i am baffled by the verbal subtility of our political instructors...
they come in thousands like the armageddon destructors,
they pose in on our political mindset like conductors,
...forming the ideal instructors,
these detractors are errors,except a few eligible competitors,
the wild menance they romance,form the ruptors,
contours on the scheme of our independence detour,
the rednecks like lizard on the tour...
i call them the worst naija actors...
FORTUNE DE EXCEL"
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Friday, March 20, 2009
10. Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II 89.1m Wikipedia
Artist: Gustav Klimt
Adele Bloch-Bauer II is a 1912 painting by Gustav Klimt. Adele Bloch-Bauer was the wife of Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer, who was a wealthy industrialist who sponsored the arts and supported Gustav Klimt. Adele Bloch-Bauer was the only model to be painted twice by Klimt; she also appeared in the much more famous Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I.
9. Portrait de l’artiste sans barbe 90.1m Wikipedia
Artist: Vincent van Gogh
The Self-portraits of Vincent van Gogh are, together with his sunflowers, some of his most-admired paintings. From 1886 to 1889 he produced over 12 self-portraits.
8. Dora Maar au Chat 97.0m Wikipedia
Artist: Pablo Picasso
Dora Maar au Chat (Dora Maar with Cat) is a 1941 painting by Pablo Picasso. It depicts Dora Maar, the painter’s Croatian mistress, seated on a chair with a small cat perched on her shoulders. This painting is world-famous and is now one of the world’s most expensive paintings.
7. Irises 97.5m Wikipedia
Artist: Vincent van Gogh
Irises is a painting by the Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh. It was one of his first works while he was at the asylum at Saint Paul-de-Mausole in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France in the last year before his death in 1890.
6. Garçon à la pipe 113.4m Wikipedia
Artist: Pablo Picasso
Owned by the estate of John Hay Whitney, on May 5, 2004 it sold for $US104.1 million at an auction in Sotheby’s in New York City, after having been given a pre-sale estimate of $70 million by the auction house. Many art critics have stated that the painting’s high sale price has much more to do with the artist’s name than with the merit or historical importance of the painting.
Just paying the bills…
5. Bal au moulin de la Galette, Montmartre 122.8m Wikipedia
Artist: Pierre-Auguste Renoir
At the time of sale, it was one of the top two most expensive artworks ever sold, together with van Gogh’s Portrait of Dr Gachet, which was also purchased by Saito. Saito caused international outrage when he suggested in 1991 that he intended to cremate both paintings with him when he died. However, when Saito and his companies ran into severe financial difficulties, bankers who held the painting as collateral for loans arranged a confidential sale through Sotheby’s to an undisclosed buyer. Although not known for certain, the painting is believed to be in the hands of a Swiss collector.
4. Portrait of Dr. Gachet 129.7m Wikipedia
Artist: Vincent van Gogh
There are two authentic versions of this portrait, both executed in June 1890 during the last months of Van Gogh’s life. Both show Doctor Gachet sitting at a table and leaning his head onto his right arm, but they are easily differentiated.
3. Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I 137.6m Wikipedia
Artist: Gustav Klimt
Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I is a painting by Gustav Klimt completed in 1907. According to press reports it was sold for US$135 million to Ronald Lauder for his Neue Galerie in New York City in June 2006, which would make it at that time the most expensive painting ever sold.
2. Woman III 140.2m Wikipedia
Artist: Willem de Kooning
Woman III is a painting by abstract expressionist painter Willem de Kooning. Woman III is one of 6 paintings by Kooning in which the central theme was a woman. It measures 68 by 48 1/2 inches and was completed in 1953. In November 2006, the painting was sold by David Geffen to billionare Steven A. Cohen for $137.5 million, making it the second most expensive painting ever sold.
1. No. 5, 1948 $142.7m Wikipedia
Artist: Jackson Pollock
No. 5, 1948 is an abstract painting by Jackson Pollock (January 28, 1912 – August 11, 1956), an American painter known for his contributions to the abstract expressionist movement. The painting was done on a 8 x 4 feet sheet of fiberboard, with thick amounts of brown and yellow paint drizzled on top of it, forming a nest-like appearance.
This article is licensed under the GFDL. It uses material from the Wikipedia articles cited above.
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Maya Angelou was born on April 4, 1928, in St. Louis, Missouri. Born Marguerite Johnson, she and her older brother, Bailey, lived in the city until their parents divorced in 1931. They were sent to Stamps, Arkansas, to live with their grandmother. Four years later, the siblings moved to Chicago, Illinois, to be with their mother but, not long after the relocation, Angelou was sexually abused by her mother’s boyfriend. She returned to Stamps with Bailey but refused to speak to anyone except her brother for nearly four years after the incident.
In 1940, Bailey and Angelou moved to San Francisco, California, to try once again to live with their mother. Angelou dropped out of high school in 1944 and worked as the first African-American cable car operator in the city. She soon returned to her education and graduated from Mission High School in 1945. That same year she gave birth to her son, Guy. Angelou left home soon after Guy’s birth and worked tirelessly to support herself and her young child. She married her first husband, Tosh Angelos, in 1952. From an early age, Angelou had loved performing–singing, dancing, and acting–and in 1953 she began to work as a performer. After she toured nationally with “Porgy and Bess” from 1954 to 1955, she started to write song lyrics that inspired poetry, short stories, and a move to New York to join the Harlem Writers Guild in 1959.
Angelou’s career from that point on is best described as a whirlwind of talent, creativity, honesty, and ambition. She moved with Guy to Africa after her marriage to Vusumzi Make and edited newspapers in Cairo, Egypt, and Accra, Ghana. She taught at the University of Ghana’s School of Music and Drama. … her first Pulitzer Prize-nominated collection of poems, titled Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ’fore I Die … At home in the United States, Angelou worked closely with Malcom X and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., during the civil rights movement, and was devastated when both were assassinated. She turned to writing, and published the first of her many autobiographical works, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, in 1970. The following year, she published her first Pulitzer Prize-nominated collection of poems, titled Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ’fore I Die. She took the worlds of television, cinema, and Broadway by storm writing, producing, directing, and starring in countless productions, many of which won very prestigious awards. Her screenplay for the 1972 film Georgia, Georgia was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and she herself was nominated for two Tony Awards for her performances in Look Away (1973) and Roots (1977).
Angelou continues to write poetry and autobiographical works as well as involve herself in acting and television. She currently teaches at Wake Forest University in North Carolina.
...a concept built on succint idealism...attracts opportunities...fortune de excel
FAMOUS POETRY QUOTES...
" Sleep on your writing; take a walk over it; scrutinize ........" ~ A. Bronson Alcott
" Even when poetry has a meaning, as it usually has, ........" ~ A.E. Housman
" The smell of ink is intoxicating to me - others may ........" ~ Abbe Yeux-verdi
" An editor is someone who separates the wheat from ........" ~ Adlai Stevenson
" The best time for planning a book is while you're ........" ~ Agatha Christie
" The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from ........" ~ Albert Camus
" True Ease in Writing comes from Art, not Chance, As ........" ~ Alexander Pope
" Each memorable verse of a true poet has two or three ........" ~ Alfred de Musset
" The writer writes in order to teach himself, to understand ........" ~ Alfred Kazin
" Deliver me from writers who say the way they live ........" ~ Alice Walker
" Poets are mysterious, but a poet when all is said ........" ~ Allen Tate
" The role of a writer is not to say what we all can ........" ~ Anaïs Nin
" The most beautiful things are those that madness prompts ........" ~ André Gide
" What would there be in a story of happiness? Only ........" ~ André Gide
" "Therefore" is a word the poet must not ........" ~ André Gide
" It seems to me that the problem with diaries, and ........" ~ Ann Beattie
" Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint ........" ~ Anton Chekhov
" A poem should not mean But be........." ~ Archibald MacLeish
" The distinction between historian and poet is not ........" ~ Aristotle
" You write to communicate to the hearts and minds of ........" ~ Arthur Polotnik
" Happiness is sharing a bowl of cherries and a book ........" ~ Astrid Alauda
" Ink on paper is as beautiful to me as flowers on the mountains; God composes, why shouldn't we?........" ~ Audra Foveo-Alba
" Poetry is not always words........." ~ Audrey Foris
" The poet sees things as they look. Is this having a faculty the less? or a sense the more?........" ~ Augustus Hare and Julius Hare
" Poetry is to philosophy what the Sabbath is to the ........" ~ Augustus Hare and Julius Hare
" Poetry is the key to the hieroglyphics of Nature........." ~ Augustus Hare and Julius Hare
" Most painters have painted themselves. So have most ........" ~ Augustus Hare and Julius Hare
" The reason why many people are so fond of using superlatives, ........" ~ Augustus Hare and Julius Hare
" The ablest writer is only a gardener first, and then ........" ~ Augustus Hare and Julius Hare
" If Painting be Poetry's sister, she can only be a ........" ~ Augustus Hare and Julius Hare
" Our poetry in the eighteenth century was prose; our ........" ~ Augustus Hare and Julius Hare
" There is as much difference between good poetry and ........" ~ Augustus Hare and Julius Hare
" Proofread carefully to see if you any words out........." ~ Author Unknown
" A metaphor is like a simile........." ~ Author Unknown
" If the author had said "Let us put on appropriate ........" ~ Author Unknown
" Write your first draft with your heart. Re-write ........" ~ Author Unknown
" Your manuscript is both good and original; but the ........" ~ Author Unknown
" A synonym is a word you use when you can't spell the ........" ~ Baltasar Gracián
" When we see a natural style we are quite amazed and ........" ~ Blaise Pascal
" Even those who write against fame wish for the fame ........" ~ Blaise Pascal
" What no wife of a writer can ever understand is that ........" ~ Burton Rascoe
" Pen names are masks that allow us to unmask ourselves........." ~ C. Astrid Weber
" The coroner will find ink in my veins and blood on ........" ~ C. Astrid Weber
" Poetry is a packsack of invisible keepsakes........." ~ Carl Sandburg
" Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance........." ~ Carl Sandburg
" Poetry is the journal of the sea animal living on ........" ~ Carl Sandburg
" I've written some poetry I don't understand myself........." ~ Carl Sandburg
" Poetry is the synthesis of hyacinths and biscuits........." ~ Carl Sandburg
" Writing is a struggle against silence........." ~ Carlos Fuentes
" Writing is a product of silence........." ~ Carrie Latet
" If I'm trying to sleep, the ideas won't stop. If ........" ~ Carrie Latet
" Authorship is exhibitionism, and readers a species ........" ~ Carrie Latet
" Without a pen I feel naked, but it's writing that ........" ~ Carrie Latet
" Come voyeur my poems Feel free, I feel free........." ~ Carrie Latet
" Writing, I think, is not apart from living. Writing ........" ~ Catherine Drinker Bowen
" Always be a poet, even in prose........." ~ Charles Baudelaire
" Many books require no thought from those who read ........" ~ Charles Caleb Colton
" When you are describing, A shape, or sound, or tint; Don't ........" ~ Charles Lutwidge Dodgson
" A word is not the same with one writer as with another........." ~ Charles Peguy
" Wanted: a needle swift enough to sew this poem into ........" ~ Charles Simic
" An original writer is not one who imitates nobody, ........" ~ Chateaubriand
" Poetry is the language in which man explores his own ........" ~ Christopher Fry
" Poetry comes with anger, hunger and dismay; it does ........" ~ Christopher Morley
" Sit down, and put down everything that comes into ........" ~ Colette
" I am a man, and alive.... For this reason I am a novelist........." ~ D.H. Lawrence
" It's impossible to write poetry in front of the TV Almost ........" ~ Daisey Verlaef
" If I fall asleep with a pen in my hand, don't remove ........" ~ Danzae Pace
" Anyone who believes you can't change history has never ........" ~ David Ben Gurion
" We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. ........" ~ Dead Poet's Society
" Let me walk through the fields of paper touching ........" ~ Denise Levertov
" One of the obligations of the writer is to say or ........" ~ Denise Levertov
" Poetry is plucking at the heartstrings, and making ........" ~ Dennis Gabor
" Publishing a volume of verse is like dropping a rose-petal ........" ~ Don Marquis
" i never think at all when i write nobody can do two things at the same time and do them both well........" ~ Don Marquis
" If you want to get rich from writing, write the sort ........" ~ Don Marquis
" You can tear a poem apart to see what makes it tick........." ~ Dylan Thomas
" Don't be too harsh to these poems until they're typed........." ~ Dylan Thomas
" English usage is sometimes more than mere taste, judgment ........" ~ E. B. White
" A poet dares be just so clear and no clearer.... He ........" ~ E.B. White
" Be obscure clearly........." ~ E.B. White
" Writing is both mask and unveiling........." ~ E.B. White
" Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia........." ~ E.L. Doctorow
" Writers are not just people who sit down and write........." ~ E.L. Doctorow
" A poem is true if it hangs together. Information ........" ~ E.M. Forster
" If conditions aren't right The poem won't come out It ........" ~ Ed Northstrum
" Poetry is the rhythmical creation of beauty in words........." ~ Edgar Allan Poe
" The word "Verse" is used here as the term ........" ~ Edgar Allan Poe
" I don't create poetry, I create myself, for me my ........" ~ Edith Södergran
" Poetry is the art of substantiating shadows........." ~ Edmund Burke
" Life can't ever really defeat a writer who is in love ........" ~ Edna Ferber
" He who writes prose builds his temple to Fame in rubble; ........" ~ Edward Bulwer-Lytton
" Poets are soldiers that liberate words from the steadfast ........" ~ Eli Khamarov
" The process of writing has something infinite about ........" ~ Elias Canetti
" The test of literature is, I suppose, whether we ourselves ........" ~ Elizabeth Drew
" I try to leave out the parts that people skip........." ~ Elmore Leonard
" Publication - is the auction of the Mind of Man........." ~ Emily Dickinson
" To see the Summer Sky Is Poetry, though never in ........" ~ Emily Dickinson
" I keep little notepads all over the place to write ........" ~ Emily Logan Decens
" Ink and paper are sometimes passionate lovers, oftentimes ........" ~ Emme Woodhull-Bäche
" I am returning this otherwise good typing paper to ........" ~ English Professor
" When something can be read without effort, great effort ........" ~ Enrique Jardiel Poncela
" The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, ........" ~ Ernest Hemingway
" A writer's mind seems to be situated partly in the ........" ~ Ethel Wilson
" Every word born of an inner necessity - writing must ........" ~ Etty Hillesum
" A notepad by the bedside accounts for half the earnings ........" ~ Ever Garrison
" There was never a good biography of a good novelist........." ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald
" The artist's only responsibility is his art. He will ........" ~ Faulkner
" Novelists... fashioning nets to sustain and support ........" ~ Fay Weldon
" Everywhere I go I'm asked if I think the university ........" ~ Flannery O'Connor
" Everywhere I go I'm asked if I think the university ........" ~ Flannery O’Connor
" I am writing in the garden. To write as one should ........" ~ Frances Hodgson Burnett
" Write down the thoughts of the moment. Those that ........" ~ Francis Bacon
" Having imagination, it takes you an hour to write ........" ~ Franklin P. Adams
" Writing is utter solitude, the descent into the cold ........" ~ Franz Kafka
" Dancing in all its forms cannot be excluded from the curriculum of all noble education; dancing with the feet, with ideas, with words, and, need I add that one must also be able to dance with the pen?........" ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
" You could compile the worst book in the world entirely ........" ~ G.K. Chesterton
" A good novel tells us the truth about its hero; but ........" ~ G.K. Chesterton
" oets have been mysteriously silent on the subject ........" ~ G.K. Chesterton
" Whatever an author puts between the two covers of ........" ~ Gail Hamilton
" Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank ........" ~ Gene Fowler
" One hates an author that's all author........." ~ George Gordon, Lord Byron
" Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, ........" ~ George Orwell
" He who draws noble delights from sentiments of poetry ........" ~ George Sand
" A sold poem loses half its meaning........." ~ Glade Byron Addams
" Poets are like magicians, searching for magical phrases ........" ~ Glade Byron Addams
" Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don't ........" ~ Gloria Steinem
" I do not like to write - I like to have written........." ~ Gloria Steinem
" Every author in some way portrays himself in his works, ........" ~ Goethe
" Good things, when short, are twice as good........." ~ Gracián
" Writers are just people who have a whole lot on the ........" ~ Graycie Harmon
" Being an author is having angels whisper in your ear ........" ~ Graycie Harmon
" Being an author is like being in charge of your own ........" ~ Graycie Harmon
" I even shower with my pen, in case any ideas drip ........" ~ Graycie Harmon
" An author in his book must be like God in the universe, ........" ~ Gustave Flaubert
" Everything one invents is true, you may be perfectly ........" ~ Gustave Flaubert
" Poetry is life distilled........." ~ Gwendolyn Brooks
" Storytelling reveals meaning without committing the ........" ~ Hannah Arendt
" So often is the virgin sheet of paper more real than ........" ~ Harold Acton
" I asked Ring Lardner the other day how he writes his ........" ~ Harold Ross
" One must be drenched in words, literally soaked in ........" ~ Hart Crane
" All human beings have an innate need to hear and tell ........" ~ Harvey Cox
" It is the little writer rather than the great writer ........" ~ Havelock Ellis
" No one means all he says, and yet very few say all ........" ~ Henry Brooks Adams
" A perfectly healthy sentence, it is true, is extremely ........" ~ Henry David Thoreau
" How vain it is to sit down to write when you have ........" ~ Henry David Thoreau
" No poems can please for long or live that are written ........" ~ Horace
" If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, ........" ~ Isaac Asimov
" The wastebasket is a writer's best friend........." ~ Isaac Bashevis Singer
" Every creator painfully experiences the chasm between ........" ~ Isaac Bashevis Singer
" Arguments over grammar and style are often as fierce ........" ~ Jack Lynch
" I'd rather be caught holding up a bank than stealing ........" ~ Jack Smith
" Poetry is man's rebellion against being what he is........." ~ James Branch Cabell
" I love writing. I love the swirl and swing of words ........" ~ James Michener
" I'm not a very good writer, but I'm an excellent rewriter........." ~ James Michener
" Loafing is the most productive part of a writer's ........" ~ James Norman Hall
" The poet doesn't invent. He listens........." ~ Jean Cocteau
" The worst fate of a poet is to be admired without ........" ~ Jean Cocteau
" Children and lunatics cut the Gordian knot which the ........" ~ Jean Cocteau
" A true poet does not bother to be poetical. Nor does ........" ~ Jean Cocteau
" The poet is a liar who always speaks the truth........." ~ Jean Cocteau
" A story should have a beginning, a middle, and an ........" ~ Jean Luc Godard
" Imitation is the highest form of pissing me off. ........" ~ Jen T. Verbumessor
" There is no royal path to good writing; and such paths ........" ~ Jessamyn West
" Writing is a solitary occupation. Family, friends, ........" ~ Jessamyn West
" It seems to me that those songs that have been any ........" ~ Joan Baez
" There is poetry as soon as we realize that we possess ........" ~ John Cage
" For me, a page of good prose is where one hears the ........" ~ John Cheever
" You don't have to suffer to be a poet. Adolescence ........" ~ John Ciardi
" A writer and nothing else: a man alone in a room ........" ~ John K. Hutchens
" Poetry should... should strike the reader as a wording ........" ~ John Keats
" The poetry of the earth is never dead........." ~ John Keats
" He that uses many words for the explaining any subject ........" ~ John Ray
" I want to write books that unlock the traffic jam ........" ~ John Updike
" Every writer I know has trouble writing........." ~ Joseph Heller
" You will find poetry nowhere unless you bring some ........" ~ Joseph Joubert
" Science is for those who learn; poetry, for those ........" ~ Joseph Roux
" Writing is a way of talking without being interrupted........." ~ Jules Renard
" The story I am writing exists, written in absolutely ........" ~ Jules Renard
" An incurable itch for scribbling takes possession ........" ~ Juvenal, Satires
" Poetry is a deal of joy and pain and wonder, with ........" ~ Kahlil Gibran
" A writer is someone who can make a riddle out of an ........" ~ Karl Kraus
" My language is the common prostitute that I turn into ........" ~ Karl Kraus
" Women do not always have to write about women, or ........" ~ Kathryn Hughes
" Writer's block is a disease for which there is no ........" ~ Laurie Wordholt
" Critics are by no means the end of the law. Do not ........" ~ Lavina Goodell
" One ought only to write when one leaves a piece of ........" ~ Leo Tolstoy
" Drama, instead of telling us the whole of a man's ........" ~ Leo Tolstoy
" Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life ........" ~ Leonard Cohen
" If I had to give young writers advice, I would say ........" ~ Lillian Hellman
" The poet... may be used as a barometer, but let us ........" ~ Lionel Trilling
" Yes there is a meaning; at least for me, there is ........" ~ Logan Pearsall Smith
" What things there are to write, if one could only ........" ~ Logan Pearsall Smith
" What I like in a good author is not what he says, ........" ~ Logan Pearsall Smith
" If I don't write to empty my mind, I go mad........." ~ Lord Byron
" To withdraw myself from myself has ever been my sole, ........" ~ Lord Byron
" But words are things, and a small drop of ink, Falling, ........" ~ Lord Byron
" Keep a diary and one day it'll keep you........." ~ Mae West
" Imaginary gardens with real toads in them........." ~ Marianne Moore
" Ink runs from the corners of my mouth There is no ........" ~ Mark Strand
" As to the adjective, when in doubt, strike it out........." ~ Mark Twain
" The time to begin writing an article is when you have ........" ~ Mark Twain
" Substitute "damn" every time you're inclined ........" ~ Mark Twain
" The difference between the right word and the almost ........" ~ Mark Twain
" There are some books that refuse to be written. They ........" ~ Mark Twain
" I notice that you use plain, simple language, short ........" ~ Mark Twain
" To get the right word in the right place is a rare ........" ~ Mark Twain
" The only cure for writer's block is insomnia........." ~ Merit Antares
" An old racetrack joke reminds you that your program ........" ~ Mignon McLaughlin
" A critic can only review the book he has read, not ........" ~ Mignon McLaughlin
" There's only one person who needs a glass of water ........" ~ Mignon McLaughlin
" There are men that will make you books, and turn them ........" ~ Miguel de Cervantes
" Breathe-in experience, breathe-out poetry........." ~ Muriel Rukeyser
" Words - so innocent and powerless as they are, as ........" ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne
" Easy reading is damn hard writing........." ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne
" Your prayer can be poetry, and poetry can be your ........" ~ Noelani Day
" The act of putting pen to paper encourages pause for ........" ~ Norbet Platt
" I think it's bad to talk about one's present work, ........" ~ Norman Mailer
" Poetry heals the wounds inflicted by reason........." ~ Novalis
" Poets aren't very useful Because they aren't consumeful ........" ~ Ogden Nash
" Metaphors have a way of holding the most truth in ........" ~ Orson Scott Card
" He lives the poetry that he cannot write. The others ........" ~ Oscar Wilde
" A poet can survive everything but a misprint........." ~ Oscar Wilde
" Anybody can make history. Only a great man can write ........" ~ Oscar Wilde
" I grew up in this town, my poetry was born between ........" ~ Pablo Neruda
" Poetry is ordinary language raised to the nth power........." ~ Paul Engle
" A poem is never finished, only abandoned........." ~ Paul Valéry
" I don't wait for moods. You accomplish nothing if ........" ~ Pearl S. Buck
" In a mood of faith and hope my work goes on. A ream ........" ~ Pearl S. Buck
" Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world........." ~ Percy Byshe Shelley
Thursday, March 19, 2009
VAN GOGH...HIS ARTS...HIS RYTHM...THE SPOTLIGHT OF A POST IMPRESSIONIST PAINTER
Vincent Willem van Gogh is born on March 30, 1853, in Zundert, in the south of the Netherlands, as the oldest son of Theodorus van Gogh, a preacher and Anna Cornelia Carbentus. Four years later, in 1857,Vincent's favorite brother, Theodorus (Theo), is born.
...FORTUNE DE EXCEL RESEARCH...
At the age of 16, in July 1869, Vincent starts an apprenticeship at Goupil & Cie, international art dealers with headquarters in Paris. He works in the Hague at a branch gallery established by his uncle Vincent. In August 1872, from the Hague, Vincent begins writing letters to Theo. Their correspondence continues for almost 18 years. Theo accepts a position at Goupil's in January 1873, working in Brussels before his transfer to the Hague a few months later.
Vincent van Gogh at age of 13.
VAN GOGH ON THE SPOTLIGHT...HIS ARTS...HIS RYTHM(POST IMPRESSIONIST PAINTER)
In June 1873, Vincent is moved to Goupil in London. Daily contact with works of art kindles his appreciation of paintings and drawings. He admires the realistic paintings of peasant life by Jean-François Millet and Jules Breton. Gradually Vincent loses interest in his work and turns to the Bible. He is transferred to Paris, to London and Paris again, to then be dismissed from Goupil's in March 1876. Driven by a growing desire to help his fellow man, he decides to become a clergyman.
Vincent van Gogh at age of 19.
Vincent returns to England in 1876 to work as a teacher and assistant preacher at a boarding school. In November, Van Gogh delivers his first sermon. His interest in evangelical Christianity and ministering to the poor becomes obsessional. Due to a lack of professional perspectives, he returns to Amsterdam in 1877. When he is refused admittance in theology school, Vincent briefly enters a missionary school near Brussels and in December 1878 leaves for the Borinage, a coal-mining area in southern Belgium, to work as a lay preacher. Vincent identifies with the miners, sleeping on the floor and giving away his belongings. His extreme commitment draws disfavor from the church and he is dismissed.
Vincent's desire to be useful, transforms into the wish to become an artist while still be in God's service. He writes: "To try to understand the real significance of what the great artists, the serious masters, tell us in their masterpieces, that leads to God; one man wrote or told it in a book; another, in a picture." Vincent moves to Brussels and studies independently, sometimes assisted by Dutch artist Anthon van Rappard. Because Vincent has no livelihood, Theo, who is at Goupil's Paris branch, supports him. He did this regularly until the end of Vincent's life. Because of that, Vincent considers his work as the fruit of their combined efforts.
When he decides to become an artist, nobody could have guessed his immense talent. With surprising speed, the clumsy but enthousiastic apprentice develops a strong artistic personality with his color effects and simple but unforgettable compositions. At his parents' house in Etten, he refines his drawing techniques. Vincent leaves at the end of 1881 to rent a studio in La Hague.Vincent makes his first independent watercolor and painted studies in the summer of 1882. His uncle Cornelis van Gogh commissions him to produce 12 views of The Hague.
In September 1883 Vincent travels to the province of Drenthe in the northeastern Netherlands. He paints the landscape and peasants, but lonely and lacking proper materials, he soon leaves for Nuenen, in Brabant, to live with his parents. Following in the footsteps of Millet and Breton, by 1884 Vincent resolves to be a painter of peasant life. Tensions develop when Vincent accuses Theo of not making a sincere enough effort to sell the paintings Vincent has begun to send him.
Theo admonishes Vincent that his darkly colored paintings are not in the current Parisian style, where Impressionist artists are now using a bright palette. In 1885, Vincent completes the Potato Eaters, his first large-scale composition and first masterpiece.
The potato Eaters / 1885 / Oil on canvas.
After a long stay in the countryside of Brabant, Vincent leaves the Netherlands for the Belgian city of Antwerp in November 1885. He will never return to his native country. Van Gogh is invigorated by Antwerp's urbaneness: "I find here the friction of ideas I want." He has access to better art supplies and is exposed to the collections of Dutch and Belgian art. Among the exotic goods entering Europe through Antwerp are Japanese woodblock prints, which Vincent starts to collect. In January 1886, Vincent enrolls in the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Antwerp but he withdraws within two months.
In early 1886, Vincent moves in with Theo in Montmartre. It is a crucial period of development for his painting style. Theo, who manages the Montmartre branch of Goupil's (now called Boussod, Valadon & Cie), acquaints Vincent with the works of Claude Monet and other Impressionists. Now he sees for himself how the Impressionists handle light and color, and treat the town and country themes. He begins to meet the city's modern artists, including Paul Gauguin, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and Camille Pissarro. Vincent's Paris work is an effort to assimilate the influences around him; his palette becomes brighter, his brushwork more broken. Like the Impressionists, Vincent takes his subjects from the city's cafés and boulevards, and the open countryside along the Seine River. Through Georges Seurat and Paul Signac, he discovers the stippling technique of Pointillism "What is required in art nowadays," he writes, "is something very much alive, very strong in color, very much intensified." Unable to afford models to perfect his skills, Vincent turns to his own image: "I deliberately bought a good mirror so that if I lacked a model I could work from my own likeness." He paints at least 20 self-portraits in Paris. His experiments in style and color can be read in the series. The earliest are executed in the grays and browns of his Brabant period; these dark colors soon give way to yellows, reds, greens, and blues, and his brushwork takes on the disconnected stroke of the Impressionists. To his sister he writes: "My intention is to show that a variety of very different portraits can be made of the same person." One of the last portraits Vincent paints in Paris, Self-Portrait as an Artist, is a dramatic illustration of his personal and artistic identity. Vincent regularly paints outdoors in Asnières, a village near Paris where the Impressionists often set up their easels. Later, he writes to his sister Wil: "And when I painted the landscape in Asnières this summer, I saw more colors there than ever before."
Among his new friends Vincent counts the painters he refers to as the "artists of the Petit Boulevard" -- Toulouse-Lautrec, Signac, Bernard, and Louis Anquetin-artists who are younger and not as famous as the Impressionists. He organizes a group show of his and his friends' paintings at a Paris restaurant. The artists often gather at Père Tanguy's paint shop, where Vincent regularly sees Gauguin. Tanguy, who generously advances supplies to many young artists, occasionally displays Vincent's paintings in his store window. Vincent buys Japanese prints and studies them intensively. He arranges an exhibition of Japanese woodcuts at a Paris café and his own work takes on the stylized contours and expressive coloration of his Japanese examples.
In early 1888, Vincent leaves for Provence in the south of France: "It appears to me to be almost impossible to work in Paris." He rents a studio in Arles, the "Yellow House," and invites Paul Gauguin to join him. In anticipation of his arrival, Vincent paints still lifes of sunflowers to decorate Gauguin's room. Paul describes the paintings as "completely Vincent." Inspired by the bright colors and strong light of Provence, Vincent executes painting after painting in his own powerful language. "I am getting an eye for this kind of country," he writes to Theo. Whereas in Paris his works covered a large range of subjects and techniques, the Arles paintings are consistent in approach. Vincent enters a period of immense creative activity. He has little to distract him from his painting, for he knows almost no one: "Whole days go by without my speaking a single word to anyone." He befriends the local postman, Joseph Roulin, and paints portraits of his entire family. Captivated by the spectacle of spring in Provence, Vincent paints the blossoming fruit trees and later, in summer, scenes of rural life. He paints outdoors, often in a single long session: "Working directly on the spot all the time, I tried to grasp what is essential." He identifies each season and subject with specific colors: "The orchards stand for pink and white, the wheatfields for yellow." Color also becomes an expressive, emotional tool. For "Bedroom in Arles", he depicts his room with a stark simplicity, using uniform patches of complimentary orange and blue, yellow and violet, red and green.
To Gauguin he writes: "I wanted all these different colors to express a totally restful feeling." Gauguin finally arrives in Arles in October, painting and discussing art for nine weeks with Vincent. Paul makes a portrait of Vincent in front of one of his sunflower canvases, which Vincent describes as "certainly me, but me gone mad."
Paul Gauguin / Van Gogh Painting Sunflowers / 1888 / Oil on canvas
Personal tensions grow between the two men. In December, Vincent experiences a psychotic episode in which he threatens Gauguin with a razor and later cuts off a piece of his own left ear. He is admitted to a hospital in Arles and stays there through January of 1889. Theo, in Paris, marries Johanna Bonger in the spring.
After his discharge from the hospital in Arles, he voluntarily admits himself to the psychiatric hospital in Saint-Rémy, 15 miles from Arles. He attributes his breakdown to excessive alcohol and tobacco, giving up neither. Fearful of a relapse, in May 1889 he writes: "I wish to remain shut up as much for my own peace of mind as for other people's." The admitting physician notes that Vincent suffers from "acute mania with hallucinations of sight and hearing." Although subject to intermittent attacks, Vincent converts an adjacent cell into a studio, where he produces 150 paintings. Vincent paints the world he sees from his room, deleting the bars that obscure his view. In the hospital's walled garden he paints irises, lilacs, and ivy-covered trees. Later he is allowed to venture farther afield, and he paints the wheatfields, olive groves, and cypress trees of the surrounding countryside. The imposed regimen of asylum life gives Vincent a hard-won stability. When losing the confidence to execute original works, Vincent regains his bearings by painting copies after his favorite artists, including Millet, Rembrandt and Delacroix. He makes more than twenty copies of Millet's peasant scenes, and reinvents Delacroix's Pieta, in which the bearded Christ bears some resemblance to himself. After one particularly violent attack, in which he tries to poison himself by swallowing paint, Vincent is forced to restrict himself to drawing. While in Arles and Saint-Rémy, Vincent sends his canvases to Theo in Paris. Despite his illness, he paints one masterwork after another, including Irises, Cypresses, and The Starry Night. Theo encourages his brother: "They have an intensity of color you have not attained before . . . but you have gone even further than that. . . . I see that you have achieved in many of your canvases . . . the quintessence of your thoughts about nature and living beings." Others are beginning to notice Vincent's work, too. The progressive Belgian artists' group "Les Vingt" includes six of his paintings in their 1890 exhibition. When Vincent exhibits recent work at the Salon des Indépendants - two canvases in 1889 and ten in 1890 - friends in Paris assure him of their success. "Many artists think your work has been the most striking at the exhibition," writes Gauguin. Theo's son, Vincent Willem van Gogh, is born in January 1890.
After his long period of confinement at Saint-Rémy, Vincent leaves for Auvers-sur-Oise near Paris in May 1890. Though removed from the immoderate pace of life in Paris, he is close enough that he can easily visit Theo. Vincent places himself in the care of Paul Gachet, a homeopathic physician and himself an amateur painter. Vincent warms to Gachet immediately, writing to Theo that he had "found a perfect friend in Dr. Gachet, something like another brother." Gachet advises Vincent to concentrate entirely on his painting. Vincent paints portraits of his new acquaintances and the surrounding landscape, including nearby wheatfields and the garden of the painter Daubigny. Working with great intensity, he produces nearly a painting a day over the next two months. Vincent briefly enjoys a peaceful, mentally stable period. In early July Vincent visits Theo in Paris. Theo is considering setting up his own business, and he warns Vincent that they will all have to tighten their belts. Strongly affected by Theo's dissatisfaction, Vincent grows increasingly tense: "My life is also threatened at the very root, and my steps are also wavering."
On July 27, 1890, Vincent walks to a wheatfield and shoots himself in the chest. He stumbles back to his lodging, where he dies two days later, on July 29, with Theo at his side. He is buried in Auvers on July 30. Among the mourners are Lucien Pissarro, Emile Bernard, and Père Tanguy. Bernard describes how Vincent's coffin is covered with yellow flowers, "his favorite color . . . . Close by, too, his easel, his camp stool, and his brushes had been placed on the ground beside the coffin."
Vincent and Theo van Gogh's grave site: Auvers-sur-Oise, France
Vincent's paintings are left to Theo, but his true legacy will be realized in his powerful influence on artists of the twentieth century. Theo holds a memorial exhibition of Vincent's paintings in September 1890 in his Paris apartment. His own health suffers a precipitous decline, and on January 25, 1891, Theo dies. His widow returns to the Netherlands with their infant son and her husband's legacy, the collection of Vincent's paintings. After Johanna's death in 1925 the collection is inherited by her son, Vincent Willem van Gogh (1890-1978). On the initiative of the Dutch state, which pledges to build a museum devoted to Van Gogh, Vincent Willem van Gogh, in 1962, transfers the works he owns to the newly formed Vincent van Gogh Foundation. Construction of the museum building, designed by the modernist Dutch architect Gerrit Rietveld, begins in 1969. The museum officially opens its doors in 1973. Since then, the building houses the largest collection of works by Vincent van Gogh, on loan from the Vincent van Gogh Foundation.
Visit our other museums: Degas (1834-1917) / Cézanne (1839-1906) / Monet (1840-1926) / Renoir (1841-1919) / Gauguin (1848-1903) / Klimt (1862-1918) / Modigliani (1884-1920) / Magritte (1898-1967)
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"Yet Cubism and Modern art weren't either scientific or intellectual; they were visual and came from the eye and mind of one of the greatest geniuses in art history. Pablo Picasso, born in Spain, was a child prodigy who was recognized as such by his art-teacher father, who ably led him along. The small Museo de Picasso in Barcelona is devoted primarily to his early works, which include strikingly realistic renderings of casts of ancient sculpture.
"He was a rebel from the start and, as a teenager, began to frequent the Barcelona cafes where intellectuals gathered. He soon went to Paris, the capital of art, and soaked up the works of Manet, Gustave Courbet, and Toulouse-Lautrec, whose sketchy style impressed him greatly. Then it was back to Spain, a return to France, and again back to Spain - all in the years 1899 to 1904.
"Before he struck upon Cubism, Picasso went through a prodigious number of styles - realism, caricature, the Blue Period, and the Rose Period. The Blue Period dates from 1901 to 1904 and is characterized by a predominantly blue palette and subjects focusing on outcasts, beggars, and prostitutes. This was when he also produced his first sculptures. The most poignant work of the style is in Cleveland's Museum of Art, La Vie (1903), which was created in memory of a great childhood friend, the Spanish poet Casagemas, who had committed suicide. The painting started as a self-portrait, but Picasso's features became those of his lost friend. The composition is stilted, the space compressed, the gestures stiff, and the tones predominantly blue. Another outstanding Blue Period work, of 1903, is in the Metropolitan, The Blind Man's Meal. Yet another example, perhaps the most lyrical and mysterious ever, is in the Toledo Museum of Art, the haunting Woman with a Crow (1903).
"The Rose Period began around 1904 when Picasso's palette brightened, the paintings dominated by pinks and beiges, light blues, and roses. His subjects are saltimbanques (circus people), harlequins, and clowns, all of whom seem to be mute and strangely inactive. One of the premier works of this period is in Washington, D.C., the National Gallery's large and extremely beautiful Family of Saltimbanques dating to 1905, which portrays a group of circus workers who appear alienated and incapable of communicating with each other, set in a one-dimensional space.
"In 1905, Picasso went briefly to Holland, and on his return to Paris, his works took on a classical aura with large male and fernale figures seen frontally or in distinct profile, almost like early Greek art. One of the best of these of 1906 is in the Albright-Knox Gallery in Buffalo, NY, La Toilette. Several pieces in this new style were purchased by Gertrude (the art patron and writer) and her brother, Leo Stein. The other major artist promoted by the Steins during this period was Henri Matisse, who had made a sensation in an exhibition of 1905 for works of a most shocking new style, employing garish and dissonant colors. These pieces would be derided by the critics as "Fauvism," a French word for "wild beasts." Picasso was profoundly influenced by Matisse. He was also captivated by the almost cartoon-like works of the self-taught "primitive" French painter Henri "Le Douanier" Rousseau, whom he affectionately called "the last ancient Egyptian painter" because his works have a passing similarity to the flat ancient Egyptian paintings.
"A masterpiece by Rousseau is in the Museum of Modern Art in New York, his world-famous Sleeping Gypsy, with an incredible tiger gazing at the dormant figure with laser-like eyes.
"Picasso discovered ancient Iberian sculpture from Spain, African art (for he haunted the African collections in the Musée d'Ethnographie du Trocadéro in Paris), and Gauguin's sculptures. Slowly, he incorporated the simplified forms he found in these sources into a striking portrait of Gertrude Stein, finished in 1906 and given by her in her will to the Metropolitan Museum. She has a severe masklike face made up of emphatically hewn forms compressed inside a restricted space. (Stein is supposed to have complained, "I don't look at all like that," with Picasso replying, "You will, Gertrude, you will.") This unique portrait comes as a crucial shift from what Picasso saw to what he was thinking and paves the way to Cubism.
"Then came the awesome Les Demoiselles d'Avignon of 1907, the shaker of the art world (Museum of Modern Art, New York). Picasso was a little afraid of the painting and didn't show it except to a small circle of friends until 1916, long after he had completed his early Cubist pictures. Cubism is essentially the fragmenting of three-dimensional forms into flat areas of pattern and color, overlapping and intertwining so that shapes and parts of the human anatomy are seen from the front and back at the same time. The style was created by Picasso in tandem with his great friend Georges Braque, and at times, the works were so alike it was hard for each artist quickly to identify their own. The two were so close for several years that Picasso took to calling Braque, "ma femme" or "my wife," described the relationship as one of two mountaineers roped together, and in some correspondence they refer to each other as "Orville and Wilbur" for they knew how profound their invention of Cubism was.
"Every progressive painter, whether French, German, Belgian, or American, soon took up Cubism, and the style became the dominant one of at least the first half of the 20th century. In 1913, in New York, the new style was introduced at an exhibition at the midtown armory - the famous Armory Show - which caused a sensation. Picasso would create a host of Cubist styles throughout his long career. After painting still-lifes that employed lettering, trompe l'oeil effects, color, and textured paint surfaces, in 1912 Picasso produced Still-Life with Chair-Caning, in the Picasso Museum in Paris, which is an oval picture that is, in effect, a cafe table in perspective surrounded by a rope frame - the first collage, or a work of art that incorporates preexisting materials or objects as part of the ensemble. Elements glued to the surface contrasting with painted versions of the same material provided a sort of sophisticated double take on the part of the observer. A good example of this, dubbed Synthetic Cubism, is in the Picasso Museum, Paris, the witty Geometric Composition: The Guitar (1913). The most accomplished pictures of the fully developed Synthetic Cubist style are two complex and highly colorful works representing musicians (in Philadelphia and the Museum of Modern Art, New York). He produced fascinating theatrical sets and costumes for the Ballet Russe from 1914 on, turned, in the 1920s, to a rich classical style, creating some breathtaking line drawings, dabbled with Surrealism between 1925 and 1935, and returned to Classicism.
"At the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, Picasso was appointed the director of the Prado. In January, 1937, the Republican government asked him to paint a mural for the Spanish pavilion at the world exposition in Paris. Spurred on by a war atrocity, the total destruction by bombs of the town of Guernica in the Basque country, he painted the renowned oil Guernica in monochrome (now in Madrid's Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia.) Something of an enigma in details, there's no doubt that the giant picture (which until the death of Franco was in New York's Museum of Modern Art) expresses a Goyaesque revulsion over the horrors man can wreak upon fellow man. The center is dominated by a grieving woman and a wounded, screaming horse illuminated, like Goya's Third of May, 1808 by a harsh light.
"Picasso lived in Paris through the war, producing gloomy paintings in semi-abstract styles, many depicting skulls or flayed animals or a horrifying charnel house. He joined the Communist party after the war and painted two large paintings condemning the United States for its involvement in the Korean War (two frightfully bad paintings about events that never happened - like American participation in germ warfare). [In fact, research has determined that the event depicted by Picasso in "Massacre in Korea" did occur. See this newspaper article written in 1999, after Hoving wrote this piece...although the claim of germ warfare is still unsubstantiated. - ed.]. He turned enthusiastically to sculpture, pottery, and print-making, and, in his later years, preoccupied himself with a series of mistresses and girlfriends, changing his style to express his love for each one, and, finally, making superb evocations of the works of old masters like Diego Velazquez. Whatever Picasso had a hand in turned out to have an unquenchable spark of utter genius."
BOOKS ON PICASSO
Les Demoiselles D'Avignon (Studies in Modern Art, No 3)
William Rubin, et al
Everything you EVER wanted to know about Picasso's proto-Cubist masterwork. The graphics are of high quality and include every preparatory drawing or sketch as well as related works by other artists that influenced or were influenced by the "Demoiselles". Rubin is one of the clearest writers on art, and offers an accessible, yet thorough work.
A Life of Picasso: Volume I, 1881-1906
John Richardson, Marilyn McCully
The definitive multi-volume biography of the 20th century's most fascinating artist. Volume I covers the early years, through the Blue and Rose Periods. This paperback version is the smarter buy. Also available: A Life of Picasso: Volume II, 1907-1917, which covers the critical Cubist Period.
Picasso : The Early Years 1892-1906
This is the catalog to the blockbuster show of 1997, featuring the Blue and Rose Periods. The graphics are of exceptional quality, and the accompanying essays are enlightening, focusing on less well-known aspects of this period of Picasso's career.
Picasso and Portraiture : Representation and Transformation
William Rubin (Editor), Anne Baldassari, Pierre Daix
This is the catalog to the blockbuster show of 1996, featuring portraits from the beginning to end of Picasso's long career. The graphics are again of exceptional quality. Rubin's essay in particular is critical in art historical writing on the Spanish master.
Picasso's Variations on the Masters : Confrontations With the Past
Susan Grace Galassi
This is an extremely interesting look at Picasso's series paintings based on masterworks from the past, from Velazquez to Delacroix to Manet. It was as if he could not find sufficient competition among contemporary artists, and looked to outdo the masters of the past in their own works.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
George Gordon, Lord Byron (1788 – 1824)
She walks in beauty
She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o'er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling place.
And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
back to my root...
What is globalisation
I mean glocalisation
..uh, all I know is
Ba tu ranchi!
Dreams and the river
love and the goddess
time and its' calling
they tell me of you
Life and its' story
birds and their freedom
songs' and their wisdom
they tell me of you
Lands and their people
roads and their journey
flowers and their scents
they tell me of you
Stars and the universe
poems and their verse
laughter and its' bliss
they tell me of you
Death and its' birth
eyes and their sight
heaven and the fountain
they tell me of you
Some believe in revolution
Others believe in automation
And yet some in colonization
Mmm all I know is
Back to my roots
Yes back to my root
And sit by the roots
While I pick up the tools
I left before, for the schools
When shall we sound that so called gong
and sing the song our fathers once sung
i wonder if we would ever see
or live long enough to ever be
and then in one way or the other
stop being afraid of one thing or the other
fear of war,fear of hunger
fear of danger,fear of one another
i wish i knew how it feels to be free
free from all the fears i have known and seen
that i shall one day walk on the street
without the fear of the unseen
would that day ever come
a question that makes us wait for yet another dawn
that we shall eat,talk and sleep without ill feeling
and know in our hearts that we are not dreaming
shall we have to pay a price?
perhaps love each other as much as twice
and have no hate for each other
watch our backs for we are brothers
forget the misdeed we've done to each other.
it is true the gods are not to blame,
tell Agwu, Akingbade and Audu the same
until we wake up to know we are all the same,
we would never be able to fill up that space
so let us all come together in peace
and then,only then shall we be free
only then shall we be able to sound tha gong
that long talked GONG OF FREEDOM.
.................................................fortune de excel.
gong of freedom...
Monday, March 16, 2009
Best Answer - Chosen by Asker
in my opinion, poetry has a different definition to everybody. some, give you the facts, others, give you this deep thought about life, love and lust. and the rest don't care, so they tell you it's a bunch of Rhyme-y Words. in my point of view, poetry is something a person must dig deep down inside for. they have to understand themselves, and, be willing to learn more about themselves. poetry is an art only a handful of people are born with, and a world full of people who could learn. a person must summon all of their deepest emotions from within, and, bring them to life. you have to feel all of your heartache, love, longing, hatred, and sadness, again and again, and again. each time you write a piece of poetry, you must love all of your body, mind and soul, and trust that it will love you back. poetry doesn't have to rhyme, it doesn't have to flow. it may have to in a competition, but, in life, everything around you could be poetry. when you look at a mother a nd child smiling at each other, that is poetry. when a loved one dies and you are left with heartbreak, that is poetry. the true defanition of poetry is life. hope this helps
sometimes people misinterprete the essnce of poetry for phil..
We didn't come all this way
to be cautious and reasonable
we aren't here at the gate
waiting for things to go back to where they were
we're not content to have
wiser counsels prevail
nor will we stand in line quietly for soup
nor for order's congealed restoration
The middle road
lies under the waters of Lake Ponchartrain
the prison walls are breathing
like the ribs of an awakening giant
Mr Obama, look out! Look out!
The children are raising up their heads
they haven't learned the necessary lesson -
to give up hope
It takes time to give up hope
they feel our planet shrink
It is pretty
It glints in the light
Just like soap powder
Cocaine is pretty, clean
It glints in the
Light, light, light
Cocaine has ugly cousins
They feed on the unloved
Feast on the desperate
Showing them in a pretty, pretty
Punish, punish the unloved
Lock them in soap boxes
Chain morally superior stones to their ankles
Banish them from the light
Light, light, light
Your face ripples to mind
to pleasure me
and out again
an image lost
only to splash onto my page of work
clear as a beached shell
I listen down to low tide
hoping to hear your breath
but its softness drowns
in the warning cry of a starboard buoy
lurching on the bars of waves
stretched across the sound.
Each breaker’s damp white hem
pillowed by the rocks
echoes the whisper of my voice
saying your name.
I am broken
press your healing hands
on my sorrows
I am lost
show my limbs and organs
to their proper place
My body is torn by dogs in the desert
whistle them away:
allow my orderly decomposition
careless abundant vegetation
I need rest
I need only to be water
Rock me, rock me
without your minerals
I am ice.
Types of Poems
Epic is a serious poem. It is most commonly defined as a long narrative poem about some heroic events; often the main character of such a poem may have superhuman qualities.
A sonnet is a poem that has fourteen lines. There are two types of sonnets:
English sonnet - also called the Shakespearean sonnet.
Italian sonnet. Some writers refer to this as the Patrachan sonnet. It has two major divisions.
The first part is called the octave. The octave is the first eight lines.
The second part is called the sestet. It is the last six lines.
Poems may present a problem in the octave and give the solution in the sestet.
Sometimes a general idea could be presented in the octave while specifics are given in the sestet.
The English sonnet has a division that corresponds to three quatrains and one couple.
Milton, Shakespeare, John Keats has written some of the most interesting sonnets in English poetry.
It is a poem of mourning. Elegy has a sorrowful note.
One of the most interesting elegies in English history is 'The Elegy written in a Country Yard'.
4. DRAMATIC MONOLOGUE
It is a poem in which the character speaks to himself or to another person
who is usually absent or silent e.g. 'My Last Duchess' by Robert Browning.
5. NARRATIVE POEM
This is a poem that mainly tells a story e.g. 'Journey of the Magi' by T.S. Eliot.
The ode is a praise poem. Often it is a serious and meditative mode e.g. John Keats poems.
They are simple narrative poems. Ballads have their origin in folklore.
Ballads originally where taken to be stories rendered in songs and which passed from generation to generation. One feature of ballad especially folk ballads is that their authors are usually unknown
Thursday, March 12, 2009
I woke today feeling special
Knowing that under this tree sits a maid
I smiled when I looked to the sky
Because I thought it glowed brightly
I thought about yesterday
But most importantly I hoped in today
I am sure time will tell me how
And destiny will show me when
My hands are linked to magic
I have smeared my heart in strawberry
Unlike the others,
I have no name for this
I feel I should call it nothing
I touch the arms of our legion
And I feel the sweet wanders of today
Please don't make me dizzy again
I asked nicely that he may stop the spin
Spontaneously I move to each line
Yet so certain of every step
I tried to carve out a figure
But my mind eluded me
And I still feel no regrets
For what joy I should have known
When still I feel you
When sick I know not how
But the truth is that Beautiful young people are accidents of nature.
under the sun,
a task is re-written,
built in an impeccable statute of you,
the difference unopined,
though the storm may heave,but not a sigh,
the moon has left a shed...a light,
the morning is awaiting your definition...
the night waits to give you the perfect shade,
the task is done...
........................fortune de excel
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Okigbo, Christopher (Nigeria, 1932-1967) Christopher Okigbo is perhaps the most written-about and yet most enigmatic figure in modern African poetry.
Okigbo was born in the town of Ojoto in eastern Nigeria, a member of the Igbo ethnic group. Raised both a Roman Catholic and being told that he was the reincarnation of his grandfather, a priest of the river goddess, Idoto, Okigbo's poetic imagery draws heavily from both traditions.
Okigbo was educated at some of the best schools in colonial Nigeria, including the University College, Ibadan, where he graduated with a degree in Classics in 1956. Although his academic career was not exceptional he was recognized by students and teachers alike as a bright, engaging young man, showing much promise if somewhat bohemian in his tastes. His time at Ibadan overlapped with that of many future literary luminaries, including Chinua Achebe, the renowned novelist, JOHN PEPPER CLARK, and WOLE SOYINKA.
Following graduation he worked as a civil servant, secondary school teacher, librarian, and publisher's agent. He also served as West Africa Editor of the literary journal, Transition.
Active in various student groups and publications at Ibadan, only after he left University College did he begin to give serious attention to his poetry. In interviews he cites 1957 as the year he received the literary equivalent of the call to the priesthood: from then on he thought of himself as a poet and worked accordingly.
He was, however, a sporadic poet, working on impulse and inspiration rather than by any set schedule. He could go months without writing and, though he took the art quite seriously, felt no remorse at such long, fallow intervals: "Poetry is not an alternative to living; it is only one way of supplementing life" he told one interviewer. He was, however, a nearly compulsive editor of his own work, constantly revising previously written and sometimes already published poems. Prior to his death he had planned to pull together four of his already published poetic cycles: Heavensgate (1962), Limits (1964), "Silences" and "Distances" - the latter two having appeared in Transition in 1962 and 1964 respectively. He substantially reworked each and prepared an introduction which provides a basic framework for understanding the dense, allusive and many-layered poems.
Okigbo draws on numerous traditions for both imagery and poetic structure, citing as influences his own Igbo heritage, FRENCH SYMBOLIST POETRY, French Impressionist composers, Near Eastern history and mythology, and English and American poets such as T.S. ELIOT, EZRA POUND and GERALD MANLEY HOPKINS. Okigbo, SOYINKA and others have been labelled by one notable Nigerian school of criticism as suffering from "the Hopkins disease," said of those who are perceived to write poetry that is willfully obscure and rooted in a personal ethos closed off to the average reader. But Okigbo was unapologetic, famously retorting that he wrote for other poets, not the average man on the street who had no interest in poetry.
Okigbo returned to eastern Nigeria from Lagos in 1966 after a series of coups and massacres and volunteered for the rebel army soon after civil war broke out in July 1967. He was killed in battle a month later. The planned collection of his poetry, Labyrinths, was published posthumously in 1971 and was made up of his introduction, four poetic cycles and his final set of poems titled, "Path of Thunder," subtitled "Poems prophesying War" and completed in 1966. This slender, 72-page collection continues to exercise considerable influence over poets and critics alike and stands as a monument to a poetic talent cut short.
NIYI OSUNDARE AND HIS POEMS
Niyi Osundare, just turned sixty, and a Professor of English at the University of New Orleans, has ten or so published poetry collections to his name, plus two “Collected’s”, four plays, and a large body of critical work. His first collection, Songs of the Marketplace, came out in his native Nigeria in 1983, and his poetry since then has provided a powerful exploration of what it has meant to be a poet in Nigeria during the troubled 1980’s and 1990’s. But Osundare – and his fellow Nigerian poets of the last forty years or so – are virtual unknowns to even the better read British poetry readers and editors. How many of us know, for instance, that the title poem for Matthew Sweeney and Jo Shapcott’s innovative anthology, Emergency Kit, is by the excellent Nigerian poet Tanure Ojaide? Judging by how few other contemporary Nigerian poets have ended up in subsequent UK anthologies, very few. Not a single Nigerian poet, let alone a poet from the African continent, in either Staying Alive or Being Alive, for instance. Given the range and vitality of Nigerian poetry in English, this neglect is scandalous. The continuing lack of contact between these two very different poetry communities, the UK and the Nigerian, sharing a common language and entangled by history, impoverishes both.
It wasn’t always so. In the 1950’s, as Nigeria prepared for independence, young British university lecturers were helping to establish a network of Nigerian universities. The new institutions kick-started a flood of Nigerian writing in English, in both prose and poetry. Nigeria was Africa’s most populous nation (current population approximately 140 million). By the time independence arrived, in 1960, Nigerian novelists, playwrights and poets were beginning to attract UK interest – and, crucially, UK publishers, who introduced them to a world audience.
These were the years of Chinua Achebe’s first novels and Wole Soyinka’s plays. The two giants of Nigerian literature are still writing for a world audience: Soyinka won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986 (the first African laureate), and Achebe’s failure to follow him onto the Nobel stage is greeted each October with outrage by his admirers around the world (who suggest his sharp criticisms of white literary racism are the reason). Achebe’s novels are much superior to his poems, but Soyinka’s poetry, especially in his first collections, is as powerful a statement of what it meant to be a citizen of a newly independent Nigeria as his plays. In the 1960s and 1970s Soyinka was joined in British poetry magazines and on British poetry lists by poets like John Pepper Clark, Gabriel Okara, and the short-lived but remarkable Christopher Okigbo.
Okigbo died in 1967 fighting on the Biafran side in Nigeria’s civil war. Until the civil war, Nigeria’s emergent poets had tended to grapple in their poetry with the existential problem of being among the earliest Nigerian poets to be recording their poetry in written form and in English. Nigeria’s many African language societies are centuries old, with a rich orally based culture which gives a central place to the public performance of poetry, a performance traditionally accompanied by singing and the playing of stringed instruments, horns and drums. The poet’s role in these lively, mainly rural, Nigerian societies was to be both guardian of the culture, and stubborn defender of its core values, in the face of whatever challenges contemporary events might throw up. In Nigeria’s various oral traditions, being a poet meant playing a prominent and very public role. But when Soyinka, Achebe, and their student colleagues left their African-language home towns and villages to attend the new English-medium Nigerian universities, they were introduced to the very different norms of the British model of English literary culture – as practised and taught in the Britain of the 1940s and 1950s. And mid-century British poets overwhelmingly chose private, not overtly public, subjects for their poetry.
Those young Nigerians who chose to express what it meant, at this crucial time, to be Nigerian, whether in prose or poetry – Achebe, Soyinka, Okigbo and all the rest - were the first generation to attempt this task in English and in written, rather than oral form. As they wrote, the influence of the British writers of the UK canon, as taught in the English departments of the new Nigerian universities - literally, from Beowulf via Shakespeare and Marvell to Tennyson, Eliot and Auden - was almost overwhelming. Inevitably, much of their early output was derivative. In the struggle to draw a creative balance between exploiting the newly revealed riches of a literature written in English and the need to be unmistakably Nigerian, the first of this new breed of Nigerian poets largely chose to turn their backs on the African languages and the traditional structures of their own oral cultures. Nigerian poetry of the 1950s and 1960s explored all the tensions of Nigeria’s postcolonial circumstances – but in English, and in the poetic idiom of the English literary canon, which eschewed overt political comment.
That choice of subject matter soon changed under what Seamus Heaney has elsewhere called “the brutal onslaught of history”. The Nigerian civil war of 1967 to 1971 was the watershed. It was precipitated by the first in a series of army coups, that entrenched the generals and their civilian allies in power for the next thirty years. In spite – or perhaps because of – the transformation of Nigeria into a major oil producer in the 1970s, the plight of ordinary Nigerians worsened steadily, as corruption and incompetent leadership despoiled the country. By 2000, all the basic services – health, education, law and order, even a regular supply of electricity, water and (amazingly) petrol – had been disastrously run down. Nigeria might be oil rich, but ordinary Nigerians were among the world’s poorest. Faced with this catastrophic misgovernment, Nigerian poets reacted by taking up the role their poet predecessors had played for generations in the African-language oral cultures they had been born into: the responsibility of stubbornly articulating a public – and published - resistance to the steady, often savage erosion of freedom and justice taking place around them.
Soyinka and the active poets of the 1960s and 1970s were the first to switch the focus of much of their poetry towards such pressing public, political issues – and were the first to pay the often considerable price for their courageous stand. They were followed by a new cohort of politically aware poets who emerged in the 1980s – among them Niyi Osundare, whose first collection, Songs of the Marketplace, came out in 1983. Another enduring Nigerian talent, Odia Ofeimun, had produced The Poet Lied three years earlier and Tanure Ojaide (of Emergency Kit fame) was also active through the 1980s. The 1989 collection from which Emergency Kit appeared, the endless song, has a dedication from a Pasternak poem that ends, “here art stops, / and earth and fate breathe in your face.” The trenchantly political Chilean poet Pablo Neruda is another strong influence often acknowledged by Nigerian poets.
But if current events have demanded a political response from Nigerian poets, the type of response has inevitably varied widely from writer to writer. Niyi Osundare throughout the 1980’s was a new, and increasingly influential voice in introducing – or re-introducing – a key ingredient that had been absent from the poetry written in Nigeria in the 1960s and 1970s: prominent reference to traditional African culture. From his earliest publications in the early 1980’s, Osundare has couched much of his poetry in terms of Yoruba traditional myths. This was partly to make political points without attracting the attention of the heavy-handed and often lethal state security apparatus. But it was clearly also to celebrate the enduring strengths of his own Yoruba-speaking culture, in the face of a growing disillusionment with the failures of the European-inspired independent nation state. In his re-affirmation of the continued significance of Nigeria’s traditional cultures, Osundare has gone far beyond a simple re-telling in English of Yoruba traditions. He doesn’t just name Yoruba gods and heroes in his poems, but also, as a kind of chorus, regularly weaves traditional chants in their original Yoruba language into his English lines. And, to further align his English writing with its Yoruba roots, he calls for his poems to be performed, in the words of the opening stage directions to the 1990 collection, Waiting Laughters, “to the accompaniment of drums, horns, and [traditional West African] stringed instruments. Medley of voices.” By all accounts, an Osundare public performance of his own poetry is a powerful multi-cultural and multi-media experience (which London audiences have sadly so far been denied).
This re-injection of traditional cultural elements directly into Nigeria’s contemporary English poetry overturned the practice of the pioneer generation of Nigerian poets, who had stuck more closely to what was regarded as conventional British poetic practice. Osundare’s embracing of traditional culture is a matter for ongoing debate in Nigerian poetry circles. It can provide an unmistakably Nigerian energy, and result in a passionate evocation of the countryside and the village-based way of life of Nigeria’s traditional cultures. Osundare is at his best here. The extended title poem of his 1988 collection, Moonsongs, is a passionate love song to rural Yoruba-land. It’s a territory he re-visits in his Magma poem, Polygamous Moon. And in public performance, this linking back into oral tradition can set Yoruba-speaking audiences alight. But by the same token, it runs the danger of distancing younger, urban-based Nigerians, and especially, non-Yoruba speakers, from the work. In less talented hands, it can become overburdened with obscure, tedious political correctness, or local chauvinism.
The ability of leading Nigerian poets like Osundare to attract audiences through public performance has become significant at a time when Nigeria’s political and economic morass has sidelined intellectuals and the academic community, closed down nearly all Nigerian poetry magazines and poetry publishers, and severely damaged the public visibility and availability of poetry. The British poetry editors and publishers who had supported the pioneering Nigerian poets had increasingly lost touch with Nigerian poetry through the 1980s. Today, Nigerian poetry is an unknown quantity in London. The decline in local and international outlets for Nigerian poetry has been accompanied by a steady haemorrhage of creative talent, as Nigeria’s writers have drifted overseas. Chinua Achebe is New York based and Niyi Osundare is Professor of English at the University of New Orleans: the US, it seems, has become more supportive of African poets than the UK. And back in Nigeria, poetry faces serious new challenges. Popular artists like Nigeria’s answer to Bob Marley, the late Fela Ransome Kuti, and now a new generation of Nigerian rappers, have rivalled poetry as a creative outlet for cultural experiment and political protest. And Nigeria’s increasingly dominant religious fundamentalists, both Christian and Muslim, are unsympathetic to non-religious writing, and hostile to any mention of traditional African practices and culture.
Amazingly, a whole new generation of Nigerian poets is emerging, undeterred by the many obstacles they face. Among these is the lack of the regular critical discipline provided by the whole process of getting published in small Nigerian magazines, by dedicated poetry editors.
The lack of outlets has forced many of the new generation of poets into some form of self-publication. This has kept them afloat, but at a cost. Nonetheless, Osundare, alongside contemporaries like Ojaide and Ofeimun, is today in the company of the newest cohort of Nigerian poets, those emerging in the last ten years or so – too many to name, but including writers like Lola Shoneyin, Toyin Adewale, and most recently, Tolu Ogunlesi (see Magma 35).
Meanwhile, older poets like Odia Ofiemun and Niyi Osundare continue to write. Osundare’s other Magma poem, Ode to the Sugar Cane, shows the poet still responding powerfully to the third of the three significant challenges all Nigerian poets of the last forty or fifty years have faced. First, there have been the two opposed traditions competing for the poet’s loyalty: on the one hand, the celebration of the riches of Nigeria’s own cultures and societies, past and present; on the other, the exultation of contributing, as contemporary Nigerians, to the world-wide stream of poetry written in English. Second, there has been the demand to face up as poets to the appalling costs of the political mismanagement of the last forty years: what Nigerians have done to their fellow Nigerians. Thirdly, though, there is the question of what the outside world has done, and continues to do, to Nigerians: Europe’s role in the slave trade, Britain’s colonial mastership, and the postcolonial toll of the last fifty years. Osundare ends Ode to the Sugar Cane by asking, “Rasp-throated one,/ ….. What did History whisper in your ears/ last time you met in the green furrows?” Throughout his writing career, with poetic force, and with wit and learning, he has been asking his readers to consider Nigerian answers - to this question, and to all the others.
Two poems by Niyi Osundare
A polygamous moon cannot manage
Her plague of husbands
Nodding claims stand stiff
In lunar closets, or hang limp
On the tree of a penitent wardrobe
Jealous rays unravel
The chastity of the night
Desire bathes her wrinkles
In the pitcher of a pagan milk
Night so dark, so hot
Even nouns forget their names
A retinue of adjectives plays
Clown in the courtyard of liquid shadows
Flowing back, fl owing forth
Like the robes of eating chiefs
The moon, polygamous still,
Her roster crowded with passionate longings
Her sweat scented with nameless things
Knowing not what to do with the night’s
Inky consort, and a bevy of stars
Winking coquettishly at her waiting stallions
Ode to the Sugar Cane
How many oceans groaned under your feet
On your journey to this land
What winds abetted your prowl
How large your sail of leaves
What idiom broke your silence to a stolen soil?
Your pidgin prattle; grating grammar
Of your mastertongue when History stammered through
Your text, mouth crowded with missing vowels
The segmented stanza of your song,
Its juicy joints, eloquent rings multi-
Plying like the green gossip of talkative moons
The syrupy drawl of your orders
Chaffy echoes of extracted lives
Sticky fingers at the water’s edge
And the mansions which festered on your sweetness
The bitter joy of their rooms
Banks which farmed their fortunes
In the swineyard of your lust.
You sun-slaying, blood-chewing
Bone-sucking runner on shoeless shores
You pallid phallus of empire
Of rapier thrusts drilling through
The innocence of bewildered twilights
Whips whistled to please your ears
Bent backs pronounced your height
Your armada sailed on oceans of sweat
Shallow-rooted cousin of the millet
Brother of the elephant grass
Though roughly rich, your clumpy tribe
Your I-land of strangered selves
Your archipelago of floating husks
Drifting theatre of dreams in flight
Stiltdancer, your shadow,
Chattel hands flailing in the wind
Blacker than the feverish fear of sunset fires
Cutlassed into courtesy, imperial fronds bow
To earth, ever so mindful of the fragile distance
Between dripping wounds and the open sore
Where did you put the sky
Where did you leave the sea
What did History whisper in your ears
The last time you met in the green furrows?
Niyi Osundare’s Pages from the Book of the Sun: New and Collected Poems, was published by Africa World Press (Trenton, NJ) in 2002.
Osundare is one of the more prominent contributors to the Nigerian section of The Penguin Book of Modern African Poetry, 4th edition 1998, ed. Gerald Moore and Ulli Beier . Other key Nigerian representatives include Christopher Okigbo, Wole Soyinka, Gabriel Okara, John Pepper Clark, and Odia Ofeimun.
Tanure Ojaide is published by the Malthouse Press, Ibadan and Oxford.
Tolupe Gbenga Ogunlesi’s Listen to the geckos singing from a balcony was published in 2004 by BeWrite Books, UK
Robert Fraser’s West African Poetry, a Critical History, Cambridge University Press, 1986, is essential and inspiring reading. As is Letter to Patience, a remarkable sixty page meditation on Nigeria and Nigerian poetry in terza rima by John Haynes, Seren, 2006.
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