Posts Tagged ‘Poetry’

The time of the singing of birds is come

Sunday, March 20th, 2016

Here in Washington, DC, we have the cherry blossoms; last year in the Languedoc, it was the almond trees. Happy First Day of Spring, and happy blossom-walks beneath whatever is blooming in your land.

AlmondTrees

My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.
For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone;
The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land;
The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.

—Song of Solomon 2:10-13

CakeWedding

Lynn & Donald

 

Power, Pathos, and Poetry

Saturday, February 27th, 2016

One of several events connected to the stunning collection of ancient Greek bronzes on exhibit through March 20th (three more weeks to get yourself down there!) at the National Gallery of Art.

NGASophoclesHomer 

 

Snow, Blessed Snow

Saturday, January 23rd, 2016

A sketch from the studio window, and a poem I post in thanks for this brief interlude of beauty and silence.

Snowfall27thStJan16

Snow,
blessed snow,
comes out of the sky
like bleached flies.
The ground is no longer naked.
The ground has on its clothes.
The trees poke out of sheets
and each branch wears the sock of God.

There is hope.
There is hope everywhere.
I bite it.
Someone once said:
Don’t bite till you know
if it’s bread or stone.
What I bite is all bread,
rising, yeasty as a cloud.

There is hope.
There is hope everywhere.
Today God gives milk
and I have the pail.

—Anne Sexton

CakeSun

Salome

Hark!

Friday, December 25th, 2015

For Christmas Day, a painting and a poem. Merry Christmas, everyone, as we go onward together holding hands, listening for angels.

FirstDay2

A little girl is singing for the faithful to come ye
Joyful and triumphant, a song she loves,
And also the partridge in a pear tree
And the golden rings and the turtle doves.
In the dark streets, red lights and green and blue
Where the faithful live, some joyful, some troubled,
Enduring the cold and also the flu,
Taking the garbage out and keeping the sidewalk shoveled.
Not much triumph going on here—and yet
There is much we do not understand.
And my hopes and fears are met
In this small singer holding onto my hand.
Onward we go, faithfully, into the dark
And are there angels hovering overhead? Hark.
— Gary Johnson

CakeSprinkles

Ann

CakeFlowersRibbons

Stephanie

CakeSnowman

Noah

CakeMusic

Nevin

CakePolkaDots

Tony

After a fall of snow

Monday, December 21st, 2015

In celebration of this shortest day, this longest night of the year, a poem by May Sarton, and a chair in the National Cathedral Bishop’s Garden, painted during a snowier winter than this one looks to be.

ChairInSnow

Before going to bed
After a fall of snow
I look out on the field
Shining there in the moonlight
So calm, untouched and white
Snow silence fills my head
After I leave the window.

Hours later near dawn
When I look down again
The whole landscape has changed
The perfect surface gone
Criss-crossed and written on
Where the wild creatures ranged
While the moon rose and shone.

Why did my dog not bark?
Why did I hear no sound
There on the snow-locked ground
In the tumultuous dark?

How much can come, how much can go
When the December moon is bright,
What worlds of play we’ll never know
Sleeping away the cold white night
After a fall of snow.

—May Sarton

Approach Of Winter

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

A picture, and a poem, for the first of December.

Dec2015

The half-stripped trees
struck by a wind together,
bending all,
the leaves flutter drily
and refuse to let go
or driven like hail
stream bitterly out to one side
and fall
where the salvias, hard carmine—
like no leaf that ever was—
edge the bare garden.

—William Carlos Williams

CakePolkaDots

Melissa 

CakeBalloons2

Chuck

Merci

Thursday, November 26th, 2015

The lovely village of St. Cyprien-Dordogne is where we were living last Thanksgiving, celebrating quietly and far from home. This year, back in our native land, and happy and thankful for the beloved company of family and old friends, we’re also grateful for those we came to know in our adopted land and anxious about the recent attacks on this spirited, creative, humorous and resilient people. I look forward to a day (probably centuries beyond my lifetime) when we might celebrate in harmony a universal Thanksgiving in appreciation for our beautiful world and everyone in it.

Below, a poem for this day.

AutumnStCyprienR

Te Deum
Not because of victories
I sing,
having none,
but for the common sunshine,
the breeze,
the largess of the spring.

Not for victory
but for the day’s work done
as well as I was able;
not for a seat upon the dais
but at the common table.
—Charles Reznikoff

Orchard

Thursday, October 1st, 2015

For the first of October, a poem by Hilda Doolittle, and a painting of Saturday market pears and calendula (growing wild by the Languedoc vineyards and known locally as souci).

CalendulaWithPears

I saw the first pear
as it fell-
the honey-seeking, golden-banded,
the yellow swarm
was not more fleet than I,
(spare us from loveliness)
and I fell prostrate
crying:
you have flayed us
with your blossoms,
spare us the beauty
of fruit-trees.
The honey-seeking
paused not,
the air thundered their song,
and I alone was prostrate.
O rough-hewn
god of the orchard,
I bring you an offering–
do you, alone unbeautiful,
son of the god,
spare us from loveliness:
these fallen hazel-nuts,
stripped late of their green sheaths,
grapes, red-purple,
their berries
dripping with wine,
pomegranates already broken,
and shrunken figs
and quinces untouched,
I bring you as offering.

—H.D. (Hilda Doolittle)

CakeAutLeavesAmelia

CakeOranges
Honora

Three zinnias from the Sunday street market

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

It’s the first of September, which signals, along with the late afternoon singing of cicadas, that, alas, the end of summer draws near. Here are a painting, and a rather melancholy poem, for the day. (There is a cartoon in my sketchbook to accompany the creation of this painting, which I will post eventually.)

ThreeZinniasPost

Fair Summer Droops
Fair summer droops, droop men and beasts therefore,
So fair a summer look for nevermore:
All good things vanish less than in a day,
Peace, plenty, pleasure, suddenly decay.
Go not yet away, bright soul of the sad year,
The earth is hell when thou leav’st to appear.

What, shall those flowers that decked thy garland erst,
Upon thy grave be wastefully dispersed?
O trees, consume your sap in sorrow’s source,
Streams, turn to tears your tributary course.
Go not yet hence, bright soul of the sad year,
The earth is hell when thou leav’st to appear.

—Thomas Nashe, from Summer’s Last Will and Testament

CakeBlackEyeSusan

Elizabeth

Today

Friday, March 20th, 2015

When we received this gift two weeks ago, it happened to be the first day that actually smelled like spring, despite the wind rattling the shutters and the fire burning in the fireplace. 

Here is a Billy Collins poem to go with the sketch (which is a detail from March 3rd’s post). Happy First Day of Spring, everyone in the Northern Hemisphere.

3.3SpringBouquet

If ever there were a spring day so perfect,
so uplifted by a warm intermittent breeze

that it made you want to throw
open all the windows in the house

and unlatch the door to the canary’s cage,
indeed, rip the little door from its jamb,

a day when the cool brick paths
and the garden bursting with peonies

seemed so etched in sunlight
that you felt like taking

a hammer to the glass paperweight
on the living room end table,

releasing the inhabitants
from their snow-covered cottage

so they could walk out,
holding hands and squinting

into this larger dome of blue and white,
well, today is just that kind of day.

 
CakeWedding
Lynn and Donald