winter afternoons

There’s a certain Slant of light,
Winter Afternoons –
That oppresses, like the Heft
Of Cathedral Tunes –



Heavenly Hurt, it gives us –
We can find no scar,
But internal difference –
Where the Meanings, are –



None may teach it – Any –
‘Tis the seal Despair –
An imperial affliction
Sent us of the Air –



When it comes, the Landscape listens –
Shadows – hold their breath –
When it goes, ’tis like the Distance
On the look of Death –



Emily Dickinson

40 responses

  1. Emily D sure got that right. I’ve never read that poem of hers before, but I’ve always felt that way about the winter light.

  2. Someday, if you are able, come to New England and see it as Emily did. It looks quite different with snow piled all around.

    Lovely pictures!

    • I would love to be a bird in your snowy mt. home for just a moment. I have heard BC is beautiful and hope to visit there someday.

  3. Gorgeous photography and wonderful poetry. What a nice way to think of winter, late winter. Though here in Idaho we are having unseasonably warm weather, and there is no lake in sight. I miss the Great Lakes of Michigan! I was thinking as I read the poem and looked at your photos, how do you find the time to knit up a storm, design, research, read, take walks and be such a great photographer?

    Inspiring and makes me aspire to the same. I love each activity (though not a designer myself, nor a knitter such as you…), but I tend to juggle so much that I must, absolutely have to make the time to enjoy these things. Really good reminder, and lovely post. Thank you for your postings of late, I haven’t said much but have enjoyed each one.

  4. thank you for the beautiful photographs – I have only visited North Berwick once – a magical afternoon remembered through your photos

  5. Thank you. I enjoy your blog very much: your knitting; reflections; knitting and wool-related history; poetry; and exquisite photography.

  6. That’s beautiful. I love the photographs (new design in there perchance?) Winter is my favourite time of all. I think I’d differ a little to Emily though. I would say that winter ’tis the time of sleep, of rest, of peace. Of deep calm before the spring awakes, and a busy new year breaks forth. (Not great poetry sorry – but it’s the basic sentiment of my feelings for winter).

  7. I love Dickinson, Kate. However if your scenery was close to me there would be no heaviness or despair of winter. Beautiful photos.

  8. ‘When it comes the landscape listens…..’ . These words written on a misty island so far away resonate with meaning here too within this valley that winds through the ancient jarrah forests of Western Australia. The trees here speak in different voices every morning as the breeze from the vast desert glides through their tangled branches on its way to the Ocean.

    We are facing a week of 39oC-40oC so to read of winter is sheer joy…. I loved the poem thank you for posting it.

  9. Your winter is perfect and you have the eye and words to capture it. Do you dye your wool sometimes? That yellow stuff (lichen?) on the rocks looks quite interesting.

  10. It’s about 35 degrees c here and rising for a day or so still….here’s to Australia Day on 26 January, not initially for any great patriotism, but for a rain-scented cool breeze to clear the cobwebs and soothe frayed/lost humour with a day off and away from the traffic. Then we can turn our attention to how wonderful this little corner of the world is, even with all its extremes, and feel empathy with your winter hills, the golden-green light familiar despite being a world (and six months!) away….love Dickinson, although the one quote that has always stuck in my mind, and which I’ve had to severely restrain myself from producing at exceedingly inappropriate (albeit potentially amusing) moments is ‘I’m-nobody-who-are-you?-are-you-nobody-too?’ (excuse punctuation, that’s how I’ve always thought it through!)

  11. What beautiful words and photographs! I do so love Emily Dickinson, and this is really a wonderful pairing of visual and verbal imagery. Thank you for sharing it.

  12. I can’t get over my gratitude to Emily Dickinson for nailing so many slim but intense moments to eternity with her pen. Thank you for your photography, which evokes those Dickensonian moments.

  13. Hi! I am a new reader of your blog. I search “scoland wool” on google and I managed to click on your blog. I was (and always am) amazed! I love to knit, I love dogs (I have a labrador and a bernese) and one of my biggest dream is to visit Scotland. I was meant to read you! :) Your pictures are beautiful, but I tought that there will be more show in Scotland… I’m from Quebec-Canada, so more in the south, and we have plenty of snow here. I’m very suprise. But all this to say that I can wait to read you more, see your new design, ans go to Scotland!!! Have a nice day!

  14. Discovered your blog while musing on waist shaping for a fair isle vest. Just love it, and Edinburgh, which I’ve visited twice. Will be visiting (your blog, not the city) regularly. Beautiful, evocative photography. You are so lucky to have the ocean; all I have is Lake Ontario!

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