Mississippi poetry

Auction action

[Today’s run: 3.24 miles]

Today I had a short break from work and checked out the “fine art” section on You may recall that is the surplus auction website used by a lot of local government organizations. (Usually the offerings are prints of the type found in hotel rooms and offices.)

I was surprised to see some legitimate art pieces! Three modernist pieces by known artists are on sale from the University of Washington in Seattle. No one had bid on them at all. I did some checking online and they look to me to be worth some money, maybe a few hundred or a few thousand dollars. All three are in one auction group. So I put in my bid of $10.

And yes, I could go get them if I were to win. Flights from Memphis to Seattle are running around $300 round trip. I could probably get the local UPS Store involved and get them shipped for less than that.

The university property disposal people say they don’t have any information about where the pieces came from or even how long the university has owned them. Maybe somebody in the art department went all Thomas Crown Affair and stole them from someplace. But I sincerely doubt it; I don’t think they are that important. Probably somebody died and left them to the university… or had them hanging in their office when they dropped off the twig and the family never came to get them.

We have some art on the walls here as I speak which came from a public library in northern Iowa, including one which is an early 20th century original oil by someone rather obscure but google-able. So, you never know how these things will go.

One thing I did purchase recently was tickets. I got a pair of tickets to each of three women’s b-ball games over at Mississippi State in late January. I hear the team is doing pretty good this year. The cheap general admission upper deck tickets are $10 each. So I spent $60.. These days that won’t get us a fancy dinner.

And I bought a pair of tickets to a concert in May down in Jackson by The Bygones, a duet which I see on videos. We don’t do a lot of concerts, so this will be something unusual. I hope it turns out well.

And finally, I’ve been a subscriber to something called The Free Press which is a substack publication. On Sunday they publish a series piece (which I receive by email) by Douglas Murray about great poems.

Yesterday his poem was one I had never heard of called Death Fugue, originally written in German. (Wikipedia indicates it is big in modern Germany.) The topic is the Holocaust, which is in the news because of the rise of anti-Semitism with the recent events in Israel. Murray referenced one stanza in his piece, but there are about 4 stanzas with a lot of repeated themes and wording. The imagery is just ghastly. But the form of the poem with this intertwining of themes and word groups is really beautiful. At least I thought so. Maybe I will go back to it later to see if it still has that effect on me.

There are different versions of English translations available for free online.