Two Writers’ “Wandering Glances” on Bluebells

For most, bluebells have come and gone, although in cooler areas they may linger. As they may in poetry.

The subtitle of my latest novel, Without the Veil between, Anne Brontë: A Fine and Subtle Spirit was taken—on the suggestion of my friend Deborah Bennison (Bennison Books)—from one of Anne’s poems inspired by the “little trembling flower”. It was written in August 1840, during her first year as governess for the Robinsons at Thorpe Green.

 

In his biography of Anne, Edward Chitham gives this account of the poem:

The sea lies behind the poet and a range of hills ahead. She is walking “all carelessly” along a sunny lane. She laughs and talks with “those around” – presumably her pupils – and does not feel as harassed as usual. The sudden sight of a blue harebell on the bank by the road recalls her own childhood. She had then been dwelling ‘with kindred hearts’ and did not have to spend her life looking after others, as she now had to. 

The Blue Bell by Anne Brontë

A fine and subtle spirit dwells
In every little flower,
Each one its own sweet feeling breathes
With more or less of power.

There is a silent eloquence
In every wild bluebell
That fills my softened heart with bliss
That words could never tell.

Yet I recall not long ago
A bright and sunny day,
‘Twas when I led a toilsome life
So many leagues away;

That day along a sunny road
All carelessly I strayed,
Between two banks where smiling flowers
Their varied hues displayed.

Before me rose a lofty hill,
Behind me lay the sea,
My heart was not so heavy then
As it was wont to be.

Less harassed than at other times
I saw the scene was fair,
And spoke and laughed to those around,
As if I knew no care.

But when I looked upon the bank
My wandering glances fell
Upon a little trembling flower,
A single sweet bluebell.

Whence came that rising in my throat,
That dimness in my eye?
Why did those burning drops distil —
Those bitter feelings rise?

O, that lone flower recalled to me
My happy childhood’s hours
When bluebells seemed like fairy gifts
A prize among the flowers,

Those sunny days of merriment
When heart and soul were free,
And when I dwelt with kindred hearts
That loved and cared for me.

I had not then mid heartless crowds
To spend a thankless life
In seeking after others’ weal
With anxious toil and strife.

‘Sad wanderer, weep those blissful times
That never may return!’
The lovely floweret seemed to say,
And thus it made me mourn.

 

In 2012, I also reflected poetically on the delight and memories that the “lovely floweret” brought to me.

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

Clearing for Bluebells by DM Denton

I am long gone
from that small coppice
where one man’s purpose
was all I had.

His saw, his scythe
cut through the clutter
to shed some light where
the ground was soft.

Fires were set
to burn away brash
and warm us at last
on such cold days.

We’d stop for lunch
and speak of nothing
except the birdsong
leaving winter.

He loved my hair
and constant silence
and woman’s promise
to stay for hope.

My hands, my heart
wanted to be his
working with nature’s
way of growing.

Clearing the way
for sunshine and rain
growing love not blame
from what was past.

Bluebells, bluebells
in sight and fragrance
I have come back since
just as he thought

I would.

 

 

In folklore, some believed that wearing a wreath of bluebell flowers made you tell the truth. Anne Brontë, would have approved, having written:

“I wished to tell the truth, for truth always conveys its own moral to those who are able to receive it.” ~ The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

This is the most beautiful novel about Anne Brontë and her sisters that I’ve read in a very long time.
Read entire review by
Kimberly Eve, Victorian Musings

Go to the novel’s booklaunch page for more reviews, synopsis, book trailer, and buy links.

©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

Advertisements

In Memory of a Happy Day in February

Here’s a post just because it’s February and, for a day or two, spring-like. Also, because a sanguine view of life  is much needed and who better than Anne Brontë’s eyes to see it through.

Illustration Copyright 2018 by DM Denton

In Memory of a Happy Day in February

Blessed be Thou for all the joy
My soul has felt today!
O let its memory stay with me
And never pass away!
I was alone, for those I loved
Were far away from me,
The sun shone on the withered grass,
The wind blew fresh and free.

Was it the smile of early spring
That made my bosom glow?
‘Twas sweet, but neither sun nor wind
Could raise my spirit so.

Was it some feeling of delight,
All vague and undefined?
No, ’twas a rapture deep and strong,
Expanding in the mind!

Was it a sanguine view of life
And all its transient bliss­-
A hope of bright prosperity?
O no, it was not this!

It was a glimpse of truth divine
Unto my spirit given
Illumined by a ray of light
That shone direct from heaven!

I felt there was a God on high
By whom all things were made.
I saw His wisdom and his power
In all his works displayed.

But most throughout the moral world
I saw his glory shine;
I saw His wisdom infinite,
His mercy all divine.

Deep secrets of his providence
In darkness long concealed
Were brought to my delighted eyes
And graciously revealed.

But while I wondered and adored
His wisdom so divine,
I did not tremble at his power,
I felt that God was mine.

I knew that my Redeemer lived,
I did not fear to die;
Full sure that I should rise again
To immortality.

I longed to view that bliss divine
Which eye hath never seen,
To see the glories of his face
Without the veil between.

~ Anne Brontë

 

Without the Veil Between, Anne Brontë: A Fine and Subtle Spirit

©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

Repost: Like a Nuthatch

Watching the birds on my nutty suet feeder the last few days, I decided to share this one for the third time. (Those of you who have my 2014 Calendar will recognize it, too.)

Following on my previous post, I’m still in the process of re-imagining this blog. I have, however, taken the first step, an important one for me at this time, and disabled the LIKE button. Whatever I post going forward is for anyone who comes upon it, enjoys it and/or finds it informative and interesting. Comments will still be much appreciated, but so will every anonymous coming and going.

My welcome and gratefulness to all who take the time to visit here, remains the same.



Nuthatch


What wouldn’t you give
for that peanutty feast –
something of your shyness
at the very least?

For you have valor,
obvious in your stance,
blue-gray caped crusader
eyes fixed in a glance.

Long-billed and short-tailed,
you observe from your perch,
impatient for my hand
to shorten your search.

While head over ‘heels’
you see nothing absurd
in making a descent
to reach what’s preferred.

And then there are times
you also move sideways
with strong toes and claws that
gravity obeys.

Your voice is distinct,
tiny horns on the wind,
red-breast hardly counting
your breaths out and in.

You have a technique
that seems topsy-turvy
but finds more delights than
others more nervy.

Tapping each crevice
you find grubs and insects
that many high climbers
routinely do miss.

Despite your short wings
you lift off with some pluck
to prove, after all, you
know which way is up.



©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

Perennial Perspective (first posted July 2013)

“She came toward me with two day-lilies, which she put in a childlike way into my hand, saying softly, under her breath, ‘These are my introduction.'” –  What literary critic and abolitionist, Thomas Wentworth Higginson, recalled of his unusual meeting with Emily Dickinson in 1870.

Mom's Day Lilies  July 2014

Mom’s Day Lilies – Copyright 2013

A view

through day lilies

bright and brave

growing wild

without abandoning

the perfect plan

for their existence.



Wanted to share another favorite painting of mine from my mom’s artistic hand and free spirit!

‘The daylily is often called “the perfect perennial,” due to its dazzlings colors, ability to tolerate drought, capability to thrive in many zones, and requiring very little care.’ from Wikipedia

The daylilies are absolutely beautiful this year in Western New York … in gardens, along roadsides and fields, it seems everywhere you look!



donatellasmallest©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

Truth Stranger Than Fiction

I would have disappeared but for the sound of your acquaintance
flower-question-mark-page-0-2that found me dressed in flowers and waiting for the wind in the trees.

 

 

I would not have imagined another encounter without the paradox of you, or found myself in a past that became my future in your absence.

 

My writing life might have been barren but for you. Even the waiting for you. And the letting go. Especially, the wanting to hold on.

 

Our story is now buried and visited by strangers. That is how it is told.

 

A House Near Luccoli Poster for blog etc

I “knew” Alessandro Stradella. I recognized his distinct voice, his swaying form, his infectious smile, and his wandering heart. I had witnessed the rise and fall of his talents, how his music had showered him with forgiveness if not fortune.

 

Before her was a gracious creature, especially his hands composing in mid-air and eyes shifting slowly in observation and expression. His hair was an admission of the recklessness that got him in trouble, the vagrancy of his genius making him too accessible. Without music’s influence he might not wander like a prince among his subjects, although who could think that was all there was to him?
~  From A House Near Luccoli

Happy Birthday

Alessandro Stradella

extraordinary Baroque Composer

born April 3, 1639

stradellwide

 

 

 

 

©Artwork, writing and photography unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

Two Highly Recommended Poetry Collections

I would like to share my thoughts on two wonderful poetry collections, from writers publishing for the first time:

New Day, New Dreams by Lauren ScottNew Day, New Dreams
Highly recommended to touch your heart, move your spirit, and make you cry and smile.

Lauren Scott is a talented poet who explores her observations, thoughts, emotions, sensuality and spirituality in a variety of forms and through beautiful word play, deep feeling, wit and even playfulness.  She offers poetry from her moments and memories; its subjects range from her love for her parents, sisters, husband, children and beloved dog, to reflections on rainy days and Mondays, sunrises, aging, walking through nature and along beaches, and even coffee–and that doesn’t begin to cover it all!  This is a collection of verse that is grateful, optimistic, romantic, nostalgic, inspirational, motivational and amusing, by a poet who writes from the heart and a sense of what is truly important in life.  I have followed Lauren’s blog for some time now and this special book just confirms my suspicions: she is always writing poems and although ‘Inspiration has its own timing/and it’s not always perfectly aligning’, she rarely lets her muse slip away unexploited.



Silence Happens
A beautiful book of quiet poetry


The “little thoughts of life, nature, peace, freedom and love” in this collection are like whispers in the ear, not from any human source but from the sensory and spiritual rhythms of nature and the Universe. The title is perfect, for this is as close as words can be to silence, happening as they will, without any intellectualizing or reaching for meaning. This is a miniature book of Zen that anyone can practice just by reading it through or opening it randomly to be calmed, connected to the intuition, and reminded that beauty, peace and love are always available. It offers a place in which to be safe and encouraged. The reflections in this book are hypnotic—even as one reads, like closing the eyes and breathing in their promptings to observe, experience, imagine and believe. Martin Shone is a poet who knows that …

“Poetry doesn’t have to be words

Poetry can be your dreams
your memories
your future

Poetry lives within your soul

Poetry is you”

Silence Happens is a lovely book to … treasure for its spontaneity, simplicity, sublimity and, not least, the quietness of its poetry.

The Snow White Gift Cat only
If you are gift-giving this (or any) time of year, please consider books, whether poetry, fiction or non-fiction, in print or e-reader versions. They offer escape, adventure, knowledge, romance, inspiration, soul-and-heart-stirring.  And, something I think is most essential: quiet time … certainly time well spent!
Copyright 2012 DM Denton

Copyright 2012 DM Denton

Repost: Like a Nuthatch




What wouldn’t you give
for that peanutty feast –
something of your shyness
at the very least?

For you have valor,
obvious in your stance,
blue-gray caped crusader
eyes fixed in a glance.

Long-billed and short-tailed,
you observe from your perch,
impatient for my hand
to shorten your search.

While head over ‘heels’
you see nothing absurd
in making a descent
to reach what’s preferred.

And then there are times
you also move sideways
with strong toes and claws that
gravity obeys.

Your voice is distinct,
tiny horns on the wind,
red-breast hardly counting
your breaths out and in.

You have a technique
that seems topsy-turvy
but finds more delights than
others more nervy.

Tapping each crevice
you find grubs and insects
that many high climbers
routinely do miss.

Despite your short wings
you lift off with some pluck
to prove, after all, you
know which way is up.

I have included this one in my Nature in Sight 2014 Calendar. The holidays are coming up, and it would make a lovely gift for someone who loves nature reflections in poetry and art.

Copyright 2013 by DM Denton

Copyright 2013 by DM Denton

See a preview of all twelve months and how to purchase.
It is a premium 13.5″ x 19″ calendar, on high quality paper stock, spiral-bound at the top of each month.
Blessings to all!



©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.