Kārlis Padegs, Five O’clock Tea at the Morgue, 1935
Latvian National Museum of Art
It would be lovely if a light, fickle love, the colour of tea, an ephemeral and crazy love like yours, was my last flash of life. In it I would like to recognize the veil that shields from my eyes the awaited face of death. For we die, my dear, as you are well aware, and from so much love and from all these tears, there’s nothing left, not even a memory. I yearn for this oblivion like for the greatest reward. Exhausted as I am at this late hour, after so many emotions, I tell you in an outpouring of gratitude and faith: you are alive, alive; as nimble as the flame.
Il serait beau qu’un amour léger, changeant, couleur de thé, un amour éphémère et fou comme le tien, fût le dernier éclat de ma vie et j’aimerais reconnaître en lui le voile où se déroberait à mes yeux la face attendue de ma mort. Car tu sais bien qu’on meurt, ma chérie, que de tant d’amour, et de toutes ces larmes, il ne reste rien, pas même un souvenir. J’aspire à cet oubli comme à la plus belle récompense. Dans mon nuage de fumée, abruti comme je le suis à cette heure avancée, après tant d’émotions, je te dis dans le plus sincère élan de gratitude et de foi : Que tu es vivante, vivante ; agile comme la flamme.
Joë Bousquet, Un Amour couleur de thé
tr. Michael Tweed
Remember: Behind every cup of tea, there is a person. Will you treat them fairly?
I have three poems,
Think of counting poems.
Emily tossed them
in a box, I
can’t imagine she counted them,
she just spread out a tea-packet
and wrote a new one.
That was right. A good poem
should smell of tea.
Or of raw earth and newly split firewood.
Olav H. Hauge
tr. Robin Fulton
Precise composition of how to place charcoals for Japanese tea ceremony.
Odo ware tea bowl with design of heron and reeds
18th-19th century, Edo period, Kochi, Japan
Stoneware with cobalt pigment under clear glaze H: 8.0 W: 11.6 cm
Jeff Koons, Teapot, 1979.
Teapot, plastic tubes, and fluorescent lights; 26 × 9 × 13 in. (66 × 22.9 × 33 cm).
LILLIA FRANTIN,Still life with star fish, 30 x 30in, oil
(b. New York City, NY 1944)
Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin, Still Life with Tea Pot, Grapes, Chesnuts, and a Pear c.1764, Oil on canvas 32.1 x 40 cm
Sokushinbutsu: The practice of self-mummification, once performed by Buddhist monks in Japan. The monk would start by eating only nuts and seeds to strip them of their body fat, then move to drinking tea made from the urushi tree. The poisonous tea would cause vomiting to further their weight loss, as well as help dissuade insects from disturbing their body after death.
Geisha Aihachi of Nagasaki, hand-colored photograph, 1890s, Nagasaki, Japan. "In this photograph, Aihachi is wearing a superb Yukata (Cotton Kimono) with a Hagoromo (Celestial Feather Robe) motif. The Maruyama district has long been known for its fabulous kimonos. A famous saying in Old Japan was: “I wish I could have a beautiful courtesan of Shimabara [Kyoto] with the dashing spirit of a Yoshiwara [Edo] woman, wearing the gorgeous apparel of Maruyama [Nagasaki], at a sumptuous ageya of Shinmachi [Osaka].” Text and image via Blue Ruin 1 of Flickr