Friday, May 11, 2018

The Lake Isle of Innisfree

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Travon Martin

Kids Who Die by Langston Hughes

This is for the kids who die,
Black and white,
For kids will die certainly.
The old and rich will live on awhile,
As always,
Eating blood and gold,
Letting kids die.
Kids will die in the swamps of Mississippi
Organizing sharecroppers
Kids will die in the streets of Chicago
Organizing workers
Kids will die in the orange groves of California
Telling others to get together
Whites and Filipinos,
Negroes and Mexicans,
All kinds of kids will die
Who don’t believe in lies, and bribes, and contentment
And a lousy peace.
Of course, the wise and the learned
Who pen editorials in the papers,
And the gentlemen with Dr. in front of their names
White and black,
Who make surveys and write books
Will live on weaving words to smother the kids who die,
And the sleazy courts,
And the bribe-reaching police,
And the blood-loving generals,
And the money-loving preachers
Will all raise their hands against the kids who die,
Beating them with laws and clubs and bayonets and bullets
To frighten the people—
For the kids who die are like iron in the blood of the people—
And the old and rich don’t want the people
To taste the iron of the kids who die,
Don’t want the people to get wise to their own power,
To believe an Angelo Herndon, or even get together
Listen, kids who die—
Maybe, now, there will be no monument for you
Except in our hearts
Maybe your bodies’ll be lost in a swamp
Or a prison grave, or the potter’s field,
Or the rivers where you’re drowned like Leibknecht
But the day will come—
You are sure yourselves that it is coming—
When the marching feet of the masses
Will raise for you a living monument of love,
And joy, and laughter,
And black hands and white hands clasped as one,
And a song that reaches the sky—
The song of the life triumphant
Through the kids who die.
Written in 1938.  Still too true today. (Angelo Braxton Herndon was an African-American labor organizer arrested and convicted for insurrection after attempting to organize black and white industrial workers alike in 1932 in Atlanta, Georgia)
Langston Hughes

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Two Proserpines

Proserpine by Hiram Powers at the Honolulu Museum of Art

Proserpine (or Persephone) is a character from Greek mythology who was forced to spend part of every year in the underworld. Her absence from the earth was believed to cause winter, while her return brought spring. Hiram Powers modeled the original bust of Proserpine to include an elaborate woven basket filled with flowers. This proved too time-consuming and expensive to carve, however, and it was changed to a simple arrangement of acanthus leaves. Proserpine was replicated more than any other work produced by an American sculptor during the nineteenth century, and Powers’s studio carved more than three hundred copies.

On a recent trip to Hawaii, I went to the Honolulu Museum of Art.  One of the photos I took was one of Prosperine.   The Museum was a lovely building with several courtyards with seating and plantings.  I enjoyed the collection.

This past weekend I was at the beautiful Milwaukee Art Museum.

Milwaukee Art Museum - The graceful Quadracci Pavilion is a sculptural, postmodern addition designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. Highlights of the building are the magnificent cathedral-like space of Windhover Hall, with a vaulted a 90-foot-high glass ceiling I
Imagine my surprise at encountering Prosperine again so soon!

Proserpine by Hiram Powers at Milwaukee Art Museum

 The museum's notes say: 
"Despite Hiram Powers receiving limited training in his native Cincinnati, his talent as a sculptor captured the attention of local collectors and wealthy patrons able to finance his travels to the East Coast and Europe.. Powers eventually settled in Florence and embraced Neoclassicism, a style indebted to the art of ancient Greece and Rome and its subject matter.  In this second of three versions the artist created the Roman Goddess Proserpine, the mythical daughter of Ceres, he depicts her rising out of ornamental acanthus blossoms, a symbol of her mortality and a promise of the return of spring and summer each year.  Due to the sculpture’s popularity and high demand from enthusiastic clients, Power’s studio produced some three hundred copies."

How timely that I discover more about Prosperine (or Persephone, the name I was more familiar with) in the spring of the year in two places!

Thursday, April 24, 2014


Things Found While Looking Around

Frida Kahlo photographed for US Vogue, in October 1937, in her folkloric costume.

Frida Kahlo's fame lives on more than 60 years after her untimely death in 1954.  Her personal style included folkloric outfits from many parts of Mexico as well as Mexican and Pre-Colombian jewelry.  Many photos exist of her including this one taken for Vogue which is a nod back to the work of Jesús Helguera

No way to tell which of these was first but Helaguera was working from an early age starting at 18 in 1928, so it is entirely possible his work with the lady in a pink skirt came before Frida's iconic portrait.  Something to think about...

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Same Girl ~ Two Artists

Same Girl ~ Two Artists
Female Artist ~ Ernst Ludwig Kirchner & 
Girl on a Green Sofa With a Cat- Max Pechstein

“Think about how that Pechstein, who learned with hat in hand, and after five years came to you and threatened: ‘If you speak against me in public, I will make it so that no one else will look at your work and you can go hungry.’ And you laughed in his face, and rightly, but still it was bitter because the opposite was the case….”
- Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (adressing himself), Davoser Tegebuch (July 6, 1919)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

To A Kiss

Paris, 2007


Humid seal of soft affections,
Tend'rest pledge of future bliss,
Dearest tie of young connections,
Love's first snow-drop, virgin kiss.
Speaking silence, dumb confession,
Passion's birth, and infants' play,
Dove-like fondness, chaste concession,
Glowing dawn of brighter day.
Sorrowing joy, adieu's last action,
Ling'ring lips, -- no more to join!
What words can ever speak affection
Thrilling and sincere as thine!

~ Robert Burns

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Poem #14

Every day you play with the light of the universe.
Subtle visitor, you arrive in the flower and the water.
You are more than this white head that I hold tightly
as a cluster of fruit, every day, between my hands.

You are like nobody since I love you.
Let me spread you out among yellow garlands.
Who writes your name in letters of smoke among the stars of the south?
Oh let me remember you as you were before you existed.

Suddenly the wind howls and bangs at my shut window.
The sky is a net crammed with shadowy fish.
Here all the winds let go sooner or later, all of them.
The rain takes off her clothes.

The birds go by, fleeing.
The wind. The wind.
I can contend only against the power of men.
The storm whirls dark leaves
and turns loose all the boats that were moored last night to the sky.

You are here. Oh, you do not run away.
You will answer me to the last cry.
Cling to me as though you were frightened.
Even so, at one time a strange shadow ran through your eyes.

Now, now too, little one, you bring me honeysuckle,
and even your breasts smell of it.
While the sad wind goes slaughtering butterflies
I love you, and my happiness bites the plum of your mouth.

How you must have suffered getting accustomed to me,
my savage, solitary soul, my name that sends them all running.
So many times we have seen the morning star burn, kissing our eyes,
and over our heads the gray light unwind in turning fans.

My words rained over you, stroking you.
A long time I have loved the sunned mother-of-pearl of your body.
I go so far as to think that you own the universe.
I will bring you happy flowers from the mountains, bluebells,
dark hazels, and rustic baskets of kisses.
I want
to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees.

From 20 Love Poems and a Song of Despair ~ Pablo Neruda