before summer rain

Suddenly, from all the green around you,
something-you don't know what-has disappeared;
you feel it creeping closer to the window,
in total silence. From the nearby wood

you hear the urgent whistling of a plover,
reminding you of someone's Saint Jerome:
so much solitude and passion come
from that one voice, whose fierce request the downpour

will grant. The walls, with their ancient portraits, glide
away from us, cautiously, as though
they weren't supposed to hear what we are saying.

And reflected on the faded tapestries now;
the chill, uncertain sunlight of those long
childhood hours when you were so afraid.

Rainer Maria Rilke


from Blue Poem for B.

Outside the window
nothing but omnipotence

Peter Handke
tr. Michael Roloff
(read poem)



mary warner

Mary Warner backlit, 1908 Autochrome, 24 x 18 cm 

Morning Grooming (Mary Warner), 1907



Varese Window Room (1973)

"The problem is to find the right space. Not only is the space itself important, but also its relationship to the space around it.

"With the window by Irwin at Varese, it's important that it faces a garden with many dark green trees in the background and large branches in the foreground. From the empty room, which is all white and neutral, you see nature full of life. The opposition of the empty space inside, to the outside seen through the opening, looks like a painting.

"The window becomes like the frame of a painting, a very strange painting which is real and not an illusion. The shifting image is very interesting. It's beautiful to see this wall of green, living trees. If there weren't any trees, if there was a street behind this wall of the house, everything would be lost."

Giuseppe Panza (who commissioned this installation)



like gravel from the window

Who will help me to starve tonight
and all the nights which may yet come?
The round moon makes a wide arc
away from me, I am already too slim for it.

How I would love it now to drop my eyes
like gravel from the window,
for a drunk down in the street
to tread them deep into first snow.

But even blind, I would still
know everything and see you leave
over again, for sparks climb
like stars of hunger from my crying.

Photo: Paul Himmel, Falling Snow Boy in Window New York 1952


flies in the window





Bare interior.

Grey Light.

Left and right back, high up, two small windows, curtains drawn.

Front right, a door. Hanging near door, its face to wall, a picture.

Front left, touching each other, covered with an old sheet, two ashbins.

Center, in an armchair on castors, covered with an old sheet, Hamm.

Motionless by the door, his eyes fixed on Hamm, Clov. Very red face.

Brief tableau.

Clov goes and stands under window left. Stiff, staggering walk. He looks up at window left. He turns and looks at window right. He goes and stands under window right. He looks up at window right. He turns and looks at window left. He goes out, comes back immediately with a small step-ladder, carries it over and sets it down under window left, gets up on it, draws back curtain. He gets down, takes six steps (for example) towards window right, goes back for ladder, carries it over and sets it down under window right, gets up on it, draws back curtain. He gets down, takes three steps towards window left, goes back for ladder, carries it over and sets it down under window left, gets up on it, looks out of window. Brief laugh. He gets down, takes one step towards window right, goes back for ladder, carries it over and sets it down under window right, gets up on it, looks out of window. Brief laugh. He gets down, goes with ladder towards ashbins, halts, turns, carries back ladder and sets it down under window right, goes to ashbins, removes sheet covering them, folds it over his arm. He raises one lid, stoops and looks into bin. Brief laugh. He closes lid. Same with other bin. He goes to Hamm, removes sheet covering him, folds it over his arm. In a dressing-gown, a stiff toque on his head, a large blood-stained handkerchief over his face, a whistle hanging from his neck, a rug over his knees, thick socks on his feet, Hamm seems to be asleep. Clov looks him over. Brief laugh. He goes to door, halts, turns towards auditorium.


HAMM: Bring me under the window.
(Clov goes towards chair.)
I want to feel the light on my face.
(Clov pushes chair.)
Do you remember, in the beginning, when you took me for a turn? You used to hold the chair too high. At every step you nearly tipped me out.
(With senile quaver.)
Ah great fun, we had, the two of us, great fun.
And then we got into the way of it.
(Clov stops the chair under window right.)
There already?
(Pause. He tilts back his head.)
Is it light?

CLOV: It isn't dark.

HAMM (angrily): I'm asking you is it light?

CLOV: Yes.


HAMM: The curtain isn't closed?


HAMM: What window is it?

CLOV: The earth.

HAMM: I knew it!
But there's no light there! The other!
(Clov pushes chair towards window left.)
The earth!
(Clov stops the chair under window left. Hamm tilts back his head.)
That's what I call light!
Feels like a ray of sunshine.


HAMM: It isn't a ray of sunshine I feel on my face?



HAMM: Am I very white?
(Pause. Angrily.)
I'm asking you am I very white?

CLOV: Not more so than usual.


HAMM: Open the window.

CLOV: What for?

HAMM: I want to hear the sea.

CLOV: You wouldn't hear it.

HAMM: Even if you opened the window?


HAMM: Then it's not worth while opening it?


HAMM (violently): Then open it!
(Clov gets up on the ladder, opens the window. Pause.)
Have you opened it?

CLOV: Yes.


HAMM: You swear you've opened it?

CLOV: Yes.


HAMM: Well...!
It must be very calm.
(Pause. Violently.)
I'm asking you is it very calm!

CLOV: Yes.

HAMM: It's because there are no more navigators.
You haven't much conversation all of a sudden. Do you not feel well?

CLOV: I'm cold.

HAMM: What month are we?
Close the window, we're going back.

(Clov closes the window, gets down, pushes the chair back to its place, remains standing behind it, head bowed.)

(read on. nohow on.)



stirrings still

One night as he sat at his table head on hands he saw himself rise and go. One night or day. For when his own light went out he was not left in the dark. Light of a kind came from the one high window. Under it still the stool on which till he could or would no more he used to mount to see the sky. Why he did not crane out to see what lay beneath was perhaps because the window was not made to open or because he could or would not open it. Perhaps he knew only too well what lay beneath and did not wish to see it again. So he would simply stand there high above the earth and see through the clouded pane the cloudless sky. Its faint unchanging light unlike any light he could remember from the days and nights when day followed hard on night and night on day. This outer light then when his own went out became his only light till it in its turn went out and left him in the dark. Till it in its turn went out. (read more)

Samuel Beckett



a completely clear day

That's life for you
that's life
it will always be thus
Have you raised the curtains

Of course Herr Herrenstein

Everything looks cloudy to me
And it's completely clear you say

A completely clear day Herr Herrenstein

from Elisabeth II by Thomas Bernhard
(image: window in Bernhard's house)


the open window

Edward Hopper



curtained window

Catherine Murphy
oil on canvas



Giovanni Segantini, Portrait of Jeanne Duval (Woman with Fan)

"The theme of curtains is so provocative. Many images come to mind. Just now, I was thinking of a Japanese fan, also a kind of curtain, and also used in many cultures for many reasons. It is used in seductive dances, or in casual encounters where one hides behind it a bit so as to create a certain allure. In the history of American Burlesque....the big feathery fans were commonly used on stage to titillate the primarily male imagination. "

sent by mythopolis



melancholic curtains

Melancholic Woman and Attendant
Indian, Mughal, Mughal period, about 1590