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, The Gas Shortage in the Pacific Northwest… (detail) (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…
cf. Exhibit Supply Co., The Flapperette (ca. 1928)
Elin Kleopatra Danielson-Gambogi, Winter Night (detail) (oil on canvas) (1898-1899)
There goes another love song
Someone singing about me again
There goes another love song
Now I need more than a friend…
The Ladies’ Home Journal (1948)
I seize the descending man and raise him with resistless will,
O despairer, here is my neck,
By God, you shall not go down! hang your whole weight upon me.
—Walt Whitman, Song Of Myself
cf. Vermeer, The Guitar Player (1672)
Museum of Hartlepool, A Helping Hand
“I wonder if you ever read Dickens’ Christmas books?…I have only read two of them yet, and feel so good after them and would do anything, yes and shall do everything, to make it a little better for people. I wish I could lose no time; I want to go out and comfort some one…”
—Letter from Robert Louis Stevenson to Mrs. Sitwell (September, 1874)
cf. Thomas Wilmer Dewing, Comedia (Oil on panel) (ca. 1892-1894)
Flip Schulke, Female Road Worker Directs Traffic… (ca. 1975)
cf. Konstantin Yegorovich Makovsky, La Parisienne (1902)
cf. Head of a Woman (Copy after Leonardo da Vinci) (ca. 18th century?)
Fritz Goro, “Government And Youth…” (LIFE) (1940)
Edmund Charles Tarbell, Girl Writing (Oil on canvas) (1917)
Leave me now before my heart finds out…
from Northeastern University Bulletin (1974 -1975)
Men at forty
Learn to close softly
The doors to rooms they will not be
Coming back to…
–Donald Justice, Men at Forty
Now I guess it’s too late to speculate
On things as they might have been…
Louis-Joseph-Raphaël Collin, Morning (1884)
Now that lilacs are in bloom
She has a bowl of lilacs in her room
And twists one in her fingers while she talks.
“Ah, my friend, you do not know, you do not know
What life is, you who hold it in your hands”;
(Slowly twisting the lilac stalks)
“You let it flow from you, you let it flow,
And youth is cruel, and has no remorse
And smiles at situations which it cannot see.”
I smile, of course,
And go on drinking tea.
“Yet with these April sunsets, that somehow recall
My buried life, and Paris in the Spring,
I feel immeasurably at peace, and find the world
To be wonderful and youthful, after all…”
–T. S. Eliot, Portrait of a Lady
Frances Benjamin Johnston, Passengers waiting to board a freighter… (detail) (1903)
Frances Benjamin Johnston, Looking down Midway after a rain, Louisiana Purchase Exposition (ca. 1904)
You’re gonna make it after all…
Mark Cohen, Untitled (girls’ faces flashed in bus window)
Peter Ilsted, Mother and Child in an Interior (1898)
cf. Thomas Eakins: The Black Fan (ca. 1891) and The Young Man (ca. 1898-1902)
and photograph by Abigail Keenan via Unsplash.com
Tom Hubbard, “…Saturday Night Rendezvous” (detail) (1973)
Missing one angel child
‘Cause you’re here with me right now…
cf. L.A. Ring, In the Month of June (1899) and Andrew Wyeth, Christina’s World (1948)
Where did your long hair go?…
James Jowers, Woman And Window Display (1968)
When I was one-and-twenty
I heard a wise man say,
“Give crowns and pounds and guineas
But not your heart away;
Give pearls away and rubies
But keep your fancy free.”
But I was one-and-twenty,
No use to talk to me.
When I was one-and-twenty
I heard him say again,
“The heart out of the bosom
Was never given in vain;
’Tis paid with sighs a plenty
And sold for endless rue.”
And I am two-and-twenty,
And oh, ’tis true, ’tis true.
–A. E. Housman, When I Was One-and-Twenty
cf. LIFE (1966)
cf. LIFE (1966)
cf. Franz Marc, The Artist’s Father on His Sick Bed I (edited) (1906-1907)
There is a singer everyone has heard,
Loud, a mid-summer and a mid-wood bird,
Who makes the solid tree trunks sound again.
He says that leaves are old and that for flowers
Mid-summer is to spring as one to ten.
He says the early petal-fall is past
When pear and cherry bloom went down in showers
On sunny days a moment overcast;
And comes that other fall we name the fall.
He says the highway dust is over all.
The bird would cease and be as other birds
But that he knows in singing not to sing.
The question that he frames in all but words
Is what to make of a diminished thing.
–Robert Frost, The Oven Bird
cf. Toni Frissell, Woman wearing tennis outfit… (1947) and photograph by Paolo Rosa via Unsplash
Harris & Ewing, Young woman and man at automobile (1932 or 1933)
He went into the house, forgetting something he wanted to do there, and then remembering it was the piano. He sat down whistling and played by ear:
“Just picture you upon my knee
With tea for two and two for tea
And me for you and you for me–“
Through the melody flowed a sudden realization that Nicole, hearing it, would guess quickly at a nostalgia for the past fortnight. He broke off with a casual chord and left the piano…
—F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tender is the Night
Bell Telephone Magazine (1964)
No matter what you are
I will always be with you…
Harry Wilson Watrous, Just a Couple of Girls (1915)
The younger of the two was a stranger to me. She was extended full length at her end of the divan, completely motionless, and with her chin raised a little, as if she were balancing something on it which was quite likely to fall. If she saw me out of the corner of her eyes she gave no hint of it — indeed, I was almost surprised into murmuring an apology for having disturbed her by coming in…I enjoyed looking at her…Her gray sun-strained eyes looked back at me with polite reciprocal curiosity out of a wan, charming, discontented face. It occurred to me now that I had seen her, or a picture of her, somewhere before…
–F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
You go to my head
And you linger like a haunting refrain
And I find you spinning round in my brain
Like the bubbles in a glass of champagne…
Marion Post Wolcott, Sugaring is a social event and is enjoyed by all the young people… (1940)
Julian Alden Weir, In the living room (ca. 1890) and The sunset behind a Tree in a Field. Time Lapse. – YouTube
cf. LIFE (1960)
cf. Edgar Degas, A Woman Ironing (1873) and Rain on Window – YouTube
Flip Schulke, Vacationer From Ohio Relaxes near His Motorcycle… (ca. 1975)
“For me this is all mixed with memories that he doesn’t have. Cold mornings long ago when the marsh grass had turned brown and cattails were waving in the northwest wind…”
—Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
I’ve been this way ten years to the day, ramble on…
cf. Johannes Vermeer, Girl with a Pearl Earring (ca. 1665)
cf. photograph by Léa Dubedout via Unsplash and Gazing at the Sun (Time Lapse) – YouTube
James Jowers, E. 8th st. (detail) (1967)
Tord Remme, Unknown beauty… (2015) (edited) and toby060912, IMG_7723 (2015)
cf. Mary Shepard Greene Blumenschein, Un Regard Fugitif (detail) (edited and animated) (1900)
cf. Paul-César Helleu, Woman Reclining (edited and animated)
James Jowers, Woman In Department Store (1968)
cf. State Library and Archives of Florida, “Cigarette girl” (1947)
James Jowers, Coney Is (1966)
William McGregor Paxton, Girl Arranging Flowers (1921)
William Merritt Chase, At the Window (ca. 1889)
(Cambridge, September 1864)
Susan Gilbert Dickinson
at Centre of the Sea –
I am glad Mrs. Gertrude lived –
I believed she would –
Those that are worthy of Life are of Miracle,
for Life is Miracle,
and Death, as harmless as a Bee –
except to those who run
It would be best to see you –
it would be good to see the Grass,
and hear the Wind blow the wide way in the Orchard –
Are the Apples ripe –
Have the Wild Geese crossed –
Did you save the seed to the Pond Lily?
Love for Mat, and John, and the Foreigner –
And kiss little Ned in the seam in the neck, entirely for Me –
The Doctor is very kind –
I find no Enemy –
Till the Four o’Clocks strike Five,
Loo will last, she says.
Do not cease, Sister.
Should I turn in my long night,
I should murmur “Sue”
Cecil Stoughton, President Kennedy and daughter Caroline (1963)
“WALKER: Is there any meaning you can find in what has happened?
MOYNIHAN: I suppose the point that cuts deepest is the thought that there may not be…We all of us know down here that politics is a tough game. And I don’t think there’s any point in being Irish if you don’t know that the world is going to break your heart eventually…”
—Excerpt from WTOP radio interview of Daniel Patrick Moynihan (December 5, 1963)
cf. John Singer Sargent, Firelight (edited and animated) (ca. 1875)
cf. Eadweard J. Muybridge, “Dancing (fancy)” (ca. 1884 – 1887)
John Singer Sargent, Woman Seated before Piano (from Scrapbook) (ca. 1880)
cf. John White Alexander: Study in Black and Green and Oil Sketch (ca. 1906)
cf. Francis Watts Lee, Unidentified Woman (ca. 1900)
Lawrence Zink, Fashion (Cincinnati Magazine, 1971)
cf. Samuel Worcester Rowse, Portrait of a Young Woman (animated)
“Camerado, this is no book,
Who touches this touches a man…”
–Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass
Person to person and man to man,
I’m back in touch with my long lost friend…
cf. unknown photographer, Untitled (Two Men and Two Women) (detail) (ca. 1889)
Tom Rogowski, “Springing Out All Over” (Cincinnati Magazine, 1978)
cf. Alan Lomax, Bill Tatnall, with guitar, Frederica, Georgia (1935)
They said, “You have a blue guitar,
You do not play things as they are.”
The man replied, “Things as they are
Are changed upon the blue guitar…”
–Wallace Stevens, “The Man with the Blue Guitar”
I’m nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there’s a pair of us—don’t tell!
They’d banish us, you know.
How dreary to be somebody!
How public, like a frog
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!
cf. Peder Severin Kroyer, Portrait of a Married Couple (1890) and photograph by Martin Miranda via unsplash.com
Walker Evans, Unidentified Couple (ca. 1930s)
‘Tis not love’s going hurts my days,
But that it went in little ways.
–Edna St. Vincent Millay, The Spring and the Fall