Strawberries

Still from Across the Universe (Julie Taymor, 2007)

 

“There were never strawberries

like the ones we had

that sultry afternoon

sitting on the step

of the open french window

facing each other

your knees held in mine

the blue plates in our laps

the strawberries glistening

in the hot sunlight

we dipped them in sugar

looking at each other

not hurrying the feast

for one to come

the empty plates

laid on the stone together

with the two forks crossed

and I bent towards you

sweet in that air

in my arms

abandoned like a child

from your eager mouth

the taste of strawberries

in my memory

lean back again

let me love you

let the sun beat

on our forgetfulness

one hour of all

the heat intense

and summer lightning

on the Kilpatrick hills

let the storm wash the plates”

Edwin Morgan 

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The Elephant and the Dove

Alfred Molina (as Diego Rivera) and Salma Hayek (as Frida Kahlo) in a promotional picture for Frida (Julie Taymor, 2002), taken by Annie Leibovitz

 
 

The Wedding Portrait, Frida Kahlo, 1931

 
 

As a young artist, Frida Kahlo approached the famous Mexican painter, Diego Rivera, whose work she admired, asking him for advice about pursuing art as a career. He immediately recognized her talent and her unique expression as truly special and uniquely Mexican. He encouraged her development as an artist and soon began an intimate relationship with Frida. They were married in 1929, despite the disapproval of Frida’s mother. They often were referred to as The Elephant and the Dove, a nickname that originated when Kahlo’s father used it to express their extreme difference in size.

Their marriage was often troubled. Kahlo and Rivera both had irritable temperaments and numerous extramarital affairs. The bisexual Kahlo had affairs with both men and women, including Isamu Noguchi and Josephine Baker; Rivera knew of and tolerated her relationships with women, but her relationships with men made him jealous. For her part, Kahlo was furious when she learned that Rivera had an affair with her younger sister, Cristina. The couple divorced in November 1939, but remarried in December 1940. Their second marriage was as troubled as the first. Their living quarters were often separate, although sometimes adjacent.