to a poet

Write, Beneditino, far from
the sterile bustle of the street! In the intimacy
of the cloister, with patience and calm,
work and persist and polish and suffer and sweat!

But let the effort employed be disguised in the form;
and the living device contrived
in such a way that the image appear bare,
rich but sober, like a Greek temple.

Let the construction not reveal the anguish of the master.
And, being natural, let the effect be pleasing,
without recalling the framework of the building:

For Beauty, twin’ of Truth,
pure Art, the enemy of artifice,
is strength and grace in simplicity.

Olavo Bilac

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love many things, for therein lies
the true strength,
and whosoever loves much performs much,
and can accomplish much,
and what is done in love is well done.

Van Gogh

art

ART, n. This word has no definition. Its origin is related as
follows by the ingenious Father Gassalasca Jape, S.J.

One day a wag — what would the wretch be at? —
Shifted a letter of the cipher RAT,
And said it was a god’s name! Straight arose
Fantastic priests and postulants (with shows,
And mysteries, and mummeries, and hymns,
And disputations dire that lamed their limbs)
To serve his temple and maintain the fires,
Expound the law, manipulate the wires.
Amazed, the populace that rites attend,
Believe whate’er they cannot comprehend,
And, inly edified to learn that two
Half-hairs joined so and so (as Art can do)
Have sweeter values and a grace more fit
Than Nature’s hairs that never have been split,
Bring cates and wines for sacrificial feasts,
And sell their garments to support the priests.

Ambrose Bierce