In a Not So Distant Past


Henri Matisse by Dmitri Kessel, Nice (France), 1951

 
 

Matisse photographed by Henri Cartier-Bresson, 1951

 
 

‘Are you amber?’ a wise man

asked a piece of rough clay

lying at the edge of the fountain.

‘You must be, for your aroma

bears an infinite sweetness

and seductive fragrance.’

 
 

Vase with Flowers, Henri Matisse, 1911

 
 

‘I am mud,’ said the clay

with all the humility of riff raff.

‘I am mud, insignificant mud,

but in a not so distant past,

I, as a crude vase, held

a bouquet of flowers!’

Friedrich Schiller

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