Saturday, April 23, 2016

Having in some friends

              And I can speak of the disturbances
              That nature works, and of her cures;
                which doth give me
              A more content in course of true delight
              Than to be thirsty after tottering honour,
              Or tie my treasure up in silken bags,
              To please the fool and death. 

In the departure of Jupiter
from a play which Auden ad-
mits, reveals glory's short
supply, he nevertheless dis-
covers verse in bridge pas-
sages which transcend their
context. What an exact de-
piction of this language,
and of the table where it 
lavishes its least hoarded

The marble pavement closes;
  he is entered
His radiant roof. Away! and,
  to be blest,
Let us with care perform his
  great behest.


William Shakespeare
  III, ii
  V, iv

W.H. Auden
Lectures on Shakespeare
Princeton University Press, 2000©

Friday, April 22, 2016

American scholar

Yes, of course, I am excited by
the totally integrated work of
art. But the truth is that there
is something far more important ..
than this unitary idea .. What I
really want from art is a variety
of qualities, a multiplicity of
qualities, a kaleidoscope of qual-
ities, the unpredictability of
qualities, qualities that are as
varied as the artists who create
the works of art. And I suspect
that when artists are shaping and
deepening and clarifying the qual-
ities that mean the most to them,
then quality in the sense of whole-
ness and oneness takes care of it-

    I only wanted to see you
    Bathing in the purple rain.

                     When I first started out ..
                     I was most concerned with
                     freedom. Freedom to produce,
                     freedom to play all the in-
                     struments on my records, 
                     to say anything I wanted to.

    Such intentions, recalled
    in retrospect, were famous-
    ly, prolifically placed in
    play, and then, witnessing
    the fulfillments, we saw a
    profuseness of integrated 
    elements, mastered, which 
    awed us in Charles Chaplin.

    The education we enjoy in 
    this country, in what we
    want, lost a straight A
    student in him. Wherever
    now we do play fair, he's
    expected us. He drew us.


Yves Klein

Condé Nast
Magazine cover

i    Jed Perl
         Watteau and his world
      Knopf, 2008©
      op. cit.

ii, iii


Thursday, April 21, 2016

Arm music iv: Advantage, Sanders

  No matter:
  Mine's the road
  That leaps time,
  Till Io distract
  From the gadfly's sting,
  Came where the Nile teems,
  Her belly quick
  With the touch of Zeus ..

Adam M. Parry
Io - for the Athenians
Yale University Press, 1961©
op. cit.

Frank Shields

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Origins of Wednesday xxv: Wondrous renovations of the jersey

Oh, life is going to get
interesting, if New York
voters have their way.
Supposed irreconcilables
are going to emerge from
sprints in Cleveland on
Lake Erie, the Old Guard
behind a new champion of
forgotten glitches of as-
similation. What a differ-
ence, a stroke can make,
what a difference the cur-
rents that he churns.


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

No prey, no politics?


and when the shepherd sees the gorgeous rays
of that great planet sinking toward its nest
and all the eastern pastures growing dark,

he rises to his feet and 
leaves the grass
and leaves the springs 
and beech trees, 
takes his crook
and gently uses 
it to move his flock;

then far from other people
he finds a hut or cave
and strews its floor
with greens
and stretches out to sleep without
a care.

Oh, cruel love ~ It's then you urge me most
to hunt the wild creature who destroys me
her voice, her spoor, her tracks;
but you don't help me catch her as she flees.

Francesco Petrarca
1304  - 1374
The Poetry of Petrarch
David Young
Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2004©

Monday, April 18, 2016

Much ado of unseemly denial

We don't usually venture into
statistical disputation, but
a grievously prejudicial man-
ipulation of a comment by Mr
Sanders, stipulating to an
incongruous weighting of bal-
lots from demographic minor-
ities in the Primaries, from
States which cannot be won in
the Electoral College, has ex-
posed a hideously cynical ef-
fort to denounce the messenger
as racist. Krugman and Silver,
among usual paragons of stat-
istical interpretation, have
championed a sad deception,
based on a refusal to grasp
the subject: their candidate's
negative renown in States any
Democratic nominee must carry.

The complaint, that Mr Sanders
would read people out of the
Party for being useless to it,
betrays the perspective he is
challenging, of who should be
useful to whom. No one is less
useful to his opponent's can-
didacy, than its candidate.

futility of antiquity's re-
liance on demographic groups
cobbled together by the dis-
crimination they've suffered,
such as the white Southerner
in internal exile, in a year
when the subject is corrup-
tion and its maldistributions.
The old plantations of parti-
sanship are being recast, as
no one knows better than Krug-
man and Silver. 

We don't fault the rain that
brings the Spring. We fault
the window of its definition,
treasuring static droplets a-
gainst renewal's lavish pour.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

People who wonder

I have friends, it should
probably be said at this
point, who get in touch to
say, What is this thing a-
bout Sanders?

It hasn't anything to do
with Sanders. It has to do
with his rising to the de-
mands of contemporary time,
to make himself available,
for people to be democrats.

This could have gone a
different way, as we've
seen, across the aisle:
the single aisle, we all
walk, on axis to the bal-
lot box. This could have
gone in the streets, as
no one needs to warn us.

But Sanders came along at
a moment when democrats
seemed ripe to be harvest-
ed as pawns, driven by a
pervasive, angry blackmail
in our time; and utilized,
at long last, to redeem a
legacy stunted by success.

He said, The way is open,
and whose fault is it, he
was the only one?

Now the parterre, most a-
ligned with the spirit of
the time, resounds chaotic
in the frolic of its heirs.

ii    Minor White
       Man with flag

iii   Sabine Weiss
       Jardin de Tuileries

Arm music iii

On his abduction by police
for incarceration, torture,
and a Stalinist show trial,
despite his loyalty to the
Party, in Costa-Gavras' 
The Confession, the charac-
ter played by Yves Montand
settled his last glimpse of
the free life upon a youth,

Running in a park. On his
descent into heart attack 
in Venice, Thomas Mann's
Aschenbach settled his fi-
nal glimpse of life upon
another at the beach, sway-
ing from umbrellas thrust
into the sand. Britten, in
that opera, structured his
ballet upon this vision.

Even I, just yesterday, in
the asphalt of a parking lot
in darkest dour Dixie, saw
a boy break from his parents
in a headlong, giddy run to
the family truck, to fling 
himself within. Think tanks, 
left and right, have bicker-
ed for that boy throughout
our lives, to no avail. He
has elation, unaccountable.

If I had known music, would
I not embody it? If it bade 
me dance, how should I not?

This characteristic strikes
to the core. We will discuss 
American politics this year,
because we have to, for mem-
ory and desire make it ours.
The characteristic lies deep-
than the trend, deeper than
tendency or temptation; and
is essentially impregnable.

Boys! No running! is a man-
tra for defeating elation.
Even against worse policy,
it is fallacy, and would
exchange certain degeneracy
for hypothetical catastrophe.
It seems we may be offered
this choice, by alignments
stifling any other.

i     Sabine Weiss

iii   André Kertész
      New York