Saturday, December 11, 2010

a certain slant of light

a winter's morning
a kind light
the warm silence
of a home



emily dickinson wrote these words some years ago.

there's a certain slant of light,
on winter afternoons
that oppresses, like the heft
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,
'tis the seal, despair,
an imperial affliction
sent us of the air.

when it comes, the landscape listens,
shadows hold their breath;
when it goes, 'tis like the distance
on the look of death.

david sylvian sings these very words in a musically sparse environment.


Elisabeth said...

Emily Dickinson's words set to music and sung beautifully. Thanks, Steven.

I red the word slant I think immediately of Dickinson's other famous verse, 'Tell the truth but tell it slant'. Thanks, Steven.

Jinksy said...

when it comes, the landscape listens,
shadows hold their breath;

Sounds like inspiration...

steven said...

elisabeth - mentions another piece of writing by emily. it never fails to amaze me that she wrote so many extraordinary words:

tell all the truth but tell it slant---
success in circuit lies
too bright for our infirm delight
the truth's superb surprise
as lightening to the children eased
with explanation kind
the truth must dazzle gradually
or every man be blind--- emily dickinson

thanks for your comment and for pointing me towards this poem. steven

steven said...

jinksy - the poem reads to me like a mournful hovering - holding for a goodness. steven

Titus said...

The David Sylvian was brilliant! Thank you steven, I'd never have seen that otherwise.

steven said...

hello titus - i really admire david for his voice and for his ability to so clearly express his sense of the world. i'm pleased that you also enjoyed it!! steven

alaine@éclectique said...

"like a mournful hovering - holding for a goodness" ... exactement!

Reya Mellicker said...

Beautiful! Winter is definitely sparse.

The light will return ... just a few more days and it all turns around.

steven said...

alaine - that's how it is for a summer born boy - in wintertime. steven

steven said...

reya i was just biking along a snowbound trail through a nearby swamp. there were coyote tracks and one set of wolf tracks. the dogwood is like bright red against the deep blue of the little patches of open water. berries everywhere. in the bush i could hear big things moving around. i talked to my bike for company. the light fell quickly and i got to thinking about all the possibilities and rode home laughing for life. steven

♥ Boomer ♥ said...

Peaceful, awesome, refreshing ... love and blessings on you and yours.

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

I love that EDs words are put to music. It is fitting as is the landscape set with the music, beautifully done.