…it’s St. Lucy’s day, which everyone used to think was the shortest day of the year. To mark it, here are a few lines from “A Nocturnal upon Saint Lucy’s Day, being the shortest day,” John Donne’s poem about his dead lover. (What can I say? It’s a winter poem, and, like everything he wrote, both beautiful and threatening.)
Study me then, you who shall lovers be
At the next world, that is, at the next spring;
For I am every dead thing,
In whom Love wrought new alchemy.
For his art did express
A quintessence even from nothingness,
From dull privations, and lean emptiness;
He ruin’d me, and I am re-begot
Of absence, darkness, death: things which are not.
I love the dark this time of year; it’s the only way you can see things glow :-)
photo by t0msk under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license