Bulletin: Robert Frost was a rentier

Says the poetry of Frost’s “Two Tramps in Mud Time,”

Only where love and need are one,
And the work is play for mortal stakes,
Is the deed ever really done
For Heaven and the future’s sakes.

Says prose, “Delicate muscles and nerves.” Says prose, “Your employer expects.” The prose words are embellished with a frieze of women’s faces in chiaroscuro. All of the women are what used to be called beauties, with a single descriptive adjective replacing the unmentioned names that their bodies bear outside the office. In the office, the copy spoken on behalf of their beauty says, “They are all enthusiastic,” but the collective expression on their faces seems not to.


Where this language prevails, who can afford to entertain the thought that need may enter into a marriage of equality with love? Only a poet; only a man to whom the thought of lightening the task of words would be experienced with a pang of loss, like a missed dividend.

Source: http://oldadvertising.tumblr.com/post/178962126368/the-red-book-magazine-april-1922. Post-processed to compensate for discoloration.

Marine forms shaped by economic forces

In 1907:

In 2015:



“Bow of S. S. Thomas F. Cole.” Detroit Publishing Company collection, Library of Congress, http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/det1994011713/PP/. Photoshopped.

Stephanie Yang, “The incredible toys of hedge fund billionaire Steve Cohen.” Business Insider 5 February 2015,http://www.businessinsider.com/steve-cohens-extravagant-toys-2015-2?op=1. Online, accessed 30 June 2015.

Healthy color


In the left half of the image, the receding diagonal ends at a wall of white washing. That left half is where the striding man is tall and upright and wearing white-collar made still more white by contrast with his black wristwatch.

In the right half, the Adams zones have been remapped. There the receding diagonal goes back and back to the end of the image plane and darkens as it goes, and the man with one shoulder higher than the other walks his own darkness into the dark. Except for his tin lunchpail, nothing on his side is not black. Into the middle of a descriptive geography of this black, the United States Farm Security Administration has written a diagnosis: “Coal miner going home with friend after work. Many miners are lame. Omar, West Virginia.”

In color the values are distributed more equally. There, in light, bouquets burst into visibility before an unbroken plane of human raw material moving forward like bright lava from the dark earth. That’s the story that the color tells.

You do want to believe the story, don’t you?

Then take the color cure. Let the steam cars carry you to their colorful mountains of decently covered coal. Then put on the white bustle, drink the white remedy, and be healed of your lameness.


Marion Post Walcott, 1938. “Coal miner going home with friend after work. Many miners are lame. Omar, West Virginia.” Library of Congress, Farm Security Administration / Office of War Information Black-and-White Negatives,  www.loc.gov/pictures/item/fsa1998011311/PP/. Photoshopped.

Wills Robinson, “Risking Their Lives in Stalin’s Rusting Cable Cars,” http://mbtimetraveler.com/2013/09/29/miners-forced-to-ride-death-defying-metal-coffins/

“Dr. Kilmer’s Female Remedy,” Boston Public Library, https://www.digitalcommonwealth.org/search/commonwealth:tm70n383f. Photoshopped.