japonisme: russe

06 July 2012



Above autumn's burgundy
and rust,
beyond the orange groves
chafing and ruddy in the frost,
a cloud lifts into blue . . .

the west goes up all haydust, flame,
and the flat land glimmers
out to it on the day-stream--
it is Millet's sky of "The Angelus,"

that nine- teenth century sky
we have only in paintings
and in these few still moments
in their rose and amber rags.

As a child, I remember this . . .
standing on the creek stones,
dusk moving over the fields
like a ship's hull pulling away

with that first sense of loss
and release; I saw it was
all about the beginning of dust
rising into the long sky's seam.
into my own two eyes and hands.

A chalk-white moon overhead
and to the right, umber waves
of sparrows back and through
the empty trees . . .

Soon, stars will draw analogies
in the dark, but now the world
is simple as the dead leaves
glowing in this late hour,

simple as our desire
to rise lucent as clouds
in their camisoles of dust,
the cool air burning though us

over leaves drifting on a pond,
over the last memory
of ourselves looking up,
stunned as a carp blinking at the light.

Christopher Buckley

(this whole exploration in hue began when i noticed, in the metropolitan museum's collection, the oddly matching color schemes of the (at top) dagobert peche textile and the callot soeurs gown. i am not sophisticated in color theory, but i poked around until sense seemed to begun being made. the ballet russe had a tremendous influence on design in the first quarter of the twentieth century. how those became the colors of the ballet russe, and how these same colors came to become circulated around the western world, i do not know. but know that matisse as well as bakst designed their costumes, then carried the language of their colors into the world.)

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hi, and thanks so much for stopping by. i spend all too much time thinking my own thoughts about this stuff, so please tell me yours. i thrive on the exchange!

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