Harry Wayne McMahan, “The Television Commercial” (1954)
cf. Left: Wolves of Society (1915) Right: Cincinnati Magazine (1986)
Nationaal Archief, “Butcher in Amsterdam” (ca. 1988)
from the Toni Frissell collection, Library of Congress (1946)
She didn’t tell me there were rocks
Under the waves
Right off the shore…
cf. from the Toni Frissell Collection, Library of Congress, (detail) (1946)
THE fountains mingle with the river
And the rivers with the ocean,
The winds of heaven mix for ever
With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single,
All things by a law divine
In one another’s being mingle—
Why not I with thine?
See the mountains kiss high heaven,
And the waves clasp one another;
No sister-flower would be forgiven
If it disdain’d its brother;
And the sunlight clasps the earth,
And the moonbeams kiss the sea—
What are all these kissings worth,
If thou kiss not me?
— Shelley, “Love’s Philosophy”
Toni Frissell, “Woman wearing headscarf seated at table with drink” (detail) (ca. 1940)
I NEVER saw that you did painting need…
— Sonnet LXXXIII
Thomas J. O’Halloran, “Medlars – new computer to keep medical information” (1964)
Now I’ve found my heaven
From the neck on up
You’re a perfect eleven
From the neck on up…
cf. Richard Avedon, “Carmen, Homage To Munkacsi, Coat By Cardin, Place François-Premier, Paris” (ca. 1957) and Horst Ehricht, “All the rage in Paris” (Maclean’s Magazine, 1977)
cf. photographs of Frances Benjamin Johnston by Frances Benjamin Johnston (ca. 1888)
Mrs. W. M. Gatch, “Waiting for the train” (ca. 1893)
cf. The Denison Limner, “Miss Denison of Stonington, Connecticut” (ca. 1790)
cf. Antoine-Émile Bourdelle, “Irene Millet” (1917) and Edouard Manet, A Bar at the Folies-Bergère (1882)
Yet diaries do, indirectly, lay claim to a certain kind of immortality, projecting a voice beyond the grave. Alice James’s diary was her dialogue with the future. It gave form to her sense of ironic detachment. And it created a communion in her lonely life…
—Jean Strouse, Alice James: A Biography
cf. Marie Denise Villers, “Marie Joséphine Charlotte du Val d’Ognes” (1801) and
video by Electric_Cat via Pixabay
cf. The Finnish Museum of Photography, “Osuustukkukaupan osasto Elintarvikemessuilla Messuhallissa.” (1950) (edited detail)
cf. unidentified photographer, “Head-and-shoulders profile portrait of young woman…” (ca. 1900)
Photograph by Les Anderson via Unsplash
April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire…
—T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land
Cincinnati Magazine, 1971
The barge she sat in, like a burnish’d throne,
Burn’d on the water: the poop was beaten gold;
Purple the sails, and so perfumed that
The winds were love-sick with them; the oars were silver,
Which to the tune of flutes kept stroke, and made
The water which they beat to follow faster,
As amorous of their strokes. For her own person,
It beggar’d all description: she did lie
In her pavilion–cloth-of-gold of tissue–
O’er-picturing that Venus where we see
The fancy outwork nature: on each side her
Stood pretty dimpled boys, like smiling Cupids,
With divers-colour’d fans, whose wind did seem
To glow the delicate cheeks which they did cool,
And what they undid did.
—Antony and Cleopatra
Arkhip Kuindzhi, “Moonlight Night. Meditation”
What thoughts I have of you tonight Walt Whitman, for I walked down the sidestreets under the trees with a headache self-conscious looking at the full moon…
Will we walk all night through solitary streets? The trees add shade to shade, lights out in the houses, we’ll both be lonely.
Will we stroll dreaming of the lost America of love past blue automobiles in driveways, home to our silent cottage?
Ah, dear father, graybeard, lonely old courage-teacher, what America did you have when Charon quit poling his ferry and you got out on a smoking bank and stood watching the boat disappear on the black waters of Lethe?
–Allen Ginsberg, A Supermarket in California (excerpt)
cf. Harry W. Watrous, The Passing of Summer (1912)
Back out of all this now too much for us,
Back in a time made simple by the loss
Of detail, burned, dissolved, and broken off…
–Robert Frost, Directive
Royal Typewriter Advertisement (ca. 1922)
cf. John Smibert, “Francis Brinley” (1729)
Wil Blanche, “Springtime Scene…” (1973)
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 –
William B., “Interborough Rapid Transit (IRT) Construction…” (detail) (1900)
cf. Home Movie PA 000111 and photograph by Kevin Lee via Unsplash
Between midnight and dawn, when the past is all deception,
The future futureless, before the morning watch
When time stops and time is never ending…
–T.S. Eliot, The Dry Salvages
Eastman Kodak Company, “How to make good movies…” (1938)
The many faces of defeat
Invite you home:
They offer you such silence
As has no truck with time.
The face of horrid purpose,
The train of circumstance
There, the door is closed upon;
They shall no more advance.
Yet see in the uncertain sky
Above your uncertain station–
The sign she left you, passing,
Persists in affirmation.
—Ray Smith, The Sign
cf. Cincinnati Magazine, 1990
Cervantes—a patient gentleman who wrote a book—has been sitting in the Elysian fields for three centuries and gazing sadly around, awaiting the birth of a grandson capable of understanding him.
—José Ortega y Gasset, Meditations on Quixote
Who could it be?
Believe it or not it’s just me…
Library and Information Services Metropolitan State University, Star Wars Party (2015)
Tom Rogowski, “Springing Out All Over” (Cincinnati Magazine, 1978)
cf. Esther Bubley, “After school…” (detail) (1943) and photo by Jakob Owens via Unsplash
Artist: Arris Grace Hodge
Arris Grace Hodge, “Young John” (Oil on Canvas, 18 H x 24 W x 2 in)
cf. Unidentified photographer (Frances Benjamin Johnston Collection), “Woman sitting on window seat…” (between 1900 and 1920)
Tom Hubbard, At the Tyler Davidson Fountain, in Fountain Square Downtown Cincinnati’s Popular Public Plaza, a Young Man Listens to the Radio with One Ear, Play of the Water with the Other (August, 1973)
Courtesy of Michael Kravitz
cf. Georges Seurat: A Sunday on La Grande Jatte — 1884 (detail) (1884/86),
Study for “A Sunday on La Grande Jatte” (1884)
and Gustave Caillebotte: Paris Street; Rainy Day, 1877 (detail) (1877)
cf. Gerard ter Borch the Younger, A Woman Playing the Theorbo-Lute and a Cavalier (ca. 1658)
cf. from William Mortensen, “Portrait Procedure” (ca. 1941)
cf. Jacques Louis David, Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier and His Wife Marie-Anne-Pierrette Paulze (1788)
cf. Giuseppe De Nittis, Elegant Young Woman Seen From Behind (ca. 1875)
I don’t know where we went wrong
But the feeling’s gone
And I just can’t get it back…
cf. R. Dührkoop, “The Difficult Letter” (ca. 1908)
A. L. Hitchin, “The Little Artist” (ca. 1919) and G. W. Harting, “Sketching” (ca. 1917)
As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame;
As tumbled over rim in roundy wells
Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell’s
Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name;
Each mortal thing does one thing and the same:
Deals out that being indoors each one dwells;
Selves — goes itself; myself it speaks and spells,
Crying What I do is me: for that I came.
–Gerard Manley Hopkins, As Kingfishers Catch Fire (excerpt)
cf. from “The Book Of Photography, Practical, Theoretic And Applied”, Paul N. Hasluck, Ed. (1907)
But if your heart,
Your heart has been broken
And you don’t wear it on your sleeve
No one can tell,
Your hell goes unspoken
But there’s one thing you must believe…
Untitled photograph by R. E. Scaife (ca. 1919)
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)
cf. Maximilien Luce: Man Washing (1887), Morning, Interior (ca. 1890) and Coffee (1892)
Börje Gallén, Fisherman and boy in Smygehuk (detail) (1954)
His life was gentle, and the elements
So mix’d in him that Nature might stand up
And say to all the world “This was a man!”
—Shakespeare, Julius Caesar
cf. Eadweard Muybridge, Animal locomotion (ca. 1887)
In the midway of this our mortal life,
I found me in a gloomy wood, astray
Gone from the path direct…
— Dante Alighieri, Inferno
David Falconer, from the DOCUMERICA collection (1973)
cf. LIFE (1968)
cf. Burk Uzzle, Broad Street, Philadelphia (1981)
Imagine a young man, alone, without anyone.
The moment a few raindrops streaked his glass
he began to scribble.
He lived in a tenement with mice for company.
I loved his bravery.
Someone else a few doors down
played Segovia records all day.
He never left his room, and no one could blame him.
At night he could hear the other’s
typewriter going, and feel comforted.
Literature and music.
Everyone dreaming of Spanish horsemen
Processions. Ceremony, and
Days of rain and high water.
Leaves hammered into the ground finally.
In my heart, this plot of earth
that the storm lights.
–Raymond Carver, “Aspens” from All of Us: Collected Poems (Alfred A. Knopf)
Northeastern University Course Catalog (1982-83)
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)
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)
Andrew Wyeth, Christina’s World (detail) (1948) and LIFE (1961)
A Noiseless patient spider,
I mark’d where on a little promontory it stood isolated,
Mark’d how to explore the vacant vast surrounding,
It launch’d forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself,
Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them.
And you O my soul where you stand,
Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space,
Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, seeking the spheres to
Till the bridge you will need be form’d, till the ductile anchor
Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O my soul.
—Walt Whitman, A Noiseless Patient Spider
F.W. Edmonds, Sparking (detail) (1839)
Tom Hubbard, Strolling Among Pigeons at Fountain Square (1973)
He with a smile did then his words repeat;
And said that, gathering leeches, far and wide
He travelled; stirring thus about his feet
The waters of the pools where they abide.
“Once I could meet with them on every side;
But they have dwindled long by slow decay;
Yet still I persevere, and find them where I may…”
And soon with this he other matter blended,
Cheerfully uttered, with demeanour kind,
But stately in the main; and, when he ended,
I could have laughed myself to scorn to find
In that decrepit Man so firm a mind.
“God,” said I, “be my help and stay secure;
I’ll think of the Leech-gatherer on the lonely moor!”
—William Wordsworth, Resolution and Independence
Three days in the rain and I ain’t had no sleep
But I won’t break down now, I got a promise to keep
Showing my determination…