The Blog of John Walford, British-born, but long resident in The United States. I am an art historian, currently studying satire in Netherlandish art, an amateur photographer, and occasional writer, who writes here about art, photography, and the human condition--some of it ekphratic poetry, responding to works of art. This is to be a site for words and images, interacting on one another, as vehicles of human expression.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Under the Still Surface
Tonight I returned to Idea-Listic's "Nature looking at itself," uploaded to Flick, October 22, 2007 (see: Nature Looking At Itself) and pondered:
Under The Still Surface
That surface of water, so still, unruffled, calm,
What dark secrets does it hide?
Scum, dirt, weed, slime, and filth?
And things yet worse! A rusty gun,
Tossed there after a bank heist;
The corpse of someone's wife's mother,
Thrown there years ago to cover a crime.
A dead dog, that once barked in the neighbors yard,
One time too many, early on a Sunday morning.
An unwanted child, left there to drown,
And the bones from a thousand fish.
All such works of darkness allude the eye,
That glances contentedly over the surface,
And senses only a great tranquility.
Now look deep into my eyes,
And what do you see?
Glistening surfaces, white, black, and blue,
Beyond which lies unfathomable darkness,
Like secrets buried in a tranquil lake.
--- John Walford, Passion Week, 2008.
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- John Walford
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- I am a British-born, art historian, teaching in the USA; I studied law, in England,1964-68; worked part-time in the art world, 1968-69; then studied art history at the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, 1969-76; completed my Ph.D. diss. at the University of Cambridge, 1981; moved to the States in 1981, and have since written, or co-authored, other books. I am currently studying satire in Netherlandish art. My wife, Maria, was born in Milan, Italy, where she worked as an interpreter, in business; she spent seven years in Switzerland, at the University of Lausanne, 1963-70. She came to Amsterdam in 1971, and we soon married. She is a wife, mother, literary critic, of Italian (and French) literature, and completed her Ph. D. diss. in 2002, at the University of Chicago, on Cesare Pavese and His Critics. We have three married children, and eight grandchildren, all of whom we excessively adore! I welcome dialog about art, photography, human behavior, beliefs, and motivation from all comers, regardless of race, color, gender, orientation, values, or beliefs. This is to be a site for words and images, as vehicles of human expression, around topics of mutual interest.