You can see that she was fond of what she saw,
the way a she-oak’s grey will break apart
to gold and purple; brown rocks
cluttering the foreground.
She made no concession
to nostalgia’s green longing –
her native grass is bleached of colour,
bush and distant ranges’ varying mauves
mark out shade’s intensity; she understood
a landscape reticent about its beauty
and painted what her eye saw.
Nearer he draws to the gum-tree scrubby horizon, turns the clouds to orange, scarlet, silver flame, gold! Down, down he goes. The gorgeous, garish splendour of sunset pageantry flames out; the long shadows eagerly cover all; the kookaburras laugh their merry mocking good-night; the clouds fade to turquoise, green, and grey; the stars peep shyly out; the soft call of the mopoke arises in the gullies!
In a subtly lit, grey walled room in Paris’ Musee de Cluny, The Lady and the Unicorn tapestries, one of the world’s most mysterious and influential series of artworks, throw a magnetic spell over their many visitors.
(Shona Martyn, ‘The Lady and the Unicorn tapestries bring mystery to the Art Gallery of NSW’, The Sydney Morning Herald, Sat. 23 Dec. 2017)
It was sunset―most majestic hour of the XX-four―when we drove up to the great white gates which opened into the avenue leading to the main homestead of Five-Bob Downs station―beautiful far-reaching Five-Bob Downs! Dreamy blue hills rose behind, and wide rich flats stretched before, through which the Yarrangung river, glazed with sunset, could be seen like a silver snake winding between shrubberied banks.
Hope, sweet, cruel, delusive Hope, whispered in my ear that life was long with much by and by, and in that by and by my dream-life would be real. So on I went with that gleaming lake in the distance beckoning me to come and sail on its silver waters, and Inexperience, conceited, blind Inexperience, failing to show the impassable pit between it and me.
(Miles Franklin, My Brilliant Career, ch. 5)
And in Switzerland, instead of Mr King, I had another admirable teacher in Frau Karsten, a stern north German lady with grey hair in a ponytail, and she, like Mr King, rode a bicycle, sitting very upright with her grey hair bobbing along behind her.
(John le Carré, ‘Why we should learn German’, The Guardian, 2 July 2017)