Monday, January 04, 2010

Poem for Monday Plus Sargent

A Love Supreme
By Gabrielle Calvocoressi

You beautiful, broke-
back horse of my heart. Proud,
debonair, not quite there

in the head. You current
with no river in sight.
Current as confetti

after parades. You
small-town. Italian
ice shop next to brothels

beside the highway.
Sweet and sweaty. You high
as a kite coming

down. You suburban sprawled
on the bed. You dead? Not
nearly. Not yet.


Another by Calvocoressi, who writes in Poet's Choice, "It wasn't until I was asked on a radio show what I did instead of keeping a journal and said, 'Pray' that I realized I'd never stopped speaking into and with that deep silence.

We went downtown on Sunday even though it was very cold because it was the last day of the Sargent and the Sea exhibit at the Corcoran Gallery of Art and we knew it might be our last chance to see Tai Shan, the baby panda born at the National Zoo, before he is sent to China later this month. We got lucky and got a parking space about a block from the Corcoran, which was very crowded because the exhibit was ending -- I ran into inside. Although I love nautical art and coastal scenes, I must admit that Sargent's portraits of women are still my favorites. We also visited the museum's Impressionist and American landscape collection before heading to the zoo, where we parked in the lot nearest their enclosure, out of the freezing wind.

The pandas thankfully were indoors. Mei Xiang was asleep while we were there, but both Tian Tian and Tai Shan were happily munching bamboo. The panda parents may be sent back to China this year as well if the zoo can't renegotiate their lease (which seems likely since they've only had the one cub together), so we wanted to make sure we got to visit while we could. When we got home, we put on the Ravens game and were very happy when they clinched a playoff spot. We also held our noses and rooted for Dallas to beat Michael Vick, which they did easily, though they'll have a rematch next week. After dinner -- navy bean soup that cooked in the crock pot all day -- we went to Seneca Creek State Park for the last night of the Gaithersburg Winter Lights Festival, which was nearly empty and very pretty with snow on the ground.

This is Tai Shan (who had very dirty windows, unfortunately for photo purposes), very happily munching on bamboo, with no idea that he will soon be sent away from his parents and all the local people who have watched him grow up.

An enlargement of John Singer Sargent's Oyster Gatherers of Cancale, one of two versions of the painting on display in the exhibit that just ended -- he executed it with small differences for more conservative Parisian judges and more avant-garde New York audiences.

This is the grand staircase just past the Corcoran's entrance.

Myself and Adam reflected in one of the mirrors of the Salon Doré, a gilded room of pillars and garlands designed by the Comte d'Orsay to flatter his bride.

In another gallery, one of the museum's treasures, The Veiled Nun by Giuseppe Croff, a marble sculpture from the 1860s.

Here is Penguin Cove, seen from the car on the last night of Gaithersburg's Winter Lights.

It was fun to get to see dashing through the snow with actual snow on the ground.

And the money raised by the display goes to charity so hopefully other people can have happy holidays.

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