From Stein to Armantrout to Levertov

New York


Aspects of modernism, biography, and patronage assemble as do the artists in the Steins’ salon in the Metropolitan Museum’s exhibit “The Steins Collect.” Images of paintings and photographs and excerpts from Rebecca Rabinow’s wall text sparked thoughts and reading hours after seeing the show. The patrons and the artists, the writers and the painters, their connections, shared intimacies and aesthetics, collaborations and fallings-out; how many owned and cherished one of Cezanne’s “Bathers”, Picasso’s remark of his famous portrait of Stein that she “would look like that someday”, and especially Picasso’s “Nude with Joined Hands”. The color!

The morning-after’s reflection led me to Mark Goble’s Beautiful Circuits, to Tender Buttons, to Rae Armantrout and back again to Denise Levertov.


The Mystery of Deep Candor

so frank,
open and major as you like,
a child could keep –
only Haydn dared
make magic from such
morning suns,
roadside gold, each dandelion
dipped in his elixir,
the secret depths of candor.
— Denise Levertov


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