Wandering in Woodacre – 28 January 2021

Contemporary Russian Art – Alex Popov

Below – “Old village bridge”; “Young man with a blue face”; “Tower with blue roof at sunrise”; “Nude girl on a blue background”; “Light tree in a dark magic forest.”


This Date in Literary History: Died 28 January 1996 – Joseph Brodsky, a Russian-American poet, essayist, playwright, author of “Watermark: An Essay on Venice,” and recipient of the 1987 Nobel Prize in Literature: Part I of II.

Some quotes from the work of Joseph Brodsky:

“By failing to read or listen to poets, society dooms itself to inferior modes of articulation, those of the politician, the salesman, or the charlatan. In other words, it forfeits its own evolutionary potential. For what distinguishes us from the rest of the animal kingdom is precisely the gift of speech. Poetry is not a form of entertainment and in a certain sense not even a form of art, but it is our anthropological, genetic goal. Our evolutionary, linguistic beacon.”
“There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.”
“The surest defense against Evil is extreme individualism, originality of thinking, whimsicality, even – if you will – eccentricity. That is, something that can’t be feigned, faked, imitated; something even a seasoned imposter couldn’t be happy with.”
“Were we to choose our leaders on the basis of their reading experience and not their political programs, there would be much less grief on earth. I believe … that for someone who has read a lot of Dickens to shoot his like in the name of an idea is harder than for someone who has read no Dickens.”
“I do not believe in political movements. I believe in personal movement, that movement of the soul when a man who looks at himself is so ashamed that he tries to make some sort of change – within himself, not on the outside.”
“In general, with things unpleasant, the rule is: The sooner you hit bottom, the faster you surface.”
“Life—the way it really is—is a battle not between good and bad, but between bad and worse.”
“If there is anything good about exile, it is that it teaches one humility. It accelerates one’s drift into isolation, an absolute perspective. Into the condition at which all one is left with is oneself and one’s language, with nobody or nothing in between. Exile brings you overnight where it would normally take a lifetime to go.”
“Geography blended with time equals destiny.”

Contemporary Russian Art – Yulia Pastukhova

Below – “On the farm of John”; “Bridge”; “Lake”; “At sunrise”; “Colors of life”; “Cat in the village.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 28 January 1996 – Joseph Brodsky, a Russian-American poet, essayist, playwright, author of “Watermark: An Essay on Venice,” and recipient of the 1987 Nobel Prize in Literature: Part II of II.

“A Song”
by Joseph Brodsky

I wish you were here, dear,
I wish you were here.
I wish you sat on the sofa
and I sat near.
The handkerchief could be yours,
the tear could be mine, chin-bound.
Though it could be, of course,
the other way around.

I wish you were here, dear,
I wish you were here.
I wish we were in my car
and you’d shift the gear.
We’d find ourselves elsewhere,
on an unknown shore.
Or else we’d repair
to where we’ve been before.

I wish you were here, dear,
I wish you were here.
I wish I knew no astronomy
when stars appear,
when the moon skims the water
that sighs and shifts in its slumber.
I wish it were still a quarter
to dial your number.

I wish you were here, dear,
in this hemisphere,
as I sit on the porch
sipping a beer.
It’s evening, the sun is setting;
boys shout and gulls are crying.
What’s the point of forgetting
if it’s followed by dying?

Below – Igor Vitomirov: “Remember #1”


Contemporary South African Art – Dina Bekker

Below – “Emergence”; “Multiplicity”; “Urban Jungle”; “Fusion”; “Pioneers”; “Generation Why.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 28 January 1873 – Colette (pen name of Sidonie-Babrielle Colette), a French novelist, journalist, and author of “Gigi.”

Some quotes from the work of Colette:

“The true traveler is he who goes on foot, and even then, he sits down a lot of the time.”
“Time spent with a cat is never wasted.”
“I love my past, I love my present. I am not ashamed of what I have had, and I am not sad because I no longer have it.”
“Our perfect companions never have fewer than four feet.”
“You must not pity me because my sixtieth year finds me still astonished. To be astonished is one of the surest ways of not growing old too quickly.”
“There are no ordinary cats.”
“Chance, my master and my friend, will, I feel sure, deign once again to send me the spirits of his unruly kingdom. All my trust is now in him- and in myself. But above all in him, for when I go under he always fishes me out, seizing and shaking me like a life-saving dog whose teeth tear my skin a little every time. So now, whenever I despair, I no longer expect my end, but some bit of luck, some commonplace little miracle which, like a glittering link, will mend again the necklace of my days.”
“I am indebted to the cat for a particular kind of honorable deceit, for a greater control over myself, for a characteristic aversion to brutal sounds, and for the need to keep silent for long periods of time.”
“I went to collect the few personal belongings which…I held to be invaluable: my cat, my resolve to travel, and my solitude.”
“What a wonderful life I’ve had! I only wish I’d realized it sooner.”

Contemporary Lithuanian Art – Zivile Rudzikaite Matuzoniene

Below – “Summer Day”; “Afternoon by the Sea”; “Lover in love”; “Summer ‘Spices’”; “The smell of the Moon”; “Morning.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 28 January 1939 – William Butler Yeats, an Irish poet, dramatist, essayist, and recipient of the 1923 Nobel Prize in Literature: Part I of II.

“Leda and the Swan”
by William Butler Yeats

A sudden blow: the great wings beating still
Above the staggering girl, her thighs caressed
By the dark webs, her nape caught in his bill,
He holds her helpless breast upon his breast.

How can those terrified vague fingers push
The feathered glory from her loosening thighs?
And how can body, laid in that white rush,
But feel the strange heart beating where it lies?

A shudder in the loins engenders there
The broken wall, the burning roof and tower
And Agamemnon dead.
Being so caught up,
So mastered by the brute blood of the air,
Did she put on his knowledge with his power
Before the indifferent beak could let her drop?

Below – Andres Pleesi: “Leda with swan”

Contemporary American Art – Dori Spector

Below – “Rainbow Moonbeam Princess”; “Femme en Fleur”; “Morning Gaze”; “Girl in Green” “Topaz”; “Board Cat Porch Scene.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 28 January 1939 – William Butler Yeats, an Irish poet, dramatist, essayist, and recipient of the 1923 Nobel Prize in Literature: Part II of II.

“The Lack Isle of Innisfree”
by William Butler Yeats

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.

Below – Muriel Law: “Lake Isle of Innisfree”

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