Greetings and Happy Janiveer, Poetry Lovers!
After a few weeks of being slammed with Etsy orders before the holidays (thanks to anyone who contributed to those late nights! :0) ), and then the better part of two weeks road-tripping to visit family hither and yon, I'm still "starting" my New Year. I SHOULD have spent every free hour this week restoring order in my studio (not to mention house/home office). Somehow, I also took little detours into a local thrift shop or two to see what new (old) things might call my name.
I found a hardcover edition of a book I love, THE COUNTRY DIARY OF AN EDWARDIAN LADY by Edith Holden. I've professed my affections for this tome before, as Jeff gave me a cherished paperback copy early in our marriage. But for a buck going to a good cause, I succombed to bringing home this larger version, too.
Our Dear Edith opens her January pages with notes on Janus, and Epiphany (Jan. 6), and an excerpt from Spenser's Faerie Queen, and mottoes such as: "If the grass do grow in Janiveer/It grows the worse for it all the year." Her illustrations of Blue Tits, a Cole (Coal) Tit and Great Tit are delightful.
What exactly are these birds, you ask? Well, good thing that my Christmas gift from my son, Seth, was a copy of Collins Bird Guide - the Most complete Guide to the Birds of Britain and Europe. (Here's a British link to that bird family in case you were not similarly gifted. It describes these charming feathered friends as "small birds with plain or colourful plumages, stout legs and strong feet and short, triangular bills," noting that some have crests, and all are frequent visitors to bird feeders.) Last February I included a photo of one from our 2018 trip to Scotland in my Poetry Friday Roundup post here.
Edith Holden includes one more spread of January musings - two poetic selections and an illustration of dead leaves - before her daily entries for the month.
Here is her excerpt from "Frost at Midnight" by Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834), the last stanza:
Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee,
Whether the summer clothe the general earth
With greenness, or the redbreast sit and sing
Betwixt the tufts of snow on the bare branch
Of mossy apple-tree, while the night-thatch
Smokes in the sun-thaw; whether the eave-drops fall
Heard only in the trances of the blast,
Or if the secret ministry of frost
Shall hang them up in silent icicles,
Quietly shining to the quiet Moon.
(You can read the whole poem here.)
(I'm quietly swooning at the quiet last line.)
The always-shining Sally Murphy hosts our Roundup this week; so glad to "see" her as I know we are all worried about our Australian friends. (Continued prayers for everyone through those fires, Sally and Kat.) Click over to see what she's been up to, and to enjoy all the poetry links!