Saturday, January 1, 2022

The times are nightfall; look - their light grows less


"Time Flies"   Art by Christian Schloe

I am feeling forlorn this New Year's morning.  Forlorn weather -  53 degrees and pouring rain, and likely to do so all day.

Last night I went to a New Year's Eve gathering with eight other old folks -  55+ on the menu at Perkins Pancake House.  Very subdued.  It was a long table and I was the last to arrive and I didn't get to sit with the friends I enjoy conversing with.  Not even any wine.  We closed the place at 8PM.  Sigh.

I drove home , remembering the New Year's Eves of my wild youth:  in Philadelphia several with Patrick and his friends,  in Baltimore in the apartment at Wellington Gate, and on Barclay Street,,, even a few in the early years of life in the Daughters.  Sigh.

So it goes.  I keep teaching Slaughterhouse Five to my Modernity class, now on Zoom due to COVID.

Here are some New Years poems:

by Tennyson:

I stood on a tower in the wet,
And New Year and Old Year met,
And winds were roaring and blowing;
And I said, ‘O years, that meet in tears,
Have you all that is worth the knowing?

Science enough and exploring,
Wanderers coming and going,
Matter enough for deploring,
But aught that is worth the knowing?

Seas at my feet were flowing,
Waves on the shingle pouring,
Old year roaring and blowing,
And New Year blowing and roaring.


art by   Janice Mason Steves


Spellbound       by Emily Bronte


"The night is darkening round me,

The wild winds coldly blow;

But a tyrant spell has bound me

And I cannot, cannot go.

The giant trees are bending

Their bare boughs weighed with snow.

And the storm is fast descending,

And yet I cannot go.

Clouds beyond clouds above me,

Wastes beyond wastes below;

But nothing dear can move me;

I will not, cannot go."

and this one by Gerard Manley Hopkins:

The Times Are Nightfall, Look, Their Light Grows Less



"The times are nightfall, look, their light grows less;

The times are winter, watch, a world undone:

They waste, they wither worse; they as they run

Or bring more or more blazon man’s distress.

And I not help.

Nor word now of success:

All is from wreck, here, there, to rescue one—

Work which to see scarce so much as begun

Makes welcome death, does dear forgetfulness.

Or what is else?

There is your world within.

There rid the dragons, root out there the sin.

Your will is law in that small commonweal…"



art by Jeffrey J. Bowers

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