The Blog of John Walford, British-born, but long resident in The United States. I am a retired art historian, an amateur photographer, and occasional writer, who writes here about art, photography, and the human condition--some of it attempted 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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Friday, December 3, 2010

My own "Purple Orchids by Fireplace," Dec 2010

"Orchid Hierarchy"

How is it to be an orchid?
Earth's goodness, sky's light
Stored in strong and waxy leaves.
Proud stems lifting heads high,
And blooming out along the stem.
First to open, has some pride,
Until a second it overshadows.
Soon a third, and a fourth, more,
As the first already shrivels,
Leaving the last as first in sight.

First to catch the sunlight; first
To attract the humming bee;
First to draw the human eye,
Out front, first before the lens
That focuses on its succulent
Chamber of sensuous delights!
Last, now first! Sun-drenched,
Color drenched, saturated,
And drenched in attention -
Just like the last-born child.

-- JW, on the delight of orchids,
December 3, 2010

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John Walford

John Walford
Not All That Meets The Eye

About Me

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United States
I am a British-born, retired art historian, who taught 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. 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 twelve 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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