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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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Culprit (Albert Einstein, Time is the Culprit), 09-09-09, with thanks to Semay Johnston

The Culprit (Albert Einstein, Time is the Culprit), 09-09-09, with thanks to Semay Johnston
The Culprit (Albert Einstein, Time is the Culprit), 09-09-09, with thanks to Semay Johnston, originally uploaded by johnwalford

Nine o’ Nine: “Time is the Culprit” (Albert Einstein)

Nine o’ Nine, on Nine, Nine, o’ Nine – Oh Wow!

This, an auspicious time, on anyone’s dime!

What to make of life - existence in time?

How possibly can time more signify?

Ours, yours, his, hers, or mine?

Is time but a construct?

Reckoned on a dial?

Or, a mere friction

Derived from only

Sands pressure

Sliding down



As time itself -

So lucidly transparent!

Yet, glass and time remain

Both cruelly enigmatic and still

Beyond best scrutiny. They reveal,

And yet, their enduring qualities hide.

One seemingly passable, transparent,

Yet impenetrable to touch, but not to light.

The other, invisible, intangible, yet palpable!

While reflecting on time, it runs through my fingers,

Like sand, slip-sliding to the constant rhythm of the sea.

--John Walford, a meditation on Semay Johnston’s ceramic piece,

“The Culprit” (after Albert Einstein’s “Time is the Culprit”)

at nine o’clock, in the evening, of 09/09/09,

and, with thanks to Lauren Anderson,

for timely inspiration.


  1. with some carefully guided kerning, tracking and very, very slight instances of horizontal scaling the poem on the wall could take on a much more fluid and natural flowing form.

  2. y'know I'm looking at it again and I'm gonna guess that some tracking was added. It might just be about as fluid as stacked text can get given the basic form that chosen font displays (Avant Garde is my guess for the font).

    Sculpting with words is always interesting. Nice piece!


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John Walford

John Walford
Not All That Meets The Eye

About Me

My photo
United States
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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