Saturday, March 12, 2011

Houston Literary Culture: Please, Sir, I Want Some More

I found myself at Houston's Hermann Park yesterday, basking in the beautiful weather and in general just enjoying myself.  (For those of you who don't know, Hermann Park is in the Museum District and borders the Houston Museum of Natural Science, the Houston Garden Center, the Houston Zoo, and the Miller Outdoor Theatre.)

It also includes several sculpture gardens and other various pieces of art. First up, we have the International Sculpture Garden that houses statues celebrating national heroes of other countries--for example, the  India Culture Center and the Consulate General of India donated a sculpture of Dr. Gandhi to "commemorate Dr. Gandhi’s liberation of India from the British Empire through the peaceful use of passive resistance."  Pretty awesome, but not that surprising.

At least, I wasn't surprised until I came across a bust of Robert Burns, donated in 2003 by the Houston Heather and Thistle Society:


Say what?!  There's a statue of Robert Burns sitting alongside Benito Juarez and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.?  How awesome is it that a poet can be considered a national hero?

Next up, we have what in my opinion may be a joke: the Oliver Twist statue, situated near the Miller Outdoor Theatre:


(This was supposed to be a "Please, Sir, I Want Some More" expression but instead looks more like a myspace shot.  God help those of us who are not photogenic.)

What's funny about this is that  it stands right in between a plaque praising donations by the Wortham Foundation... and the ATM (which you can see in the picture behind my head).  Subtle, no?

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