if you stay awake
for an entire night
watch out for a treasure
trying to arrive
you can keep warm
by the secret sun of the night
keeping your eyes open
for the softness of dawn
day is to make a living
night is only for love
commoners sleep fast
lovers whisper to God all night
Excerpts from “Rumi, Fountain of Fire”
Still Life with Oleander and Fruit (1911)
Oil on paper mounted on canvas
A sprawling bouquet of pink oleander spills from a rustic French Provençal ceramic vase in this casual and asymmetrically balanced still life. Yellow and green pears cluster at left, and a lone yellow pear rests on the tabletop at right. A brilliant flood of light illuminates the upper left side of all objects while casting shadows to the right. Together, the vitality of colors and composition suggest the pleasant comforts of home.
Albert André began his artistic career as a fabric designer in Lyon. Later, living in Paris, he counted fellow artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir among his closest friends and mentors.
Because of Our Wisdom
“In many parts of this world water is
Scarce and precious.
People sometimes have to walk
A great distance
Then carry heavy jugs upon their
Because of our wisdom, we will travel
Far for love.
All movement is a sign of
Most speaking really says
“I am hungry to know you.”
Every desire of your body is holy;
Every desire of your body is
Why wait until you are dying
To discover that divine
― Hafiz, The Subject Tonight Is Love: 60 Wild and Sweet Poems of Hafiz
From the pleasure, joy, and rapture of this hour,
In its frame to hold its soul earth scarce hath power.
Rent its collar, like the dawning, hath the rose;
From its heart the nightingale sighs forth its woes.
Dance the juniper and cypress like the sphere;
Filled with melody through joy all lands appear.
Gently sing the running brooks in murmurs soft;
While the birds with tuneful voices soar aloft.
Play the green and tender branches with delight,
And they shed with one accord gold, silver, bright.
Like to couriers feet, the zephyrs speed away,
Resting ne’er a moment either night or day.
In that raid the rosebud filled with gold its hoard,
And the tulip with fresh musk its casket stored.
There the moon a purse of silver coin did seize;
Filled with ambergris its skirt the morning breeze;
Won the sun a golden disk of ruby dye,
And with glistening pearls its pocket filled the sky:
Those who poor were fruit and foliage attained;
All the people of the land some trophy gained.
Landscape, Welch Mountain (1863)
Asher B. Durand
Oil on canvas
Asher B. Durand evoked the philosophical idea of the Beautiful in the harmony, serenity and loveliness of this pastoral landscape of Welch Mountain, New Hampshire. He achieved these qualities by depicting the foreground with a fine brush to give remarkable detail, rendering the middle ground more sketchily and incorporating a number of flat, broadly painted areas of soft lavenders and blues in the background. Bright light and shadow play across the entire view, which is enveloped in a hazy atmosphere.
A successful engraver, Durand did not turn to painting as a career until he was 40. After Thomas Cole's death in 1848, he became the acknowledged leader of the group of American landscape painters commonly called the Hudson River School.
Still Life with Guelder Roses
1892, reworked 1929
Oil on canvas
Pierre Bonnard was a member of the Nabis, a group of young artists that emerged in the 1890s. They produced intimate paintings of domestic subjects in a flat, decorative style that was heavily influenced by Japanese art and the work of Paul Gauguin.
In 1892, when Bonnard started this still life, he emphasized surface patterns and simplified, flattened forms. Nearly 40 years later, when his style had become much more painterly, he added brushstrokes of pale yellow to the blossoms, creating a sense of three-dimensionality that was intentionally absent from the earlier composition.
by Carol Ann Duffy
Far, we are near, meet in the rain
which falls here; gathered by light, air;
falls there where you are, I am; lips
to those drops now on yours, nearer …
absence the space we yearn in, clouds
drift, cluster, east to west, north, south;
your breath in them; they pour, baptise;
same sun burning through to harvest
rainfall on skin, there, far; my mouth
opening to spell your near name.