Thanksgiving, 2016: A Poet’s Thanks


A poem from 1988 of W.S. Merwin, born 1927 , American.



with the night falling we are saying thank you




 Dusk arriving in a house and garden in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


we are stopping on the bridges to bow from the railings




The Brooklyn Bridge (Variation on an Old Theme), 1939, oil on canvas.  Joseph Stella, 1877-1946, American.  Whitney Museum of (North) American Art, NY


we are running out of the glass rooms




Windows in the contemporary galleries at MOMA, NY taken through a prism, 2016 


with our mouths full of food





 Glass case with pies, 1962, burlap soaked in plaster, painted with enamel, with pie tins, in glass and metal case.  Claes Oldenburg, born 1929,  American. National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC


                                                                                                                      to look at the sky



A scene from a 5-channel video installation, The Refusal of Time, by William Kentridge,  at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012.  William Kentridge, born 1955, South African. 

Its subjects were time and space, and the legacy of colonialism and the industrial revolution.


and say thank you




we are standing by the water thanking it



 At the Beach, oil on canvas, c. 1914-1916.  William Glackens, 1870-1938, American.  Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, Philadelphia


standing by the windows looking out





Girl at a Window, 1957, oil on canvas.  Balthus (Balthazar Klossowski), 1908-2001, French.  Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY


in our directions





Wind From the Sea, tempera on hardboard, 1947.  Andrew Wyeth, 1917-2009.  National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC


back from a series of hospitals back from a mugging





 Die.  American People Series #20, oil on canvas, 1967.  Faith Ringgold, born 1930, American.  MOMA, NY


after funerals we are saying thank you




Woman carrying A Coffin;  c.1936  oil and Duco on panel.  Luis Arenal Bastar, 1909-1985, Mexican.  On exhibit at Philadelphia Museum’s exhibition:  Paint the Revolution:  Mexican Modernism, 1910-1950.  2016.


after the news of the dead

whether or not we knew them we are saying thank you




Death of a Child, 1919, woodcut.  Ernst Barlach, 1870-1938, Germany.  Metropolitan Museum, New York






over telephones we are saying thank you



 A Western Electric (American) telephone, c.1960



in doorways and in the backs of cars and in elevators




Doorways, Rajasthan, India, 2010




Horizontal escalator between the West and East Wings of the National Gallery, Washington, DC 2016

remembering wars and the police at the door





 Aquiles Serdan and his family firing the shot that initiated the Mexican Revolution in 1910.  He was a shoemaker and had been imprisoned for revolutionary activity against the government of President Diaz.  He died in this fight. Linocut.  Fernando Castro Pacheco, 1918-2013, Mexican.  Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY



and the beatings on stairs we are saying thank you





Police Beating (Untitled), 1943; ink, graphite, watercolor on paper.  Norman Lewis, 1909-1979, American. On exhibit at the Pennsylvania Academy of Art, Philadelphia in 2015


in the banks we are saying thank you







In a metro station in lower Manhattan, New York, 2016.  I don’t know who the artist  and artisans are.

in the faces of the officials and the rich





Portrait of Eugene Coppens de Fontenay, 1867, oil on canvas;  James-Jacques-Joseph Tissot, 1836-1902, French.  Philadelphia Art Museum



and of all who will never change





 Wayne Gonzales, screen print, 2008:  So Long Suckers, screenprint, 2008.  Wayne Gonzales,  born 1957,  American. Whitney Museum of (north) American Art in 2015.



we go on saying thank you thank you





with the animals dying around us





Blue Ombre, mixed media sculpture, 2016.  Tasha Lewis, American.  On exhibit at the Philadelphia Art Alliance, 2016


taking our feelings we are saying thank you





Culled lamb, 2016, plastic, painted wood, porcelain.  Linda Cordell, American.  On exhibit at the Philadelphia Art Alliance, 2016



with the forests falling





The Pine Barrens, New Jersey, August 2015



faster than the minutes 





New Year card mailed in 1917 in central New York state


of our lives we are saying thank you


with the words going out like cells of a brain





Untitled (Rome), oil paint, wax crayon and graphite, 1962.  Cy Twombly, 1928-2011, American.  Lent by Ealan and Melinda Wingate to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2016.

A man whose ‘art’ empties our minds of words and our museums of art.  The Emperor Augustus will be spinning in his grave with this.  SPQR would have his head off for this.  But they are no more and it is anything goes.


with the cities growing over us






The City Rises, 1910, oil on canvas. Umberto Boccione,   1882-1916, Italian.  Guggenheim, New York



we are saying thank you faster and faster




with nobody listening we are saying thank you




Mizaru, covering his eyes, who sees no evil; Kikazaru, covering his ears, who hears no evil; and Iwazaru, covering his mouth, who speaks no evil.  Mahatma Ghandi’s Sabarmati ashram, Ahmedabad, Gujerat.



thank you we are saying


and waving




President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton campaigning in the presidential election, autumn 2016


dark though it is



 The lights of Portland, Oregon seen across the Columbia River from Vancouver, Washington state, 2010.





3 thoughts on “Thanksgiving, 2016: A Poet’s Thanks


    On Tue, Nov 22, 2016 at 8:04 PM, Vin de Vie Wine of Life wrote:

    > Sarah Abraham posted: “Thanks A poem from 1985 of W.S. Merwin, born 1927 , > American. Listen with the night falling we are saying thank you we > are stopping on the bridges to bow from the railings we are running out of > the glass rooms with” >

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