Library Company of Philadelphia, “Sugar with your tea Patrick?”
“Ho-Ho! my valiant page!
Bring hither Pegasus, and let me ride;
Smooth the winged-charger’s ruffled mane,
Tighten the curb, and let the loosen’d rein
Hang loose no more!
Bring hither Pegasus, and I will soar,
With my proud courser well in hand,
Into the presence of that fairyland
Wherein the far hills brood in the still mist
And the laughter-ripple of the mere is kissed
By the bright-eyed orb of day:
Now make good speed, my page…”
—William Wilson, “Pegasus in Lakeland”
Esther Bubley, “This boardinghouse room needs a heater in the winter and a fan in the summer” (1943)
Enough! Here’s the punishment.—Forward, march!
Ahhh! My lungs are burning, my skull roars!
Night rolls through my eyes by that sun!
—Rimbaud, A Season In Hell
New York Magazine, 1969
Summer’s joys are spoilt by use,
And the enjoying of the Spring
Fades as does its blossoming…
–John Keats, Fancy
cf. William Gropper, “Wake up alone and like it!” (1936)
Harry Wayne McMahan, “The Television Commercial” (1954)
I gotta time it right so it’s warm when you get it
Turn up the heat just a little bit higher
It was a good idea but I think I overdid it
I can’t reach the oven and the kitchen’s on fire…
Childe Hassam, “The Colonial Table” (1915)
Wild nights – Wild nights!
Were I with thee
Wild nights should be
Futile – the winds –
To a Heart in port –
Done with the Compass –
Done with the Chart!
Rowing in Eden –
Ah – the Sea!
Might I but moor – tonight –
cf. Patricia D. Duncan, “Former Home of Aviatrix Amelia Earhart…” (1974)
You cannot put a fire out;
A thing that can ignite
Can go, itself, without a fan
Upon the slowest night…
Your mother named you. You and she just saw
Each other in passing in the room upstairs,
One coming this way into life, and one
Going the other out of life—you know?
So you can’t have much recollection of her.
She had been having a long look at you.
She put her finger in your cheek so hard
It must have made your dimple there, and said,
‘Maple.’ I said it too: ‘Yes, for her name.’
She nodded. So we’re sure there’s no mistake.
I don’t know what she wanted it to mean,
But it seems like some word she left to bid you
Be a good girl—be like a maple tree.
How like a maple tree’s for us to guess…
–Robert Frost, Maple (excerpt)
A Stranger came to the door at eve,
And he spoke the bridegroom fair.
He bore a green-white stick in his hand,
And, for all burden, care.
He asked with the eyes more than the lips
For a shelter for the night,
And he turned and looked at the road afar
Without a window light.
The bridegroom came forth into the porch
With, ‘Let us look at the sky,
And question what of the night to be,
Stranger, you and I.’
The woodbine leaves littered the yard,
The woodbine berries were blue,
Autumn, yes, winter was in the wind;
‘Stranger, I wish I knew.’
Within, the bride in the dusk alone
Bent over the open fire,
Her face rose-red with the glowing coal
And the thought of the heart’s desire.
The bridegroom looked at the weary road,
Yet saw but her within,
And wished her heart in a case of gold
And pinned with a silver pin.
The bridegroom thought it little to give
A dole of bread, a purse,
A heartfelt prayer for the poor of God,
Or for the rich a curse;
But whether or not a man was asked
To mar the love of two
By harboring woe in the bridal house,
The bridegroom wished he knew.
–Robert Frost, Love and a Question
How could love be so wrong?
I don’t know why…
Charles Frederic Ulrich, Moment Musicale (1883)
and slworking2, Short time lapse of the harvest moon rising over a mountain – YouTube
You slept all night now it’s morning time
That’s the time to rise and shine
Don’t you cry and don’t be blue
Wakin’ up is hard to do!
A. L. Hitchin, “You’ve Waked Me Too Soon” (ca. 1914)
Music—the world that might be,
and yet the world as it is. The heart
comes out of hiding, saying to us:
“Listen, you can say anything you want now.
Here is the instrument.”
–Robert Winner, The Instrument (excerpt) from The Sanity of Earth and Grass (Tilbury House)
John Vachon, Daughter of FSA rehabilitation borrower listening to phonograph (detail) (1940)
cf. Photograph by Petr Novak via Unsplash and State Library and Archives of Florida, The Road to Beauty
This is the year you fall in
love with the Bengali poet,
and the Armenian bakery stays open
Saturday nights until eleven
across the street from your sunny
apartment with steep fo’c’sle stairs
up to an attic bedroom.
Three-decker tenement flank you.
Cyclone fences enclose
flamingos on diaper-size lawns.
This is the year, in a kitchen
you brighten with pots of basil
and untidy mint, I see how
your life will open, will burst from
the maze in its walled-in garden
and streak towards the horizon.
Your pastel maps lie open
on the counter as we stand here
not quite up to exchanging
our lists of sorrows, our day books,
our night thoughts, and burn the first batch
of chocolate walnut cookies.
Of course you move on,
Tonight as I cruise past your corner,
a light goes on in the window.
Two shapes sit at the table.
–Maxine Kumin, “Magellan Street, 1974” from Nurture Poems (Penguin Books).
There are places I remember all my life
Though some have changed…
At night the stars, they put on a show for free
And, darling, you can share it all with me…
And if this old world starts getting you down,
There’s room enough for two…
Cincinnati Magazine (1972)
cf. LIFE (1969)
Lewis Hine, Bedroom and living-room in company-owned home of workers in Highland Cotton Mills… (1936)
cf. Thomas Eakins: The Black Fan (ca. 1891) and The Young Man (ca. 1898-1902)
and photograph by Abigail Keenan via Unsplash.com
Thomas Hovenden, Breaking Home Ties (Oil on canvas) (1890)
APRIL 26. Mother is putting my new secondhand clothes in order. She prays now, she says, that I may learn in my own life and away from home and friends what the heart is and what it feels…
—James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
cf. John Maler Collier, The Confession (1902) and A Cozy Fire in the Fireplace – YouTube
Julian Alden Weir, In the living room (ca. 1890) and The sunset behind a Tree in a Field. Time Lapse. – YouTube
cf. Johannes Vermeer, Young Woman with a Water Pitcher (ca. 1662)
cf. Edgar Degas, A Woman Ironing (1873) and Rain on Window – YouTube
Gottscho-Schleisner, Inc., “…Model apartment living room, to sofa” (1941)
I lived on a hill that had too many rooms;
Light we could make, but not enough of warmth,
And when the light failed, I climbed under the hill.
The papers are delivered every day;
I am alone and never shed a tear.
—Stanely Kunitz, Father And Son (excerpt)
Édouard Vuillard, Amfréville-Driveway (detail) (1905)
John Vachon, Daughter of Farm Security Administration rehabilitation borrower listening to phonograph (1940)
John Vachon, A small town in Augusta County… (1941)
Last night a man on the radio,
a still young man, said the business district
of his hometown had been plowed under.
The town was in North Dakota…
I don’t know
if the man from North Dakota has
some music that brings back
his town to him, but something does,
and whatever he remembers
is durable and instantly
retrievable and lit
by a sky or streetlight
which does not change…
–Lisel Mueller, “Place and Time” (excerpt)
Sometimes even now when I’m feeling lonely and beat
I drift back in time and I find my feet
Down on Mainstreet…
Harold Gilman, Edwardian Interior (c.1907)
Her secrets: old featherfans, tasselled dancecards, powdered with musk, a gaud of amber beads in her locked drawer. A birdcage hung in the sunny window of her house when she was a girl…
Phantasmal mirth, folded away: muskperfumed.
And no more turn aside and brood.
Folded away in the memory of nature with her toys.
—James Joyce, Ulysses