Alexander Averin

Thursday 29 December 2011

Because it's Winter, Thoughts on the Sun

Sleepy Lamb Diane Whitehead

Dear Diary,

The picture is nothing to do with the winter or with the sun, apart from the fact that the lamb is sunning himself or herself - I think it is a boy myself, he just caught my eye and I fell in love with him while I was on the net seeking out sunny pictures for you.

I bought my daughter for Christmas a book of selected poems by one of my most-loved poets, Mary Oliver. Quite by chance I heard this poem of hers on Irish radio this morning, only on Irish radio would you hear poetry on such a regular basis, great music too and conversation which makes you feel you are in someone's home or the pub.

In these far-too-short and dark days of Winter we need to remember the Sun; we do see her occasionally, like yesterday as I drove to Hay for a dental appointment, she shone on me through the car window all the way. She is absent today but at least I have a poem. It is one long question this poem, so true, so wise.

Stay warm.

The Sun

Have you ever seen
in your life
more wonderful

than the way the sun,
every evening,
relaxed and easy,
floats toward the horizon

and into the clouds or the hills,
or the rumpled sea,
and is gone–
and how it slides again

out of the blackness,
every morning,
on the other side of the world,
like a red flower

streaming upward on its heavenly
say, on a morning in early summer,
at its perfect imperial distance–
and have you ever felt for anything
such wild love–
do you think there is anywhere, in any language,
a word billowing enough
for the pleasure

that fills you,
as the sun
reaches out,
as it warms you

as you stand there,
or have you too
turned from this world–

or have you too
gone crazy
for power,
for things?

Mary Oliver


Vee said...

No, I don't believe I've gone crazy for power or things, though I certainly would enjoy a new stove, but I don't often appreciate the sun as I should and I so rarely see it rising or setting. I do love the light, though the warmth is missing today.

Mac n' Janet said...

I hope I never go crazy for power or things, and there is no better feeling than the sun on your face. As always, thank you Cait.

SAS said...

Cait, if I might ask, what Irish radio station do you listen to?

Thank you.

Cait O'Connor said...

SAS - I listen to RTE Radio 1 (I think!).

Ruth said...

No word for it, so true. But this is the poem for it. Just wonderful.

Happy New Year to you, with all the light you can carry.

Pondside said...

Happy New Year, Cait. I always enjoy visiting your posts.

Fire Byrd said...

What a wonderful poem. It is all too easy to get lost in the material world, and for me age has taught me that things are nice, but life and nature are wonderful. A moment watching the light, or the trees or especially the birds sorts my day out every time.
Thank you for sharing these wonderful words with us. And a Happy New Year to you.

Nan said...

Wow, I'm impressed about the offerings of Irish radio. I shall prowl around the internet and see if I can get any podcasts.
I wanted to ask, Cait, if you could recommend some Welsh authors/book titles. It is a country I'd like to spend some reading time in this year. I've looked around for a Welsh reading challenge but alas can't find one.

Tracy Golightly-Garcia said...

Hello Cait

I hope you had a lovely Christmas and your New Year has started out to be a good one.

Had surgery a week ago and things are going great, but miss getting out. I love the sun and the way it can make you feel good.

Have a great day


CAMILLA said...

Dear Cait,

Sincere apologies for not stopping by lately. A new baby Granddaughter born after Christmas Day.!

Cait - what a lovely Header to your post.! love The Snowman, such pretty pictures to your post too.

I do so adore the Mary Oliver poem, thank you for sharing with us Cait.

I shall have to see if I can tune into that Irish Radio station, sounds very interesting.


The bike shed said...

Happy New Year Cait, I like Mary Oliver poems very much. Recently reading the anthology of Norman MacCaig - and being blown away by it too.

Marion Williams-Bennett said...

The power of the sun! To help us to remember what matters, what is important - like the simple glory of the return of the sun

I needed this on these dark days, thank you for the gift!