Monday, December 12, 2005

Back to the Dance?

As I continue to build my website Ramirez@Luz I continue to read reviews and essays from the past so that I can post a few that will bring some context to the overall chronology and structure of my art. Last night as I was retyping one from 1982 entitled “The Dancer and the Dance: Philosophy and Accomplishment in the Work of Daniel Ramirez” (I hope to post this to my web site soon) I became very much aware as to what extent my art and I have changed over the years and to what degree remained consistent! The author, Robert Glauber (now deceased) in his attempt to comment on my approach to reality and illusion, began the article with an excerpt from “Among School Children” by W.B.Yeats:

O chestnut tree, great rooted blossomer,
Are you the leaf, the blossom or the bole?
O body swayed to music, O brightening glance,
How can we know the dancer from the dance?

As I was rereading the essay I realized how in our previous conversations on the topic of art and life and my decision to speak to the issue of alcoholism I focused on the importance of living life in the moment; not only for its significance toward recovery but for the importance of appreciating the gift of having been given the day.

As circumstances and fate would have it I have come across a poet whose work I would like to share with you. I find his poetry very much in accord with art and life in the way that I sometimes try to convey. His art is also very “minimalist” in style, an approach that causes me to feel a close kindredship. His name is Samuel Menashe. He has recently been cited as the winner of the “Neglected Masters Award.” This award is given by “The Poetry Foundation” and “is intended to draw fresh attention to a significant poet whose work deserves a wider readership, and in the process to expand awareness of the kinds of verse written today.” His background is described briefly by Stephen Spender in “The New York Review of Books” in 1971 as “…a poet of entirely Jewish consciousness, though on a scale almost miniscule. He is not one of the prophets, concerned with exodus, exile, and lamentation: but he is certainly witness to the sacredness of the nation in all circumstances in life and death. His poetry constantly reminds me of some kind of Biblical instrument – tabor or jubal – and the note it strikes is always positive and even joyous. His scale is, I repeat, very small, but he can compress an attitude to life that has an immense history into three lines.”

The particular poem that caught my attention (longer than most of his others) as to living in the moment (and I daresay there can be other interpretations than my sense of it) is the following:

Roads run forever
Under feet forever
Falling away
Yet, it may happen that you
Come to the same place again
Stay! You could not do
Anything more certain-
Here you can wait forever
And rejoice at your arrival

Have a great day!


Blogger Brenda said...

It sounds like an exciting time, pulling together your path, offering it at your stunning website. Menashe's poem will be with me all day, or even, like the Yeats' poem you've quoted, forever... in your creativity you reach out to the creativity of so many others...

6:52 AM  
Blogger Lhombre said...

Yes! It is an exciting time. Just like the one you have been describing on your site. Aren't we fortunate to know that each and every day is an adventure into the unknown! Finding Menashe, for me is...Well, I haven't the words. It seems like everyday brings wonders.
Thanks too for dropping by my web site. I play with it everyday. Such fun!

8:40 AM  
Blogger Richard Lawrence Cohen said...

I'd never heard of this poet before you gave him to us on this post. It's a great service to bring a forgotten author back to public attention -- you might want to post something of his (or some other poet) on Bev's site when she does her annual National Poetry Month thing in April. (I'll post about her site at that time.) I can see why Menashe appeals to you in both form and content. You'll convert to Judaism yet!

5:53 PM  
Blogger Lhombre said...

Thanks for the heads up on Bev's National Poetry Month in April. I will be sure to post something of Menashe's on the site.

I'm happy that I was able to introduce you to another poet.

As to Judaism, I think you already know of my very deep love and respect for it.

Hey! If Sammy..........

6:49 PM  
Blogger MB said...

Ah, now I understand more fully the reference you made in your comment to living in the moment. I love what you've quoted here and will look for Menashe's poetry. Thank you for the introduction.

12:22 PM  

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