Wandering in Woodacre – 8 April 2021

This Date in Art History: Born 8 April 1867 – Allen Butler Talcott, an American landscape painter.

Below – “Path Through the Woods”; “Evening”; “The Bright Light of Autumn”; “River Island”; “Return of the Redwing”; “Lyme Meadow.”

This Date in Art History: Born 8 April 1871 – Clarence Hudson White, a pioneering American photographer. In the words of one writer, “He became friends with Alfred Stieglitz and helped advance the cause of photography as a true art form.”

Below – “The Bubble”; “The Ring Toss”; “The Sea (Rose Pastor Stokes, Caritas Island, Connecticut)”; “The Orchard”; “Spring – A Triptych”; “Torso” (jointly created with Stieglitz).


This Date in Literary History: Born 8 April 1886 – Margaret Ayer Barnes, an American playwright, novelist, short story writer, author of “Years of Grace,” and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize.

Some quotes from the work of Margaret Ayer Barnes:

“The trouble with education is that we always read everything when we’re too young to know what it means. And the trouble with life is that we’re always too busy to re-read it later.”
“All wars are crusades, or we’re made to feel they are. That’s just what’s so wicked about them. We’re made to feel – not think – and people can’t think when they feel.”
“Character comes before scholarship.”
“There’s nothing in all the world as much fun as talk. When you’re talking, that is, with the right person.”
“The martial spirit is never dead. It sleeps through fortunate generations, but it wakes up very quickly to the toot of a fife. There’s that roistering spirit in men which leads them to think a good fight is a lark – until they’ve been in one. And the impulse to fight for your own incarnation of an ideal.”
“Character is the best security.”

This Date in Art History: Died 8 April 1973 – Pablo Picasso, a Spanish painter and sculptor.

Below – “Guernica”; “The Old Guitarist”; “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon”; “Absinthe Drinker”; “Three Musicians”; “Boy with a Pipe”; “Don Quixote.”


A Poem for Today

“The Penitent”
by Edna St. Vincent Millay

I had a little Sorrow,
Born of a little Sin,
I found a room all damp with gloom
And shut us all within;
And, “Little Sorrow, weep,” said I,
“And, Little Sin, pray God to die,
And I upon the floor will lie
And think how bad I’ve been!”

Alas for pious planning–
It mattered not a whit!
As far as gloom went in that room,
The lamp might have been lit!
My little Sorrow would not weep,
My little Sin would go to sleep–
To save my soul I could not keep
My graceless mind on it!

So I got up in anger,
And took a book I had,
And put a ribbon on my my hair
To please a passing lad,
And, “One thing there’s no getting by–
I’ve been a wicked girl,” said I:      ”
But if I can’t be sorry, why,
I might as well be glad!“

Below – Oscar Posada: “Wicked Woman”


This Date in Art History: Born 8 April 1943 – Chris Orr, an English painter, illustrator, lithographer, etcher, and silkscreen artist.

Below – “Nature Yet Remembers”; “Those Shadowy Recollections”; “Half Hidden From The Eye”; “A Strange Hollow Echo”; “All of Your Nothings”; “Be Content With Silence.”

A Poem for Today

“Rain”
by Don Paterson

I love all films that start with rain:
rain, braiding a windowpane
or darkening a hung-out dress
or streaming down her upturned face;

one big thundering downpour
right through the empty script and score
before the act, before the blame,
before the lens pulls through the frame

to where the woman sits alone
beside a silent telephone
or the dress lies ruined on the grass
or the girl walks off the overpass,

and all things flow out from that source
along their fatal watercourse.
However bad or overlong
such a film can do no wrong,

so when his native twang shows through
or when the boom dips into view
or when her speech starts to betray
its adaptation from the play,

I think to when we opened cold
on a starlit gutter, running gold
with the neon drugstore sign
and I’d read into its blazing line:

‘forget the ink, the milk, the blood—

all was washed clean with the flood

we rose up from the falling waters

the fallen rain’s own sons and daughters
and none of this, none of this matters.’

Below – Carla Raadsveld: “All together now’


This Date in Art History: Born 8 April 1944 – Odd Nerdrum, a Norwegian painter and illustrator.

Below – “Dawn”; “Return of the Sun”; “The Cloud”; “Woman’s Back”; “Portrait of a Young Girl”; Untitled.


A Poem for Today

“The Good Life”
by Mark Stand

You stand at the window.
There is a glass cloud in the shape of a heart.
There are the wind’s sighs that are like caves in your speech.
You are the ghost in the tree outside.

The street is quiet.
The weather, like tomorrow, like your life,
is partially here, partially up in the air.
There is nothing that you can do.

The good life gives no warning.
It weathers the climates of despair
and appears, on foot, unrecognized, offering nothing,
and you are there.

Below – Alyona Kravchenko: “In The Room II”

Contemporary British Art – Eunjung Seo

Below – “I can hear the sea”; “Into the Light”; “Come back to me”; “Emma”; “Blue”; “Playing Out”; “Portrait of Lee YoungAe.”

A Poem for Today

“To Say A Third”
by Ingeborg Bachmann

And so I have chosen
death, confessing everything
to him, telling it all
to him, this crazy
death, which I can’t
imagine, which I quickly
bring to pass, but
never can imagine, I’ve
told him everything.

The death I have told
is as bitter as thirty
tablets, high as the leap
from a window, and
I say to him when we’re
alone, he’s as high
as a leap is high, he
is short as the sleep
is short until he
takes away my anxious sleep,
I say to this
third one,
I say: show me
your mouth and eye
show me how it was,
show it to me again,
show me,
I say:
Once more, and
here I am.

Below – Ransom and Mitchell: “Ophelia II” (photograph)

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