I almost forgot…

candles

…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 :-)
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photo by t0msk under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license

Slow Children

All the quick children have gone inside, called
by their mothers to hurry-up-wash-your-hands
honey-dinner’s-getting-cold, just-wait-till-your-father-gets-home-

and only the slow children out on the lawns…
making soft little sounds with their
mouths, ohs
that glow and go out and glow. And their slow mothers
flickering,
pale in the dusk, watching them turn in the gentle air…

from “Slow Children at Play,” by Cecilia Woloch