Friday, April 30, 2010

Mario Milosevic: When I Was

First, I have to tell you about a neat poetry-creating form called Newspaper Blackouts. You take a newspaper article and a Sharpie or black crayon and black out everything that you DON'T want in your poem. (OK, first you might want to go through and put little dots next to the words you want to save.) Sounds like fun to me. There's a video about the Blackout Poet here. Thanks to A Year of Reading for sharing info about these kinds of poems.

Now, on to our poem. It's a beauty:

When I Was
by Mario Milosevic

When I was a bear
I filled the world.
My paws were wide,
and I walked large.
I ate all summer
and slept all winter,
dreaming of the time
when I was a dragonfly
and I wove the world.
Darting through air,
skimming over grass,
hovering on water,
my compound eyes
embroidering my dreams of the time
when I was a turtle
and I carried the world.
Walking slowly with the weight,
squat body on four thick legs,
hard shell holding me in,
keeping my dreams of the time
when I was a salmon
and I fed the world.
Sleek skin sliding down river throats,
pink flesh nourishing my cousins.
I swam upstream,
where death took me
and I swallowed my dreams of the time
when I was a tree
and I held the world.
Roots gripping soil,
branches embracing sky,
my vision
encompassing dreams of the time
when I was a raven
and I sang the world.
Single note struck from my throat,
pushed into air,
the sound a call to listen
to the unseen
and honor my dreams of the time
when I was a bear;
when I was a dragonfly;
when I was a turtle, a salmon, a tree;
when I was a raven.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Posted with permission of the poet. This week's Poetry Friday round-up is at Great Kid Books.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Beauty of a Mosquito Wing

In scientia veritas, in arte honestas.
~ In science truth, in art honour.

Mixing it up with the art of science today.

National Geographic offers science visualization awards annually. Kai-hung Fung of Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital in Hong Kong captured the below image. It looks like a dragon to me, but it's a nose...

This next image won First Place for Illustration:

"Kuen's Surface"
A computer-generated picture by Richard Palais and Luc Benard of the University of California, Irvine.

The Institute for the Promotion of the Less than One Millimetre presents the Micropolitan Museum...

Here's a butterfly wing, which they say is "covered with tiny scales. These scales possess a microscopic texture that can produce iridescent colours by reflective interference."

I can't believe how beautiful a mosquito wing is:

From Princeton's Art of Science Gallery

Cement Flower
by Hope Connolly
She says: "For my senior thesis in George Scherer's lab, I was investigating the best way to dry cement without doing any damage to the cement's microstructure. I tried drying cement samples in both a desiccator and a 105 degree Celsius oven. The oven-dried samples had hundreds, even thousands, of these cement "flowers," with noticeable "petals" and "buds." The width of this flower is approximately four microns."

Uncovering Lost Painting of Vincent van Gogh
By Andrei Brasoveanu '09 (undergraduate) and Ingrid Daubechies (faculty)
Department of Mathematics, Program in Applied and Computational Mathematics

"Around 1885, Vincent van Gogh painted the portrait of a woman and then later reused this canvas, painting over her portrait to create "Pasture in Bloom," a painting found today in the Kroller-Muller Museum in Otterlo, The Netherlands.

Following X-ray and chemical analysis performed at a laboratory in Delft, The Netherlands, a fragment of the original portrait was revealed. Our work was to first reconstruct digitally the gray-scale version of this portrait, by registering it to the pasture painting, by identifying and removing grass and flower traces, and by filling in the regions lacking content. Afterward, we needed to bring the portrait to life by coloring it using local pigment information and color distributions from similar portraits produced in the same period by the artist."

Links:

~ The Brain Balloon
~ Arborsmith, where trees are shaped into living sculpture
~ Making models of the nervous system, on the wonderful Neuroscience for Kids site. (I like the "Thinking Cap")
~ Songs from the Science Songwriters' Association
~ Two DNA sculptures: one at UC Davis and one at UC Berkeley. (Scroll down to see a cool shot at the bottom)
~ Northwestern University's Nano Art Gallery
~ DNA sculpture made from an old piano.
~ I should do a week just on the periodic table of the elements. There's something very visually appealing about them. I love Theodore Gray's posters.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Healing

Our two poems for today cover a similar theme, albeit very differently.

Slam poet Gayle Danley is a treat. (I would say her work is for middle school and up, btw.)


Gayle's 5 Steps to Slam
By Gayle Danley

Step 1: Begin with a life experience, good or bad. Take that event and write it down.
Step 2: Read it aloud.
Step 3: Trim it down. Take away the excess — everything that is not "heart."
Step 4: Repeat step two. Be sure not to trim too much.
Step 5: "Add the flavor." Let yourself go. Incorporate your personality.

Gayle spoke at this year's National Association for Poetry Therapy conference.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Meadowlark Mending Song
by Margaret Hasse

What hurt you today
was taken out of your heart
by the meadowlark
who slipped the silver needle
of her song
in and out of the grey day
and mended what was torn.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Go Fly A Kite!

Imagination is the highest kite one can fly.
~Lauren Bacall

We're up in the air this week. British kite designer Michael Goddard has striking pieces, such as:

Blast, which Mr. Goddard says was "inspired by a David Bomberg painting exhibited in the Tate Gallery, Liverpool. Blast was also the name of the manifesto of the Vorticist group of artists, first published in 1914, to which Bomberg belonged. It was a rebellious publication which sought to overhaul the insularity of English art at that time...I decided to make the kite appear more 'spikey', infusing the characteristics of late 1970's punk."

As a writer, I particularly appreciate the pencils that are drawing the lines on Michael Goddard's Tri Box Kite:

Journey
by Michael Goddard

DeFace
by Michael Goddard

You know I like posters. This one is from the Dieppe Kite Festival. "Kite" in French is "cerf-volant," which Google Translate tells me technically means "flying deer." (?)

This beautiful shot is from Wind Fire Designs. Their kites were painted by Ruth Whiting.

Trickster
by Eric Curtis & Anne Sloboda

Links:
~ A fun 4-Kite Ballet on YouTube.
~ Art and Math Kite Kits
~ Kites as an Educational Tool
~ A History of Kites. This site also has plans for traditional and modern Japanese kites.
~ Miniature Kite Kits
~ Some Kite Festivals around the world.
~ World Kite Museum

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Instead of Bleeding, He Sings

Opera is when a guy gets stabbed in the back and, instead of bleeding, he sings.
~ Ed Gardner


This week, we're raising our voices in song! Here's a video to get you in the mood:



You know what's cool about opera, besides the music, the singing, and the great Bugs Bunny cartoons? * The spectacle of it! *

Today, we're looking at various forms of Opera Art.

A scene from the Met's Faust

I have to include a shot of the Sydney Opera House!
The Sydney Opera House while it was decoratively lit by Brian Eno
Photo taken by Repat

The cover of Lessons from the Phantom of the Opera
(not sure of the illustrator)

The Glimmerglass Opera has nice shots of their shows:
Glimmerglass Opera's 2009 production of Verdi's La Traviata
Photo: Richard Termine/Glimmerglass Opera.

The Ballet Scene from Meyerbeer's Opera, Robert Le Diable
by Edgar Degas
"Meyerbeer’s opera was first performed in Paris in 1831. This scene features the ghosts of nuns who had offended heaven with their impure thoughts."

Ernst Edler von Schuch conducts the "Rosenkavalier" by Richard Strauss
by Robert Sterl

Links:
~ Brendan Cooke's "Saving Opera One Voice at a Time" is a fun intro to the value of opera.
~ An article on America's Opera Boom
~ Free digital versions of the Opera for Everyone series of CDs
~ Classics for Kids has shows about a lot of different composers.
~ The Opera America site as a list of recommended reading for students K-12 and also general reference.
~ Videos by the Atlanta Opera, including ones on costumes and make-up.
~ A History of Opera (thank you, Connie, for pointing this out!)

Friday, April 9, 2010

Maggie Smith's Morality & Alan Rickman's Machine

Another video this week...I think Maggie Smith is the bomb:


Morality
by Matthew Arnold

We cannot kindle when we will
The fire which in the heart resides;
The spirit bloweth and is still,
In mystery our soul abides.
But tasks in hours of insight will'd
Can be through hours of gloom fulfill'd.

With aching hands and bleeding feet
We dig and heap, lay stone on stone;
We bear the burden and the heat
Of the long day, and wish 'twere done.
Not till the hours of light return,
All we have built do we discern.
~~~~~~~~

You know who else I could hear recite poems every day and twice on Sundays? Alan Rickman. But what I'm sharing today for any other Rickmaniacs is the Family Guy version of Alan Rickman's Answering Machine.


A link to info about Rickman reciting poems on film.

You can find more poetry at Paper Tigers, where they are hosting this week's Poetry Friday round-up.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Art As Therapy

How is art a form of therapy?

Art can relax you as you create it, give you an outlet to express yourself (and maybe even surprise yourself by revealing things you didn't realize you were thinking), and also provide a way to communicate those thoughts and feelings to other people.

Today we're looking at works from PainExhibit.com (by artists with chronic pain) and Expressions of Courage (by artists with epilepsy). We have some good links at the bottom, so don't forget to check those out!

From PainExhibit.com:

Where Does It Hurt?
by Anna Rich
"I meant to visualize how my back feels sometimes, a very localized, intense pain that eventually ties my entire torso in knots. From the front, or on the face of it, it doesn't appear that anything is wrong. The beads of sweat on front are the only clue. When I experience them together, I want to explode into a lot of little pieces, too small to feel anything. I spun all but a tiny bit of the yarn myself. I knit, felted and dyed the painful points."

Resonance: Erasure
by Susan Gofstein
"In the fall of 2000 I developed severe chronic facial pain. This domination of pain obliterated all sense of an inner self. 'Resonance' began as an effort to structure and distance myself from an overwhelming existence."

Thermosystemic
by Stephen L. Spagnoli
"Thermosystemic is a visual depiction of neurotransmitters firing pain signals through the pathways of the brain on their way to my forever burning skin."

Echoes of Sadness
by Maureen Brown
"Silent screams express sadness that reverberate remnants of a former life. My sadness is shown with a teardrop from a missing eye, while the other eye is closed in denial. Black repetitive lines depict my echoing pain. The red tangled mass in the forehead represents the tension, anxiety, and angst I am feeling."

From Expressions of Courage:

Symbol Hand
by Bill Hoin
"Bill Hoin, age 68, created "Symbol Hand" using ink on paper. Bill states that all of these images are inside his head and when his “head is squeezed” they come out his fingers. Bill feels epilepsy has been a boon and a curse. It propelled his life into art, but left him with a dependence on medication permanently."

Freedom
by Dianne Gates
Dianne Gates, age 45, created "Freedom" with watercolors. Dianne's world changed in 2001 when she had her first grand mal seizure. "I am learning how to take care of myself with proper rest, scheduled eating, and taking my medicine. I now feel great most of the time," Dianne says. "This painting represents the freedom I feel now that I am learning how to deal with life as an epileptic."
Links:

~ A nice compilation of definitions of What Is Art Therapy by the International Art Therapy Orgnaization.
~ A Mayo Clinic video of Art Therapy for Stress Management
~ Art Therapy-related Articles and Resources from the Creativity Portal.
~ Expressive Media definitions of various arts therapies. Also, related films
~ Society for the Arts in Healthcare
~ The Foundation for Hospital Art

Friday, April 2, 2010

Huang Xiang, City of Asylum poet

Happy Poetry Month!

Poem House Pittsburgh photo by Dave White

I'd like to share this video about Chinese poet Huang Xiang with you. Huang Xiang was a City of Asylum poet in Pittsburgh. I think he put it well when he said, "I am crushed diamond/A sun resides in every tiny piece."



The current City of Asylum-Pittsburgh poet is Khet Mar. It's a tremendous program, which you can support here.

There's also Ithaca City of Asylum, and the International Cities of Refuge Network.


Thursday, April 1, 2010

Play Posters

Feeling alliterative today, as we've got posters by Poles to publicize plays. Wonderful, funky stuff. These are from the Pigasus Polish Poster Gallery in Germany.

By Tomasz Boguslawski



By Wieslaw Walkuski








And a fitting one to end on...
Poster Addiction by Nikodem Pregowski