Sunday, December 17, 2017

Thought for the Day

I am living in the late season,
but it has its songs, too. . . .
~ Jorie Graham
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Art for Advent 2017: Third Sunday


For the third Sunday in Advent, the Seeing Art History series, written and narrated by Dr. James Romaine, presents Henry Ossawa Tanner's oil painting Flight into Egypt (1899). As Romaine explains, Tanner drew on his experiences as an African American, a Christian, and an artist to visualize the Holy Family's full-of-peril journey to Egypt to escape persecution; his approach invests the painting with multiple layers of meaning and deepens its depiction of enduring faith. Tanner created some 15 works on the theme. The 1899 version described in Romaine's video can be found at Michigan's Detroit Institute of Arts.




Also read Laurel Gasque's visual meditation on Flight Into Egypt at Artway.

Dr. James Romaine, Professor, Lander University; Lecturer on Faith and Visual Arts; Author


Saturday, December 16, 2017

Saturday Short

Today, Saturday Short brings you the preview for the Kickstarter campaign for the 90-minute documentary Bill Traylor: Chasing Ghosts. The film examines the life and art of the famous self-taught creative, who was born into slavery in Alabama in the early 1850s and died in 1949, leaving behind more than 1,000 drawings and paintings.

The documentary, directed, produced, and edited by Jeffrey Wolf, will premiere at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C., during next year's exhibition "Between Worlds: The Art of Bill Traylor"; the retrospective will be on view from September 28, 2018, through March 17, 2019. The museum owns a dozen Traylor works that will be included in the show. Leslie Umberger,  curator of folk and self-taught art, plans a major book on the artist.







Allison Meier, "Tracing the Life and Times of Self-Taught Artist Bill Traylor in a Documentary", Hyperallergic, December 12, 2017

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Grace and Love (Poem)



Grace and Love

Waiting, I watch the spread
of silver-backed stars,

their flickering like the careless
tremolos of screech owls

settling for the night in Tamarack
trees. I wait for the silencing

of the birds' bouncing notes,
for the up-raised voicing of song

by the sheep-less shepherds
soon to mob the manger

in Bethlehem. I prepare to join
Wise Men, to follow the one

light meant to burn brightest
through all of Israel's house.

So long I wait for journey's end,
in grace and love, for Him again.

 © 2017 Maureen E. Doallas
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 Some of my other Advent-related poems:

"Numbered Days" (2013)


"Light to Come" (2012) 


"Joy-Waiting in Advent" (2009)

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Art for Advent 2017: Second Sunday

Continuing his 2017 Seeing Art History series for Advent, Dr. James Romaine examines for this second Sunday in Advent Henry Ossawa Tanner's painting The Holy Family (1910), noting, in particular, the artwork's composition and use of light. The oil painting resides in the Muskegon Museum of Art in Michigan.


Dr. James Romaine, Professor, Lander University; Lecturer on Faith and Visual Arts; Author


Thought for the Day


To write so that a hungry man /
might think it’s bread? //
First feed the hungry man, /
then write so that his hunger /
is not in vain.
~ Ryszard Krynicki
______________________________

Quoted from Ryszard Krynicki’s Poem “How to Write?” in Piotr Florczyk’s Review of Krynicki’s Magnetic Point: Selected Poems, 1968-2014 (New Directions, 2017), Trans. by Clare Cavanagh, in World Literature in Review, November-December 2017, page 86

Ryszard Krynicki, Polish Poet of the ‘New Wave’, Editor, Publisher, Translator

Clare Cavanagh, Professor of Slavic Languages and Lteratures, Northwestern University

Piotr Florczyk, Poet, Essayist, and Translator

Piotr Florczyk on FaceBook

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Art for Advent 2017: First Sunday

Dr. James Romaine's Seeing Art History series presents for this first Sunday in Advent Henry Ossawa Tanner's The Annuciation, an 1898 painting visualizing the Virgin Mary's moment of spiritual transformation, when the angel Gabriel tells her that she will bear God's Son. The painting, which Tanner entered in the 1898 Paris Salon exhibition, resides in the collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.


Dr. James Romaine, Professor, Lander University; Lecturer on Faith and Visual Arts; Author


Thought for the Day


. . . Love is the finest of silences, . . .
~ Jaime Sabines (Trans. W.S. Merwin)

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Quoted from "The Lovers" by Jaime Sabines, as Translated by W.S. Merwin, in The Essential W.S. Merwin, Edited by Michael Wiegers (Copper Canyon Press, 2017), page 30

Jaime Sabines (1926-1999), Mexican Poet

W.S. Merwin, Poet, Translator, Environmental Activist, 2010 Poet Laureate of the United States

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Thought for the Day


I know what I have given you. I do not know what you have received.
~ Antonio Porchia (Trans. W.S. Merwin)
____________________________

Quoted from Voices (2003) by Antonio Porchia, as Translated by W.S. Merwin, in The Essential W.S. Merwin, Edited by Michael Wiegers (Copper Canyon Press, 2017), page 16

Antonio Porchia (1885-1986), Argentinian Poet

W.S. Merwin, Poet, Translator, Environmental Activist, 2010 Poet Laureate of the United States

Thursday, November 23, 2017

A Time of Thanksgiving (Poem)



A Time of Thanksgiving

The trees have removed their branches' bracelets;
          that clanging of falling leaves has ceased.
Cold has swept in on nature's stiffest brush,
          preparing us for the harder ground to come.

          In such days grown short in time's own hands,
we lack for light beyond our cut-short shadows,
          listen for this year's presidential proclamation,
in gratefulness await the pardoning of yet another

          turkey. Soon enough we'll gather round our tables,
grip hands in prayer perfected for the holiday,
          pass our plates forward in answer to the question,
light or dark?

          Pumpkin pie will satisfy the traditionalist (there's
always one), and someone later call for coffee, bored
          caffeinated children coralling the cat in the corridor
as mother and daughters retreat to the kitchen, their men cheering

          or berating the fast or fatal final move down left field.
Once the last drop of Pinot Noir is washed down, the glasses dried,
          the chatter will turn to Black Friday specials and old debates
about buying local. No one can wait for the Christmas sales.
  
© 2017 Maureen E. Doallas
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Please enjoy once again these poems of Thanksgiving:

"Tradition" (November 28, 2013)

"Called to Thanksgiving" (November 22, 2012)

"We're used to giving" (Escape Into Life, November 23, 2011)


Also:

"November, and the pollen" (November 12, 2013)


And this, because as I wrote then, "Thanksgiving does not exist only on a November day. . .":

"Uncommon Community" (November 16, 2009)