Saturday, April 18, 2009

"of mere being"


What a day--75 and sunny. I did more today during daylight hours than I have since last summer: dug up plants that didn't survive the winter (bah!), went to the farm market, planted a new lilac and a magnolia sapling; moved some lilies to protect them from the boy who mows (over everything); washed the car, rode my bike, walked the dog; picked out some paintings for my show in May; made a pork roast and caesar salad.
And by 8 p.m. when I sat down to paint, I was feeling not up for a challenge. So I painted this small picture trying to just think of shapes and not to work on it too long: call it a color value study.
Now it's time to watch The Departed and have a beer!

One of my favorite Wallace Stevens poems, which I used to have memorized, when I had room in my head for poems (oh, to have those days back). I love how his poems (for me anyway; perhaps I'm being obstuse) like the bird in the poem sing but somehow evade your grasp: this poem is like a key to Stevens's poems. And the last two stanzas make me cry.

"Of Mere Being"
Wallace Stevens

The palm at the end of the mind,
Beyond the last thought, rises
In the bronze decor,

A gold-feathered bird
Sings in the palm, without human meaning,
Without human feeling, a foreign song.

You know then that it is not the reason
That makes us happy or unhappy.
The bird sings. Its feathers shine.

The palm stands on the edge of space.
The wind moves slowly in the branches.
The bird's fire-fangled feathers dangle down.
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RHCarpenter said...

I think after all you did today, you were in need of a vacation! Lovely painting :)

Nartizt said...

I like your painting - it has a nice loose feel. Something I have a hard time doing with watercolors!

Jane said...

good work!loose feel.

Barbara M. said...

Hi Laura,

I love your low key assessment of this wonderful watercolour -- just a colour study. Oh well then -- a pretty amazing colour study.

And the poem made me feel so happy. I have not read as much poetry as I have on your blog, since doing my lit
degree. I have to thank you. These poems combined with your super work are such a complete treat.

Take care,


deepazartz said...

Lovely colors! Beautiful Work:)
And equally beautiful poem!

shicat said...

Good for you,spring will do that to you. I think your painting is great.

Cris, Artist in Oregon said...

The weather here has been delightful too and wonderful to be out working in the yard again. Your paintings are always so pretty but I cant get this one to show. Seems like everyone else can.


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