This Date in Art History: Died 8 May 1903 – Paul Gauguin, a French painter: Part I of II.
Below – “Martinique Landscape”; “Bord de Mer II”; “At the Pond”; “Among the Mangoes”; “Conversation Tropiques”; “Huttes sous les arbres.”
This Date in Literary History: Died 8 May 2021 – Larry Levis, an award-winning American poet.
“As I Move On With You”
by Larry Levis
bouquets of flowers,
Onto the ways,
See the future,
In his arms,
Is her hold,
Watch the moments,
See me through,
As my love,
Moves on with you.
Below – Jade Gates: “Together”
Below – “Where Do We Come From? What Are We? “Where Are We Going?” “The Moon and the Earth”; “And the Gold of Their Bodies”; “The Birth”; “When Will You Marry?”; “Nevermore (O Taiti).”
Some quotes from the work of Roddy Doyle:
“It was a sign of growing up, when the dark made no more difference to you than the day.”
“To claim that music is more important than oxygen would be trite and sentimental. It would also be true.”
“Dreaming was only nice while it lasted.”
“She’d tried her hand at most things, but drew the line at honesty.”
“I remember I wanted to get away; I wanted to run. I couldn’t stand any more. But I didn’t want to run. I wanted everything to be perfect; everything was going to be great – I just had to be careful. I was responsible for it all. The clouds coming, I was dragging them towards us; my thoughts were doing it. I was ruining everything. It was up to me. I could control the whole day. All I had to do was make sure that I made no stupid mistakes. Don’t walk on the cracks. Don’t look at the clouds. It’s up to you.”
“I live on an island called Ireland where most of the music is shite. I grew up listening to ‘Danny Boy’; I grew up hating Danny Boy, and all his siblings and his granny. ‘The pipes, the pipes are caw-haw-hawing.’ Anything with pipes or fiddles or even – forgive me, Paul – banjos, I detested. Songs of loss, of love, of going across the sea; songs of defiance and rebellion – I vomited on all of them.”
“It was frightening, though, how little time you got. You only became yourself when you were twenty-three or twenty-four. A few years later, you had an old man’s chest hair. It wasn’t worth it.”
“Sometimes, when you were thinking about something, trying to understand it, it opened up in your head without you expecting it to, like it was a soft spongy light unfolding, and you understood, it made sense forever.”
Contemporary German Art – Sabine Bachem
Below – “LUXURIA! the first of the 7 deadly sins”; “INVIDIA! the second of the 7 deadly sins”; “ACEDIA! the third of the 7 deadly sins”; “IRA! the fourth of the 7 deadly sins”; “AVARITIA! the fifth of the 7 deadly sins”; “SUBERBIA! the sixth of the 7 deadly sins”; “GULA! the last of the 7 deadly sins.”
Some quotes from the work of Thomas Pynchon:
“There are stories, like maps that agree… too consistent among too many languages and histories to be only wishful thinking…. It is always a hidden place, the way into it is not obvious, the geography is as much spiritual as physical. If you should happen upon it, your strongest certainty is not that you have discovered it but returned to it. In a single great episode of light, you remember everything.”
“If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about answers.”
“Love with your mouth shut, help without breaking your ass or publicizing it: keep cool, but care.”
“Life’s single lesson: that there is more accident to it than a man can ever admit to in a lifetime and stay sane.”
“To have humanism we must first be convinced of our humanity. As we move further into decadence this becomes more difficult.”
“It’s been a prevalent notion. Fallen sparks. Fragments of vessels broken at the Creation. And someday, somehow, before the end, a gathering back to home. A messenger from the Kingdom, arriving at the last moment. But I tell you there is no such message, no such home — only the millions of last moments . . . nothing more. Our history is an aggregate of last moments.”
“There is no real direction here, neither lines of power nor cooperation. Decisions are never really made – at best they manage to emerge, from a chaos of peeves, whims, hallucinations and all around assholery. ”
“Idle dreaming is often of the essence of what we do.”
“So the city became the material expression of a particular loss of innocence – not sexual or political innocence but somehow a shared dream of what a city might at its best prove to be – its inhabitants became, and have remained, an embittered and amnesiac race, wounded but unable to connect through memory to the moment of injury, unable to summon the face of their violator.”
“Let the peace of this day be here tomorrow when I wake up.”
Contemporary Latvian Art – Katrina Gaile
Below – “A Music Teacher”; “Your fox”; “changers”; “a melon eater”; “before”; “an adherence”; “the return.”
A Poem for Today
“To Be In Love”
by Gwendolyn Brooks
To be in love
Is to touch things with a lighter hand.
In yourself you stretch, you are well.
You look at things
Through his eyes.
A cardinal is red.
A sky is blue.
Suddenly you know he knows too.
He is not there but
You know you are tasting together
The winter, or light spring weather.
His hand to take your hand is overmuch.
Too much to bear.
You cannot look in his eyes
Because your pulse must not say
What must not be said.
Shuts a door—
Is not there—
Your arms are water.
And you are free
With a ghastly freedom.
You are the beautiful half
Of a golden hurt.
You remember and covet his mouth,
To touch, to whisper on.
Oh when to declare
Is certain Death!
Oh when to apprize,
Is to mesmerize,
To see fall down, the Column of Gold,
Into the commonest ash.
Below – Sandra Woerner: “love”
Contemporary American Art -Melissa Loop
Below – “The High and Lonely Path”; “Folding the Past and Future into a Dream”; “Drifting Night”; “Where Have We Been?”; “Escort to Beyond the Threshold”; “Where are we Going?.”
This Date in Literary History: Born 8 May 1930 – Gary Snyder, an American poet, essayist, translator, author of “Turtle Island,” and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize.
by Gary Snyder
A few light flakes of snow
Fall in the feeble sun;
Birds sing in the cold,
A warbler by the wall. The plum
Buds tight and chill soon bloom.
The moon begins first
Fourth, a faint slice west
At nightfall. Jupiter half-way
High at the end of night-
Meditation. The dove cry
Twangs like a bow.
At dawn Mt. Hiei dusted white
On top; in the clear air
Folds of all the gullied green
Hills around the town are sharp,
Breath stings. Beneath the roofs
Of frosty houses
Lovers part, from tangle warm
Of gentle bodies under quilt
And crack the icy water to the face
And wake and feed the children
And grandchildren that they love.
Below – Mount Hiei in winter.