Musee des Beaux Arts Notes

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Musee des Beaux Arts Notes

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  • Musee des Beaux Arts Notes

    1. 1. Musee des Beaux Arts W. H. Auden
    2. 2. About suffering they were never wrong,The old Masters: how well they understoodIts human position: how it takes placeWhile someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waitingFor the miraculous birth, there always must beChildren who did not specially want it to happen, skatingOn a pond at the edge of the wood:They never forgotThat even the dreadful martyrdom must run its courseAnyhow in a corner, some untidy spotWhere the dogs go on with their doggy life and the torturers horseScratches its innocent behind on a tree.
    3. 3. About suffering they were never wrong,The old Masters: how well they understood
    4. 4. About suffering they were never wrong,The old Masters: how well they understood “The Old Masters”: our speaker is in a museum, so chances are he is talking about master artists, like Picasso.
    5. 5. About suffering they were never wrong,The old Masters: how well they understood “The Old Masters”: our speaker is in a museum, so chances are he is talking about master artists, like Picasso.But what suffering? Who is suffering? I need to know!
    6. 6. About suffering they were never wrong, The old Masters: how well they understood “The Old Masters”: our speaker is in a museum, so chances are he is talking about master artists, like Picasso. But what suffering? Who is suffering? I need to know!Its human position: how it takes placeWhile someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;
    7. 7. About suffering they were never wrong, The old Masters: how well they understood “The Old Masters”: our speaker is in a museum, so chances are he is talking about master artists, like Picasso. But what suffering? Who is suffering? I need to know!Its human position: how it takes placeWhile someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along; Now we are getting somewhere! I don’t know specifically who, but I know that we have a crowd of people doing very normal, boring things.
    8. 8. How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waitingFor the miraculous birth, there always must beChildren who did not specially want it to happen, skatingOn a pond at the edge of the wood:
    9. 9. How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waitingFor the miraculous birth, there always must beChildren who did not specially want it to happen, skatingOn a pond at the edge of the wood: Think about when a cousin or little brother or sister was in the process of being born. All the older people (Mom, Dad, Granpa, Aunt Ida) were super excited - it was a miracle! A baby! But, most of the little kids were all “oh. yeah. awesome. Can I have ice cream?”
    10. 10. How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waitingFor the miraculous birth, there always must beChildren who did not specially want it to happen, skatingOn a pond at the edge of the wood: Think about when a cousin or little brother or sister was in the process of being born. All the older people (Mom, Dad, Granpa, Aunt Ida) were super excited - it was a miracle! A baby! But, most of the little kids were all “oh. yeah. awesome. Can I have ice cream?”They never forgotThat even the dreadful martyrdom must run its courseAnyhow in a corner, some untidy spot
    11. 11. How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waitingFor the miraculous birth, there always must beChildren who did not specially want it to happen, skatingOn a pond at the edge of the wood: Think about when a cousin or little brother or sister was in the process of being born. All the older people (Mom, Dad, Granpa, Aunt Ida) were super excited - it was a miracle! A baby! But, most of the little kids were all “oh. yeah. awesome. Can I have ice cream?”They never forgotThat even the dreadful martyrdom must run its courseAnyhow in a corner, some untidy spot Back to the old Masters. What’s so interesting about this is the idea that martyrs aren’t considered martyrs until they’re dead - most suffering simply gets swallowed up in the hustle and bustle of daily life.
    12. 12. Where the dogs go on with their doggy life and the torturers horseScratches its innocent behind on a tree.
    13. 13. Where the dogs go on with their doggy life and the torturers horseScratches its innocent behind on a tree. I have to admit that I love this little bit of the poem here. Yep, people are being tortured, bad things are happening, but dogs and horses and people (I’m assuming) are just living their daily lives. Nothing fancy-shmancy here, just an innocent horse’s buttocks being scratched.
    14. 14. In Breughels Icarus, for instance: how everything turns awayQuite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman mayHave heard the splash, the forsaken cry,But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shoneAs it had to on the white legs disappearing into the greenWater, and the expensive delicate ship that must have seenSomething amazing, a boy falling out of the sky,Had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.
    15. 15. In Breughels Icarus, for instance: how everything turns awayQuite leisurely from the disaster;
    16. 16. In Breughels Icarus, for instance: how everything turns awayQuite leisurely from the disaster; Breughel is one of the old Masters (if you look picture I gave you the link to, you’ll see just how old) As for Icarus, I really, really hope you followed the link so you know about him.
    17. 17. In Breughels Icarus, for instance: how everything turns awayQuite leisurely from the disaster; Breughel is one of the old Masters (if you look picture I gave you the link to, you’ll see just how old) As for Icarus, I really, really hope you followed the link so you know about him. But at least we’re on some solid ground now - no more wandering around with vague references. We have a specific piece of art.
    18. 18. In Breughels Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away Quite leisurely from the disaster; Breughel is one of the old Masters (if you look picture I gave you the link to, you’ll see just how old) As for Icarus, I really, really hope you followed the link so you know about him. But at least we’re on some solid ground now - no more wandering around with vague references. We have a specific piece of art. the ploughman mayHave heard the splash, the forsaken cry,But for him it was not an important failure;
    19. 19. In Breughels Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away Quite leisurely from the disaster; Breughel is one of the old Masters (if you look picture I gave you the link to, you’ll see just how old) As for Icarus, I really, really hope you followed the link so you know about him. But at least we’re on some solid ground now - no more wandering around with vague references. We have a specific piece of art. the ploughman mayHave heard the splash, the forsaken cry,But for him it was not an important failure; Dude. I get it - Spring is an important time of year, planting has to be done, but still. This is devastating: someone is drowning (see the legs sticking out of the water?!?!) A “forsaken cry” is one that is ignored and I have to ask, what exactly makes a failure important?
    20. 20. the sun shoneAs it had to on the white legs disappearing into the greenWater,
    21. 21. the sun shoneAs it had to on the white legs disappearing into the greenWater, Once again, we have the calm, inevitable here. The dogs do what dogs do and the sun does what it has to do - shine down, no matter if wonderful, miraculous things are happening or if a boy is drowning.
    22. 22. the sun shoneAs it had to on the white legs disappearing into the greenWater, Once again, we have the calm, inevitable here. The dogs do what dogs do and the sun does what it has to do - shine down, no matter if wonderful, miraculous things are happening or if a boy is drowning. We also have genius going on here. Notice how the description is also a story? That our speaker is narrating the picture?
    23. 23. and the expensive delicate ship that must have seenSomething amazing, a boy falling out of the sky,Had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.
    24. 24. and the expensive delicate ship that must have seenSomething amazing, a boy falling out of the sky,Had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.Sheesh. Talk about a jerk.
    25. 25. and the expensive delicate ship that must have seenSomething amazing, a boy falling out of the sky,Had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.Sheesh. Talk about a jerk. Auden’s poem doesn’t emphasize the extraordinary (Icarus falling from the sky), but instead points his finger at the normal, ordinary things that are happening. He doesn’t use big fancy words, but instead his tone is almost flat, bored.
    26. 26. and the expensive delicate ship that must have seenSomething amazing, a boy falling out of the sky,Had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.Sheesh. Talk about a jerk. Auden’s poem doesn’t emphasize the extraordinary (Icarus falling from the sky), but instead points his finger at the normal, ordinary things that are happening. He doesn’t use big fancy words, but instead his tone is almost flat, bored. Perhaps, though, his tone of indifference is meant to wake us up - make us open OUR eyes to the wonderful, the amazing, the out of the ordinary, or even the awful things that are happening right in front of us, every day.
    27. 27. The End

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