This Date in Art History: Born 27 March 1875 – Albert Marquet, a French painter.
Below – “Fecamp (The Beach at Sainte-Adresse”; “View of Agay”; “Vesuvius”; “Aloes flour”; “La Seine à Rolleboise.”
A Poem for Today
by Dorothy Parker
When I was young and bold and strong,
Oh, right was right, and wrong was wrong!
My plume on high, my flag unfurled,
I rode away to right the world.
“Come out, you dogs, and fight!” said I,
And wept there was but once to die.
But I am old; and good and bad
Are woven in a crazy plaid.
I sit and say, “The world is so;
And he is wise who lets it go.
A battle lost, a battle won –
The difference is small, my son.”
Inertia rides and riddles me;
The which is called Philosophy.
Below – Taeil Kim: “Thinking”
Below – “Somewhere on the Horizon”; “Mendocino Memories”; “Ready for the Day”; Untitled; “Lacey Day.”
“Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy’s Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota”
by James Wright
Over my head, I see the bronze butterfly,
Asleep on the black trunk,
Blowing like a leaf in green shadow.
Down the ravine behind the empty house,
The cowbells follow one another
Into the distances of the afternoon.
To my right,
In a field of sunlight between two pines,
The droppings of last year’s horses
Blaze up into golden stones.
I lean back, as the evening darkens and comes on.
A chicken hawk floats over, looking for home.
I have wasted my life.
Below – “Dream of summer #5”; “Dream of summer #12”; “Dream of summer #9”; “Dream of summer #6”; “Dream of Summer #1.”
This Date in Literary History: Born 27 March 1923 – Louis Simpson, a Jamaica-born American poet and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize: Part I of II.
by Louis Simpson
A light is on in my father’s study.
“Still up?” he says, and we are silent,
looking at the harbor lights,
listening to the surf
and the creak of coconut boughs.
He is working late on cases.
No impassioned speech! He argues from evidence,
actually pacing out and measuring,
while the fans revolving on the ceiling
winnow the true from the false.
Once he passed a brass curtain rod
through a head made out of plaster
and showed the jury the angle of fire–
where the murderer must have stood.
For years, all through my childhood,
if I opened a closet . . . bang!
There would be the dead man’s head
with a black hole in the forehead.
All the arguing in the world
will not stay the moon.
She has come all the way from Russia
to gaze for a while in a mango tree
and light the wall of a veranda,
before resuming her interrupted journey
beyond the harbor and the lighthouse
at Port Royal, turning away
from land to the open sea.
Yet, nothing in nature changes, from that day to this,
she is still the mother of us all.
I can see the drifting offshore lights,
black posts where the pelicans brood.
And the light that used to shine
at night in my father’s study
now shines as late in mine.
Contemporary Ukrainian Art – Daniel Kozeletckiy: Part II of II.
Below – “Sleeping on a pillow”; “Sleeping on the bright”; “Sleeping on the black”; “Sleeping with a bright green apple”; “Sleeping with beads”; “Sleeping with pink nails.”
“Walt Whitman at Bear Mountain”
by Louis Simpson
‘ . . . life which does not give the preference to any other life, of any
previous period, which therefore prefers its own existence . . .’
Ortega y Gasset
Neither on horseback nor seated,
But like himself, squarely on two feet,
The poet of death and lilacs
Loafs by the footpath. Even the bronze looks alive
Where it is folded like cloth. And he seems friendly.
“Where is the Mississippi panorama
And the girl who played the piano?
Where are you, Walt?
The Open Road goes to the used-car lot.
“Where is the nation you promised?
These houses built of wood sustain
And the light above the street is sick to death.
“As for the people—see how they neglect you!
Only a poet pauses to read the inscription.”
“I am here,” he answered.
“It seems you have found me out.
Yet did I not warn you that it was Myself
I advertised? Were my words not sufficiently plain?
I gave no prescriptions,
And those who have taken my moods for prophecies
Mistake the matter.”
Then, vastly amused—“Why do you reproach me?
I freely confess I am wholly disreputable.
Yet I am happy, because you found me out.”
A crocodile in wrinkled metal loafing . . .
Then all the realtors,
Pickpockets, salesmen and the actors performing
Turned a deaf ear, for they had contracted
But the man who keeps a store on a lonely road,
And the housewife who knows she’s dumb,
And the earth, are relieved.
All that grave weight of America
Cancelled! Like Greece and Rome.
The future in ruins!
The castles, the prisons, the cathedrals
Unbuilding, and roses
Blossoming from the stones that are not there . . .
The clouds are lifting from the high Sierras,
The Bay mists clearing,
And the angel in the gate, the flowering plum,
Dances like Italy, imagining red.
Below – “Landing”; “Nocturne”; “Dormeuse 4”; “Island 10”; “Grande poupee verte”; “La seance 3.”
A Poem for Today
by Jim Harrison
The moon comes up.
The moon goes down.
This is to inform you
that I didn’t die young.
Age swept past me
but I caught up.
Spring has begun here and each day
brings new birds up from Mexico.
Yesterday I got a call from the outside
world but I said no in thunder.
I was a dog on a short chain
and now there’s no chain.
Below – Ksenya Verse: “Time”