Daily Archives: February 6, 2012

Photographer – 99, Painter – 101, Poet – 88

Eve Arnold 1912-2012: “It’s the hardest thing in the world to take the mundane and try to show how special it is.”

Eve Arnold, in retrospect – TR140.A76 A3 1995
In America / Eve Arnold – TR820.5.U5 A76 1983

Dorothea Tanning, 1910-2012

Between lives : an artist and her world / Dorothea Tanning. – N6537.T36 A2 2003
Dorothea Tanning / texts by Jean Christophe Bailly – N6537.T36 A4 1995

Wislawa Szymborska 1923-2012

Sounds, feelings, thoughts : seventy poems / by Wisława Szymborska – PG7178.Z9 A24
View with a grain of sand : selected poems / Wisława Szymborska – PG7178.Z9 A222 1995

On Death, without Exaggeration
It can’t take a joke,
find a star, make a bridge.
It knows nothing about weaving, mining, farming,
building ships, or baking cakes.

In our planning for tomorrow,
it has the final word,
which is always beside the point.

It can’t even get the things done
that are part of its trade:
dig a grave,
make a coffin,
clean up after itself.

Preoccupied with killing,
it does the job awkwardly,
without system or skill.
As though each of us were its first kill.

Oh, it has its triumphs,
but look at its countless defeats,
missed blows,
and repeat attempts!

Sometimes it isn’t strong enough
to swat a fly from the air.
Many are the caterpillars
that have outcrawled it.

All those bulbs, pods,
tentacles, fins, tracheae,
nuptial plumage, and winter fur
show that it has fallen behind
with its halfhearted work.

Ill will won’t help
and even our lending a hand with wars and coups d’etat
is so far not enough.

Hearts beat inside eggs.
Babies’ skeletons grow.
Seeds, hard at work, sprout their first tiny pair of leaves
and sometimes even tall trees fall away.

Whoever claims that it’s omnipotent
is himself living proof
that it’s not.

There’s no life
that couldn’t be immortal
if only for a moment.

Death
always arrives by that very moment too late.

In vain it tugs at the knob
of the invisible door.
As far as you’ve come
can’t be undone.
-By Wislawa Szymborska

Queens International 2012: The SVA Connection

Our Library Director, Robert Lobe, has 10 photos hanging in the current Queens Museum of Art show, Queens International 2012: Three Points Make a Triangle. The show features work from 31 Queens based artists and will be on view through May 20, 2012.
To explore his photography more, check www.robertlobephoto.com/

From his statement for the show: “For more than thirty years the drama, mystery and meaning of the urban environment has remained the subject matter of my photographs. Typically these “street” images are from the boroughs of New York City, although they are sometimes from other great cities that I’ve visited, including London, Istanbul and Berlin. My aesthetic celebrates the overlooked beauty of humble subjects rather than grand ones. I am drawn to objects that are weathered, not pristine. In terms of composition, tight close-ups far outnumber overviews.”