TCS: Brightness Appears Showing Us Everything

Good Morning!


Welcome to The Coffee Shop, just for you early risers
on Monday mornings. This is an Open Thread forum,
so if you have an off-topic opinion burning a hole in
your brainpan, feel free to add a comment.


“If you can not arrive in daylight,
then stand off well clear,
and wait until dawn.
After all, that’s one of the things
God made boats for – to wait in.”

– Tristan Jones


Today is Daylight Appreciation Day, as well as the Summer Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere. Daylight Appreciation Day was started by Solatube International in 2015. ‘Daylighting’ is the practice of lighting interior spaces with natural light. But whether we are in daylight inside or outside, it is essential to our sense of well-being, helping to elevate our mood and reduce stress. The Summer Solstice is the perfect day to celebrate sunlight.

In the U.S., we change our clocks in the Spring to gain even more daylight until the Autumn, so here are five American poets who’ve written something related to daylight.


The Wings of Daylight

by W.S. Merwin

Brightness appears showing us everything
it reveals the splendors it calls everything
but shows it to each of us alone
and only once and only to look at
not to touch or hold in our shadows
what we see is never what we touch
what we take turns out to be something else
what we see that one time departs untouched
while other shadows gather around us
the world’s shadows mingle with our own
we had forgotten them but they know us
they remember us as we always were
they were at home here before the first came
everything will leave us except the shadows
but the shadows carry the whole story
they open their long wings

“The Wings of Daylight” from Garden Time, © 2016 by W. S. Merwin –
Copper Canyon Press

W.S. Merwin (1927=2019) was an American poet who wrote more than fifty books of poetry and prose, and produced many translations. In the 1980s and 1990s, his writing influence derived from an interest in Buddhist philosophy and deep ecology. Residing in a rural part of Maui, Hawaii, he wrote prolifically and was dedicated to the restoration of the island’s rainforests. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry twice, in 1971 and 2009, National Book Award for Poetry in 2005.  He was named as the U.S. Poet Laureate (2010-2011).


Daylight Dreamer

by Shel Silverstein

Here’s the half-finished painting of a girl that I started last December
Here’s the first three pages of my novel bout I don’t really remember
Here’s my Martin guitar that I never quite learned how to play
That’s the daylight dreamer wishful thinker’s way

I had a Harley bike but I traded it off to a feller
For the Astroglass boat that’s still sittin down in my cellar
I bought a tape recorder and found I had nothin’ to say
That’s the daylight dreamer wishful thinker’s way

I got an exercise machine man I’d be glad to let you try it
This well it’s a Leika Camera maybe you’d like to buy it
I can get you a real good deal
I just need enough money to buy myself some modeling clay
Yeah that’s the daylight dreamer wishful thinker’s way

On the day that I die they’ll be talking about the dearly departed
And they’ll say he never finished nothin’ that he started
But I started this song man I’m gonna finish it today
Yeah that’s the daylight dreamer

(How was it…daylight…oh wish…wishful…think…what were it…
I forgot I forgot the words
Listen… anyway… why don’t we just take a break and finish it later you know
Cause I could sure use a sandwich
I wanna get myself a BLT or something
And listen… right near the restaurant there’s a great old bookstore.
Right near the restaurant
They got all these great old books… great old comic books…they got Batman)

“Daylight Dreamer” from Every Thing On It, © 2011 Evil Eye LLC – Harper Collins

Shel Silverstein (1930-1999) beloved American children’s book author, poet, singer-songwriter, cartoonist, and screenwriter, has over 20 million books in print in 30 languages. He gives much credit for his children’s books to his editor: “I never planned to write or draw for kids. It was Tomi Ungerer, a friend of mine, who insisted—practically dragged me, kicking and screaming, into Ursula Nordstrom’s office. And she convinced me that Tomi was right; I could do children’s books.”


A Daylight Savings Time Haiku

by Carl Setzer

sunlight to the east
springtime deceiving our clocks
the air, cold and dry

“A Daylight Savings Time Haiku” © 2020 by Carl Setzer

 Carl Setzer, American web designer, haiku writer, technologist, and blogger. Poetry became part of his life in a 7th grade creative writing class. He’s currently taking web application classes at Edmonds College in the Seattle area.


The Light of Interiors

by Kay Ryan

The light of interiors
is the admixture
of who knows how many
doors ajar, windows
casually curtained,
unblinded or opened,
oculi set into ceilings,
wells, ports, shafts,
loose fits, leaks,
and other breaches
of surface. But, in
any case, the light,
once in, bounces
toward the interior,
glancing off glassy
enamels and polishes,
softened by the scuffed
and often-handled, muffled
in carpet and toweling,
buffeted down hallways,
baffled equally
by scatter and order
to an ideal and now
sourceless texture which,
when mixed with silence,
makes of a simple
table with flowers
an island.

“The Light of Interiors” © 2003 by Kay Ryan, appeared in Poetry magazine, November 2003 issue

Kay Ryan (1945 – ) American poet and community college English teacher, was born in San Jose California. She has published nearly a dozen poetry collections, beginning with Dragon Acts to Dragon Ends, published privately in 1983. It was her sixth book of poetryThe Niagara River, winner of the 2004 Ruth Lily Poetry Prize, which brought her some national attention. She was a surprise choice when the U.S. Library of Congress named her as Poet Laureate (2008-2010). “I felt completely unequal to the task. I thought, no, never in a million years . . .” In spite of her self-doubts, and the diagnosis of her life partner, Carol Adair, with advanced stage cancer, she accepted, and emphasized the value of community colleges during her tenure. Adair died in 2009, during Ryan’s second term. Kay Ryan won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for The Best of It: New and Selected Poems. In 2013, President Barack Obama presented her with a National Humanities Medal. Her poetry collection, Erratic Facts, was published in 2016.


Daylight Saving

by Dorothy Parker

My answers are inadequate
To those demanding day and date
And ever set a tiny shock
Through strangers asking what’s o’clock:
Whose days are spent in whittling rhyme –
What’s time to her, or she to Time?

“Daylight Saving” from Dorothy Parker: Complete Poems – Penguin Classics (2010 edition)

 Dorothy Parker (1893-1967) may be the most quoted – and misquoted – woman in America. Her formal education ended at 14, but she became a celebrated wit. Parker was a founding member of the famed Algonquin Round Table (circa 1919-1929). When the New Yorker debuted in 1925, Dorothy Parker was on the editorial board. As the magazine’s “Constant Reader,” she contributed poetry, fiction — and book reviews famous for  pulling no punches: “This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.” She made four failed suicide attempts, and said in an interview when she turned 70, “If I had any decency, I’d be dead. All my friends are.” In 1967, Parker did die, of a heart attack, at age 73. She bequeathed her literary estate to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., whom she had never met.



About wordcloud9

Nona Blyth Cloud has lived and worked in the Los Angeles area for over 50 years, spending much of that time commuting on the 405 Freeway. After Hollywood failed to appreciate her genius for acting and directing, she began a second career managing non-profits, from which she has retired. Nona has now resumed writing whatever comes into her head, instead of reports and pleas for funding. She lives in a small house overrun by books with her wonderful husband.
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3 Responses to TCS: Brightness Appears Showing Us Everything

  1. Always love Shel Silverstein!

  2. wordcloud9 says:

    Me too Becky!

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