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.

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Yellow Fog on the Window Panes, 2008 (Inspired by T.S. Eliot's "Prufrock and Other Observations," 1917

"Yellow Fog on the Window Panes, 2008 (Inspired by T.S. Eliot's "Prufrock and Other Observations," 1917)"

".........................................
In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,
........................
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.

And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
Rubbing its back upon the window-panes;
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
..........................................

It is impossible to say just what I mean!
But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen:
Would it have been worth while
If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl,
And turning toward the window, should say:
"That is not it at all,
That is not what I meant, at all."
.................................................................

I grow old... I grow old...
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled."

--Excerpts from T.S. Eliot's "Prufrock and Other Observations," 1917.

--"That is, if I am able to wear them at all." - An addendum by JW

"Signs of life, flicker before my eyes,
Life itself - pregnant with surprise."
- JW, 08/21/08

This piece was made in response to a challenge from my good Flickr friend, "Algo," (Alex, of The Chiltern Hills, England), to make a triptych based on excerpts from this poem of T.S. Eliot, whose style he (and others) had compared to the suggestive, yet allusive nature of some of my triptychs. This piece, accordingly, is dedicated to him, with an enormous debt of gratitude for the extreme beauty and serenity of so many photographs that he has shared with us all, see: www.flickr.com/photos/algo/

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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.

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