Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Hartman Reserve Nature Center Talks Soon

Poster © Roy R. Behrens 2019
Above Currently nearing completion is a new set of posters in connection with upcoming public presentations at the Hartman Reserve Nature Center in Cedar Falls IA. As noted in an earlier post, during the remaining months of 2019, one hundred posters will be installed at that center's Interpretive Building in four exhibits of twenty-five each.

Posters © Roy R. Behrens 2019
The next two presentations are Saplings, Songbirds and Sonnets: An Exhuberant Celebration of Nature Through Poetry by Laura Sohl-Cryer (2:00 pm, Sunday, July 14) and The Birds of Hartman Reserve: Bird-Friendly Communities by Prairie Rapids Audubon Society (PRAS) (2:00 pm. Sunday, August 11).  All presentations are free and open to the public.

Each set of posters promotes a new pair of presentations, one each month. This new set of twenty-five "bird-themed" posters will be on display during the months of July and August, for the presentations known as the Second Sunday Speaker Series.

Poster © Roy R. Behrens 2019

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Henry Miller | As blind drunk as Mister Magoo

Henry Miller, as photographed by Carl Van Vechten (1940)
Dan Davin, Closing Times. London: Oxford University Press, 19175, p. 131—

[Welsh poet Dylan Thomas] told me a burlesque story of meeting [American novelist] Henry Miller in London. After a prolonged session in the pubs they went to a little dairy in Rathbone Place which served sandwiches and which I well remember as being a very simple, clean, unpretentious place. But Miller was drunk and also extremely short-sighted. He was convinced that Dylan had taken him to a brothel and that the plain uniforms and innocent bearing of the waitresses were the last word in lubricious sophistication. Dylan had great difficulty in averting calamity and never succeeded at all in convincing Miller that he was mistaken. We speculated on how many similar misunderstandings might underlie the exploits so boringly recounted in [Miller’s] Tropic of Capricorn and Dylan went on to improvise a new work of Miller’s of which the dairy was the transmuted center and in which Miller played a grotesquely comical role, rather like Mr. Magoo.

Also, see an earlier post about Anthony Burgess’ comparison of himself to Mr. Magoo. I am also reminded of Buckminster Fuller’s account of his impaired vision as a child—

I was born cross-eyed. Not until I was four years old was it discovered that this was caused by my being abnormally farsighted. My vision was thereafter fully corrected with lenses. Until four I could see only large patterns, houses, trees, outlines of people with blurred coloring. While I saw two dark areas on human faces, I did not see a human eye or a teardrop or a human hair until I was four. Despite my new ability to apprehend details, my childhood's spontaneous dependence only upon big pattern clues has persisted.…

Hartman Program on Sources of Natural Dyes

Poster © 2019 by Roy R. Behrens
Just a reminder. Tomorrow at 2:00 pm, Sunday, June 9, Angela Waseskuk will speak about Connecting Through Color: An Exploration of Natural Dye Processes at Hartman Reserve Nature Center (Interpretive Building). Waseskuk is an artist and teacher at the University of Northern Iowa. In 1918, as Artist in Residence at Hartman Reserve, she researched the use of indigenous plants as potential sources of natural dyes, then used them in subsequent artworks. All presentations in the Second Sunday Speaker Series are free and open to the public.

Artist Angela Waseskuk

Friday, June 7, 2019

Dylan Thomas | Mistakes Friend's Hat for His

Above Cover of the paperback edition of Dylan Thomas, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog. New York: New Directions, 1968.


Dan Davin, Closing Times. London: Oxford University Press, 1975, pp. 134-135—

In those days I often used the George restaurant upstairs for business lunches and would usually find [Welsh poet] Dylan [Thomas] and his wife and friends installed when I went to meet my own guests in the downstairs bar. On one such occasion after he had stayed the night with us I was surprised to observe that he was wearing a shirt I recognized as mine, a blue one. But I was appeased on returning home that evening to find he had left behind a dirty one of much better quality after my wife had surrendered mine. On another day I was for some reason or other wearing a hat, a rather extraordinary blue felt hat I had picked up in Paris and one to which I was deeply attached; perhaps because it was the only hat I had ever found which my wife thought suited me. I left it in the bar while I went upstairs to lunch. When I called back again after lunch I was surprised to see it stowed away in an open bag Dylan had with him for his visit that afternoon to London. I insisted on reclaiming it, rather to his chagrin. He explained that [his wife] Caitlin though it suited him and it was the only hat he had. I did not risk asking her if it suited me also but replied that my wife thought it did and it was the only hat I had. I might as well have given in at once. For the next time we met in the George the same thing happened, only this time I didn’t notice till he got away. And when I inquired later about the hat’s fate, with even some faint hope of getting it back, he explained that he had left it on the rack of his compartment while he went to the restaurant car and in his absence some unscrupulous bastard had swiped it; no doubt someone who didn’t have a hat and who thought his wife would think it suited him.

Throaty chucklings, indignant hoots & snuffles

Rosamond Lehmann, The Swan in the Evening: Fragments of an Inner Life. New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1968, p. 31—

The trains are much loved by me; their language is companionable, familiar, pregnant with interest and surprises: triumphant masculine crescendos, gently lamenting diminendos, hoarse throaty chucklings, indignant hoots, unbridled snorts and explosions, exhausted sighs and snuffles. Even the shunting goods trains are dear to me, especially in the dead of night, when their screech and cackle speak to me not of dementia but of hope and comfort…

Above Rosamond Lehmann, her brother John Lehmann, and British writer Lytton Strachey (c1920s). Cropped. Photographer unknown. Public domain.