Contemporary American Art – Brooke Sauer: Part I of II.
Below – “Smitten”; “Hidden Lake”; “Lucid Dreaming”; “The Language Of The River”; “Nature Is An Event That Never Ends”; “A Conversation With The Clouds.”
This Date in Literary History: Born 17 February 1955 – Mo Yan (pen name of Guan Moye), a Chinese novelist, short story writer, author of “Red Sorghum,” and recipient of the 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature.
Some quotes from the work of Mo Yan:
“Possibly because I’ve lived so much of my life in difficult circumstances, I think I have a more profound understanding of life.”
“People who are strangers to liquor are incapable of talking about literature.”
“I am also well aware that literature only has a minimal influence on political disputes or economic crises in the world, but its significance to human beings is ancient.”
“The sun, a red wheel, was sinking slowly in the west. Besides being spectacularly beautiful, the early-summer sunset was exceedingly soft and gentle: black mulberry leaves turned as red as roses; pristine white acacia petals shed an enshrouding pale-green aura. Mild evening breezes made both the mulberry leaves and the acacia petals dance and whirl, filling the woods with a soft rustle.”
“I’ll continue on the path I’ve been taking, feet on the ground, describing people’s lives, describing people’s emotions, writing from the standpoint of the ordinary people.”
“My works are Chinese literature, which is part of world literature. They show the life of Chinese people as well as the country’s unique culture and folk customs.”
Below – “Cloven Heart”; “Soliloquy”; “A Song Remembered When Waking From Sleep”; “Morning Glory”; “Eyes Of The Wild”; “Midnight Sun.”
This Date in Literary History: Born 17 February 1918 – William Bronk, an American poet and recipient of the National Book Award.
“What We Are”
by William Bronk
What we are? We say we want to become
what we are or what we have an intent to be.
We read the possibilities, or try.
We get to some. We think we know how to read.
We recognize a word, here and there,
a syllable: male, it says perhaps,
or female, talent – look what you could do –
or love, it says, love is what we mean.
Being at any cost: in the end, the cost
is terrible but so is the lure to us.
We see it move and shine and swallow it.
We say we are and this is what we are
as to say we should be and this is what to be
and this is how. But, oh, it isn’t so.
Below – Ivana Vostrakova: “Sorrow” (photograph)
Below – “Daydreaming”; “Freckles”; “Mountain Spring”; “Under a Golden Moon”; “Parting Landscape”; “Mujer Sin Memoria (woman without memory).”
A Poem for Today
By Gary Dop
In Normandy, at Point Du Hoc,
where some Rangers died,
Dad pointed to an old man
20 feet closer to the edge than us,
asking if I could see
the medal the man held
like a rosary.
As we approached the cliff
the man’s swearing, each bulleted
syllable, sifted back
toward us in the ocean wind.
I turned away,
but my shoulder was held still
by my father’s hand,
and I looked up at him
as he looked at the man.
Below – Point Du Hoc on D-Day.
Contemporary American Art – Andres Montoya: Part II of II.
Below – “Spring Contemplation”; “Spotted woman”; “Green Eye”; “Noche De Luciérnagas”; “Garden Scene”; “Consolation.”
A Poem for Today
“A Ghost Villanelle”
by Dan Lechay
We never saw the ghost, though he was there—
we knew from the raindrops tapping on the eaves.
We never saw him, and we didn’t care.
Each day, new sunshine tumbled through the air;
evenings, the moonlight rustled in dark leaves.
We never saw the ghost, though: he was there,
if ever, when the wind tousled our hair
and prickled goosebumps up and down thin sleeves;
we never saw him. And we didn’t care
to step outside our room at night, or dare
click off the nightlight: call it fear of thieves.
We never saw the ghost, though he was there
in sunlit dustmotes drifting anywhere,
in light-and-shadow, such as the moon weaves.
We never saw him, though, and didn’t care,
until at last we saw him everywhere.
We told nobody. Everyone believes
we never saw the ghost (if he was there),
we never saw him and we didn’t care.
Below – Stephanie Schneider: “Ghosts” (photograph)