Sentient in San Francisco – 30 April 2020

Contemporary Serbian Art – Alexandra Djokic: Part I of II.

Below – Mediterranean street”; “At the beach”; “Ballerina”; “Lemon Trees”; “Fashion Party.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 30 April 1888 – John Crowe Ransom, an American poet, critic, and recipient of the National Book Award: Part I of II.

“Bells for John Whiteside’s Daughter”
by John Crowe Ransom

There was such speed in her little body,
And such lightness in her footfall,
It is no wonder her brown study
Astonishes us all.

Her wars were bruited in our high window.
We looked among orchard trees and beyond
Where she took arms against her shadow,
Or harried unto the pond

The lazy geese, like a snow cloud
Dripping their snow on the green grass,
Tricking and stopping, sleepy and proud,
Who cried in goose, Alas,

For the tireless heart within the little
Lady with rod that made them rise
From their noon apple-dreams and scuttle
Goose-fashion under the skies!

But now go the bells, and we are ready,
In one house we are sternly stopped
To say we are vexed at her brown study,
Lying so primly propped.

Contemporary Serbian Art – Alexandra Djokic: Part II of II.

Below – “Watermelons”; “Down the street”; “Jump”; “Urban People”; “Conversation.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 30 April 1888 – John Crowe Ransom, an American poet, critic, and recipient of the National Book Award: Part II of II.

“Blue Girls”
by John Crowe Ransom

Twirling your blue skirts, travelling the sward
Under the towers of your seminary,
Go listen to your teachers old and contrary
Without believing a word.

Tie the white fillets then about your hair
And think no more of what will come to pass
Than bluebirds that go walking on the grass
And chattering on the air.

Practice your beauty, blue girls, before it fail;
And I will cry with my loud lips and publish
Beauty which all our power shall never establish,
It is so frail.

For I could tell you a story which is true;
I know a woman with a terrible tongue,
Blear eyes fallen from blue,
All her perfections tarnished — yet it is not long
Since she was lovelier than any of you.

Contemporary Maltese Art – Bernard Jageneau

Below- “the draw”; “La cue”; “le mur”; “Toscana”; “magic forest”; “Toscana.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 30 April 1945 – Annie Dillard, an American essayist, novelist, poet, memoirist, author of “Pilgrim at Tinker Creek,” and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize.

Some quotes from the work of Annie Dillard:

“At a certain point, you say to the woods, to the sea, to the mountains, the world, Now I am ready. Now I will stop and be wholly attentive. You empty yourself and wait, listening.”
“We are here to witness the creation and to abet it. We are here to notice each thing so each thing gets noticed. Together we notice not only each mountain shadow and each stone on the beach but, especially, we notice the beautiful faces and complex natures of each other. We are here to bring to consciousness the beauty and power that are around us and to praise the people who are here with us. We witness our generation and our times. We watch the weather. Otherwise, creation would be playing to an empty house.”
“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing. A schedule defends from chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days. It is a scaffolding on which a worker can stand and labor with both hands at sections of time. A schedule is a mock-up of reason and order—willed, faked, and so brought into being; it is a peace and a haven set into the wreck of time; it is a lifeboat on which you find yourself, decades later, still living.”
“I am a frayed and nibbled survivor in a fallen world, and I am getting along. I am aging and eaten and have done my share of eating too. I am not washed and beautiful, in control of a shining world in which everything fits, but instead am wondering awed about on a splintered wreck I’ve come to care for, whose gnawed trees breathe a delicate air, whose bloodied and scarred creatures are my dearest companions, and whose beauty bats and shines not in its imperfections but overwhelmingly in spite of them.”
“The sea pronounces something, over and over, in a hoarse whisper; I cannot quite make it out.”
“We are here on the planet only once, and might as well get a feel for the place.”
“We live in all we seek.”
“Our life is a faint tracing on the surface of mystery.”

Contemporary Canadian Art – Victor Tkachenko

Below – “Waiting”; “WhiteTail”; “Beauty is Skin Deep”; “Flower Z”; “She’s got it”; “Ana’s Dream.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 30 April 1937 – Tony Harrison, an award-winning English poet and playwright.

“Long Distance II”
by Tony Harrison

Though my mother was already two years dead
Dad kept her slippers warming by the gas,
put hot water bottles her side of the bed
and still went to renew her transport pass.

You couldn’t just drop in. You had to phone.
He’d put you off an hour to give him time
to clear away her things and look alone
as though his still raw love were such a crime.

He couldn’t risk my blight of disbelief
though sure that very soon he’d hear her key
scrape in the rusted lock and end his grief.
He knew she’d just popped out to get the tea.

I believe life ends with death, and that is all.
You haven’t both gone shopping; just the same,
in my new black leather phone book there’s your name
and the disconnected number I still call.

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