Image-Text-Music, 11.6.14 — Arkhip Kuindzhi, Emily Dickinson, Lucinda Williams

“Moonlight on the Dnieper,” by Arkhip Kuindzhi (1880)

“Moonlight on the Dnieper,” by Arkhip Kuindzhi (1880)

“From Blank to Blank–,” by Emily Dickinson (J# 761, Fr# 484)

From Blank to Blank—-

A Threadless Way

I pushed Mechanic feet—-

To stop—-or perish—-or advance—-

Alike indifferent—-

If end I gained

It ends beyond

Indefinite disclosed—-

I shut my eyes—-and groped as well

‘Twas lighter—-to be Blind—-


Lucinda Williams, “I Envy the Wind


Image-Text-Music, 11.5.14 — John Adams Whipple, Sylvia Plath, the Waterboys

“The Moon and the Yew Tree,” by Sylvia Plath

This is the light of the mind, cold and planetary
The trees of the mind are black. The light is blue.
The grasses unload their griefs on my feet as if I were God
Prickling my ankles and murmuring of their humility
Fumy, spiritous mists inhabit this place.
Separated from my house by a row of headstones.
I simply cannot see where there is to get to.

The moon is no door. It is a face in its own right,
White as a knuckle and terribly upset.
It drags the sea after it like a dark crime; it is quiet
With the O-gape of complete despair. I live here.
Twice on Sunday, the bells startle the sky —
Eight great tongues affirming the Resurrection
At the end, they soberly bong out their names.

The yew tree points up, it has a Gothic shape.
The eyes lift after it and find the moon.
The moon is my mother. She is not sweet like Mary.
Her blue garments unloose small bats and owls.
How I would like to believe in tenderness –
The face of the effigy, gentled by candles,
Bending, on me in particular, its mild eyes.

I have fallen a long way. Clouds are flowering
Blue and mystical over the face of the stars
Inside the church, the saints will all be blue,
Floating on their delicate feet over the cold pews,
Their hands and faces stiff with holiness.
The moon sees nothing of this. She is bald and wild.
And the message of the yew tree is blackness – blackness and silence.


The Waterboys, “The Whole of the Moon


Image-Text-Music, 11.4.14 — Jacques Callot, Walt Whitman, Patti Smith


Study of a Horse (recto); Study of a Standing Horse (verso), by Jacques Callot
(French, Nancy 1592–1635 Nancy)


from “Song of Myself,” by Walt Whitman

# 32


I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and self-contain’d,

I stand and look at them long and long.


They do not sweat and whine about their condition,

They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins,

They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God,

Not one is dissatisfied, not one is demented with the mania of owning things,

Not one kneels to another, nor to his kind that lived thousands of years ago,

Not one is respectable or unhappy over the whole earth.


So they show their relations to me and I accept them,

They bring me tokens of myself, they evince them plainly in their possession.


I wonder where they get those tokens,

Did I pass that way huge times ago and negligently drop them?


Myself moving forward then and now and forever,

Gathering and showing more always and with velocity,

Infinite and omnigenous, and the like of these among them,

Not too exclusive toward the reachers of my remembrancers,

Picking out here one that I love, and now go with him on brotherly terms.


A gigantic beauty of a stallion, fresh and responsive to my caresses,

Head high in the forehead, wide between the ears,

Limbs glossy and supple, tail dusting the ground,

Eyes full of sparkling wickedness, ears finely cut, flexibly moving.


His nostrils dilate as my heels embrace him,

His well-built limbs tremble with pleasure as we race around and return.


I but use you a minute, then I resign you, stallion,

Why do I need your paces when I myself out-gallop them?

Even as I stand or sit passing faster than you.




Patti Smith, “Land