Tag Archives: art

À Dieu

We watch, he and I,
from a hot, sultry garret,
the bright snapping flashes
of the blue and red slashes
lining that silent, riotous rue.

I am not a fool, he whispers,
but a madman, painting what I feel.
And if I’ve taken more than I’ve given
that’s poor enough payment
but it is all that I am
and what I know of love.

The Rue Montorgueil in Paris, Celebration of 30 June 1878 by Claude Monet is one of several Impressionistic paintings that fueled my love for that school of art in particular and painting in general.

Luckily, my wife and I were able to see the original the last time we were in Paris. There are many great museums in that city, especially for viewing Monet’s oeuvre. One is the Monet family legacy museum, the Marmottan-Monet house; another is the delightful Orangerie Museum, a not-as-well-known spot that I highly recommend. But the best spot, of course, is the incredible Musée d’Orsay—where this particular painting is housed—and which may arguably be the greatest museum in the world.

I should point out that English-speaking people generally translate ‘adieu’ (the more common, modern spelling) as simply ‘goodbye’ or ‘farewell.’ In French, it is much more nuanced. It means, literally, ‘to God’ and has a much greater sense of finalism and formality to it, and betokens death or complete separation, often as a result of staunch honor or sacrifice. In other words, ‘My fate is with God; it is in the Hands of the Almighty when next we meet again.’

Thank you for reading À Dieu. I sincerely hope you have enjoyed it and I humbly appreciate your visiting the Book of Pain. As always, I look forward to your comments.

The image is an online, freely available reproduction of the original. To see my photography blog, please visit the Book of Bokeh.

john

Poem and notes © John Etheridge; all rights reserved. The poem and accompanying notes are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Work 3.0 Unported License. This applies to all original written work found on this site unless noted otherwise. The attribution claimed is © John Etheridge,  https://bookofpain.wordpress.com. The image is not licensed for use in any way without the expressed consent of its creator.

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Dance

The snap of a memory,
the lyric  of a face,
the joy of a melody that moves you and loves you
and lifts you up from your tired little space
into a heaven you hardly deserve.

Who are you? laughs the song, singing along,
And how do you know who I am?

How do I know who you are?! you cry,
eyes shut, tears flowing, arms out, hands swaying,
I could write this poem FOREVER!

Pure joy—pure radiant, intensive, and transformative joy is a quality of the soul, and we allow it to visit us all too rarely. But when it does…

Thank you for reading Dance. My edit history shows that this is a poem two years in development, so I sincerely hope you have enjoyed it and I humbly appreciate your visiting the Book of Pain. As always, I look forward to your comments.

The photograph was taken at my home in Connecticut, after a recent major snowfall. To see my photography blog, please visit the Book of Bokeh.

john

Photograph, poem, and notes © John Etheridge; all rights reserved. The poem and accompanying notes are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Work 3.0 Unported License. This applies to all original written work found on this site unless noted otherwise. The attribution claimed under the license is © John Etheridge, https://bookofpain.wordpress.com. The photograph is not licensed for use in any way without the expressed consent of its creator.

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C’était à Amboise, en Touraine, en France

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There t’was in Amboise, in Touraine, in France
while wan’dring alone, cool and carefree,
that my lover found her soul, as if by chance,
in that place of art, the Martinerie.
Bold and beautiful, brave and full of light,
she saw those tapestries as I see her:
images aglow, images aflight,
images of love, an oath to concur.
Am I that knight errant her patience sought,
my soul to join hers in that holy grail
pledged immortal by that picture she bought?
I fear for my worth, but I dare not fail.
A gift of love is a gift given free,
but the greatest of gifts is the gift that is she.

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Today is Lyn’s and my wedding anniversary, and I cannot think of a better day to re-share this sonnet.

Before we were married, Lyn went on a biking vacation in France. While there at La Galerie d’Art de la Martinerie, 7 bis. Rampe du Chateau, Amboise, en Touraine, en France (tel 47.57.37.51) she bought a beautiful rendering of a tapestry that was an homage to Saint Martin of Tours—he who cut his military cloak in two to give half to a beggar. It so touched me when I saw it that I wanted to describe it, and through it, us, in a poem.

Eventually we had the poem scripted by a professional calligraphist and it is mounted in the same frame with the picture. It hangs now in our bedroom and I have promised our daughter that it goes to her after us. Some things should never end…

Thank you for reading C’était à Amboise, en Touraine, en France. I sincerely hope you have enjoyed it and I humbly appreciate your visiting the Book of Pain. As always, I look forward to your comments.

john

Photograph, notes and poem © John Etheridge; all rights reserved. The poem and accompanying notes are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License. This applies to all original written work found on this site, unless noted otherwise. The attribution claimed under the license is: © John Etheridge,  https://bookofpain.wordpress.com. The photograph is not licensed for use in any way without the expressed consent of its copyright owner.

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Collage Art

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My good friend, KB—host of the A Mirror Obscura site—is both an excellent poet and a fine hand at making collages that use humor, irony and wit to gracefully state deep thoughts. The work above is an example of his work.

He noted on a recent posting, “As my collage work is relatively unknown, if you are considering publishing a book of any kind and like my work I am willing to consider designing cover art  gratis with all rights reserved to myself. Just drop me a comment here on any one of my posts and we can discuss your needs.”

Being such a fan of his work, I am posting this notice for him and, of course, urging you to visit his site and consider his offer.

The image above is ©2015 by K.A.Bryce; all rights reserved.

 

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The quilt

Fashioned from the multicolored, tattered, rag-ends of cloth,
the tiny, odd little pieces are sewn on the straight seam—
shifted, spun, moved about and fitted—
stitch by stitch, patch by patch,
the pattern repeated over the larger whole.

A quilter is a lover who sees not the plan but the fact
and slowly calls the dream forth from
naught but the meanest scraps of nothing,
binding them together so that in the end
it grows to wrap the whole earth ’round, safe,
as it sleeps in the arms of eternity.

A very dear Bahá’í friend was ill for several years suffering from debilitating migraines. During the illness she still managed, with her mother’s help, to produce a stunningly beautiful quilt into which she poured the emotional experience of being so sick. I was particularly drawn to the small reflective circles that she had scattered into the design to designate the explosions of light that would go on in her head when the migraines were at their worst.

For the first time in my life I contemplated just how hard making a quilt must be—working from the simplest of elements to bring forth objects of beauty. It is hard work requiring patience, planning and a sense of assurance that by the end of the project the design while meet the vision. A thing I call ‘faith.’

Thank you for reading The quilt. I sincerely hope you have enjoyed it and I humbly appreciate your visiting the Book of Pain. As always, I look forward to your comments.

john

© 2012 by John Etheridge; all rights reserved. This poem and accompanying notes are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License. This applies to all original work found on this site, unless noted otherwise. The attribution claimed under the license is: © 2012 by John Etheridge, https://bookofpain.wordpress.com.

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