Sunday, December 21, 2008

a solstice carol

There is a Certain Slant of Light

There’s a certain slant of light,
On winter afternoons,
That oppresses, like the weight
Of cathedral tunes.

Heavenly hurt it gives us;
We can find no scar,
But internal difference
Where the meanings are.

None may teach it anything,
’T is the seal, despair,—
An imperial affliction
Sent us of the air.

When it comes, the landscape listens,
Shadows hold their breath;
When it goes, ’t is like the distance
On the look of death.
by Emily Dickinson(1830-1886) poet

at 7:04 this morning the winter solstice occurred* which means today is the shortest day and the longest night. as of tomorrow our days grow longer and the path to spring gets shorter.

last night we joined friends at s & p's home for their annual solstice gathering. the evening began with a walk to nearby edgewater park to watch the sun set. after saying goodnight to brother sun we turned around to stroll through the neighborhood in the waning natural light and as the artificial lights celebrating the season waxed. once home a convivial evening of conversation, food, wine, and poetry ensued.

warmest wishes for a most happy solstice - the reason for the season


a solstice carol

*for those of us living in the northern hemisphere that is!


photos: lone tree and lake erie at sunset. candlelight solstice eve. 20 december 2008, cleveland.


13 comments:

R.L. Bourges said...

Not one much for Emily Dickinson, usually, but sometimes...

Good matchup between the pic and the poem, petite souris.

Wishing you a lot of golden light and good cheer.

RLB

Salty Miss Jill said...

What a lovely time, and sentiment, too.

Ladrón de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

It's good to know that we can now "walk into the light" for the next six months knowing that it's a good thing.

tut-tut said...

A good week to you, Kimy!

Merle Sneed said...

I'm a walk toward the shorter days, kinda guy.

K. said...

What a great poem. Thanks for sharing.

Megan said...

I'd like to have a seat at that table some day...

Saretta said...

Sounds lovely...

mouse (aka kimy) said...

rlb - how long are the days in sunny graulhet?

salty ;)

junk - the snow currently falling is helping lighten things up too!

tut - and to you happy holidaze!!

merle - short or long, as long as you are walking that's good!

k - most welcome! best to you and premium t!

megan - we would love, love, love to have you at the table!

saretta - it was and I didn't even give the low down on the wonderful food - yum!!

jenclair said...

I've always loved that phrase, that first line, and have often applied it to the fall as well.

The photo is perfect for the entire poem.

K. said...

You know, I think the Bee Gees swiped that first line for "To Love Somebody". I always thought that was an awfully good lyric for their skill set! Janis did a great version of that song.

The Blue Elephant said...

I have been sharing thoughts recently with a lover of "winter light" so your solstice greeting fits right in with the conversation. I love Emily, and love this verse, and with the photo and the time of year it makes a perfect greeting. Love to you and all you love -- which seems to be every living creature.

Angella Lister said...

Oh Mouse, I read this Emily Dickinson poem way back in school, when I was too young to understand its melancholy depth and beauty. Perhaps I was a happier child than I remember! This time, however, it just pierced me, but in a way that made me feel awed and grateful, because it expresses so perfectly what sundown in winter can feel like (winter also being a metaphor for certain events in one's life). Thank you for sharing again.

You are such a lovely spirit, mouse. I am so glad to know you.

Ha, my word verification is "matin". The universe bids me embrace the morning light, perhaps?