Wandering in Woodacre – 30 April 2021

This Date in Art History: Died 30 April 1883 – Edouard Manet, a French painter.

Below – “The Luncheon on the Grass”; “A Bar at the Folies-Bergere”; “Boating”; “Young Flautist”; “The Reading”; “The Railway.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 30 April 1945 – Annie Dillard, an American essayist, novelist, poet, author of “Pilgrim at Tinker Creek,” and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize.

Some quotes from the work of Annie Dillard:

“Like any child, I slid into myself perfectly fitted, as a diver meets her reflection in a pool. Her fingertips enter the fingertips on the water, her wrists slide up her arms. The diver wraps herself in her reflection wholly, sealing it at the toes, and wears it as she climbs rising from the pool, and ever after.”
“Spend the afternoon, you can’t take it with you.”
“There is always the temptation in life to diddle around making itsy-bitsy friends and meals and journeys for years on end. It is all so self conscience, so apparently moral…But I won’t have it. The world is wilder than that in all directions, more dangerous…more extravagant and bright. We are…raising tomatoes when we should be raising Cain, or Lazarus.”
“You do not have to sit outside in the dark. If, however, you want to look at the stars, you will find that darkness is necessary. But the stars neither require nor demand it.”
“I am a frayed and nibbled survivor in a fallen world, and I am getting along. I am aging and eaten and have done my share of eating too. I am not washed and beautiful, in control of a shining world in which everything fits, but instead am wondering awed about on a splintered wreck I’ve come to care for, whose gnawed trees breathe a delicate air, whose bloodied and scarred creatures are my dearest companions, and whose beauty bats and shines not in its imperfections but overwhelmingly in spite of them.”
“Our life is a faint tracing on the surface of mystery, like the idle curved tunnels of leaf miners on the face of a leaf. We must somehow take a wider view, look at the whole landscape, really see it, and describe what’s going on here. Then we can at least wail the right question into the swaddling band of darkness, or, if it comes to that, choir the proper praise.”

Contemporary French Art – de Miramon alice

Below – “Tigerlili”; “Rainbow rain”; “The Blue Horse”; “The mirror”; “Blue tiger”; “Silence.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 30 April 1888 – John Crowe Ransom, an American poet, critic, and recipient of the National Book Award.

“Bells for John Whiteside’s Daughter”
by John Crowe Ransom

There was such speed in her little body,
And such lightness in her footfall,
It is no wonder her brown study
Astonishes us all.

Her wars were bruited in our high window.
We looked among orchard trees and beyond
Where she took arms against her shadow,
Or harried unto the pond

The lazy geese, like a snow cloud
Dripping their snow on the green grass,
Tricking and stopping, sleepy and proud,
Who cried in goose, Alas,

For the tireless heart within the little
Lady with rod that made them rise
From their noon apple-dreams and scuttle
Goose-fashion under the skies!

But now go the bells, and we are ready,
In one house we are sternly stopped
To say we are vexed at her brown study,
Lying so primly propped.

Below – Jeroen Allart: “Girl with Geese”

Contemporary Russian Art – Anna Gorodetskya

Below – “My dream”; “Peruvian 6”; ““Prophetic dream”; “Series Incarnation of life ‘Harmony of spirit’”; “Noche”; “Peruvian.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 30 April 1937 – Tony Harrison, a British poet and playwright.

“Long Distance Ii”
by Tony Harrison

Though my mother was already two years dead
Dad kept her slippers warming by the gas,
put hot water bottles her side of the bed
and still went to renew her transport pass.

You couldn’t just drop in. You had to phone.
He’d put you off an hour to give him time
to clear away her things and look alone
as though his still raw love were such a crime.

He couldn’t risk my blight of disbelief
though sure that very soon he’d hear her key
scrape in the rusted lock and end his grief.
He knew she’d just popped out to get the tea.

I believe life ends with death, and that is all.
You haven’t both gone shopping; just the same,
in my new black leather phone book there’s your name
and the disconnected number I still call.

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