Wandering in Woodacre – 6 April 2021

This Date in Art History: Born 6 April 1826 – Gustave Moreau, a French painter of mythological figures.

Below – “Oedipus and the Sphinx”; “Venus Rising from the Sea”; “Perseus and Andromeda”; “La chimere”; “Europa and the Bull”; “Orpheus.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 6 April 2012 – Reed Whittemore, an American poet and critic.

“Thoughts of the California Desert”
by Reed Whittemore

Under palm trees, oranges, olives and pears
The indolent desert slouches, half an eye closed
And half an eye out for men of affairs whose cares
Keep them from keeping their gaudy gardens hosed.

Slouches and yawns, that clown.  Leaves in disdain
Gaseous dragons their nauseous knights to nettle.
Flips his tail coyly, rolls over, says he would fain
Die a dry death.  Haw! browning a petal.

Has it too good, too good.  Is vastly diverted
Watching his merchants and bankers stumble out doors.
Parries their blows, says he loves, loves to be squirted
As at him they fiercely empty their reservoirs.

Sleeps a great deal, drinks deep, drinks deep and makes hay,
Thinking he’ll swallow the bankers and all one day.

Below – Kevin Lynch: “El Mirage 2, Mojave Desert, California” (photograph)

This Date in Art History: Born 6 April 1857 – Arthur Wesley Dow, an American painter, printmaker, and photographer.

Below – “Crater Lake”; “View of Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada”; “The Clam House” (woodblock print); “Landscape”; “Moonrise” (woodblock print); “Ipswich Landscape” (woodblock print).

This Date in Literary/Cultural History: Born 6 April 1931 – Ram Dass (born Richard Alpert), an American spiritual teacher, psychologist, and author of “Be Here Now.”

Some quotes from the work of Ram Dass:

“We’re all just walking each other home.”
“The quieter you become, the more you can hear.”
“I would like my life to be a statement of love and compassion–and where it isn’t, that’s where my work lies.”
“In most of our human relationships, we spend much of our time reassuring one another that our costumes of identity are on straight.”
“The heart surrenders everything to the moment. The mind judges and holds back.”
“As long as you have certain desires about how it ought to be you can’t see how it is.”
“Everything changes once we identify with being the witness to the story, instead of the actor in it.”
“Let’s trade in all our judging for appreciating. Let’s lay down our righteousness and just be together.”
“The spiritual journey is individual, highly personal. It can’t be organized or regulated. It isn’t true that everyone should follow one path. Listen to your own truth.”
“Be here now.”

Contemporary American Art – Howard Newman

Below – “Brooklyn Heights Brownstones”; “Coney Island in Oil”; “Main Beach, East Hampton”; “Mountain Landscape”; “Peaceful Pasture”; “Stream In The Forest.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 6 April 1935 – Edwin Arlington Robinson, an American Poet, playwright, and three-time recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.

“The House on the Hill”
by Edwin Arlington Robinson

They are all gone away,
The House is shut and still,
There is nothing more to say.

Through broken walls and gray
The winds blow bleak and shrill:
They are all gone away.

Nor is there one to-day
To speak them good or ill:
There is nothing more to say.

Why is it then we stray
Around the sunken sill?
They are all gone away,

And our poor fancy-play
For them is wasted skill:
There is nothing more to say.

There is ruin and decay
In the House on the Hill:
They are all gone away,
There is nothing more to say.

Below – Leslie Dannenberg: “This Old Abandoned House #2”

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