janet grau

Something Left Undone

Something Left Undone

Photography, 2023

The photos were taken in the workroom of a lifelong hobbyist after he died unexpectedly. At that point, no one had changed anything. They are printed on Canson Rag Photographique and laminated on Alu-Dibond, making them into precious objects in their own right.

The title is after the poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, from Birds of Passage, 1863 (below).

Something Left Undone

Labor with what zeal we will,
Something still remains undone,
Something uncompleted still

Waits the rising of the sun.

By the bedside, on the stair,

At the threshold, near the gates,
With its menace or its prayer,

Like a mendicant it waits; 

Waits, and will not go away;

Waits, and will not be gainsaid;

By the cares of yesterday

Each to-day is heavier made; 

Till at length the burden seems

Greater than our strength can bear,

Heavy as the weight of dreams,

Pressing on us everywhere. 

And we stand from day to day,

Like the dwarfs of times gone by,
Who, as Northern legends say,  
On their shoulders held the sky.

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