Made it to the Met Saturday.
I wanted to meet Alice Neel.
A slightly surreal scene.
Long lines of masked
New Yorkers and others
Enduring the pandemic;
Looking for hope and inspiration.
It was worth the wait.
First, the line led
Through a row of Rodin statues.
An amazing collection
Honest, but not cynical;
Humanistic, but not sentimental.
Alice painted so many different kinds of people:
Black, white, Latino
Poor, working, middle class, rich.
Her art is
Infused with socialism;
The belief that we can live
Together as sisters and brothers
Free of exploitation, racism, and sexism.
This daughter of a
straight laced middle class
family in suburban Pennsylvania,
her father an accountant for the Pennsylvania RR.
She found her way to Greenwich village in 1927
With her husband Cuban artist Carlos Enriquez.
Carlos soon returned to Cuba,
Leaving Alice to consort with
With artists, radicals, ordinary folk
Until she died in 1984.
This small white woman
With a big heart and a sharp eye
Shows us what our species can do.
Leaving us with hope and
sadness to yearn and
work for a better world.
April 18, 2021