More ardent than anything
December 14, 2016
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Winter walking, blue sky

William Cullen Bryant spent part of his life forty minutes from my home–the first part of A Winter Piece resonates deeply with me, maybe it does with you, too? It also reminds me of Emerson’s Nature, which was published about 15 years after A Winter Piece. I would love to know what Emerson and Bryant said to each other in private about each other’s writing!
It’s going to be in the single and perhaps negative digits today and tomorrow. While there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad equipment,  I’ll be seeking my walk in my imagination today.
Selection from, A Winter Piece, by William Cullen Bryant. Read the full poem here.

The time has been that these wild solitudes,
Yet beautiful as wild, were trod by me
Oftener than now; and when the ills of life
Had chafed my spirit—when the unsteady pulse
Beat with strange flutterings—I would wander forth
And seek the woods. The sunshine on my path
Was to me a friend. The swelling hills,
The quiet dells retiring far between,
With gentle invitation to explore
Their windings, were a calm society
That talked with me and soothed me. Then the chant
Of birds, and chime of brooks, and soft caress
Of the fresh sylvan air, made me forget
The thoughts that broke my peace, and I began
To gather simples by the fountain’s brink,
And lose myself in day-dreams. While I stood
In Nature’s loneliness, I was with one
With whom I early grew familiar, one
Who never had a frown for me, whose voice
Never rebuked me for the hours I stole
From cares I loved not, but of which the world
Deems highest, to converse with her. When shrieked
The bleak November winds, and smote the woods,
And the brown fields were herbless, and the shades,
That met above the merry rivulet,
Were spoiled, I sought, I loved them still; they seemed
Like old companions in adversity.
Still there was beauty in my walks; the brook,
Bordered with sparkling frost-work, was as gay
As with its fringe of summer flowers.
Today’s assignment:
  1. Take an unsuccessful beginnings of a collage. If you don’t have one, begin with papers that you don’t really like.
  2. Mask an area of the collage using a plain piece of paper, colored or white or black, whatever you choose.
  3. Add other elements from transfers to realistic images, to flat patterns or other things.

1 Comment

  1. Constance Pierce says:

    Also, love Bryant’s “Thanatopsis” which once I memorized long, long ago … thanks for reminding me.

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