Nov 182008
 

I’ve been working full time at Lands’ End for the past two weeks and will continue to work 40 hrs per week through the middle of January, so this little painting of an apple tart is my offering for an overdue blog. I continue to work on my Phantom painting, which I need to finish by the beginning of December. I’ve been contending with acute arthritis with a second course of Prednisone, which I can’t keep taking, but am feeling good today. Hurray! It’s always a cause for celebration when the lame one can use her left hand without premeditation, at least for a couple of days.

My friend Josephine and I are reading the poetry of Wallace Stevens and W.H. Auden for Book Club. I’ve decided to blog part of a poem she wowed me with years ago and which has been my only acquaintance with Stevens. It’s called Peter Quince at the Clavier. I’d like to include all of it, but Blog Poems must be more succinct, so I’m jumping from Part I to Part IV:

I
Just as my fingers on these keys
Make music, so the selfsame 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. It is like the strain
Waked in the elders by Susanna.

Of a green evening, clear and warm,
She bathed in her still garden, while
The red-eyed elders watching, felt

The basses of the beings throb
In witching chords, and their thin blood
Pulse pizzicata of Hosanna.

IV

Beauty is momentary in the mind —
The fitful tracing of a portal;
But in the flesh it is immortal.
The body dies; the body’s beauty lives.
So evenings die, in their green going,
A wave, interminably flowing.
So gardens die, their meek breath scenting
The cowl of winter, done repenting.
So maidens die, to the auroral
Celebration of a maiden’s choral.
Susanna’s music touched the bawdy strings
Of those white elders; but, escaping,
Left only Death’s ironic scraping.
Now, in its immortality, it plays
On the clear viol of her memory,
and makes a constant sacrament of praise.

Apple Tart, Oil on Canvas, 6×8, Private Collection

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