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, October 28, 2010

Flickr's Millinerd's "Princeton Cemetery in Fall"


IMGP2828, originally uploaded by millinerd.

"Tempus Omnia Terminat"

Here lies, here lies, lies who?
Jonathan Edwards, you say!
Yet who pays attention -
Anymore? Markers of
Mortality, rows of carved stone
Once lovingly placed, now -
perhaps - a perch for a bird.
Better to plant young trees,
Than grave, grave stones.
- JW, for Matt Milliner, Oct 28, 2010.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Salvador Mundi Still Life Banner, on gray, 2010

"Dried Petals with Red Wool Caught on a Twig"

Heat ravished, sap drained,
Shriveled and crinkled - and yet -
When flowers and leaves their
Season served, eyes nourished,
Must we then simply let them go?
Squirrels drop empty walnut shells;
An acorn of two, gone un-foraged,
A second life they can yet live.

Let them sit, these seasoned beauties,
Stiffening with age, fragile as can be.
Why do they have to perish? The eye
They yet delight, and now our mind.
The earth, like our body, may groan,
As it awaits a fuller, freer, brighter day.
One red strand of wool, caught on a twig,
Of Easter speaks, and new hope in May.

--First version dedicated to Mark Noll,
long-time friend, scholar,
poet, teacher, nurturer of all-comers,
and esteemed former colleague,
-- JW, August 14, 2010.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Flickr's Jacob Schere's "Flower Satellite Wall"

Thirty-Three to One.

Thirty-three little blue faces turn
To catch the rays of the unseen sun.
One grey dish it's face too does turn
Towards unseen beams, airwaves
Bearing from afar sights and sounds
That in turn make our heads turn.
And your head, your eyes, which way
Will you turn, and what will you absorb?

--JW, for Jacob Schere, October 24, 2010.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Flickr's Donald Verry's "Dawn"


dawn, originally uploaded by donvucl.

"The Promise of Dawn"

Wide and nuanced tonal range, black to white,
Modulated with subtle silken transitions, by shapes
Speaking of crops, trees, houses, and hillsides,
Subdued under a soft dawn mist,
For this viewer, this Friday, of this week,
No further clarity desired. Softly soothing,
With such finely modulated, downy forms
To caress my strained eyes and weary mind,
I can go now to rest, in peace, a mediated
Normandy dawn, like a soft blanket,
Enveloping my weary soul,
A solace to be welcomed
Like a night of peaceful sleep,
Promising a tranquil dawn.

-JW, for Donald Verry, with appreciation,
Oct 8. 2010.

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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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