Wandering in Woodacre – 18 December 2020

This Date in Art History – Died 18 December 1939 – Ernest Lawson, a Canadian-American painter.

Below – “Approaching Storm”; “New England Birches”; “Spring Night, Harlem River”; “Landscape”; “Excavation – Penn Station”; “Artist’s Wife and Daughter on a Porch.”


A Poem for Today

“Horses”
by Pablo Neruda

From the window I saw the horses.

I was in Berlin, in winter. The light
had no light, the sky had no heaven.

The air was white like wet bread.

And from my window a vacant arena,
bitten by the teeth of winter.

Suddenly driven out by a man,
ten horses surged through the mist.

Like waves of fire, they flared forward
and to my eyes filled the whole world,
empty till then. Perfect, ablaze,
they were like ten gods with pure white hoofs,
with manes like a dream of salt.

Their rumps were worlds and oranges.

Their color was honey, amber, fire.

Their necks were towers
cut from the stone of pride,
and behind their transparent eyes
energy raged, like a prisoner.

There, in silence, at mid-day,
in that dirty, disordered winter,
those intense horses were the blood
the rhythm, the inciting treasure of life.

I looked. I looked and was reborn:
for there, unknowing, was the fountain,
the dance of gold, heaven
and the fire that lives in beauty.

I have forgotten that dark Berlin winter.

I will not forget the light of the horses.

Below – Ramprakash A B: “Stallions at Golden Dawn”

This Date in Art History: Born 18 December 1879 – Paul Klee, a Swiss-born German painter.

Below – “Nocturnal Festivity”; “Fohn in Marc’schen Garten”; Untitled; “Heroic Roses”; “Fire at Full Moon”; “Castle and Sun.”

A Poem for Today

“The Clocks of the Dead”
by Charles Simic

One night I went to keep the clock company.
It had a loud tick after midnight
As if it were uncommonly afraid.
It’s like whistling past a graveyard,
I explained.
In any case, I told him I understood.

Once there were clocks like that
In every kitchen in America.
Now the factory’s windows are all broken.
The old men on night shift are in Charon’s boat
The day you stop, I said to the clock,
The little wheels they keep in reserve
Will have rolled away
Into many hard-to-find places.

Just thinking about it,
I forgot to wind the clock.
We woke up in the dark.
How quiet the city is, I said.
Like the clocks of the dead, my wife replied.
Grandmother on the wall,
I heard the snows of your childhood
Begin to fall.

Below – B M Noskowski: “Time collage” (photograph)

Contemporary French Art – Cecile Duchene Malissin

Below – “Reflection XII”; “Vanishing VI”; “Reflection XIII”; “Psychedelic camouflage”; “Proliferation”; “Metamorphosis III.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 18 December 1985 – Xuan Dieu, a Vietnamese poet.

“Autumn Landscape”
by Xuan Dieu

Drop by drop rain slaps the banana leaves.
Praise whoever sketched this desolate scene:

the lush, dark canopies of the gnarled trees,
the long river, sliding smooth and white.

I lift my wine flask, drunk with rivers and hills.
My backpack, breathing moonlight, sags with poems.

Look, and love everyone.
Whoever sees this landscape is stunned.

Below – Steven Plount: “White Hill and River”

Contemporary Ukrainian Art – Aryana Dzhul

Below (photographs) – “Soul of artist”; “Soul of tree”; “In search of happiness”; “Soul of tree”; “Unbroken”; “Soul of tree.”

A Poem for Today

“Not Only The Eskimos”
by Lisel Mueller

Not only the Eskimos
We have only one noun
but as many different kinds:

the grainy snow of the Puritans
and snow of soft, fat flakes,

guerrilla snow, which comes in the night
and changes the world by morning,

rabbinical snow, a permanent skullcap
on the highest mountains,

snow that blows in like the Lone Ranger,
riding hard from out of the West,

surreal snow in the Dakotas,
when you can’t find your house, your street,
though you are not in a dream
or a science-fiction movie,

snow that tastes good to the sun
when it licks black tree limbs,
leaving us only one white stripe,
a replica of a skunk,

unbelievable snows:
the blizzard that strikes on the tenth of April,
the false snow before Indian summer,
the Big Snow on Mozart’s birthday,
when Chicago became the Elysian Fields
and strangers spoke to each other,

paper snow, cut and taped,
to the inside of grade-school windows,

in an old tale, the snow
that covers a nest of strawberries,
small hearts, ripe and sweet,
the special snow that goes with Christmas,
whether it falls or not,

the Russian snow we remember
along with the warmth and smell of furs,
though we have never traveled
to Russia or worn furs,

Villon’s snows of yesteryear,
lost with ladies gone out like matches,
the snow in Joyce’s “The Dead,”
the silent, secret snow
in a story by Conrad Aiken,
which is the snow of first love,

the snowfall between the child
and the spacewoman on TV,

snow as idea of whiteness,
as in snowdrop, snow goose, snowball bush,

the snow that puts stars in your hair,
and your hair, which has turned to snow,

the snow Elinor Wylie walked in
in velvet shoes,

the snow before her footprints
and the snow after,

the snow in the back of our heads,
whiter than white, which has to do
with childhood again each year.

Below – Dyanne Wilson: “Snow Falling on Cedars No2” (photograph)

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