Wandering in Woodacre – 26 September 2020

Contemporary American Art – Evan Sklar

Below – “Field and Fog, Early A.M.”; “Cyclist, UnderhillAvenue and Park Place, Brooklyn”; “Hill Field and Cloud. After Nils Green”; “Roasted Vegetables on Yellow Plate”; “Red Lights from Siren and Shadow of Small Tree on Snowy Night”; “Orange Popsicle.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 26 September 1949 – Jane Smiley, an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, author of “A Thousand Acres,” and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize.

Some quotes from the work of Jane Smiley:

“A child who is protected from all controversial ideas is as vulnerable as a child who is protected from every germ. The infection, when it comes- and it will come- may overwhelm the system, be it the immune system or the belief system.”
“Whatever you love is beautiful; love comes first, beauty follows. The greater your capacity for love, the more beauty you find in the world.”
“I loved the house the way you would any new house, because it is populated by your future, the family of children who will fill it with noise or chaos and satisfying busy pleasures.”
“Men are competent in groups that mimic the playground, incompetent in groups that mimic the family.”


Contemporary Australian Art – Tania Chanter

Below – “West of Elysian”; “Moondance Gulf”; “Meandering Spring”; “West of Dreams”; “Sea Tangled Pier”; “Tidal Inlet.”


This Date in Literary History: Born 26 September 1888 – T. S. Eliot, an American-born British poet, essayist, playwright, literary critic, and recipient of the 1948 Nobel Prize in Literature.

“Preludes”
by T. S.Eliot

I
The winter evening settles down
With smell of steaks in passageways.
Six o’clock.
The burnt-out ends of smoky days.
And now a gusty shower wraps
The grimy scraps
Of withered leaves about your feet
And newspapers from vacant lots;
The showers beat
On broken blinds and chimney-pots,
And at the corner of the street
A lonely cab-horse steams and stamps.

And then the lighting of the lamps.

II
The morning comes to consciousness
Of faint stale smells of beer
From the sawdust-trampled street
With all its muddy feet that press
To early coffee-stands.
With the other masquerades
That time resumes,
One thinks of all the hands
That are raising dingy shades
In a thousand furnished rooms.

III
You tossed a blanket from the bed,
You lay upon your back, and waited;
You dozed, and watched the night revealing
The thousand sordid images
Of which your soul was constituted;
They flickered against the ceiling.
And when all the world came back
And the light crept up between the shutters
And you heard the sparrows in the gutters,
You had such a vision of the street
As the street hardly understands;
Sitting along the bed’s edge, where
You curled the papers from your hair,
Or clasped the yellow soles of feet
In the palms of both soiled hands.

IV
His soul stretched tight across the skies
That fade behind a city block,
Or trampled by insistent feet
At four and five and six o’clock;
And short square fingers stuffing pipes,
And evening newspapers, and eyes
Assured of certain certainties,
The conscience of a blackened street
Impatient to assume the world.

I am moved by fancies that are curled
Around these images, and cling:
The notion of some infinitely gentle
Infinitely suffering thing.

Wipe your hand across your mouth, and laugh;
The worlds revolve like ancient women
Gathering fuel in vacant lots.


Contemporary Ukrainian Art – Iryna Kurennaya

Below – “Landscape in Saguaro National Park”; “Landscape Arizona”; “Walking on the sea.”

A Poem for Today

“Trees”
by Mark Haddon

They stand in parks and graveyards and gardens.
Some of them are taller than department stores,
yet they do not draw attention to themselves.

You will be fitting a heated towel rail one day
and see, through the louvre window,
a shoal of olive-green fish changing direction
in the air that swims above the little gardens.

Or you will wake at your aunt’s cottage,
your sleep broken by a coal train on the empty hill
as the oaks roar in the wind off the channel.

Your kindness to animals, your skill at the clarinet,
these are accidental things.
We lost this game a long way back.
Look at you. You’re reading poetry.
Outside the spring air is thick
with the seeds of their children.

Contemporary Turkish Art – Sami Gedik

Below – “Corn Grain”; “White Orchid”; “Red leaves”; “Cats”; “Rose 2”; “Balcik, Camur.”

A Poem for Today

“Accidental Pastoral”
by Maggie Smith

I must have just missed a parade—
horse droppings and hard candy
in the road, miniature American
flags staked into the grass, plastic
chairs lining the curb down this

two-lane highway, 36 in the open
country, briefly Main Street in town.
When I was small, I sat on a curb
only a dozen miles from here, my feet
in the ashtray-dirty gutter, and watched

stars-and-stripes girls wheeling
their batons, slicing the sun-dumb
air into streamers. I can still hear
the click of cellophaned candies
on pavement. I didn’t want to

leave town, not then, and I never left.
I am not a parade, my one car passing
through Centerburg, Ohio, too late.
The chairs are empty. The children
are unwrapping golden butterscotches

in the cool, shuttered houses.
But look up—the clouds are stories
tall, painted above Webb’s Marathon,
and flat-bottomed as if resting on something
they push against though it holds them.

Below – Robin Moline: “Harmony Town”

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