Wandering in Woodacre – 25 April 2021

This Date in Art History: Born 25 April 1938 – Ton Schulten, a Dutch painter.

Below – “Towards the horizon”; “Land Des Vergangen Jahres”; “Colorful Landscape”; “Zomergloed.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 25 April 1873 – Walter de la Mare, an English poet, short story writer, and novelist.

“The Listeners”
by Walter de la Mare

‘Is there anybody there?’ said the Traveller,
Knocking on the moonlit door;
And his horse in the silence champed the grasses
Of the forest’s ferny floor:
And a bird flew up out of the turret,
Above the Traveller’s head:
And he smote upon the door again a second time;
‘Is there anybody there?’ he said.
But no one descended to the Traveller;
No head from the leaf-fringed sill
Leaned over and looked into his grey eyes,
Where he stood perplexed and still.
But only a host of phantom listeners
That dwelt in the lone house then
Stood listening in the quiet of the moonlight
To that voice from the world of men:
Stood thronging the faint moonbeams on the dark stair,
That goes down to the empty hall,
Hearkening in an air stirred and shaken
By the lonely Traveller’s call.
And he felt in his heart their strangeness,
Their stillness answering his cry,
While his horse moved, cropping the dark turf,
’Neath the starred and leafy sky;
For he suddenly smote on the door, even
Louder, and lifted his head:—
‘Tell them I came, and no one answered,
That I kept my word,’ he said.
Never the least stir made the listeners,
Though every word he spake
Fell echoing through the shadowiness of the still house
From the one man left awake:
Ay, they heard his foot upon the stirrup,
And the sound of iron on stone,
And how the silence surged softly backward,
When the plunging hoofs were gone.

Contemporary Argentinian Art – Gisela Gaffoglio

Below – “Days like these”; “Urban Scenography”; “As life goes by”; “Summertime”; “Homy town”; “Simple freedom.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 25 April 1949 – James Fenton, an award-winning English poet, journalist, and literary critic.

“How Can the Heart Live?”
by James Fenton

How can the heart live that loved once so well?
The body that knew love without deceit?
For I remember now I was not mad
Loving my bright unblemished luck
And finding a simple joy in what I had.

And I remember now I was not deceived.
The tongue lies. Really, the body does not lie.
And long before the breaking of the wave
I knew there was some great good I had mislaid
And logic tells me what I lost was love.

Affection with an electric charge of hope
Is what love was. Affection died in the flames.
There’s no insurance: earthquake, fire and flood,
War, famine, pestilence – all such are deemed
The visitations of some love-crossed god.

On some remote Olympus of the soul,
Hidden beyond the brain’s cloud-forest line,
Some ancient grudge-match is being fought to the last.
It seems that we were proxies in the fight
And there’s no compensation, no redress.

Live without hope for a time, unlucky heart.
Unlucky lover in this ruined city,
Live with this loss, these lucky ruined lives.

Below – Use Wenzel: “lonely man”

Contemporary British Art – Guy Pickford: Part I of II.

Below – “Blossom and Birdsong”; “Absorbed”; “Greater Resonance”; “Wonderful Forces”; “Softening”; “Flying Free.”

A Poem for Today

“The Hedgehog”
by Lola Haskins

Yesterday, along a walled track
I came upon a dark-brown brush
just the size of my hand. From
under it poked a narrow snout
which, when it sensed my boot,
pulled back as fast as it could.
I know that rush, that flight.
Real fear, imagined fear, it
makes no never mind. There
is something huddled in us all.

Below – Tomek Zaczeniuk: “They come out at night” (photograph)

Contemporary British Art – Guy Pickford: Part II of II.

Below – “Sleeping Bridge”; “Here nor There”; “Deeper Beauty”; “Returning to Source”; “Into the.Unknown”; “Bough.”

A Poem for Today

by David Wagoner

Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you.
If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.

Below – Guy Pickford: “Deep Forest”

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