Wandering in Woodacre – 27 April 2021

Contemporary American Art – David McGlothlin

Below – “Spitting Image”; “Twice Smote”; “Sitting Bull no. 4”; “Timberline”; “Sam hill, sakes alive”; “Tempest.”

This Date in Literary/Intellectual History: Died 27April 1882 – Ralph Waldo Emerson, an American essayist, philosopher, poet, and author of “Essays: The First and Second Series” and “The American Scholar.”

Some quotes from the work of Ralph Waldo Emerson:

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”
“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
“I cannot remember the books I’ve read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me.”
“Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.”
“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”
“When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.”
“It is not the length of life, but the depth.”
“Dare to live the life you have dreamed for yourself. Go forward and make your dreams come true.”
“Life is a journey, not a destination.”
“The earth laughs in flowers.”
“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.”

Contemporary Portuguese Art – Raquel Gralheiro

Below – “eight coins”; “mulher e catatua”; “Je t’aime. Moi non plus”; “sen titulo”; “Gourmet painting”; “Lucy and her small friend.”

Died 27 April 1942 – Hart Crane, an American poet and author of “The Bridge: To Brooklyn Bridge.”

“The Bridge: To Brooklyn Bridge”
by Hart Crane

How many dawns, chill from his rippling rest
The seagull’s wings shall dip and pivot him,
Shedding white rings of tumult, building high
Over the chained bay waters Liberty—

Then, with inviolate curve, forsake our eyes
As apparitional as sails that cross
Some page of figures to be filed away;
—Till elevators drop us from our day …

I think of cinemas, panoramic sleights
With multitudes bent toward some flashing scene
Never disclosed, but hastened to again,
Foretold to other eyes on the same screen;

And Thee, across the harbor, silver paced
As though the sun took step of thee yet left
Some motion ever unspent in thy stride,—
Implicitly thy freedom staying thee!

Out of some subway scuttle, cell or loft
A bedlamite speeds to thy parapets,
Tilting there momently, shrill shirt ballooning,
A jest falls from the speechless caravan.

Down Wall, from girder into street noon leaks,
A rip-tooth of the sky’s acetylene;
All afternoon the cloud flown derricks turn …
Thy cables breathe the North Atlantic still.

And obscure as that heaven of the Jews,
Thy guerdon … Accolade thou dost bestow
Of anonymity time cannot raise:
Vibrant reprieve and pardon thou dost show.

O harp and altar, of the fury fused,
(How could mere toil align thy choiring strings!)
Terrific threshold of the prophet’s pledge,
Prayer of pariah, and the lover’s cry,

Again the traffic lights that skim thy swift
Unfractioned idiom, immaculate sigh of stars,
Beading thy path—condense eternity:
And we have seen night lifted in thine arms.

Under thy shadow by the piers I waited
Only in darkness is thy shadow clear.
The City’s fiery parcels all undone,
Already snow submerges an iron year …

O Sleepless as the river under thee,
Vaulting the sea, the prairies’ dreaming sod,
Unto us lowliest sometime sweep, descend
And of the curveship lend a myth to God.

Below – Ellen Bradshaw: “Cables, Sun and Shadow”

Contemporary Dutch Art – Karin Vermeer

Below – “Dartk-Y”; “Orange Flake”; “Tigereye”; “Pink Opal”; “Pietersite”; “Heliodor B.”


A Poem for Today

“After the Diagnosis”
by Christian Wiman

No remembering now
when the apple sapling was blown
almost out of the ground.
No telling how,
with all the other trees around,
it alone was struck.
It must have been luck,
he thought for years, so close
to the house it grew.
It must have been night.
Change is a thing one sleeps through
when young, and he was young.
If there was a weakness in the earth,
a give he went down on his knees
to find and feel the limits of,
there is no longer.
If there was one random blow from above
the way he’s come to know
from years in this place,
the roots were stronger.
Whatever the case,
he has watched this tree survive
wind ripping at his roof for nights
on end, heats and blights
that left little else alive.
No remembering now…
A day’s changes mean all to him
and all days come down
to one clear pane
through which he sees
among all the other trees
this leaning, clenched, unyielding one
that seems cast
in the form of a blast
that would have killed it,
as if something at the heart of things,
and with the heart of things,
had willed it.

Below – Pol Ledent: “Apple tree in blossom”

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