Monday, August 17, 2015

Nightfall - Linda Dyer

The wood begins to gather darkness,
stuffing it in holes
and spreading it in hollows,
tucking it among the tree roots,
piling it against the sapling's trunk.
At first the upper branches stay aloof
preferring not to watch
the hoarding going on below,
but darkness stacks on darkness
stacks on darkness, up and up,
until the glutton woodland
vanishes from sight,
itself consumed in blackest night.

I don't think I've ever heard a sunset described in quite as interesting a way as this before.  Rather than darkness being a result of the passing of the light, it is an active element, building up and up, swallowing the trees and absorbing them into the night.  It's a ground up, one layer of abstraction sort of sunset description, and I can picture it perfectly.  A treeline, becoming dark from the group up, until the last vestiges of light on the highest branches are swallowed too by the vertical growing darkness.

I found this enchanting poem in a volume of poetry I received as a gift, The Blueline Anthology.  The poems in that collection are all inspired by, in some way, the Adirondack region.  All through my life, my family would vacation for a week or two in Lake George in the Adirondacks, so the region holds a very special place in my heart.  I cannot read something like this without imagining the pristine blue waters glinting as the sun comes down over the lake.  Now, thanks to this poem, I have another image to add to my recollection: the darkness moving its way up the tree, as "darkness stacks on darkness stacks on darkness."

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