This Date in Art History: Died 15 June 1858 – Ary Scheffer, a Dutch-French painter.
Below – “Portrait of Katarzyna Potocka“; “Charles Dickens”; “Julie Salis Schwabe”; “Portrait of a Child”; “Francesca da Rimini and Paolo Malatesta Appraised by Dante and Virgil”; “Self-Portrait.”
A Poem for Today
“Tomato Pies, 25 Cents”
by Grace Cavalieri
Tomato pies are what we called them, those days,
before Pizza came in,
at my Grandmother’s restaurant,
in Trenton New Jersey.
My grandfather is rolling meatballs
in the back. He studied to be a priest in Sicily but
saved his sister Maggie from marrying a bad guy
by coming to America.
Uncle Joey is rolling dough and spooning sauce.
Uncle Joey, is always scrubbed clean,
sobered up, in a white starched shirt, after
cops delivered him home just hours before.
The waitresses are helping
themselves to handfuls of cash out of the drawer,
playing the numbers with Moon Mullin
and Shad, sent in from Broad Street. 1942,
tomato pies with cheese, 25 cents.
With anchovies, large, 50 cents.
A whole dinner is 60 cents (before 6 pm).
How the soldiers, bussed in from Fort Dix,
would stand outside all the way down Warren Street,
waiting for this new taste treat,
young guys in uniform,
lined up and laughing, learning Italian,
before being shipped out to fight the last great war.
Below – A Trenton-style tomato pie.
This Date in Art History: Died 15 June 1951 – Vance A. Larson, an American painter.
Below – “Flight”; “Blue Hearted Swan”; “Alsalfisar”; “Born Into Spirit”; “Running As Free As The Wind”; “Nude.”
Musings in Spring: John Lubbock
“Earth and Sky, Woods and Fields, Lakes and Rivers, the Mountain and the Sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.”
Contemporary Dutch Art – Rome van Rijckevorsel
Below – “The Viking”; “Drummer boy”; “Bird in a cage”; “The wedding”; “Sugar Babe.”
This Date in Literary History: Born 15 June 1763 – Kobayashi Issa, a Japanese poet.
On a branch
a cricket, singing.
Contemporary American Art – Linda Olsen
Below – “Moonlit Stroll III”; “Island Bar Coral”; “Island Life.”
A Poem for Today
“The Great Blue Heron”
by T. Alan Broughton
I drive past him each day in the swamp where he stands
on one leg, hunched as if dreaming of his own form
the surface reflects. Often I nearly forget to turn left,
buy fish and wine, be home in time to cook and chill.
Today the bird stays with me, as if I am moving through
the heron’s dream to share his sky or water—places
he will rise into on slow flapping wings or where
his long bill darts to catch unwary frogs. I’ve seen
his slate blue feathers lift him as dangling legs
fold back, I’ve seen him fly through the dying sun
and out again, entering night, entering my own sleep.
I only know this bird by a name we’ve wrapped him in,
and when I stand on my porch, fish in the broiler,
wine glass sweating against my palm, glint of sailboats
tacking home on dusky water, I try to imagine him
slowly descending to his nest, wise as he was
or ever will be, filling each moment with that moment’s
act or silence, and the evening folds itself around me.
Below – James Williamson: “Great Blue Heron Splendor”