Wandering in Woodacre – 2 April 2021

This Date in Art History: Born 2 April 1827 – William Holman Hunt, an English painter and one of the founders of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.

Below – “The Lady of Shalott”; “Our English Coasts”; “The Birthday”; “Amaryllis”; “Portrait of Fanny Holman Hunt”; “Isabella and the Pot of Basil.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 2 April 1929 – Ed Dorn, an American poet.

“There’s only one natural death, and that’s Bedcide For the post-mortem amusement of Richard Brautiigan”
by Ed Dorn

November 10, 1984

Death by over-seasoning: Herbicide
Death by annoyance: Pesticide
Death by suffocation: Carbon monoxide
Death by burning: Firecide
Death by falling: Cliffcide
Death by hiking: Trailcide
Death by camping: Campcide
Death by drowning:       Rivercide
Death from puking: Curbcide
Death from boredom: Hearthcide
Death at the hands of the medical profession: Dockcide
Death from an overnight stay: Inncide
Death by suprise: Backcide
Death by blow to the head: Upcide
Death from delirious voting: Rightcide
Death from hounding: Leftcide
Death through war: Theircide & Ourcide
Death by penalty: Offcide
Death following a decision: Decide

Below – Natasha Nord: “Death By Thousand Cuts”

This Date in Art History: Died 2 April 1896 – Theodore Robinson, an American painter and one of the first American artists to take up impressionism.

Below – “La Debacle”; “In the Sun”; “By the River”; “Pere Trognon and His Daughter at the Bridge”; “The Layette”; “La Vachere.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 2 April 1946 – Sue Townsend, an award-winning English novelist, playwright, essayist, humorist, an author of “The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, aged 13 3/4.”

Some quotes from the work of Sue Townsend:

“There’s only one thing more boring than listening to other people’s dreams, and that’s listening to their problems.”
“She liked people. Me, I can take them or leave them, but mostly leave them.”
“Now I know I am an intellectual. I saw Malcolm Muggeridge on the television last night, and I understood nearly every word. It all adds up. A bad home, poor diet, not liking punk. I think I will join the library and see what happens.”
“The monarchy is finished. It was finished a while ago, but they’re still making the corpses dance.”
“I’ve always loved books. I’m passionate about them. I think books are sexy. They are smooth and solid and contain delightful surprises. They smell good. They fit into a handbag and can be carried around and opened at will. They don’t change. They are what they are and nothing else. One day I want to own a lot of books and have them nbear to me in my house, so that I can stroll to my bookshelves and choose what I fancy. I want a harem. I shall keep my favourites by my bed.”
“I don’t know why women are so mad about flowers. Personally, they leave me cold. I prefer trees.”
“Adrian Mole’s father was so angry that so many people got divorced nowadays. HE had been unhappily married for 30 years, why should everybody else get away?”
“I am from the working class. I am now what I was then. No amount of balsamic vinegar and Prada handbags could make me forget what it was like to be poor.”
“I asked Mr. Vann which O levels you need to write situation comedy for television. Mr. Vann said that you don’t need qualifications at all, you just need to be a moron.”
“Yes, I hate it when people call me a ‘national treasure’. It takes away your bite and makes you feel like a harmless old golden Labrador.”

Contemporary Russian Art – Tatiana Bugaenko

Below – “Hello San-Francisco”; “Blue umbrellas”; “After rain”; “Between the columns”; “Redwoods”; “Nu.”

A Poem for Today

“Poem to the First Generation of People to Exist After the Death of the English Language”

by Billy Collins

I’m not going to put a lot of work into this
because you won’t be able to read it anyway,
and I’ve got more important things to do
this morning, not the least of which
is to try to write a fairly decent poem
for the people who can still read English.

Who could have foreseen English finding
a place in the cemetery of dead languages?

I once imagined English placing flowers
at the tombstones of its parents, Latin and Anglo-Saxon,
but you people can actually visit its grave,
on a Sunday afternoon if you still have days of the week.

I remember the story of the last speaker
of Dalmatian being tape-recorded in his hut
as he was dying under a horsehair blanket.
But English? English seemed for so many of us
the only true way to describe the world
as if reality itself were English
and Adam and Eve spoke it in the garden
using words like s’nake’, ‘apple’, and ‘it’s all your fault’.

Of course, there are other words for things
but what could be better than ‘boat’,
‘pool’, ‘swallow’ (both the noun and the verb),
‘statuette’, ‘tractor’, ‘squiggly’, ‘surf’, and ‘underbelly’?

I’m sorry.
I’ve wasted too much time on this already.
You carry on however you do
without the help of English, communicating
with dots in the air or hologram hats or whatever.

You’re just like all the ones who say
they can’t understand poetry
but at least you poor creatures have an excuse.

So I’m going to turn the page
and not think about you and your impoverishment.
Instead, I’m going to write a poem about red poppies
waving by the side of the railroad tracks,
and you people won’t even know what you’re missing.

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