Wandering in Woodacre – 29 January 2021

This Date in Art History: Died 29 January 1899 – Alfred Sisley, an English painter.

Below – “The Lesson”; “Goose Girl”; “Cows by the Seine at Saint Mammes”; “First Snow in Louveciennes”; “The More Bridge in Sunlight”; “By the River Loing.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 29 January 1895 – Muna Lee, an American poet, novelist, and essayist.

“Caribbean Marsh”
by Muna Lee

Acres of mangrove, crowding the sea-streaked marsh,
Acres of mangrove, wading toward the beaches,
And here and there a milky-white bloom tossed
On fragile boughs above the flooded reaches.
Mangrove thrusts deep in salty mud,
Balances uneasily upon its three-pronged roots,
Huddles from wind in its dissonance of leaves.
Tempest and drought it has withstood,
This straggling orchard that bears no fruits,
This field where none will garner sheaves.
Sucking life up from the acrid marsh,
Drawing life down from the burning sun,
All the year offers of crude and harsh
There between sea and shore it has known.
Wave and glare, sea-urge, sea-drift,
It has been their victim, proved their power,
Persisting bleakly for one end alone—
Through an unheeded hour
Briefly, awkwardly, to lift
This frail, inconsequent flower.

Contemporary Polish Art – Robert Bubel: Part I of II

Below – “Traces of the existence”: “On a bright sunny day”; “Nothing special happens”; “This is still there”;“Water”; “Touch of Stone.”

This Date in Entertainment History: Born 29 January 1880 – W. C. Fields, an American comedian, actor, screenwriter, and juggler.
W. C. Fields appeared in many wonderful comedies, and two of my favorites are “The Fatal Glass of Beer” and “The Golf Specialist.”

Some quotes from the work of W. C. Fields:

“I spent half my money on gambling, alcohol and wild women. The other half I wasted.”
“You can fool some of the people some of the time — and that’s enough to make a decent living.”
“I personally stay away from natural foods. At my age I need all the preservatives I can get.”
“Money will not buy happiness, but it will let you be unhappy in nice places.”
“Beer: Helping ugly people have sex since 3000 B. C.”
“Always carry a flagon of whiskey in case of snakebite, and furthermore always carry a small snake.
“Comedy is merely tragedy happening to someone else.”
“Start every day off with a smile and get it over with.”
“A man without a woman is like a neck without a pain.”
“I don’t drink anymore; on the other hand I don’t drink any less either.”
“I never hold a grudge. As soon as I get even with the son-of-a bitch, I forget it.”
“I don’t drink water. Have you seen the way it rusts pipes?”
“I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food.”
“Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people.”
“A woman drove me to drink and I didn’t even have the decency to thank her.”
“Everybody’s got to believe in something. I believe I’ll have another beer.”
“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There’s no point in being a damn fool about it.”

Contemporary Polish Art – Robert Bubel: Part II of II

Below – “When I was looking for your tears”; “I know it all”; “And the sky still above us”; “I appreciate every twilight”; “Will anyone ever ask us”; “Evening.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 29 January 1933 – Sara Teasdale, an American poet: Part I of II.

“Winter Stars”
by Sara Teasdale

I went out at night alone;
The young blood flowing beyond the sea
Seemed to have drenched my spirit’s wings—
I bore my sorrow heavily.

But when I lifted up my head
From shadows shaken on the snow,
I saw Orion in the east
Burn steadily as long ago.

From windows in my father’s house,
Dreaming my dreams on winter nights,
I watched Orion as a girl
Above another city’s lights.

Years go, dreams go, and youth goes too,
The world’s heart breaks beneath its wars,
All things are changed, save in the east
The faithful beauty of the stars.

Modern Russian Art – Aleksandr Arefyev (1931 – 1979)

Below – “B053”; “B039”; “D015”; “Family Bathing”; “Boating. Fireworks”; “Venus.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 29 January 1933 – Sara Teasdale, an American poet: Part II of II.

by Sara Teasdale

Life has loveliness to sell,
All beautiful and splendid things,
Blue waves whitened on a cliff,
Soaring fire that sways and sings,
And children’s faces looking up
Holding wonder like a cup.

Life has loveliness to sell,
Music like a curve of gold,
Scent of pine trees in the rain,
Eyes that love you, arms that hold,
And for your spirit’s still delight,
Holy thoughts that star the night.

Spend all you have for loveliness,
Buy it and never count the cost;
For one white singing hour of peace
Count many a year of strife well lost,
And for a breath of ecstasy
Give all you have been, or could be.

Contemporary German Art – Johanna Bath: Part I of II

Below – “striving forward (the garden)”; “let go”; “things we said”; “phantom touch”; “observer.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 29 January 1963 – Robert Frost, an American poet and four-time recipient of the Pulitzer Prize: Part I of II.

“Acquainted with the Night”
by Robert Frost

I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain—and back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light.

I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.

I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
When far away an interrupted cry
Came over houses from another street,

But not to call me back or say good-bye;
And further still at an unearthly height,
One luminary clock against the sky

Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.
I have been one acquainted with the night.

Contemporary German Art – Johanna Bath: Part II of II

Below – “where time doesn’t exist”; “seconds”; “one life, just one”; “vision II”; “statics”; “summer // many nights ago.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 29 January 1963 – Robert Frost, an American poet and four-time recipient of the Pulitzer Prize: Part II of II.

“Desert Places”
by Robert Frost

Snow falling and night falling fast, oh, fast
In a field I looked into going past,
And the ground almost covered smooth in snow,
But a few weeds and stubble showing last.

The woods around it have it – it is theirs.
All animals are smothered in their lairs.
I am too absent-spirited to count;
The loneliness includes me unawares.

And lonely as it is, that loneliness
Will be more lonely ere it will be less –
A blanker whiteness of benighted snow
With no expression, nothing to express.

They cannot scare me with their empty spaces
Between stars – on stars where no human race is.
I have it in me so much nearer home
To scare myself with my own desert places.

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