July 28, 2015

Art Balms

Among the magic treasures spotted at the Columbus Museum of Art this past Sunday:

Who doesn't love a ship? From the 1830s, New of York.


Christ holds a goldfinch, which has potentially multiple meanings: http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/pharos/collection_pages/middle_pages/563/TXT_BR_SS-563.html 

Love the tiny lamb at the foot of this painting and the symbolized gentleness.

Created by a local black folk artist back in the 1970s; depicts Crucifixion going
all the way back to the blacksmiths who created the nails. 

*

Spotted online, some of Herman Melville's poems.  It doesn't float my boat too much, but I'm riveted by how riveted he was by a figure of fascination to us both: Confederate General Thomas J. Jackson:

Mortally Wounded at Chancellorsville

The Man who fiercest charged in fight,
Whose sword and prayer were long -
Stonewall!
Even him who stoutly stood for Wrong,
How can we praise? Yet coming days
Shall not forget him with this song.

Dead is the Man whose Cause is dead,
Vainly he died and set his seal -
Stonewall!
Earnest in error, as we feel;
True to the thing he deemed was due,
True as John Brown or steel.

Relentlessly he routed us;
But we relent, for he is low -
Stonewall!
Justly his fame we outlaw; so
We drop a tear on the bold Virginian's bier,
Because no wreath we owe.
*

And another poem about the Jack man:

One man we claim of wrought reknown
Which not the North shall care to slur;
A Modern lived who sleeps in death,
Calm as the marble Ancients are:
'Tis he whose life, though a vapor's wreath,
Was charged with the lightning's burning breath -
Stonewall, stormer of the war.

But who shall hymn the Roman heart?
A stoic he, but even more:
The iron will and lion thew
Were strong to inflict as to endure:
Who like him could stand, or pursue?
His fate the fatalist followed through;
In all his great soul found to do
Stonewall followed his star.

He followed his star on the Romney march
Through the sleet to the wintry war;
And he followed it on when he bowed the grain -
The Wind of the Shenandoah;
At Gaines's Mill in the giants' strain -
On the fierce forced stride to Manassas-plain,
Where his sword with thunder was clothed again,
Stonewall followed his star.

His star he followed athwart the flood
To Potomac's Northern shore,
When midway wading, his host of braves
'My Maryland!' loud did roar -
To red Antietam's field of graves,
Through mountain-passes, woods, and waves,
They followed their pagod with hymns and glaives,
For Stonewall followed a star.

Back it led him to Marye's slope,
Where the shock and the fame he bore;
And to green Moss-Neck it guided him -
Brief respite from throes of war:
To the laurel glade by the Wilderness grim,
Through climxed victory naught shall dim,
Even unto death it piloted him -
Stonewall followed his star.

Its lead he followed in gentle ways
Which never the valiant mar;
A cap we sent him. bestarred, to replace
The sun-scorched helm of war:
A fillet he made of the shining lace
Childhood's laughing brow to grace -
Not his was a goldsmith's star.

O, much of doubt in after days
Shall cling, as now, to the war;
Of the right and the wrong they'll still debate,
Puzzled by Stonewall's star:
'Fortune went with the North elate,'
'Ay, but the South had Stonewall's weight,
And he fell in the South's great war.'

Herman Melville

No comments: