Friday, January 7, 2011

Poetry Friday: "A Winter Twilight"

Every year for the past few years, one of my New Year's Resolutions has been "Read more poetry," and every year, it's been a resolution that's just purely good for me, and keeping it makes me happier, which seems to be the key to successful resolutions. So I'm officially using my first post of 2011 to see if I can get back into the Poetry Friday habit again. Because I'm not sure if y'all have missed it here on the blog, but I have!

"A Winter Twilight"
(who has quite an interesting history as a writer and playwright during the Harlem Renaissance.)

A silence slipping around like death,
Yet chased by a whisper, a sigh, a breath;
One group of trees, lean, naked, and cold,
Inking their crest 'gainst a sky green-gold;
One path that knows where the corn flowers were;
Lonely, apart, unyielding, one fir;
And over it softly leaning down,
One star that I loved ere the fields went brown.

Ahhh...the cadence of those last two lines is just supremely lovely, and somehow chilling and warming all at the same time. And I love how the poem starts out feeling "big" and all-of-nature-encompassing, but by the end, it's narrowed in to pinpoint a singular, resonant image. Beautiful!


  1. I've missed Poetry Friday, glad to see it's back. This poem is beautiful!

  2. That is beautiful! There's a quote by Susan Cooper that I just read, about experiencing great art (in any form), which this immediately brought to mind:
    “It's horribly elusive, this same kind of sensation one has from certain books, poems, and works of art. Only the symptoms are easy to describe. The hair prickles on the back of the neck, and there is a hollowness in the throat and at the pit of the stomach—a great excitement that is a mixture of astonishment and delight. It's a little like catching sight unexpectedly of someone with whom you are very much in love. And the delight when it swamps you is full of echoes, carrying you away, as de la Mare said, 'as if into another world.'"
    ...Those last two lines definitely did that to me!

  3. Yes, I agree--Poetry Fridays are a good thing!

  4. That's really lovely. Thank you for introducing me to that poet.