Weekend Contest: The Greatest Easter Art and Literature

 

IMG_8000-e1379775186455
Ricochet, you’ve very narrowly been spared. Our discussion of the framework nuclear deal with Iran led to a suggestion by our resident curmudgeon Ball Diamond Ball that I carefully re-consider the work of Saul Alinsky for insight. I was game, and I was even on the verge of opening our weekend literature contest to those who wished to spend it reading Alinsky and tracing his influence on the Obama Administration.

Then it occurred to me that this could not possibly be how anyone on Ricochet would wish to spend this weekend. (I know for sure I don’t.) Please correct me if I’m mistaken, but I suspect we would all prefer to spend it with a great work of art or literature more suitable to the Easter holiday.

So our weekend contest is now open. In fact, this weekend, we will hold two contests simultaneously.

Contest I:

Please submit your entry for the most beautiful work of literature in the English language inspired by Easter. This is an English literature contest, and open to Ricochet members of all faiths or none. Thus one rule: nothing in translation. Not even the Bible, I’m afraid. No Goethe, no Tolstoy, etc. But any Anglophone evocation of Easter–fiction, non-fiction, poetry, prose, from any period–is eligible.

The Ricochet Glory in Literature Badge will be assigned to the member who:

a) Nominates and cites the greatest English-language work of literature inspired by Easter; and

b) Makes the most effective case that this entry nominated is, indeed, the greatest work of literature in the English language inspired by Easter.

Contest II:

The Ricochet Glory in Art Badge awaits the Ricochet member who:

a) identifies the painting above;

b) and identifies the English-language essay that most famously describes it;

c) and makes the case that the author was correct;

d) or makes the case that the author was incorrect. In doing so, you must offer a better suggestion, and defend your case for it.

I wish everyone on Ricochet a glorious weekend of contemplating the beautiful, the sublime, and the inspired.

 

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  1. Gödel's Ghost Inactive
    Gödel's Ghost
    @GreatGhostofGodel

    Layla:Lazarus Saturday

    There should be some sort of disqualification for introducing Orthodox iconography, which to me seems tantamount to cheating. ;-)

    • #31
  2. Layla Inactive
    Layla
    @Layla

    I’m going to take that as a compliment, Ghost! :D

    • #32
  3. Aaron Miller Inactive
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    Front Seat Catbox:

    I write a little blog in my local town trying to do my part to counteract the dark side of the Internet. I mention Claire’s books in several posts – I’d like to share it here:

    http://www.sweetteafl.com Wishing you all a wonderful weekend.

    Welcome aboard. From the pictures, your part of Florida looks much like the towns I love between Pensacola and Fairhope.

    • #33
  4. Nick Stuart Inactive
    Nick Stuart
    @NickStuart

    Claire Berlinski:

    Aaron Miller:Nick, that Resurrection painting makes Jesus look like a superhero.

    I didn’t want to say anything that could be misinterpreted about a painting that brought one of our members pleasure on Easter weekend, but I too found that an–unconventional, perhaps?–depiction of Jesus. I’m open to it, but my first impression was puzzled, I confess.

    Yes, it is unconventional which Is one of the reasons I like it I suppose.

    The burst of color, the enigmatic smile and a pose which is simultaneously victorious and peaceful challenging us “O ye of little faith, so slow to believe.”

    • #34
  5. Aaron Miller Inactive
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    By the way, Vicryl Contessa introduced me today to a treasure trove called WikiArt. You can browse art by artist, by movement, by genre, by century, and more.

    Is there anything the Internet can’t do?

    [edit: Actually, I suppose Google and Bing make it even easier to browse classic art and artists.]

    • #35
  6. She Member
    She
    @She

    Merina Smith:Midge, I adore the song Jesus Christ the Apple Tree. Thanks for posting this exceptionally beautiful rendition. My happiest travel memories involve English choirs and evensong.

    Dittoes to this.  It is a lovely hymn.

    • #36
  7. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    Nick Stuart:

    Claire Berlinski:

    Grunewald-Resurrection

    Aaron Miller:Nick, that Resurrection painting makes Jesus look like a superhero.

    I didn’t want to say anything that could be misinterpreted about a painting that brought one of our members pleasure on Easter weekend, but I too found that an–unconventional, perhaps?–depiction of Jesus. I’m open to it, but my first impression was puzzled, I confess.

    Yes, it is unconventional which Is one of the reasons I like it I suppose.

    The burst of color, the enigmatic smile and a pose which is simultaneously victorious and peaceful challenging us “O ye of little faith, so slow to believe.”

    I like it, too. I like its attempt to portray Christ’s body as something other than a body, as a surface barely containing the light of Paradise. (At least, that is the interpretation I’m inclined to give to the radiance of the face and wounds.)

    I also like the upward motion of the fabric, and how it conveys the idea of rising.

    I suppose it would have been tacky of God to make the resurrection literally look like this. But then, there’s no reason to suppose any picture of the resurrection is a literal depiction. Christ descended into Hell, then ascended into Heaven. Those aren’t geographic locations. The evidence human eyes got to see was a body that was no longer there, not the moment of rising itself. A zombie Jesus climbing out of his tomb and then rocketing out into space, even without a funky light show, would also be tacky. So I appreciate the clearly fantastic element in Grunewald’s painting. It signals, “This is a symbol of what happened, not a photograph.”

    In a way, it reminds me of a traditional resurrection icon. Christ, bathed in impossible light, rises up, pulling Adam (or Adam and Eve) up with Him by the wrist (showing that man cannot cling to Christ by his own power).

    resurrection-of-christ-med-ir-725

    • #37
  8. notmarx Member
    notmarx
    @notmarx

    I haven’t read Huxley’s essay; it’s Holy Saturday, and I spent time rereading Auden’s Horae Canonicae (Ricochet is such a time-pit); but I get from the comments it’s a learned commentary that reduces Christianity to one phenomenon among others.  Huxley’s a graceful writer, like a lot of the midcentury English masters; maybe I’ll have time later to avail myself of the pleasures of the prose. But is it really an essay inspired by the Resurrection?   

    Della Francesco’s Resurrection is assured, but a domesticated, if royal, Chrisitanity; it would not be so very resistant to Enlightenment commentary (enjoyed Titus’s close “reading” of it).  Mathis de Grunewald’s captures – if that’s the word (it is inside a frame) – Christianity’s explosive weirdness – irreducible as G*D’s – like no other work I’ve seen.  Its vivid Christian life confounds detached commentary.  The Resurrection, as you can see in this painting, stars spinning into the night from the midnight sunburst that is Jesus, is like the second Big Bang, the REcreation of the cosmos. I think the Isenheim Altarpiece it’s taken from – especially taking into account its equally startling – that is horrific – vision of the Crucifixion – is the greatest work of Christian art, period.   

     And now, off to the Easter Vigil.  Christos Aneste my Greek friend tells me. 

    • #38
  9. MJBubba Inactive
    MJBubba
    @MJBubba

    For an English-language work on the resurrection, I prefer mine to be straightforward and sung loudly to accompany the procession.

    Christ the Lord is ris’n today, Alleluia!

    Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia!

    Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!

    Sing, ye heav’ns, and earth reply, Alleluia!

    Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia!

    Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!

    Death in vain forbids Him rise, Alleluia!

    Christ has opened Paradise, Alleluia!

    Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!

    Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!

    Dying once He all doth save, Alleluia!

    Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!

    Soar we now where Christ has led, Alleluia!

    Foll’wing our exalted Head, Alleluia!

    Made like Him, like Him we rise, Alleluia!

    Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!

    Hail the Lord of earth and heaven, Alleluia!

    Praise to Thee by both be given, Alleluia!

    Thee we greet triumphant now, Alleluia!

    Hail the Resurrection, thou, Alleluia!

    King of glory, soul of bliss, Alleluia!

    Everlasting life is this, Alleluia!

    Thee to know, Thy power to prove, Alleluia!

    Thus to sing, and thus to love, Alleluia!

    —  Charles Wesley, 1739

    • #39
  10. Gödel's Ghost Inactive
    Gödel's Ghost
    @GreatGhostofGodel

    The hymn I want played at my funeral:

    This gentleman finally gets the tempo right. It’s a march, not a dirge.

    Update: Having forgotten that not everyone here is Lutheran, here’s “Thy Strong Word Did Cleave the Darkness” actually, y’know, sung, albeit too slowly:

    • #40
  11. Aaron Miller Inactive
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    Technically, we (Jews, Catholics, and perhaps some other Christian denominations) measure days from dusk to dusk, so Easter has begun. On that note, here are some paintings of the Resurrection and Christ’s victory over sin.

    “Christ in Glory” by Francesco Bassano

    800px-Francesco_Bassano_the_Younger_-_Christ_in_Glory

    “Resurrection” mural by Ron DiCianni

    Resurrection mural - Ron DiCianni

    “The Resurrection” by Pieter Lastman

    'The_Resurrection'_by_Pieter_Lastman,_1612,_Getty_Center

    “The Resurrection of Christ” by Tintoretto

    the-resurrection-of-christ-1565

    “The Incredulity of Saint Thomas” by Caravaggio

    Saint Thomas by Carvaggio

    “The Resurrection Day” (unknown author)

    501px-The_resurrection_day

    “Christ Victorious” by Clint J Keffer

    Christ Victorious by Clint Keffer

    Another cool painting by another cool guy

    some cool painting

    • #41
  12. kelsurprise Member
    kelsurprise
    @kelsurprise

    Happy Easter, all!

    I cannot think of any Easter-themed literature, at the moment, so I hope you don’t mind if I share some favorite Easter music, instead.

    I joined the choir at Holy Cross, on 42nd Street, right before Easter, one year, so this was the first major piece I learned to sing with them.   I’d never heard it before and I thought then (and still do) that it was one of the most beautiful pieces of music I’d ever had the pleasure of singing.   We did it every year, for Easter Vigil and again on Easter Sunday, as it was a great favorite of our pastor, Father Peter Colapietro.

    Father Pete’s since transferred to my side of town but I work weekends now so I can’t do choir and rarely catch his masses (which is a crying shame as he gives, hands down, some of the best sermons I’ve ever heard).    Tomorrow, however, I took the day off and thus will head over to Pete’s new parish, St. Monica’s, to size up their choir – – and see if Father Pete brought his play list along in the move.

    • #42
  13. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    A minuscule contribution to the great works of art here: I asked my mother once why the Protestants did not have Christ on the Cross as the Catholics did, and she replied, “Because the Cross could not hold him.”

    A joyous Easter to everyone in the Ricochet community. Thank you, Claire, for this collection of Easter-inspired artworks.

    Edit: I posted this on my way to Easter morning Mass, and as I was sitting in church-I live an ecumenical life–I panicked that my note above about the crucifix might offend my Catholic friends. I love the Church and the crucifix. I was only trying to convey an artistic image–in my mind, not on canvas–I have always had of Christ’s spirit leaving the cross. Especially important to me Easter morning. :)

    • #43
  14. Claire Berlinski Editor
    Claire Berlinski
    @Claire

    notmarx:Christianity’s explosive weirdness – irreducible as G*D’s – like no other work I’ve seen.

    I’m not a Christian, obviously, but I do consider this my Western heritage. “Explosive weirdness” is the perfect description. These paintings are as familiar to me as my mother’s face, but they have an enormous power to shock me, all the same. What a weird religion!

    My sense is that everyone on this thread is a devout Christian, except for me. Is it possible that others are so uncomfortable with these depictions that they don’t even want to talk about it?

    chagall-e1380127581463 (1)

    • #44
  15. Gödel's Ghost Inactive
    Gödel's Ghost
    @GreatGhostofGodel

    MarciN:I asked my mother once why the Protestants did not have Christ on the Cross as the Catholics did, and she replied, “Because the Cross could not hold him.”

    In my case, it was because we didn’t have crucifixes at home, but St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, where we attended in downtown Columbus, Indiana certainly did—a rather large one, that to me rather dominated the sanctuary. Me being me, I was curious about that.

    Claire Berlinski:My sense is that everyone on this thread is a devout Christian, except for me.

    In my case that would be an unfair claim. I vacillate wildly on how literally I take central doctrines of Christianity and how they relate to my understanding of reality. I really did go to the “Can Physics Prove God and Christianity?” debate between Frank Tipler and Lawrence Krauss wearing my “And God said” plus Maxwell’s equations t-shirt, etc.

    My ultimate problem is with making reductionism itself a religion—a theme that echoes throughout Things a Computer Scientist Rarely Talks About and especially its panel discussion. Even the frank atheists are uncomfortable with the thought of being (treated like) just a particular formation of quarks, leptons, etc. with no special status beyond that. Religion provides such a synthetic view. Christianity and resurrection is consistent with the understanding from physics that no information in the universe is ever lost (“unitarity” is the technical term). So the funny thing to me is this: the closer I look at science, the more consistent with Christianity our best understanding of it seems to be. The problem isn’t that people think Christianity is weird—it is. The problem is that they think the universe isn’t.

    Is it possible that others are so uncomfortable with these depictions that they don’t even want to talk about it?

    I remember Christians criticizing id Software’s “Quake” for its depiction of people literally writhing on crosses. I told some of them they needed to reflect more on the Passion.

    • #45
  16. MLH Inactive
    MLH
    @MLH

    Claire Berlinski:

    My sense is that everyone on this thread is a devout Christian, except for me.

    Theist at best. Agnostic at worst.

    • #46
  17. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    Claire Berlinski:My sense is that everyone on this thread is a devout Christian, except for me.

    I’m pretty sure Titus Techera isn’t Christian, based on other conversations I’ve had with him. Rather, he’s super-into the history of Western civilization, and values Christianity for its cultural contribution, not its truth.

    Me, I’m a Christian, but suspect “devout” isn’t the right modifier. Lately, I haven’t been observing fasts strictly or attending services weekly. Given my circumstances, this might be pardonable behavior, but it scarcely deserves the moniker “devout”.

    Even if I weren’t Christian, what I’ve learned about Christian art and biblical exegesis would still be with me.

    • #47
  18. Gödel's Ghost Inactive
    Gödel's Ghost
    @GreatGhostofGodel

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake:Me, I’m a Christian, but suspect “devout” isn’t the right modifier.

    Based on our off-Ricochet conversations, oh yes it is!

    Lately, I haven’t been observing fasts strictly or attending services weekly.

    If fasting and having butt in pew consistently are required, I’m in significantly deeper kimchi than I realized.

    • #48
  19. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    MarciN:A minuscule contribution to the great works of art here: I asked my mother once why the Protestants did not have Christ on the Cross as the Catholics did, and she replied, “Because the Cross could not hold him.”

    A joyous Easter to everyone in the Ricochet community. Thank you, Claire, for this collection of Easter-inspired artworks.

    Edit: I posted this on my way to Easter morning Mass, and as I was sitting in church-I live an ecumenical life–I panicked that my note above about the crucifix might offend my Catholic friends. I love the Church and the crucifix. I was only trying to convey an artistic image–in my mind, not on canvas–I have always had of Christ’s spirit leaving the cross. Especially important to me Easter morning. :)

    Different views need not cause offense. My Catholic perspective is the the Cross held (and holds in the Eternal Sacrifice) Jesus quite perfectly, in accordance with the Father’s will. It’s the tomb that couldn’t (and doesn’t) contain him. Amen! Alleluia!!

    And, yes, I hold dear the idea that Catholicism more fully embraces the weirdness of Christianity. The statues of our saints are wild-eyed with it.

    Happy Easter to all!

    • #49
  20. notmarx Member
    notmarx
    @notmarx

    Claire,

    I was beginning to wonder if you’d played a stump-the-Christian, practical joke on us Christians.  Decades back, I was an English major, at a small Jesuit liberal arts college, before academe got infected with the various diseases that afflict it now, when all our English courses were required ones, and we read Chaucer and Shakespeare and Alexander Pope and Twain and Melville.  And, racking my brain, I cannot recall any masterpiece in our language dealing directly with the Resurrection.  Even Huxley’s essay (someday soon I’ll read it), I’m presuming, is more on aesthetics than faith, having as much to do with faith as, say Sister Wendy’s on Titian’s The Flaying of Marsyas, which painting she considers the greatest, has to do with the worship of the Olympians.

    Even the Gospels treat the event itself obliquely, testifying to its aftermath, and the strange and sometimes oddly prosaic events that follow it (e.g. in Luke, Jesus suddenly appears in their midst and asks for something to eat (really, you can’t make this stuff up)).  I believe the response you’ve gotten, including audio of hymns, speaks to a relative lack of literature on the subject, maybe a reticence to address it with literature.

    With nothing immediately relevant presenting itself I went to some purpose-made anthologies I have in my apartment (e.g. Chapters into Verse: Poetry in English Inspired by the Bible) and am making some discoveries.  For example, this sweetly reticent poem by Alice Meynell:

       Easter Night

    All night had shout of men and cry

    Of woeful women filled his way;

    Until that noon of sombre sky

    On Friday, clamour and display

    Smote him; no solitude had he,

    No silence, since Gethsemane.

    Public was death; but power, but might,

    But life again, but victory,

    Were hushed within the dead of night,

    The shuttered dark, the secrecy.

    And all alone, alone, alone,

    He rose again behind the stone.

    *

    All of which brings us to my nominee from literature, my first thought on the subject, and one I’m inclined to stick with.  Here’s what I wrote before I went off to the Easter Vigil service last night.  (I’m glad you brought the subject up – this adopted brother of Jesus is always curious to hear from His blood-kin.  I gather disputation is a Jewish sport, as it was in our Hibernian household growing up.)

    *

    Claire Berlinski:

    notmarx:

    I’m not a Christian, obviously, but I do consider this my Western heritage. “Explosive weirdness” is the perfect description. These paintings are as familiar to me as my mother’s face, but they have an enormous power to shock me, all the same. What a weird religion!

    My sense is that everyone on this thread is a devout Christian, except for me. Is it possible that others are so uncomfortable with these depictions that they don’t even want to talk about it?

    chagall-e1380127581463 (1)

    • #50
  21. Indaba Member
    Indaba
    @

    MLH:What Easter Art Contest would be complete without this?

    Leonardo_da_Vinci_-_Last_Supper_(copy)_-_WGA12732

    or these?

    Faberge_store_eggs

    ooh and aaaah. I was lucky enough to see the last supper in real life – amazing.

    Are these Faberge eggs?

    • #51
  22. Indaba Member
    Indaba
    @

    Lovely, Claire, and good thinking about this instead of Alinsky.

    • #52
  23. notmarx Member
    notmarx
    @notmarx

    Oops, somehow what I’d cut and pasted didn’t get sent.  My nominee for great Resurrection is Wallace Stevens’ Sunday Morning.  See below.

    *

    As for literature?  I’m very fond of Wallace Stevens’ Sunday Morning.  Stevens is our master of obliqueness, an explorer of the border between transcendence and immanence, with something like night-vision to detect the glimmerings of the spirit in opacities of the everyday.  Only a couple of years back, I discovered he was a death-bed convert to my native Catholicism, and my life-long affection for his work got a satisfying kind of closure. 

     

    Sunday Morning belongs to the day moderns devote to sitting up in bed with the Sunday Times.  But it’s haunted by the Ghost of the Resurrection.  And that absence, which intrudes into the poem’s beginning, remains the strongest presence in the poem, realer than the ghosts who occupy its morning out of habit, out of habit denying the provenance of the off day.  The poem strikes me as an oblique, involuntary work of adoration.  To an era that reflexively, unthinkingly, accepts the obsolescence of the Faith flowing from that unimaginable event, almost unwittingly, the poem poses the problem of belief, and embodies the “unbearable lightness” of life that abandons its hope.  

    I can’t help speculating that the man who wrote Sunday Morning opens a question in it that he can only answer when he has to, at the very end of his life.  I don’t know another poem whose unconscious subtext is stronger than what it actually says, and I don’t think that the poem was intended to accomplish that odd feat; but because the poem gets somehow on the page, in a way that, like all real poetry, rises up off the page, that perdurable, irresistible question, if unwittingly, it is for me, the great Easter poem.  And one that addresses The Question to modern man in a way that’s not easily evaded, since it comes in by the side door, in subtext, into the subconscious.     

     

    Here’s how it begins:

     

    I.

     

    Complacencies of the peignoir, and late

    Coffee and oranges in a sunny chair,

    And the green freedom of a cockatoo

    Upon a rug mingle to dissipate

    The holy hush of ancient sacrifice.

    She dreams a little, and she feels the dark

    Encroachment of that old catastrophe,

    As a calm darkens among water-lights.

    The pungent oranges and bright, green wings

    Seem things in some procession of the dead,

    Winding across wide water, without sound.

    The day is like wide water, without sound,

    Stilled for the passing of her dreaming feet

    Over the seas, to silent Palestine,

    Dominion of the blood and sepulchre.

     

    II.

     

    Why should she give her bounty to the dead?

    What is divinity if it can come

    Only in silent shadows and in dreams?

    Shall she not find in comforts of the sun,

    In pungent fruit and bright, green wings, or else

    In any balm or beauty of the earth,

    Things to be cherished like the thought of heaven?

    Divinity must live within herself…

    *

     

    I’d add that the psychic inner life – I don’t think I’m making this up – this poem has is a witness to its greatness. 

    • #53
  24. Claire Berlinski Editor
    Claire Berlinski
    @Claire

    So far this has been an unexpectedly wonderful contest. Some of our contests never really go anywhere, but this one has, hasn’t it? One great entry after another. It’s turning out to be one of my favorites in Ricochet history

    • #54
  25. Indaba Member
    Indaba
    @

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake:

    Aaron Miller:Merina, thanks. John Donne is a great poet…

    Despite my rather cynical take on “The Flea”, I, too, am fond of Donne. Perhaps the fact that he was a dirty old man in addition to being a great spiritual poet gives his musings on guilt and repentance extra poignancy.

    The first of Donne’s poems to ever catch my attention was “Hymn to God, my God, in My Sickness”. I was quite young at the time, and like most young people, found poetry directly relevant to my own experience the easiest to grasp. (We don’t lose this limitation as we age, I think, just gain experience that makes it easier to extrapolate to lives unlike our own.) One passage of that poem is quite relevant to Easter weekend:

    We think that Paradise and Calvary,

    Christ’s cross, and Adam’s tree, stood in one place;

    Look, Lord, and find both Adams met in me;

    As the first Adam’s sweat surrounds my face,

    May the last Adam’s blood my soul embrace.

    That the bare, bloody, and forsaken crucifix of Good Friday is also the Tree of Life at the heart of Paradise, ever-fruitful, ever blossoming, and evergreen, is an old trope, but none the worse for being old – perhaps all the better for being old, since it’s part of a long and rich tradition.

    In Semitic archaeology, the Tree of Life is a stylized date palm. Very different-looking from Moses’ burning bush, or the vine with us as the branches, or the mustard tree sprung from the smallest seed, or Aaron’s once-dead staff, now covered with almond blossoms, the “watchful blossoms” and the first sign of renewed life after winter. Despite the difficulties of constructing a concrete representation of a tree that is all these things and more, our imagination is nonetheless provoked to try.

    There’s an English-language hymn called “Jesus Christ the Apple Tree”, which is used both at Christmas and Good Friday (a practice much less odd than it sounds in light of the Tree of Life imagery). The setting by Elizabeth Poston, an English composer, is a small gem. It would be odd, I think, to call her setting a great work, but it is a perfect one:

    My son was in a boys’ school choir with choir robes and all these beautiful hymns. He used to travel Europe singing with the boys choirs and visiting beautiful cathedrals.

    I have just spent a magical time listening to this video – thank you for the gift.

    • #55
  26. MLH Inactive
    MLH
    @MLH

    Indaba:

    MLH:

    Faberge_store_eggs

    ooh and aaaah. I was lucky enough to see the last supper in real life – amazing.

    Are these Faberge eggs?

    Yes. At least that is what the caption said on google images. Here’s a link to Faberge about the Imperial Eggs. The Hen’s Egg was the first.

    henegg

    • #56
  27. Claire Berlinski Editor
    Claire Berlinski
    @Claire

    Indaba:or these?

    Are these Faberge eggs?

    I believe they are! Mind you, I consider them more “craft” than “art,” and here’s why: The sight of them makes me want to buy a dozen eggs, a paintbrush, some glitter, and some costume jewels–and try to whip myself up a basketful of them in the kitchen. (Anything that makes me think, “I could amuse myself making those in the kitchen” is the tip-off, to me, that what I’m looking at might be a “craft.”) They look like something you could make at home, if you were in a totally compulsive best-babysitter-ever frame of mind, don’t you think?

    • #57
  28. MLH Inactive
    MLH
    @MLH

    Claire Berlinski:

    Indaba:or these?

    Are these Faberge eggs?

    I believe they are! Mind you, I consider them more “craft” than “art,” and here’s why: The sight of them makes me want to buy a dozen eggs, a paintbrush, some glitter, and some costume jewels–and try to whip myself up a basketful of them in the kitchen. (Anything that makes me think, “I could amuse myself making those in the kitchen” is the tip-off, to me, that what I’m looking at might be a “craft.”) They look like something you could make at home, if you were in a totally compulsive best-babysitter-ever frame of mind, don’t you think?

    Claire, start with these

    simple eggs

    Progess to these.

    czech eggs

    If easy, go for the Faberge!

    Or maybe just have one of these (they are good frozen).

    cadbury

    • #58
  29. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    notmarx:I can’t help speculating that the man who wrote Sunday Morning opens a question in it that he can only answer when he has to, at the very end of his life.  I don’t know another poem whose unconscious subtext is stronger than what it actually says, and I don’t think that the poem was intended to accomplish that odd feat; but because the poem gets somehow on the page, in a way that, like all real poetry, rises up off the page, that perdurable, irresistible question, if unwittingly, it is for me, the great Easter poem.

    Ooh, Stevens! His poem “The Red Fern” is also a lovely description of the unfamiliarity of the dawn, and so also topical for Easter, the strangest dawn of all:

    THE RED FERN

    The large-leaved day grows rapidly,
    And opens in this familiar spot
    Its unfamiliar, difficult fern,
    Pushing and pushing red after red.

    There are doubles of this fern in the clouds,
    Less firm than the paternal flame,
    Yet drenched with its identity,
    Reflections and off-shoots, mimic-motes

    And mist-mites, dangling seconds, grown
    Beyond relation to the parent trunk:
    The dazzling, bulging, brightest core,
    The furiously burning father-fire . . .

    Infant, it is enough in life
    To speak of what you see. But wait
    Until sight wakens the sleepy eye
    And pierces the physical fix of things.

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  30. Claire Berlinski Editor
    Claire Berlinski
    @Claire

    MLH:

    Claire Berlinski:

    Claire, start with these

    simple eggs

    Progess to these.

    czech eggs

    If easy, go for the Faberge!

    I feel that you’re challenging my crafting skills. I knew how to get the innards out of an egg and dye it with food-coloring by the age of six, I’ll have you know. I truly don’t feel that Easter eggs would be an age-appropriate thing for me to make now unless glitter, rhinestones, and gold spray paint were involved. (I’m regretting that I didn’t stock up on crafting supplies. It’s not as if I could justify doing that to prove a point on any other day of the year, is it?)

    • #60
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