Friday, May 29, 2015

Rain, Red, and Jane Kenyon

Well, surprise, it is raining--still, again, some more, or whatever. But my house is not floating away, so I can be thankful for that anyway as I feel sorrow for Texas residents.

DH has been at it again, his trusty sander blowing up a fine white dust on everything in the house. I admit the board in the kitchen needed to be redone but wouldn't last winter before I cleaned up all the sheetrock dust for months on end have been a better time? I looked at the dining table and even the tablecloth was a layer of gritting white!

So I pulled things apart last night and washed some more. I decided it was a good time to change the silks and placemats as well. I usually switch to summer shades on Memorial Day, but this year I had no motivation to do so. DH came in and saw I was flipping a fresh cloth on the table and asked what I was doing. I told him I was saying goodbye to spring rains and bringing on summer. I was ready for some red, white, and blue. Nothing new, but familiar shades of vibrant reds had to be a promise that June would bring sunshine again.

Meanwhile, my copy of Jane Kenyon’s works arrived. So curling up with her beautiful poetry and a cup of tea is a rain reward. Kenyon’s poetry echoes Robert Frost in that she lived in New England and wrote of simple, daily tasks outside and inside both. I think her poems “Otherwise” and “Let Evening Come” are two of the grandest pieces of work. I wish I could produce just one piece half as good.
                                                       Let Evening Come
                                                Let the light of late afternoon
                                       shine through chinks in the barn, moving   
                                        up the bales as the sun moves down.

                                          Let the cricket take up chafing   
                                           as a woman takes up her needles   
                                          and her yarn. Let evening come.

                                       Let dew collect on the hoe abandoned   
                                       in long grass. Let the stars appear
                                      and the moon disclose her silver horn.

                                      Let the fox go back to its sandy den.   
                                    Let the wind die down. Let the shed   
                                     go black inside. Let evening come.

                                      To the bottle in the ditch, to the scoop   
                                      in the oats, to air in the lung   
                                       let evening come.

                                      Let it come, as it will, and don’t   
                                     be afraid. God does not leave us   
                                    comfortless, so let evening come.

    I started keeping a reading journal in 1999 after I read that Louis L’Amour started his own as a young man and kept up the practice leaving at his death many journals that recorded his reading tastes. I  thumbed through my own this week and see I’ve read roughly 800 books since starting my record. 

How about you? Do you keep a reading journal?


Patricia A. Laster said...

I DO! I keep a reading ledger, and write resonant phrases in my daily journal. I have Jane Kenyon's "A Hundred White Daffodils" but haven't read it yet. Your red, white and blue decorations are bright and spritely. I'm working on the top of my china hutch. Want to put large decorative pitchers there, one with shells from NC, one with dry grasses, etc. Hosting the family reunion July 4 is coming fast so I need to get things done. Yet, I spend time reading the daily news (state & local) ending with the cryptoquote/crossword. I allow that's my "writing" time, right? Happy June to you, DH and Biscuit.

Rebecca said...

I like your red, white and blue - and agree with you about that poem....

I actually DO keep record of the books I read: Date finished, and sometimes a general comment, etc. Surprisingly, I revisit my entries every now and then.

Sioux said...

I do not keep a reading journal. I'm not that organized, and making note of what I've submitted is hard enough.

I LOVE the bright blue and red color scheme. That would cheer anyone up.

Elephant's Child said...

I list the books I have read for the year on the side bar of my blog. And delete it and start again at the start of the next year. Some of my reading tastes have changed over the years, and some books get reread every year.
Love your colourful theme, and hope that there is some sunshine heading your way.
And that poem is a stunner - thank you.

Donna Volkenannt said...

Love, love the colorful decorations and the poem.

Wish I were organized enough to keep a reading journal, but I don't, which has caused me to check out the same library book more than once. Fortunately, our library now has a list of books I've checked out and I can review it to make sure I don't double up again.

Oh, and it's not raining here but rain is predicted for the weekend. Hope you don't get any flooding in your area.

Marylin Warner said...

We'll hope that your Memorial Day habit of changing the linens and cloths will change the rains to sunny weather, Claudia. In Colorado, Pikes Peak is covered with snow usually not seen at such depths except during hard winters, but still I had to set out my bedding plants (and cover them at night) because they were getting root rot. So far, so good.
I kept a journal of all the books I read, along with dates and 1-2 sentence responses, until I went to college. I should have continued the practice, but it seemed that most of my reading was for classwork instead of pleasure, and I stopped. I had almost 450 titles.

Linda O'Connell said...

You spiffed up kitchen looks so inviting and cheerful.

No, I don't keep a reading journal. I usually have several books going at one time.

The poem seems like it was effortlessly written; it's smooth and flows so well. I often tweak the roadblocks in my poetry until I give up and put it away.

noexcuses said...

I am embarrassed to say that I don't keep a reading journal, and if I did, it would fit on a 4x6 index card. You have inspired me to stop by the library while running errands this morning and pick up a few books. There are many I the storage unit...and plan to get to them eventually. Thanks for sharing your love of reading. My DH used to "fix" things when we had the house! I totally get the dust thing! Lovely kitchen table!

Susan said...

Hello Dear Claudia....Lovely poem. I had not heard of that author. I do love Robert Frost. Remember I visited his grave site last year?

I do not keep a reading journal but I should. I keep a gratitude journal, having given up a daily diary after more than 40 years! (WHAT will my kids do with all those diaries in the attic after I kick the bucket? I don't know!)

Currently reading about Eleanor Roosevelt since I went on a day trip to her house in Hyde Park, N.Y. yesterday. Blog entries to follow.

Hope your weekend is good. Susan

Lynn said...

I love the idea of a reading journal!