Thank you my lifelong afternoon

Variation on a Theme

From Collected Poems 1996-2011

W.S. Merwin,1927-2019, American 

 

Thank you my lifelong afternoon

 

 

 

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late in this season that has no age

 

 

 

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Ericksons, 1973, tempera on hardboard panel,

Andrew Wyeth, 1917-2007, American. 

Loaned by a private collection to the Brandywine River Museum, 2017

 

 

 

 

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Portrait of my Grandmother (Emily Motley), 1922, oil on canvas. 

Archibald J. Motley, Jr., 1891-1981, American.  Baltimore Museum of Art

 

 

 

 

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Jeb, 1980, oil on canvas.

  Elaine de Kooning, 1918-1989, American.  Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia

 

 

 

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Eleven’Clock News and details, tempera on panel, 1966. 

George A. Weymouth, 1936-2016, American.  Brandywine River Museum, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania

 

 

 

 

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Archaic Memory, 1988, acrylic on canvas. 

Fred Danziger, American born 1948. State Museum of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg

 

 

 

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Fanny/Fingerpainting, 1985, oil on canvas. 

Chuck Close, American, 1940-2021. National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

 

 

 

 

 

Stills from a documentary about the life and work of Ruby Nell Sales made by Adam Pendleton, American born 1984.

Shown at the Whitney Museum Biennial 2022.

Ruby Nell Sales, American born 1948, civil rights activist

and public theologian in the prophetic tradition of her political and spiritual elders.

 

 

 

 

 

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Chillin’, clay, wall paint, acrylic paint. 

Susan Strassberg on exhibit at the Clay Studio, Philadelphia in 2015

 

 

 

 

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Man in a Cafe, 1912, oil on canvas.

  Juan Gris, 1887-1927, Spanish.  Philadelphia Museum of Art

 

 

 

 

 

thank you for my windows above the rivers

 

 

 

 

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The Schuylkill River at its last weir before its confluence with the Delaware River, Philadelphia.  

 

 

 

Schuylkill River, c. 1869, oil on canvas. 

T.J. Fenimore, 1842-1873, American.  Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia

 

 

 

 

 

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The Brandywine River, a tributary of the Christina River , at Greenville, Delaware

 

 

 

 

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The Brandywine River at Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania

 

 

 

 

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Darby Creek, a tributary of the Delaware River, near its headwaters, Waterloo Mills Preserve, Chester and Delaware counties, Pennsylvania

 

 

 

 

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The Wissahickon, a tributary of the Schuylkill River, at the Morris Arboretum, Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia

 

 

 

 

 

 

thank you for the true love you brought me to when it was time at last 

 

 

 

 

At Dusk, c. 1882-’83.  Conte crayon on paper (light interference).

Georges Seurat, 1859-1891. Private collection on loan to MOMA. NY in 2020

 

 

 

 

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     Man and Woman, 1926, oil on canvas. 

Rufino Tamayo, 1899-1991, Mexican.  Philadelphia Art Museum                                                                  

 

 

 

 

                                                          and for words

 

 

 

 

Vaclav Havel, 1936-2011,  playwright, writer, political dissident, 10th president of Czechoslovakia and 1st president of the Czech Republic, 1989-2002. 

 Photograph of unknown date from the net

 

 

 

 

 

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The Writer, 1925, oil on cardboard. 

Manuel Rodriguez Lozano, 1896-1971, Mexican.  Private Collection on loan to the Philadelphia Art Museum in 2016

 

 

 

 

 

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 Girl Writing, 1941, oil on canvas. 

Milton Avery, 1885-1965.  The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC

 

 

 

that come out of silence and take me by surprise

 

 

 

 

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Self-Portrait, 1922, oil on canvas.  

Adolfo Best Maugard, 1891-1964.  Private collection on loan to the Philadelphia Art Museum in 2016

 

 

 

 

 

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The Reader, c. 1660s, oil on canvas. 

Eglon van der Neer, 1635/36-1703, Dutch.  Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY

 

 

 

 

 

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Interior with a Young Girl Reading, 1905-06, oil on canvas. 

Henri Matisse, 1869-1954, French.  MOMA, NY

 

 

 

 

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One man raised Sinclair Lewis’ warning of a book about the possibility of American fascism in front of Independence Hall, Philadelphia on the evening of February 8, 2017 protesting the immigration halt of the citizens of a number of countries by President Donald Trump. 

 

 

 

 

and have carried me through the clear day

without once turning to look at me

 

 

 

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Sailing in the Mist, 1890’s, oil on canvas. 

John H. Twachtman, 1853-1902, American.  Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia

 

 

 

 

 

Departure (Ada), 2016, oil on linen.

Alex Katz, American born 1927. Private loan to the Solomon R. Guggenheim, NY in 2022

One of the many portraits of the artist’s wife.

 

 

 

 

 

thank you for friends and long echoes of them

 

 

 

 

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Round Dance, 1909, oil on canvas. 

Emil Nolde, 1867-1956, German.  National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

 

 

 

 

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Two Girls, c. 1892, oil on canvas. 

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1841-1919, French.  Philadelphia Art Museum

 

 

 

 

Poker Game, 1970, oil on canvas. 

Larry Day, 1921-1998. American.  Woodmere Museum of Art, Philadelphia in 2021/22

 

 

 

 

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Fulang-Chang and I, 1937, assembled after 1939; oil on composition board (1937) with painted mirror frame (added after 1939); and mirror with painted mirror frame (after 1939). 

Frieda Kahlo, 1907-1954, Mexican.  MOMA, NY

 

Both were a gift from Frida Kahlo to her friend, Mary Sklar so that the latter could be with her whenever she wanted to be.

 

 

 

 

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Vignette IV, 2005, acrylic on PVC panel.

Kerry James Marshall, American born 1955.  Loaned to an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum, NY in 2016 by a private collection.

 

 

 

 

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Three Girls, 1941, oil and pencil on wood panel. 

William H. Johnson, 1901-1970,  American.  MOMA, NY

 

 

 

 

and for those mistakes that were only mine

 

 

 

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Crouching Statuette of Adam, 1896, plaster.

Paul Wayland Bartlett, 1865-1925.  Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Art

 

 

 

Melancholia, 1953, opaque watercolour on paper. 

Ben Shahn, 1898-1969, American born Lithuania. Philadelphia Art Museum

 

 

 

 

Shame, 2017, and details, oil on canvas

Dana Schutz, American born 1976.  Whitney, NY Biennial in 2017

 

 

 

 

 

for the homesickness that guides the young plovers

 

 

 

 

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Deer in Sunset, oil on canvas, 1946.

Karl Knaths, 1891-1941, American.  The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC

 

 

 

from somewhere they loved before

 

they woke

 

 

 

 

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Details of Deer in Sunset  oil on canvas, 1946.

Karl Knaths, 1891-1941, American.  The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC

 

 

 

                                      into it to another place

 

they loved before they ever saw it

 

 

 

 

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Bird’s House, 1989, varnish and watercolour on white Strathmore paper.

Jamie Wyeth, American born 1946. Private collection on display at the Brandywine River Museum, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania

 

 

 

 

 

thank you whole body and hand and eye

 

 

 

 

 

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Self Portrait, 1921, oil on canvas. 

David Alfaro Siqueiros, 1896-1974, Mexican.  On display at the Philadelphia Art Museum in 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Self Portrait with White Hat, and detail, 1926, oil on canvas. 

Max Beckmann, 1884-1950, German. Private collection on loan to the Metropolitan Museum, NY in 2017

 

 

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Three Women at the Spring, 1921, oil on canvas. 

Pablo Picasso, 1881-1973, Spanish.  MOMA, NY

 

 

 

 

 

Black Unity, 1968, cedar wood.  Front and back.

Elizabeth Catlett, 1915-2002, American. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas loan to the Brooklyn Museum, NY in 2018/19

 

 

 

 

thank you for sights and moments known

only to me

 

 

 

 

Untitled from Labirismen, 1968, one from a portfolio of 11 lithographs, 1968.  

Constant (Constant Anton Nieuwenhuys, 1920-2005, Dutch.  Text by C. Caspari (Arthus Carlheinz Caspari).  MOMA, NY

 

 

 

 

                           who will not see them again

except in my mindʻs eye

 

 

 

El Rio de Luz, 1877, oil on canvas; Frederic Edwin Church, 1826-1900; National Gallery, DC-1

River of Light, 1877, oil on canvas. 

Frederick Edwin Church,  1826-1927, American.  National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

A painting which is a composite of memories and sketches from a visit to South America 20 years before.

 

 

 

                              where they have not changed 

 

 

 

 

The Persistence of Memory, 1931, oil on canvas. 

Salvador Dali, 1904-1989, Spanish. MOMA, NY.  Photo from the net.

 

 

 

 

thank you for showing me the morning stars

 

 

 

 

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Updraft, 1976, acrylic on canvas. 

Edna Wright Andrade, 1917-2008, American.  Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington

 

 

 

 

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Peinture 130 x 89 cm, 6 Mars 1955,  oil on canvas. 

Pierre Soulages, French, born 1919-2022.  National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Deep Sky, 1984, aquatints.

  James Turrell, American light architect and artist, born 1943.  National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

 

 

 

 

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Shooting Stars, 1952, glass, casein, and tempera on Masonite. 

Irene Rice Pereira, 1902-1971, American.  Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY

Two sheets of painted, fluted glass sitting in front of a painted panel.  The composition changes depending where you stand and how much ambient light there is.

 

 

 

 

and for the dogs who are guiding me.

 

 

 

 

Kleberg Daydreaming, 2016, mixed media on paper.

  Jamie Wyeth, American born 1946.  Private collection courtesy of the Sommerville Manning Gallery, Wilmington, DE in 2017

 

 

 

 

Squirreling, 1989, mixed media on toned wove paper.

Jamie Wyeth, American born 1946.  Private collection courtesy of the Sommerville Manning Gallery, Wilmington, DE in 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “Thank you my lifelong afternoon

  1. Thank you for your appreciation, Luisa.

    The poet, William Merwin, was a poet only: he never taught or did any other kind of work. He wrote poetry and he translated poetry into English. I think sometimes that his word images are so rich because of this kind of focus and dedication to poetry.

    To find graphic images to try to match his words is a process of meditation and great pleasure! Sarah

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