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Friday, 10 August 2012

Walker Evans: Churches


.
Image, Source: original print

Church interior, Alabama or Tennessee: photo by Walker Evans, 1936



The wings of the dove passed over
this ungiving land
What was left behind
save narrowed minds

forlorn hope
and that ramshackle
doorway sleeper's
desire for shelter




Image, Source: digital file from T01 duplicate negative

Church of the Nazarene, Tennessee: photo by Walker Evans, 1936

Image, Source: digital file from T01 duplicate negative 

Church, Southeastern U.S.: photo by Walker Evans, 1936

Photos from Farm Security Administration Collection, Library of Congress

8 comments:

STEPHEN RATCLIFFE said...

Tom,

"forlorn hope . . . ramshackle doorway" --

Walker Evans' "Church interior" gives a different take on "Here is the church/ here is the steeple/ open up the doors/ and see all the people"

8.10

light coming into fog against invisible
ridge, waning white moon above branches
in foreground, sound of wave in channel

imperceptible continuity of
this instant, happens

according to proportion, so
was possible, is what

grey white fog against invisible point,
whiteness of gull on tip of GROIN sign

TC said...

Steve,

Evans' church interior accentuates the Negative (Space), emphasizing the dark shadows that fall beneath the passing wing of the dove.

Love that waning white moon.

Reminds me I really ought to get out of the ward more.

Bits of saffron light peeping o'er yon hill to penetrate a bower of dead ivy out the window now, as morning traffic revs up.

Susan Kay Anderson said...

A place to seek--
a better feeling
when finally
walking away
and the temple
is now behind
relief that
I don't need
to be perfect
or even think
about it
scars warts fungus
rot and all
is beauty

Susan Kay Anderson said...

Little barn
storefront
church
where
Bohemian Digger
Hipster Dadaist
Beat all still
hope
for shelter

The Secretary's Report

quite near
thank you
here in this
ramshackle
doorway
useful crucial

Wooden Boy said...

In the wake of all those avian beauties passing through here over the last few days, it's strange to think of the shadow of this flight passing.

The empty (or emptying) churches, you can sometimes find God hid in the dust in the corners or some old woman's well-weathered silence. What we find in those vast air-conditioned temples of monied ecstasy, it's best not to speak of it.

TC said...

In the vacated shadows, the seekers are still seeking.

Where else is there to fly to but the memory of sanctuary?

vazambam (Vassilis Zambaras) said...

Over here the devout (and not so) Greeks always cross themselves religiously when passing a church; I’ve yet to see any of them do the same whenever a dove passes over their "devout" heads.

larry white said...

Give a fly the bum's rush,
no speck of malice

save its buzzy little tush,
open window,

fan with Bible tract, by God
I'd rather do it thus

than stick or swat,
old anger's blunderbuss.

Fly freedom
for the both of us.