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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Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Source: La Thuile, Italy, 2007

"The Water of Life"

In course of many years
To this same spot returned
And still the water flows,
As it has flowed since when?

Cast eyes around, above,
There is but massive rock.
Whence comes this water?
None can see, nor fathom.

Snow, rain and ice, they fall,
Gathered in secret cavern.
Whom struck the rock,
At this point in the hill?

Yet this we see, is sure:
All below, on this source
Counts, and has counted
For years untold, no end.

Effulgent, shimmering greens,
In every, varied, mountain shade -
From tree-loads of conifer needles
To pastures rich with grassy blade.

Each does drink deeply from this
Same well, unseen, unspent -
Ever present, if iced in winter,
Sparse towards late summer.

Each drinks their fill, and flourishes.
A draught so cold, it chills the core;
So sweet it licks our lips. And yet,
At times, bitter draught, whence came?

And so this life-water flows: Cold,
Quenching, sweet and bitter, a
Carlsberg gift divine. None Wilder,
None more sure, to slake our thirst.

Written for Carl Wilder, and dedicated to all Wilders,
wild or tamed, with wonder, John Walford, June 2010.

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John Walford

John Walford
Not All That Meets The Eye

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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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