Blue Window of Lippovan House, Danube Delta
Ready yourself, soul,
it’s late, oh, it’s late!
The rainbow of bells,
the rainbow of bells
drinks our blood’s last pulse,
all our peace from the River.
A rainbow of bells: the evening
presses white soles to the window,
the water flows clouded,
the water flows clouded,
from I am to I shall have been.
from Realm, by Nichita Danilov,tr. Adam J. Sorkin and Cristina Cîrstea
The poet "belongs to the Lippovan Slavic minority, a group which settled in Moldavia and the Danube delta in the eighteenth century, having fled Russian persecution after the Orthodox Church schism. Although Danilov was raised speaking both Russian and Romanian, he writes solely in the latter language.
The Lippovan identity as religious dissenters has been instrumental in constructing Danilov’s own identity. His mystical vision of religious experience seems to inform all his poems, even those that do not contain explicitly religious imagery. The imagery itself can be located in the Romanian engagement with Surrealism, which has provided Danilov a mode for describing an ineffable God. In his poetry and theoretical writings, he argues that the divine is manifest in this world through surrealistic moments, that is, through jarring juxtapositions."
by Sean Cotter, who translated a volume of Danilov's poetry into english.
The night attendant, a B.U. sophomore,
rouses from the mare’s-nest of his drowsy head
propped on 'The Meaning of Meaning'.
He catwalks down our corridor.
makes my agonized blue window bleaker.
Crows maunder on the petrified fairway.
Absence! My heart grows tense
as though a harpoon were sparring for the kill.
(This is the house for the “mentally ill.”)
from Waking in the Blue, by Robert Lowell
Self-portrait with blue guitar, David Hockney
"Literature has been a mainspring of some of his most important and interesting pictures: in the 1960s he made a series of etchings inspired by Cavafy’s poems, and one of his most complex self-portraits, Self-Portrait with Blue Guitar (1977) came out of etchings he produced to illustrate Wallace Stevens’ poem ‘The Man with the Blue Guitar’. This wonderfully self-referential portrait shows how many levels Hockney’s work can have: the Stevens poem itself was inspired by Picasso’s The Old Guitarist (1903), and the layers of inspiration are represented here by the realistic blue curtain which is pulled aside to reveal the artist, working at a table to produce a Picasso-esque outline of a blue guitar, while sitting on a cartoon-like outline of a chair, poised inside a child’s outline of a house, watched over by his own signature tulips and a bust of Dora Maar."