Mort Laitner
Mort Laitner

The Appreciation of Art

It’s 9:00 on a Wednesday evening.

I write a sad poem (Masks) that I’m proud of and that I appreciate.

But my work has just begun, for now I must find a sad painting to pair with my poem.

I go to Wikimedia Commons and scan through a good number of works of art.

This piece of art must be in the public domain or the Times of Israel (TOI) won’t publish the painting with my poem.

The piece of art must fit into the TOI picture format or I can’t use it.

I find Walter Langley’s work  entitled, “Never Morning Wore To Evening. but Some Heart Did Break”

This title eminates from a Tennyson’s poem In Memoriam.

It meets TOI‘s criteria.

And Langley has created one hell of a sad painting.

I smile.

I had never heard of Walter Langley nor had I ever seen any of his art.

I study Langley’s life and many of his paintings.

And I appreciate him and them.

And I smile for I’m continuing my art education.

But I am not done.

I decide to have a sound track for my poem.

I want a musical background that will cause my reader’s ears to cry to my words.

So I search on YouTube.

And I find NarutoSadness and Sorrow (Violin Cover) by Taylor Davis composed by Toshio Masuda.

I have never heard Sadness and Sorrow, nor read Naruto by Masashi Kishimoto, nor listened to Taylor Davis, nor heard a work by Toshio Masuda.

But I study them all.

I learn that Naruto is a Japanese manga series about a young ninja who seeks recognition from his peers.

I appreciate the music, the violin playing and the ninja’s need to seek recognition from his peers.

And I smile for I’m continuing my musical education.

At 12:00 am, I submit my poem to TOI accompanied by the sad music and the sad art.

At 9:00 on a Thursday morning. my house is quiet.

My dog decides to give barking and howling a break.

I unplug my iPhone, click on Facebook’s  “F” icon and start reading my notifications.

Barack O. Mandela comments:

“This poem (Masks) reminds me of the famous American poets Allen Ginsberg and Walt Whitman. Perhaps publish a book of poetry.”

I smile.

My day is made.

This lowly Times of Israel blogger has had one of his poems compared to the works of Allen Ginsberg.

Yes, that Ginsberg:

The writer of “Howl” and “Kaddish for Naomi Ginsberg” fame;

The humorist who referred to his parents as “old-fashioned delicatessen philosophers.”;

The leader in the Beat literature movement;

The Jew who converted to Buddhism;

The author of Confessional poetry;

The winner of the National Book Award and the Robert Frost medal;

The speaker at the convention in Chicago in 1968.

I saw him there but I cannot remember what he said.

I read “Howl” and “Kaddish” in college and tried to understand them.

And Allen Ginsberg read and loved Whitman’s works in high school.

And yes, this lowly Times of Israel blogger has had one of his poems compared to the works of Walt Whitman.

Yes, that Walt Whitman:

The poet, essayist and journalist;

The father of free verse;

Author of “Leaves of Grass” and “Song of Myself and “O Captain! My Captain!”

Well, Barack O. Mandela your words of comparison made all of my hard work payoff.

I howl my appreciation.

Thanks for giving this lowly Times of Israel blogger a life.


About the Author
Florida's Jewish short-story writer, speaker, film producer and retired attorney. He has authored, "A Hebraic Obsession", "The Hanukkah Bunny" and "The Greatest Gift." He produced an award-winning short film entitled, "The Stairs". Movie can be viewed on my TOI blog. Mort is a correspondent for the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel Jewish Journal.
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