Sentient in San Francisco – 9 June 2020

This Date in Art History: Born 9 June 1947 – Robert Indermaur, a Swiss painter and sculptor.

Below – “Flugzeugs II”; “Im Kuriositätenkabinett”; Untitled; Untitled; Untitled; Untitled.

A Poem for Today

“Bright Star”
by John Keats

Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art—
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like nature’s patient, sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth’s human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors—
No—yet still stedfast, still unchangeable,
Pillow’d upon my fair love’s ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever—or else swoon to death.

This Date in Art History: Born 9 July 1998 – Lois Mailou Jones, an American painter.

Below – “1220 Quincy Street”; “Moon Masque”; “Initiation, Liberia”; “Les Fetiches”; “Winter Night”; “Self-Portrait.”

A Poem for Today

“Porcupine”
by Kelly Madigan

You think we are the pointed argument,
the man drunk at the party showing off
his gun collection, the bed of nettles.

What we really are is hidden from you:
girl weeping in the closet among her stepfather’s boots;
tuft of rabbit fur caught in barbed wire; body of the baby
in the landfill; boy with the shy mouth playing his guitar
at the picnic table, out in the dirt yard.

We slide into this world benign and pliable,
quills pressed down smooth over back and tail.
Only one hour here stiffens the barbs into thousands
of quick retorts. Everything this well-guarded
remembers being soft once.

Below – Irma Engelbrecht: “The Porcupine”


This Date in Art History: Died 9 June 2000 – Jacob Lawrence, an American painter.

Below – “Bar and Grill”; “New Jersey, from the United States Series”; “Dreams No. 2”; “Firewood #55”; “The Library”; “Seamstresses.”


A Poem for Today

“The Second Coming”
by William Butler Yeats
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of ‘Spiritus Mundi’
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

Contemporary Austrian Art – Ellen Fasthuber-Huemer

Below – “Window Nr.4, Sunny Day”; “Sleeping Cat”; “Window”; “High Clouds Over The Serenissima”; “Window Nr.5 in der Provence.”

A Poem for Today

“Summer Apples”
by Catherine Essinger

I planted an apple tree in memory
of my mother, who is not gone,

but whose memory has become
so transparent that she remembers

slicing apples with her grandmother
(yellow apples; blue bowl) better than

the fruit that I hand her today. Still,
she polishes the surface with her thumb,

holds it to the light and says with no
hesitation, ‘Oh, Yellow Transparent . . .

they’re so fragile, you can almost see
to the core.’ She no longer remembers how

to roll the crust, sweeten the sauce, but
her desire is clear—it is pie that she wants.

And so, I slice as close as I dare to the core—
to that little cathedral to memory—where

the seeds remember everything they need
to know to become yellow and transparent.

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