Today is the start of something totally new to me: blogging. Why am I doing it? Simply because I didn’t think that Facebook was the proper venue for what I have to say. Let me jump right into the fire.
How I see human life. The human body is a machine that moves about doing work. The machine takes in fuel, converts it to energy and uses it to do the work. Like all machines, the body is not 100 percent efficient and what is not used is discharged as waste.
What makes us human are our senses and how they are applied when interpreted by the mind. Note that the term brain, which is part of the visible, tangible part of the body is not used. The mind is more meaningful here for me as I am interested in the thoughts and memories of humans and how they relate to art.
Art is with us all from our early years. Coloring books and rhyme books were basic issue for my generation. But as we got older some choose to cultivate the arts more than others. Don’t think I hit double digits and was watching Jon Gnagy draw, listening to Charles Laughton read poetry on a black and white TV and listening to the Saturday afternoon Texaco Metropolitan Opera broadcasts on my Tele-Tone radio. Not sure if watching Kirk Douglas as Vincent van Gogh in Lust for Life could be considered as cultivating the arts, but van Gogh became my hero. When he put this hand over the candle just to look at a beautiful woman. Love does cause pain. And as we know Vincent painted Starry Night from this room in a sanitarium. Love was a big problem for him as well as many artist. A topic I plan to cover in great deal as I see love as a basic tool for human survival.
My introduction to poetry where it meant something personally was in junior high school. In English we doing Longfellow’s The Courtship of Miles Standish. It was boring. Where the action was, was in print shop. I copied a love poem, set the type and gave it to a young lady I had a crush on. Did well in print shop not sure about the young lady; however, her father failed to be impressed. Must have been a metaphor that he took the wrong way.
As an adult my introduction to the arts took place when I was twenty in what was to me a real big way. Saw Georges Bizet opera Carmen at L‘Opéra de Paris. And for the next two and half years I walked the galleries of many art institutions of Paris and other European cities. A fantastic military benefit. Hanging out in the shadow of Sacré-Cœur had an impact on how I thought about art. My art appreciation is like second hand smoke, nothing formal I just breathed it in, in Montmartre. I saw myself as the character Gil, in the movie Midnight in Paris, which I have watched three times. The hill was the home to many great artists from many genre; far too many to list here. But I will mention one: Henry Miller. Got and read Tropic of Cancer. Originally published in Paris and banned in the United States until 1961. It was a must read for every young man who was or desired to be sexually active. But need to move ahead.
Paris provided me with a good foundation. So over the next fifty years I went from high school throw out to Ph.D., raised two great sons with my wife Carolyn, and enjoy the love of five grandchildren. Within all of these years has been a continuous search for beauty, simply beauty.
This blog is just what the name implies. It is my continued search for beauty. I shall not offer some esoteric definition of beauty or attempt to tie it to an art form. A little boy reaching up to his mother with a dandelion and capturing her with an expression of love beaming from her face may at the moment send chills down my spine. Then and there I experienced beauty. Even in sadness there can be beauty. Recently I was reviewing some pictures of Omaha Beach on D Day. There was a young soldier lying dead in the sand. It moved me to tears. A horrific ordeal and yet he step off the troop carrier. I doubt that he was over twenty-years old. And I’m willing to wager that his last words were, “Mommy, I love you!”
The last thing I would call myself is an art critic. I just enjoy being moved by how artists use different media to offer a point of view. Their talent, I’m jealous. I enjoy taking a work of art, especially paintings and write poems about them. And what I write depends on my mood. I do not attempt to get inside the artist’s mind like many critics think they can. Sometimes the artists are sure what was in there mind as they work toward a completed canvas.
Let me talk about my poetry. Ninety-nine percent of my poems will be English sonnets. Why? It is my belief the time is made for them. They have been around some 600 years, but of late when they should be popular the are unpopular. Let me explain. An English sonnet has 14 lines, made up of three stanzas and a couplet or a two closing. So for you busy people who tweet in 140 characters I attempt to be compact by laying out an argument in the first stanza, offer some explanation or background in the second stanza, tidy up things in the third stanza, and drive home a point in the final two lines.
This is a new adventure for me. One that I am very exited about. My mission is to bring beauty into both of our lives. If you can help me, please email me. See my contact page.