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Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Philip Larkin: High Windows


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Waiting Room for the Beyond

Waiting Room for the Beyond: John Register, 1988 (Modernism Gallery, San Francisco)



When I see a couple of kids
And guess he’s fucking her and she’s   
Taking pills or wearing a diaphragm,   
I know this is paradise

Everyone old has dreamed of all their lives --  
Bonds and gestures pushed to one side
Like an outdated combine harvester,
And everyone young going down the long slide

To happiness, endlessly. I wonder if   
Anyone looked at me, forty years back,   
And thought, That’ll be the life;
No God any more, or sweating in the dark

About hell and that, or having to hide   
What you think of the priest. He
And his lot will all go down the long slide   
Like free bloody birds. And immediately

Rather than words comes the thought of high windows:   
The sun-comprehending glass,
And beyond it, the deep blue air, that shows
Nothing, and is nowhere, and is endless.

Philip Larkin (1922-1985): High Windows, 12 February 1967, from High Windows, 1974






The Fear of Ghosts
: Balthus (Baltusz Klossowski de Rola) (1908–2001),1933, oil on canvas (Indiana University Art Museum, Bloomington)


Lady Abdy: Balthus (Baltusz Klossowski de Rola) (1908–2001), 1935, oil on canvas

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Joseph Ceravolo: Eternity


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Imam (formerly Shah) Mosque (Masjed-e Imam), Isfahan
: photo by Dara Mulhern, 18 October 2010




When I was a child
I thought a handgun in a holster
and the lead colored bullets on the belt
was one of the most beautiful things
made by man.
Of course at that time
I didn't consciously know
of the phallic significance or symbol,
but it doesn't really matter.
It's not the object now
but the feeling that accompanied,
which still remains and comes back,
but not for guns and bullets
but for eternity.
It must be the way Sumerians
felt for their Gilgamesh
and Jews for David
and Egyptians for Pharaoh
and anyone for heroes,
a hope of eternity
for ever and ever new.
A chance not for the object
but for the soul alone,
if that be possible.
But it's too easy
to love life too much
and all is gone away, alas,
like a shot from
the gun of childhood.

When I was a child
I thought of eternity.


Joseph Ceravolo (1934-1988): Hand Gun, 24 October 1986, from Collected Poems, 2012


Against the lucidity of instinct he opposed the instinct for lucidity: the invisible is not obscure or mysterious, it is transparent...
Octavio Paz on Marcel Duchamp, in Paz: Marcel Duchamp: Appearance Stripped Bare, translated by Rachel Phillips and Donald Gardner, 1978

The conventional view holds that girih (geometric star-and-polygon, or strapwork) patterns in medieval Islamic architecture were conceived by their designers as a network of zigzagging lines, where the lines were drafted directly with a straightedge and a compass. We show that by 1200 C.E. a conceptual breakthrough occurred in which girih patterns were reconceived as tessellations of a special set of equilateral polygons ("girih tiles") decorated with lines. These tiles enabled the creation of increasingly complex periodic girih patterns, and by the 15th century, the tessellation approach was combined with self-similar transformations to construct nearly perfect quasi-crystalline Penrose patterns, five centuries before their discovery in the West.
Decagonal and Quasi-Crystalline Tilings in Medieval Islamic Architecture, by Peter J. Lu and Paul J. Steinhardt: abstract of a paper in Science 23, February 2007, Vol. 315. no. 5815

For all their tantalizing glimpses into medieval scientific knowledge, the designs of the Darb-i Imam [in Isfahan, taken by Peter Lu as a template for his thesis] and other Islamic buildings must also be understood in their religious context. Geometric patterns in Islamic architecture and ornamentation were used as much for spiritual as for artistic reasons. As Robert Irwin writes in his study of Islamic art, such patterns may have been viewed 'as exteriorized representations of abstract, even mystical, thought' -- aiming to inspire contemplation or to make a statement about the imponderable harmonies of a divinely ordered universe. Sufism in particular is closely linked to the practice of geometry, above all in the form of symmetries, as a way of giving physical expression to mystical thought.

The girih designs are thus comparable to Gothic art and architecture in another sense, namely in their shared ambition to embody spiritual cogitation and emotion through geometry. The real significance of the magnificent tiling of the Darb-i Imam lies not in any kind of cultural one-upmanship about who first conceived a certain idea or technique, but rather in the remarkable trajectories of ideas and scientific endeavors through time.
Sebastian R. Prange, on the Lu thesis, in Islamic Arts and Architecture, 20 May 2012




Main Dome, Imam (formerly Shah) Mosque (Masjed-e Imam), Isfahan (1611-1629}: photo by Dara Mulhern, 18 October 2010



Side Dome, Imam (formerly Shah) Mosque (Masjed-e Imam), Isfahan: photo by Dara Mulhern, 18 October 2010



 Imam (formerly Shah) Mosque, Isfahan
: photo by HORIZON, 18 May 2006

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Masjed-eh Shah (Imam Mosque), Isfahan: photo by Mahdiz, 27 April 2013


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Imam Mosque, Isfahan. Interior view of the lofty dome covered with polychrome tiles, intended to give the spectator a sense of heavenly transcendence
: photo by
مانفی February 2013


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 Imam Mosque, Isfahan: photo by مانفی February 2013

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Interior wall and ceiling of the
Sheikh Lotf Allah Mosque, Isfahan: photo by Philip Maiwald (Nikopol), 27 August 2008

File:Isfahan Lotfollah mosque ceiling.jpg

Ceiling of the
Sheikh Lotf Allah Mosque, Isfahan: photo by Philip Maiwald (Nikopol), 27 August 2008


File:Sheikh-Lotf-Allah mosque wall and ceiling.jpg

Interior wall and dome ceiling of the
Sheikh Lotf Allah Mosque, Isfahan: photo by Philip Maiwald (Nikopol), 27 August 2008


Sheikh Lotf Allah Mosque, Isfahan
: photo by oceanbaby, 4 May 2007




Sheikh Lotf Allah Mosque, Isfahan: photo by Behrooz Bashokooh, 15  March 2011


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Sheikh Lotf Allah Mosque, Isfahan: photo by Kookan, 21 September 2008


Muqarnas, Sheikh Lotf Allah Mosque, Isfahan
: photo by Mandana Fard (baraneh), 8 January 2008

Friday, 26 July 2013

Wallace Stevens: An Argentine Abstraction


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Another glance at heaven. A vault at the Nasr al Molk mosque at Shiraz: photo by dynamomosquito, 21 April 2008




Last Friday, in the big light of last Friday night,
We drove home from Cornwall to Hartford, late.

It was not a night blown at a glassworks in Vienna
Or Venice, motionless, gathering time and dust.

There was a crush of strength in a grinding going round,
Under the front of the westward evening star,

The vigor of glory, a glittering in the veins,
As things emerged and moved and were dissolved,

Either in distance, change or nothingness,
The visible transformations of summer night,

An argentine abstraction approaching form
And suddenly denying itself away.

There was an insolid billowing of the solid.
Night’s moonlight lake was neither water nor air.


 

Wallace Stevens (1879-1955): Reality is an Activity of the Most August Imagination, 1954





An idea of heaven.  A vault at the Nasr al Molk mosque, Shiraz: photo by dynamomosquito, 13 May 2008



A touch of paradise. A colored vault at the Nasr al Molk mosque mosque at Shiraz: photo by dynamomosquito, 5 May 2008



Facets of heaven. Front door ceiling of the Vakil mosque at Shiraz: photo by dynamomosquito, 29 April 2008



Cells of heaven. A vault at the Nasr al Molk mosque, Shiraz: photo by dynamomosquito, 29 April 2008



A glance at heaven. A vault at the Nasr al Molk mosque at Shiraz: photo by dynamomosquito, 21 April 2008



Ceiling.The ceramic tiled ceiling of a vault at the masdjed-e Nasr Al Molk at Shiraz. The use of the yellow color was an innovation of the Zand era. Later, under the Qajar rulers, the use of yellow was even extended to the point it became the dominant color for the ceiling, while their Safavid predecessors used the blue as the dominant colors: photo by dynamomosquito, 4 June 2009


Jameh-ye Atigh Mosque, Shiraz: photo by Fulvio, 7 August 2007



Imam (Shah) Mosque, Isfahan: photo by HORIZON, 18 May 2006



Facade of entrance arcade, Masjed-e Vakil Mosque (Regent's Mosque), Shiraz: photo by Martijn.Munneke, 6 February 2009


Imam Mosque (Masjed-e Imam), Isfahan: photo by Nick Taylor (indigoprime), 28 April 2006



Bees' nests. Front door ceiling of the Vakil mosque at Shiraz
: photo by dynamomosquito, 30 October 2008

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Wallace Stevens: Night's Hymn of the Rock


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File:Israel-2013-Jerusalem-Temple Mount-Dome of the Rock-Detail 01.jpg

Dome of the Rock (Arabic: مسجد قبة الصخرة‎, Hebrew: כיפת הסלע), on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem: NE facade, panel detail with ceramic tiles. The tiles were added as part of the redecoration of the building ordered by Sultan Suleyman who sent a group of tile-makers from Istanbul to Jerusalem. They were led by Abdullah Tabrizi who signed the cut-tile inscription at the top of the drum with the date 952 AH/AD 1545-6 and the inscription above the north porch with the date 959 AH/AD 1551-2. The tile-makers used a range of techniques, including cut-tile work, cuerda seca, and under-glaze: photo by Godot13, 24 March 2013


The rock is the gray particular of man's life,
The stone from which he rises, up -- and -- ho,
The step to the bleaker depths of his descents ...

The rock is the stern particular of the air,
The mirror of the planets, one by one,
But through man's eye, their silent rhapsodist,

Turquoise the rock, at odious evening bright
With redness that sticks fast to evil dreams;
The difficult rightness of half-risen day.

The rock is the habitation of the whole,
Its strength and measure, that which is near, point A
In a perspective that begins again

At B: the origin of the mango's rind.
It is the rock where tranquil must adduce
Its tranquil self, the main of things, the mind,

The starting point of the human and the end.
That in which space itself is contained, the gate 
To the enclosure, day, the things illumined

By day, night and that which night illumines,
Night and its midnight-minting fragrances,
Night's hymn of the rock, as in a vivid sleep.


Wallace Stevens (1879-1955): The rock is the gray particular of man's life, from The Rock, 1954



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Mangga gedong gincu, a cultivar of mango, Mangifera indica, from Tomo, Sumedang, West Java, Indonesia
: photo by W.A. Djamitko (Wie146), 21 October 2007


Mango trees during a storm, Srimongal, Syrhet, Bagladesh: photo by s_karr, 13 May 2009

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A hatch in the Dome of the Rock, Old City, Jerusalem. The decorative writings just below the dome can be clearly seen and easily read. Taken under a low January morning sun  photo by David Baum, 3 January 2010


Jerusalem, the Wailing Wall. To reach the wall you must pass through a metal detector and several other checks. Once there everything slides from your mind. Even if it's often full of people, even if you're in front of a rock wall, there's something in the air that brings your mind beyond the facade. On the left, the Dome of the Rock, the third most important place for Muslims. On the right, far, Mount of Olives. On the bottom, archeological excavations
: panorama of four stitched
photos by emanuele (semaone), 12 April 2008


Inside the Dome of the Rock Mosque, Old City, Jerusalem, The most interesting part of the Dome of the Rock's design and architecture is its attempt to fit a mosque into an octagonal structure -- unlike other mosques, you never really know which way is forward in the Dome unless you look really hard. But just point your head up and stare at the intricate details all over the interior as you try to find your way south, to the front of the mosque, making a turn seemingly every few feet:
photo by Asim Bharwani (modenadude), 18 November 2010



Dome of the Rock Interior and Foundation Stone. The Foundation Rock is one of the highest points of Jerusalem's Old City. The Dome of the Rock was built between 687 and 691, making it the oldest existing Islamic building in the world
: photo by Damon Lynch. 16 July 2005


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The Dome of The Rock, Temple Mount, Jerusalem. Taken under a low January morning sun: photo by Bavid Baum, 3 January 2010

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Corner façade detail of the Dome of the Rock (Arabic: مسجد قبة الصخرة‎, translit.: Masjid Qubbat As-Sakhrah, Hebrew: כיפת הסלע‎, translit.: Kipat Hasela) on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem: photo by Godot13 (A. Shiva), 24 March 2013



Tile work at the Dome of the Rock Mosque, Temple Mount, Jerusalem
: photo by schopfer, 20 May 2008



Ceramic tile work, Dome of the Rock, Old City, Jerusalem: photo by J McDowell, 25 March 2010

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Wooden Boy: Bus note 63


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The Bearwood High Street at the junction of St Marys Road: photo by Mark McQuilty (Tingy), 28 October 2005



        Top deck
        side lights:
a seizure trigger;
neon spectral shimmer;
        false movement;
        backwards wave.
Her same-difference
piebald hair over there.
        The corner:
        Bearwood High St.
        strewn
        with bruised fruit.



Wooden Boy: Bus note 63, from The Little Wooden Boy, 20 July 2013





Avarcardo. Box of avarcardos outside Inter Supermarket, High Street, Bearwood: photo by Keith Bloomfield, 17 February 2011


Leafy shop, Bearwood High Street: photo by Marios Hadjianastasis (marios_h), 11 December 2010


3, 2, 1... It's Rusty Bin. A rusting bin on Bearwood High Street, photo by Keith Bloomfield, 18 August 2011


Refined lady, Bearwood High Street: photo by Alex Mason (Bikeygeek2010), 9 February 2011


"Buildings are like humans and have their own character" -- Alexey Titarenko. Bearwood High Street: photo by Alex Mason (Bikeygeek2010), 19 September 2011


 Bearwood High Street 2: photo by Alex Mason (Bikeygeek2010), 19 September 2011



Bearwood Pawn Shop. #45 "See the characters but create your own plot" -- Martin Kollar. Bearwood High Street: photo by Alex Mason (Bikeygeek2010), 7 August 2011



4273 BU51 RWW VOLVO B7 ALX 400 GA-WB DDLF delivered new to the fleet 23-Jan-02, seen working service 82 on Bearwood High Street: photo by 3000 F300 xof (AKA Celestial Toymaker), 12 July 2011


Bearwood High Street: photo by Roger Jones ((RogerJ2009), 15 December 2011