Sheldon Kranz
Poet, Writer, Aesthetic Realism Consultant  (1919-1980)

Sheldon Kranz, Aesthetic Realism Consultant, Writer, Poet
Photo by Lou Bernstein

Pale But Piercing Sky
by Sheldon Kranz
It can seem in quiet moments,
When the sky is a pale but piercing blue,
That my eyelids are quite transparent;
And I can see each object in the room
Though my eyes are closed.
How can I  explain what seems to be?
The light that flows through my eyelids is real.
I see the half-opened door, the dusty books,
The green umbrella with its broken stays
That leans rakishly against the wall.
How can I explain?
The yellow flowers are exactly in their place,
And the busy sky outside
Is just as high as skies should be.
Those flowers, those books, that pale blue sky
Move me more than on ordinary days.
Who shall say they are not real?
Who shall say that seeming is not a part of being?

Sheldon Kranz, one of America's true poets and important writers was, early, a student of Aesthetic Realism with Eli Siegel and became a consultant, teaching Aesthetic Realism, in 1971. We publish here a courageous story of his from 1944 about race, and another about a son and mother that's been presented dramatically at the Aesthetic Realism Foundation in NYC. In classes with Mr. Siegel, Sheldon Kranz learned to write authentic poetry, and came to see new meaning in his chosen field of literature [he was an editor at Macmillan & Co. for many years]. As a result he taught the course, "Literature and the Self," at the Aesthetic Realism Foundation.

Sheldon Kranz  showed in his classes that the fight in every person between contempt for the world and respect for it, which Aesthetic Realism describes, was central in understanding world literature. Eli Siegel wrote in Self and World:

The difference between the imagination of art and the imagination of everyday life is that where in art imagination serves to show the self by showing the world, imagination in "life" is used to make the self comfortable, without necessarily showing it....The unconscious in art is not frustrated or stunted; it is not reluctantly put into action; it is not a means of concealment. It is often so in "life."


Poems by Sheldon Kranz from Personal and Impersonal: Six Aesthetic Realists, with an excerpt from its preface by Eli Siegel: "The question, What is poetry?--is as alive today as ever...for it is felt increasingly that what poetry is deeply and immediately concerns what our lives are....."

Turning Over a New Leaf; or, What Is Literature? Talk of 1974

Short Stories 
"My Mother Was a Girl"
"The Betrayal" from New Short Stories of 1944

Reports of Aesthetic Realism Classes taught by Eli Siegel 
Class of March 8, 1948 on the Self & Aesthetics
Class of March 29, 1948 on Play & Work
Class of May 24, 1948 on Satire
Class of September 13, 1948 on Languages
Class of January 31, 1949 on the 1860s
Class of July 10, 1968 on Tao Yuan-ming & Lafcadio Hearn

Poetry, Literature, Education Links Page 

Anne Fielding, actress, director of the Aesthetic Realism Theatre Company and wife of Sheldon Kranz, along with his colleagues and friends, are proud to bring you this website.

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