We can talk clear out here on this ledge if you feel like it or
We can talk
On a red chalk bluff way out West
If you’d rather.
This land is
Far too perfect
Far too ours
Far too expansive
To interrupt our kindred
This is a poem inspired by the 1849 painting Kindred Spirits by Asher B. Durand.
My poem imagines the conversation between the two men standing on the bluff, naturalist and poet William Cullen Bryant and Hudson River School founder Thomas Cole. Durand painted the work to memorialize Cole, who had recently passed away.
Wherein I kinda-sorta compare my silly little iPhone 8 photo to six sumptuous American masterpieces
I took the above photo yesterday afternoon at the Pomme de Terre River about six miles east of Bolivar, Missouri. After I posted it on Instagram and Facebook, a friend commented that it reminded her of paintings from the Hudson River School. I vaguely knew what she meant, but I wasn’t exactly sure.
So I did what we all do when we’re a little fuzzy on a subject: I googled. Two seconds later, I found this entry on Wikipedia,
Even though the various artists of the Hudson River School differed in their beliefs or devotion to Christianity, they apparently shared an inclination to record a pastoral, peaceful co-existence between mankind and nature. The paintings accomplish that goal. They are uplifting, calming, and restorative… just like that little bend in the Pomme de Terre.
Just for fun, let’s look at some other Hudson River School paintings by Durand…
And now, three by Thomas Cole…
Who says social media isn’t educational?
Yesterday, I was just taking a pretty picture down by the river east of Bolivar. However, thanks to my friend’s comment, I learned a little about 19th-century American art. Hopefully, with this blog post (by the way, blogs are another form of social media) you learned a little, too.
Thanks for reading! Ever take a picture that you found later resembled a famous photo or painting? Click like, leave a comment, and let me know. Become a follower for more posts like this one or click on my menu of art-related posts at the top of the screen.