May 30: hot wall labels at the deYoung
Museum wall labels are generally pretty humdrum, but not in the Martin Family Gallery at the deYoung in San Francisco. Here, each label includes a poem by an elementary school student responding to the piece in question. This is new to me. Clearly, these kids had a rich experience, and we have some teachers/docents/curators/administrators who are on to something wonderful. Three examples:
Untitled, by Julien B. Fifth grade, the San Francisco School
Her hand crushes the handkerchief
as she becomes ashen,
pale with secrets buried in her mind.
Her beautiful, folded, crisp white cloth
becomes crumpled up into a ball.
Her memories, her thoughts, all her life
everything that has ever happened to her
Rushing through her mind
like a cheetah through the jungle.
Her silky shawl cloaks her, protecting her
from the brushing clear wind!
She tries to be peaceful,
but her thoughts trouble her.
Midnight Depress, by Lucy B. Fifth Grade, Frank C. Havens Elementary School
I stare into space
My tattered champagne coat is rough
but falls delicately to my leather shoes,
my lime chiffon scarf settles,
and my coal colored hat
with its shiny buckle tilts to the side,
but my face stays the same, a bored depressed look,
or I do not care what has to come
Untitled, by Kendall T. Fourth grade, Ohlone Elementary School
I softly express winds of cold, dark rage.
My face is red as fury. It escapes my emotions.
A fine lady ignores me.
She gossips as if I am not here.
But I am. I feel rose expressions
On my face growing hot.
I am still graceful as the music.
End of scene.