Wandering in Woodacre – 8 July 2020

This Date in Art History: Died 8 July 1917 – Tom Thomson, a Canadian painter: Part I of II.

Below – “The Jack Pine, Winter”; “Black Spruce and Maple”; “Northern Lake, Winter”; “Old Lumber Dam, Algonquin Park, Spring”; “The Canoe, Spring”; “Mississagi.”


This Date in Literary History: Born 8 July 1892 – Richard Aldington, an English writer and poet.

Some quotes from the work of Richard Aldington:

“All nations teach their children to be ‘patriotic’, and abuse the other nations for fostering nationalism.”
“Adventure is allowing the unexpected to happen to you. Exploration is experiencing what you have not experienced before. How can there be any adventure, any exploration, if you let somebody else – above all, a travel bureau – arrange everything before-hand?”
“Cats are like donkeys and camels, they won’t ever quite give in to human tyranny, they won’t try to imitate the human soul.”
“By the sense of mystery I understand the experience of certain places and times when one’s whole nature seems to be in touch with a presence, a genius loci, a potency.”
“I have sat here happy in the gardens, Watching the still pool and the reeds And the dark clouds. . . . But though I greatly delight In these and the water lilies, That which sets me nighest to weeping Is the rose and white colour of the smooth flag-stones, And the pale yellow grasses Among them.”
“At night, the moon, a pregnant woman, walks cautiously over the slippery heavens.”
“Patriotism is a lively sense of collective responsibility.”


This Date in Art History: Died 8 July 1917 – Tom Thomson, a Canadian painter: Part II of II.

Below – “Evening, Fall”; “Cottage on a Rocky Shore, Summer”; “In Algonquin Park, Winter”; “Autumn Foliage”; “Spring Ice, Winter”; “Fire-Swept Hills.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 8 July 2015 – James Tate, an American poet and recipient of both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize: Part I of II.

“Never Again the Same”
by James Tate

Speaking of sunsets,
last night’s was shocking.
I mean, sunsets aren’t supposed to frighten you, are they?
Well, this one was terrifying.
People were screaming in the streets.
Sure, it was beautiful, but far too beautiful.
It wasn’t natural.
One climax followed another and then another
until your knees went weak
and you couldn’t breathe.
The colors were definitely not of this world,
peaches dripping opium,
pandemonium of tangerines,
inferno of irises,
Plutonian emeralds,
all swirling and churning, swabbing,
like it was playing with us,
like we were nothing,
as if our whole lives were a preparation for this,
this for which nothing could have prepared us
and for which we could not have been less prepared.
The mockery of it all stung us bitterly.
And when it was finally over
we whimpered and cried and howled.
And then the streetlights came on as always
and we looked into one another’s eyes?
ancient caves with still pools
and those little transparent fish
who have never seen even one ray of light.
And the calm that returned to us
was not even our own.

Below – Gene Sheffield: “Flaming Sunset” (photograph)

Contemporary Australian Art – Megan Barrass

Below – “Luscious flowers on black background”; “Beachgoers and bright coloured umbrellas”; “Mixed bunches” series No. 3; “Natives”; “Magnolia Bud”; “Mixed Bunches” series No. 1.”


This Date in Literary History: Died 8 July 2015 – James Tate, an American poet and recipient of both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize: Part II of II.

“Failed Tribute to the Stonemason of Tor House, Robinson Jeffers”
by James Tate.

We traveled down to see your house,
Tor House, Hawk Tower, in Carmel,
California. It was not quite what
I thought it would be: I wanted it
to be on a hill, with a view of the ocean
unobstructed by other dwellings.
Fifty years ago I know you had
a clean walk to the sea, hopping
from boulder to boulder, the various
seafowl rightly impressed with
your lean, stern face. But today

with our cameras cocked we had to
sneak and crawl through trimmed lawns
to even verify the identity of
your strange carbuncular creation,
now rented to trillionaire non-
literary folk from Pasadena.
Edged in on all sides by trilevel
pasteboard phantasms, it took
a pair of good glasses to barely see
some newlyweds feed popcorn
to an albatross. Man is

a puny thing, divorced,
whether he knows it or not, and
pays his monthly alimony,
his child-support. Year after year
you strolled down to this exceptionally
violent shore and chose your boulder;
the arms grew as the house grew
as the mind grew to exist outside
of time, beyond the dalliance
of your fellows. Today I hate
Carmel: I seek libation in the Tiki

Bar: naked native ladies are painted
in iridescent orange on velvet cloth:
the whole town loves art.
And I donate this Singapore Sling
to the memory of it, and join
the stream of idlers simmering outside.
Much as hawks circled your head
when you cut stone all afternoon,
kids with funny hats on motorscooters
keep circling the block.
Jeffers, …

Below – Tor House and Hawk Tower.

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