The Blue Dress, Ken Howard
- UST as my fingers on these keys
- Make music, so the self-same sounds
- On my spirit make a music, too.
- Music is feeling, then, not sound;
- And thus it is that what I feel,
- Here in this room, desiring you,
- Thinking of your blue-shadowed silk,
- Is music.
-from Peter Quince at the Clavier, Wallace Stevens
At the Shrine, John William Waterhouse
She walks in Beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which Heaven to gaudy day denies.
One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o’er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express,
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.
And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!
Romantica 1, Raffaella Blanc
you said Is
there anything which
is dead or alive more beautiful
than my body, to have in your fingers
(trembling ever so little)?
your eyes Nothing, I said, except the
air of spring smelling of never and forever.
Stand on the highest pavement of the stair –
Lean on a garden urn –
Weave, weave the sunlight in your hair –
Clasp your flowers to you with a pained suprise –
Fling them to the ground and turn
With a fugitive resentment in your eyes:
But weave, weave the sunlight in your hair.
So I would have had him leave,
So I would have had her stand and grieve,
So he would have left
As the soul leaves the body torn and bruised,
As the mind deserts the body it has used.
I should find
Some way incomparably light and deft,
Some way we both should understand,
Simple and faithless as a smile and a shake of the hand.
She turned away, but with the autumn weather
Compelled my imagination many days,
Many days and many hours:
Her hair over her arms and her arms full of flowers.
And I wonder how they should have been together!
I should have lost a gesture and a pose.
Sometimes these cogitations still amaze
The troubled midnight, and the noon’s repose.
— T. S. Eliot
here was a splash quite unnoticed/ this was Icarus drowning
—William Carlos Williams
Bruegel chose the moment when young legs
closed like a pocket knife into the waiting sea.
Later, someone called it a mundane disaster;
said, “it couldn’t have been helped,” the flash
of a diving bird that turned out to be a boy.
I say this: Whatever suffering there was,
you brought it to the scene yourself.
You chose to be the shepherd who watched clouds
while a hawk studied sheep from the tree.
You chose to be the sleeping sailor, heavy
in the crow’s nest of that harbor ship,
or the fisherman too busy with his worms.
You must have known by heart the plodding path
walked by a horse wearing leather blinders.
And the ploughman, how did he greet tragedy?
Why, he had laid down his dagger and moneybelt
in the shade, and would not leave them unwatched.
He was no hero, he ploughed without swerving
and let one foot step soft into the turned furrow.
And there, in the field already ploughed,
was a spot on the ground, a pale mound
which proved upon closer inspection
to be the white skull of an old man, settling.
If he noticed either sinking body
the ploughman merely shrugged:
the Dutch have a proverb: De ploeg gaat over lijken
-Kathleen Heideman, DecomP Magazine
A poem inspired by Brueghel’s painting, to follow W.H. Auden’s much-loved classic “Musee des Beaux Arts“
by contemporary LA-based artist Scott David Laufer