Off to explore a quartier which has greatly changed since we lived in Paris. The formerly industrial neighborhood is now home to a cultural-educational-flower-filled park edged with spiffy apartment towers, and the 19th century stone wine warehouses now accommodate shops and restaurants. It’s an easy walk across the Seine to the four controversial towering volumes of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, today packed with students cramming for the Bac.
My husband, a fellow artist, has recently launched a blog to show a selection of his art—photographs, drawings, paintings, and sculpture—and he is now permitting me to share the news. I encourage you to check out his beautiful and varied work. This is an image from today’s post.
Today is the anniversary of the enactment of the Edict of Nantes, a modest 16th-century attempt at freedom of worship. For a sketch and a mini-history, please see One Small Step for l’Homme.
The second Sunday of Advent falls on the birthday of Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926), and in celebration I post this seasonal poem in the original German, along with one of its numerous translations, and a painting. If you have a translation you prefer then please tell me about it.
For another Rilke poem, and a sketch, please see Holding up all this falling.
—Rainer Maria Rilke (1902)
Day in AutumnLord: it is time. Great was the Summer’s feast. Now lay upon the sun-dials your shadow And on the meadows have the wind released. Command the last of fruits to round their shapes; Grant two more days of south for vines to carry, To their perfection thrust them on, and harry The final sweetness into the heavy grapes. Who has not built his house will not start now Who now is by himself will long be so, Be wakeful, read, write lengthy letters, go In vague disquiet pacing up and down Denuded lanes, with leaves adrift below.
—Trans. Walter Arndt (1989)