2017: The Poet’s New Year

To The New Year, W. S. Merwyn, born 1937, American

 

 

With what stillness at last

 

 

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 A monarch butterfly, Delaware, summer of 2016

 

 

you appear in the valley

your first sunlight reaching down

 

 

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Among the Sierra Nevada, detail, oil on canvas, 1868.  Alfred Bierstadt, 1830-1902, born Solingen, Germany, died New York City.  The Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Washington, DC

 

to touch the tips of a few

 

 

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Whispell Road, the Ashokan Catskills, Summer 2014.  The last of the woodsmen lives on this road.  83 now.  We bought his maple syrup which he collected and processed.  So modest and knowledgeable a man.

 

 

high leaves that do not stir

 

 

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Poplars on the bank of the Epte River, 1891, oil on canvas.  Claude Monet, 1840-1926, French.  Philadelphia Museum of Art

 

as though they had not noticed

and did not know you at all

 

 

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The Giants, 1939, duco (an industrial lacquer) on masonite;  Alfred Siqueiros, 1896-1974, Mexican.  Philadelphia Museum of Art

 

then the voice of a dove calls

 

 

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A seagull over the Pacific of the coast of Washington state, 2009

 

 

from far away in itself

 

 

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 A Blackbird with Snow-Covered Red Hills, 1946, oil on canvas.  Georgia O’Keefe, 1887-1986, American.  National Gallery, Washington, DC

 

 

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Girl with a Dove, 1928, oil on linen.  Marie Laurencin, 1885-1966, French.  National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

 

to the hush of the morning

 

 

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Hibiscus in the Morris Arboretum, Philadelphia,  autumn, 2016

 

so this is the sound of you

 

 

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George Gershwin in Concert Hall, 1936, oil on canvas.  David Alfaro Siqueiros, Mexican, 1896-1974, Mexican.  On exhibition in the winter of 2016 at the Philadelphia Art Museum

 

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 Grover Washington, Jr. in a wall mural on North Broad Street, Philadelphia by Peter Pagas, 2001, for the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program

 

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One of 3 panels of The Argonauts, 1949/50, oil on canvas.  Max Beckmann, 1884-1950, German.  National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

 

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Evolution of Swing, lithograph, date unknown. Raymond Steth, 1917-1997, American. On exhibition at the Woodmere Museum of the Art of Philadelphia in 2015

 

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Singing a Pathetic Song, 1881, oil on canvas.  Thomas Eakins, 1844-1916, American.  Corcoran Collection of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

 

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Marian Anderson speaking with Grace Kelley at the Crystal Ball at the Philadelphia Musuem of Art, April 1963.  Digital print of a photograph of Thomas W. Moseley, 1907-1969, American, on exhibit in 2016 at the Woodmere Museum, Philadelphia

 

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Sonata, 1911, oil on canvas.  Marcel Duchamp, 1887-1968, American born France.  Philadelphia Art Museum

 

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Portrait of a Woman, oil on canvas, 1757.  Francois Hubert Drouais, 1727-1775, French.  Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY 

 

Patrick Amiot sculpture, Sebastapol, CA on July 7 2009 34a

One of many metal sculptures made by Patrick Amiot and displayed on Florence Avenue, Sebastopol, California, 2009

 

dsc00150A mural designed by Felix Oseimi and executed in 2006 of Jazz singers. The Philadelphia Arts Mural Program

 

here and now whether or not

anyone hears it

 

 

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 Two Together, unknown date.  A digital print by John W. Mosely, 1907-1969, in an exhibition of the work of this photographer at the Woodmere Museum of the Art of Philadelphia and its Region in 2016

 

 

                                                      this is

where we have come with our age

 

 

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Ela Bhatt in 2010.  She was born in 1933.  An Ahmedabadi lawyer and Ghandian, in 1972 she set up the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), the largest indigenous Indian NGO which has helped thousands of women and their families to gain their work rights, improve their work conditions, and make a living.

 

 

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 Toni Morrison, oil on canvas, 2006.  Robert McCurdy, American, born 1952.  Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Washington, DC

 

 

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A sadhu at a shop next to the Triple Gate in the Old City, Ahmedabad, 2010

 

 

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Marisol, artist, born 1930, France, polystyrene foam, balsa wood, felt, paper clay, paint, steel and synthetic hair.  Judith Shea, born 1948, American.  Smithsonian Museum of American Art

 

 

DSC00033A wall painting in the Fairmount Park section of Philadelphia of the linguist and activist, Noam Chomsky, born 1928  in Philadelphia.   A mural now vanished under gentrification.

 

 our knowledge such as it is

 

 

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Automotive Industry, and details, 1940, oil on canvas.  Marvin Beerbohm, 1908-1981, Canadian, for the Works Project Administration, Detroit.  Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Washington, DC

 

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Wilt Chamberlain, 1936-1999, print of January 1961 by John W. Mosely, 1907-1969, in an exhibition at the Woodmere Museum of the Art of Philadelphia and its Region in 2016

 

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 Cat and Bird, 1928, oil and ink on gessoed canvas, mounted on wood.  Paul Klee, 1879-1940.  MOMA, NY

Cats know all about savoir vivre.  This one is telegraphing what he wants to eat next and is not concerned that it is a great artist that he is addressing.  All the better, probably:  a very beautiful fish was given him no doubt.

 

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Girl and Cat, c. 1917, oil on canvas.  Marguerite Thompson Zorach, 1887-1968, American.  Philadelphia Museum of Art

Cats know the most important thing:  how to be loved without question.

 

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Self-portrait with studio camera, 1932, silver gelatin print.  Man Ray, 1890-1976, American.  On display at The Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia in the autumn/winter, 2016

 

 

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The Writer, 1925, oil on cardboard.  Manuel Rodriguez Lozano, 1896-1971, Mexican.  Exhibited at the Philadelphia Art Museum in a show about the artists of the Mexican Revolution in the winter of 2016 

 

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 Untitled, 2009, acrylic on PVC panel.  Kerry James Marshall, born 1955, American.  On display at a retrospective of the artist’s work at the Metropolitan Museum, NY, winter 2016

 

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The Springhouse, 1944, egg tempera on hardboard.  N.C. Wyeth, 1882-1945, American.  Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington

 

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Jared Bader design and execution for the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, South Philadelphia, 2008

 

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Lotus Temple:  Bahai house of worship in New Delhi.  Completed in 1986 on a design by the architect, Fariborz Sabha.

 

and our hopes such as they are

 

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Hope is:  Wanting To Pull Clouds, 1992, polyester resin and acrylic.  Sigmar Polke, 1941-2010.  National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

 

invisible before us

 

 

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 The Crystal Gazer, c. 1930 and detail,  oil on canvas.  N.C. Wyeth, 1882-1945, American.  Brandywine Museum, Pennsylvania

 

 

untouched and still possible

 

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A Meri-Meri card design, Los Angeles, USA

 

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Chagall Greetings, 1949, ink on paper. Marc Chagell, 1887-1985, Russian.  Philadelphia Museum of Art

 

dsc00028 Mother and Child, 1984, Colortype in six colours on Ivorex paper and screenprint from 14 stencils in 18 printings. Richard Hamilton, 1922-2011, English.  On loan to the Philadelphia Art Museum in 2016

 

 

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Pan of Rohallion, model 1889-1890, gilded bronze.  Frederick William MacMonnies, 1863-1937, American.  National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

 

A new year come again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “2017: The Poet’s New Year

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