Dec 18 – 4 days til Solstice

Friday December 18  –  “to ease attention off when overtight”

We are 4 days out from the winter solstice, the shortest day, the sun rising as far south as it gets before turning round to begin its 6 months march of sun rises across the eastern horizon to the summer solstice, the longest day.   But that’s for the future.  Now is a season to treat the dim light of long nights with respect.   Robert Frost writes about dim light as an essential need.  Here is his poem, posted to celebrate this time in our year, and this specific day when many of us at the university treat our students to our care about the quality of their intellectual achievements, grading papers time.    {Note:  when Frost writes “more divine than any bulb or arc” he refers to arc lights and light bulbs.  Arc lights were the first economically feasible source of electrical power based artificial light.  Immensely bright, they hurt your eyes to look at and so were hard to manage.  Hard to breathe around them too, they gave off what people often called “noxious fumes.”  Back in 1875, though, people thought of them as the march of progress.   R Frost had another idea, as poets often do.}

Have a great weekend.


john sj

Today’s Post:   Robert Frost “The Literate Farmers and the Planet Venus”

Here come the stars to character the skies,
And they in the estimation of the wise
Are more divine than any bulb or arc,
Because their purpose is to flash and spark,
But not to take away the precious dark.
We need the interruption of the night
To ease attention off when overtight,
To break our logic in too long a flight,
And ask us if our premises are right


O Antiphon # 2  – “O Adonai”

“O Lord above and ruler of the house of Israel,
who appeared to Moses in the flaming bush,
who gave the Law to him on Mt Sinai
Comel and save us with your strong arm’s reach.

Die 17 Decembris

Today’s Post:  “O Adonai”

To listen to the Antiphon sung in Gregorian Chant



Robert Frost 1874-1963

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