Slowly the west reaches for clothes of new colours
which it passes to a row of ancient trees.
~ Rainer Maria Rilke
We braved the cold and gathered at the very picturesque and snowy Lunenburg Bandstand to read and discuss poems about Sunsets. Some poems touched on the passing of time, and how hard it is to find our individual place in the vastness of it all. We can only hold the big picture in our minds for a moment before we end up at what is most dear, specific and personal. The cyclical nature of sunsets seemed to make some poems breathe in and out. A number of poems celebrated the vibrant colours of sunsets as bright fruit, or animated them as whispers or dancers. Some felt abandoned by two worlds moving in opposite directions. Others confronted their mortality head on. Whether directly of indirectly, all the poems seemed to have something to say about the precious scarcity of our time, and the need to savour it.
We also learned a lovely french term: “L’heure entre chien et loup”, which refers to the moments after sunset when the sky darkens and vision becomes unclear, making it difficult to distinguish between dogs and wolves, friends and foe.
Next time’s theme is “Polarity” at the Lunenburg Bandstand (weather-depending) on February 1st.
A list of the poems we read
I’ve added some links where I could to the poems, poets or books if you would like to explore.
The Big Picture by Ellen Bass
Watch her read it here
She also gave a talk on her process called Controlled Chaos
Sonnet 73 by William Shakespeare
Watch Sir Patrick Steward read it as part of his sonnet-a-day project.
Read an analysis of the sonnet.
A passage from The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Found a little tid-bit about the number of sunsets he saw on the sad day.
Also came across this article about Antoine writing about loss.
Winter Sunset by Ethel Romig Fuller
Mirror Suite (multi-part poem, we read the section called Capriccio) by Federico García Lorca
Ranking by Logan Kennedy (A Spot of Poetry member)
Aubergine by Merrill Haubach (A Spot of Poetry member)
We talked about the podcast Gaslit Nation Podcast by Sarah Kendzior and Andrea Chalupa.
We also talked about Amanda Gorman’s beautiful performance at the U.S. Inauguration and her story “Roar” she performed for The Moth in 2017.
She later recited The Hill We Climb for Times Magazine.
Poetry reading & writing prompt for next week
When we meet again on February 1st, bring along poems inspired by Polarity. There is no obligation to write, but if you feel inspired, you are welcome to bring your poem to share at the next gathering.