Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), The Four Seasons, 1949-1960; watercolor on joined paper mounted on board, 55 7/8 X 47 7/8 inches; Krannert Art Museum and Kinkead Pavilion, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign Festival of Arts Purchase Fund 1961-2-1
Charles Burchfield, Journals, October 23-November 6, 1941
Thursday, October 30, 2014
Last night about 9:30, we were startled by a sharp explosion;—we could not agree on the direction whence it came. Bertha thought it might be gas in the furnace; (while I thought it came from Bengert’s garage). An examination all around revealed nothing.
Today’s paper reported it as a natural phenomenon—described by a physicist as “a bronchial cough” of
“Mother earth.” He called it a brontide (which literally translated would be thunder-tide or –wave). Its cause has never been explained. He said the Indians observed it, and called it the “death-drum”—I have never before experienced; or even heard of it.
I like to think of it in connection with the season—of the retreat of life back to the earth; and the approach of winter.
Charles Burchfield, October 23-November 6, 1941