stayed Home”
by Catherine O’Meara

And people stayed home
and read books and listened
and rested and exercised
and made art and played
and learned new ways of being
and stopped
and listened deeper
someone meditated
someone prayed
someone danced
someone met their shadow
and people began to think differently
and people healed
and in the absence of people who lived in ignorant ways,
dangerous, meaningless and heartless,
even the earth began to heal
and when the danger ended
and people found each other
grieved for the dead people
and they made new choices
and dreamed of new visions
and created new ways of life
and healed the earth completely
just as they were healed themselves.

Below – Edward Miller: “Silence”

Contemporary Canadian Art – Synnove Seidman

Below – “Some Time Alone”; “Coquihalla Dream”; “Moss Girl”; “Power Lines”; “In My Dreams”; “See You.”


A Poem for Today

“When This Is Over”
by Laura Kelly Fanucci

When this is over, may we never again take for granted
A handshake with a stranger
Full shelves at the store
Conversations with neighbors
A crowded theater
Friday night out
The taste of communion
A routine checkup
The school rush each morning
Coffee with a friend
The stadium roaring
Each deep breath
A boring Tuesday
Life itself.
When this ends
may we find
that we have become
more like the people
we wanted to be
we were called to be
we hoped to be
and may we stay
that way — better
for each other
because of the worst.

Below – “Girl Looking Out Window” (courtesy of Painting Valley)

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