Wandering in Woodacre – 28 August 2020

This Date in Art History: Born 28 August 1833 – Edward Burne-Jones, an English artist associated with the Pre-Raphaelite movement.

Below – “The Rose Bower”; “The Last Sleep of Arthur”; “Sidonia von Borcke”; “The Golden Stairs”; “The Mill”; “The Heart Desires”; “Love Among the Ruins.”

A Poem for Today

“Father and Daughter”
by Amanda Strand

The wedding ring I took off myself,
his wife wasn’t up to it.
I brought the nurse into the room
in case he jumped or anything.
“Can we turn his head?
He looks so uncomfortable.”
She looked straight at me,
patiently waiting for it to sink in.

The snow fell.
His truck in the barn,
his boots by the door,
flagpoles empty.
It took a long time for the taxi to come.
“Where to?” he said.
“My father just died,” I said.
As if it were a destination.

Below (Photograph) – Jean Kosse: “Father and Daughter”

Contemporary Australian Art – Gina Fishman

Below- “Hot Sand”; “Powder”; “Drifting”; “The Deep End”; “Madison Ave.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 28 August 1993 – William Stafford, an American poet: Part I of II.

“Ask Me”
by William Stafford

Some time when the river is ice ask me
mistakes I have made.  Ask me whether
what I have done is my life.  Others
have come in their slow way into
my thought, and some have tried to help
or to hurt: ask me what difference
their strongest love or hate has made.

I will listen to what you say.
You and I can turn and look
at the silent river and wait.  We know
the current is there, hidden; and there
are comings and goings from miles away
that hold the stillness exactly before us.
What the river says, that is what I say.

Below – Serguei Borodouline: “Frozen River”

Contemporary British Art – Michael James Talbot

Below (sculpture) – “Ophelia”; “Seraphina”; “Grace”; “Nymph de Mer”; “Callisto”;“Sketch Solstice.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 28 August 1993 – William Stafford, an American poet: Part II of II.

“A Message from the Wanderer”
by William Stafford

Today outside your prison I stand
and rattle my walking stick: Prisoners, listen;
you have relatives outside. And there are
thousands of ways to escape.

Years ago I bent my skill to keep my
cell locked, had chains smuggled to me in pies,
and shouted my plans to jailers;
but always new plans occured to me,
or the new heavy locks bent hinges off,
or some stupid jailer would forget
and leave the keys.

Inside, I dreamed of constellations—
those feeding creatures outlined by stars,
their skeletons a darkness between jewels,
heroes that exist only where they are not.

Thus freedom always came nibbling my thought,
just as—often, in light, on the open hills—
you can pass an antelope and not know
and look back, and then—even before you see—
there is something wrong about the grass.
And then you see.

That’s the way everything in the world is waiting.

Now—these few more words, and then I’m
gone: Tell everyone just to remember
their names, and remind others, later, when we
find each other. Tell the little ones
to cry and then go to sleep, curled up
where they can. And if any of us get lost,
if any of us cannot come all the way—
remember: there will come a time when
all we have said and all we have hoped
will be all right.

There will be that form in the grass.

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