Tuesday, November 15, 2016

“Come away, death”


Come away, come away, death,
And in sad cypress let me be laid.
Fly away, fly away, breath;
I am slain by a fair cruel maid.
My shroud of white, stuck all with yew,
O, prepare it!
My part of death, no one so true
Did share it.

Not a flower, not a flower sweet,
On my black coffin let there be strown.
Not a friend, not a friend greet
My poor corpse, where my bones shall be thrown.
A thousand thousand sighs to save,
Lay me, O, where
Sad true lover never find my grave,
To weep there!

— William Shakespeare, from Twelfth Night, II:4

I have long felt a connection with this text, and it moves me so much that I try to keep it shut away.  (Like this one.) But a few days ago, in a Shakespeare-themed choral concert, I performed in a most poignant setting by Erik Nielsen, and it still haunts me, words and music. I wish I could forget it.

Andrew Wyeth, American, 1917-2009. April Wind. Tempera on Masonite. Wadsworth Atheneum, 1957.628.




Monday, November 14, 2016

“As the bird sings”

“I would like to paint as the bird sings…I would like to prevent one from seeing how it is done.”
— Claude Monet (French, 14 November 1840 - 5 December 1926)



Claude Monet (1840-1926), The Magpie (La Pie), oil on canvas, painted 1868-1869. Musée d'Orsay, Paris. Painted en plein air near Étretat in Normandy. [frissons of recollection of Étretat and the Musée d'Orsay]


Source of quote: Maurice Guillemot in Steven Z. Levine’s Monet, Narcissus, and Self-Reflection: The Modernist Myth of the Self, University of Chicago Press, 1995, page 177.