“Let Evening Come”-by Jane Kenyon

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.

The poem strikes you for the beauty of the visual imagery drawn from a rural scene .Heart-rendingly beautiful ,especially when you know that the poem actually talks about the creeping inevitability of the tragic end of the poet’s friend who was slowly dying of cancer. Herself a Bipolar disorder victim the poet has drawn from her own experiences of her rural background to paint a beautiful picture of the day as it progresses towards the evening and then darkness of the night.

The light of the chinks in the barn moves slowly up the bales towards the evening. The cricket prepares to chafe for the evening and the woman readies to sew .Everything in nature is slowly moving towards the evening and the night when the shed will become “black”.The beauty of the imagery comes through in the way the visual element gets built up -“light shining through the chinks of the barn”, then “moving up the bales as the sun goes down”, “dew collcting on the hoe abandoned in the tall grass”,”the bottle in the ditch”,”scoop in the oats”- powerful word-pictures which enhance the visual beauty of the poem.

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“Entrance”- A poem by Rilke

Whovever you are: step out in to the evening
out of your living room, where everything is so known;
your house stands as the last thing before great space:
Whoever you are.
With your eyes, which in their fatigue can just barely
free themselves from the worn-out thresholds,
very slowly, lift a single black tree
and place it against the sky, slender and alone.
With this you have made the world. And it is large
and like a word that is still ripening in silence.
And, just as your will grasps their meaning,
they in turn will let go, delicately, of your eyes . . .

I love this simple poem of Rilke ,being “whoever you are” trying to step out of the living room.Like Rilke has told us I keep lifting a single black tree and placing it against the sky .Sometimes I do this with my camera which readily obliges :

tree-and-cloud.jpg

It is a large , large world ,like a word that is ripening in silence.I know that as the word ripens and then falls off , it lets go of my images ,freeing me from the bounds of my own consciousness.

The vastness of canvas available in a digital photograph adds a new dimension to appreciation of the beauty of nature in two ways :Firstly the photograph releases you from the limits of your own awareness of the environment . Secondly the digital photograph explores the interrelationship between the different components of the picture which play on one another in a most symbiotic fashion . It is as though the tree , the grass, the lake , the paddy fields , the sky and the clouds are singing in a chorus of joyful melody. The individual components add up to the totality of the beauty in a manner that does not happen in the real world . Thus there is no rice field without the mountains, the sky, the bush, the mud track, the palm trees and the sunlight; there is no moon without the customary coconut tree. Many times we are unable to appreciate the beauty inherent in a natural scene because our senses cannot focus enough on the essential nature of things , the luminescence that emerges from the objects of nature acting on one another.

Digital photography expands our consciousness pushing the borders of visual awareness like nothing else does. More particularly vast spaces captured in panoramic views . Normally we have only a fleeting glimpse of expanded horizons when we are on the move , that is when we are traveling by a car and we stop by on the highway . The spaces release us from our own limits of visual awareness . We have seen such vast spaces only in paintings. For the first time , after the advent of digital photography, we are in a position to capture such vast spaces .