Cat and Mouse


I found this poem yesterday.  It’s from Chaucer’s Manciple’s Tale.  And I shared it with Benedicte of Carnet de Dessins because she makes such wonderful drawings of cats.  Now I’m thinking I should share it with the world:  old English poet Chaucer and his insight into the feline spirit.

Lat take a cat and fostre hym wel with milk,
And tendre flessch and make his couche of silk,
And lat hym seen a mouse go by the wal,
Anon he weyvith milk and flessch and al,
And every deyntee that is in that hous,
Suich appetit he hath to ete a mous.

I write the title and then the thought is gone

Leaping koi

I left this comment at Gingatao.  And I like it, so I’m posting it here too.  Gingatao is Paul Squires’s poetry blog. 

Pictures don’t have titles, but something like a false idea about composition sometimes does the mischief of a title and leads one astray.  And so, in every art there’s: try, try again.

In reading about hypnosis, I encountered the idea of “try” being a “fail” word.  And certainly it always has that connotation lurking inside it, like a trap door.  But “try” also holds great possibilities inside its basements, attics and closets.  I always try stuff in art.  I always counsel others to try.  The failing is itself sometimes very felicitous in leading one into new neighborhoods of thought. If some be blind alleys, well those can be beautiful too.  I’ve sauntered happily down the streets of many a pretty cul-de-sac.  Art always represents.  Sometimes we don’t know what.  And, I suppose, it’s always utopian given that there’s always a big fishyfish that gets a way.

“Fishyfish” is, as Gingatao readers know,  a lovely Paulogism.

Les Femmes Nues Sans Bateaux (naked women without boats)


pen studies after raphael

A day or so I did a post titled “Looking for Naked Women on Boats about search terms and blog stats.  Trying to satisfy the demand for “naked women on boats” did improve my stats for a day.  Even if the visitors were disappointed with what they found, as perhaps a few were, I still benefitted from their clicks (and I thank them for it).  Now shifting through some notebooks, I found this page of drawings made rapidly with ball point pen, drawings after Raphael.

Some people read about art because they want to learn more about drawing to prosper in their own drawing, and this sheet is a good object lesson in one way to improve.  Draw a lot.  If you have a telephone, you have a perfect occasion for drawing.  You can draw and talk at the same time.  Grab your notebook, look at — it hardly matters what — but old master drawings are always a winner, then call someone who has the gift of gab, and draw in an absent-minded fashion while listening.  Using a pen is helpful too.  No fiddle faddling around.  The pen doesn’t accord well with timidity.  Just start putting down lines wherever it seems they ought to go.  Some things will be too big, some too small, some proportions a little out of kilter.  Life is for living, and drawing is for taking chances.

Meanwhile, some people read blogs looking for naked women on boats.  These naked women have no boats, but perhaps viewers won’t hold it against them.  Also, I put a French title because a little French always lends distinction to any art.

So, draw!  Can you hear me now?

Hamster Playground

hamster playground

My daughter created this hamster playground.  As you can see, the babies are enjoying it.  Mother Hamster was taking a break at the hamster spa while the babies played.  These little hamsters have been our divertion from everything else for the last couple weeks.  They are the surprise that greeted us about a week after getting our “new” hamster — more “new” hamsters.  And we didn’t know she was expecting!

Still haven’t drawn the little fellows.


koi pond fish swimming

“Vivre, c’est se réveiller la nuit dans l’impatience du jour à venir, c’est s’émerveiller de ce que le miracle quotidien se reproduise pour nous une fois encore, c’est avoir des insomnies de joie.” — Paul-Émile Victor

Trouvé ici. (Cliquer “biographie.”)

Living, it’s waking up in the middle of the night impatient for the day to begin, it’s marveling at the daily miracle that manifests itself once more, it’s experiencing an insomnia of joy. (my translation)