Thursday, 5 November 2009


I suppose it is inevitable that sunset has become a bit of a cliche for dying, for the end of life, for the "twilight years." I don't think any poet now could use sunset as a metaphor for the end of life - because it has been done so often.

I love Robert Browning's use of "the sunset touch":-
Just when we're safest, there's a sunset-touch,
A fancy from a flower bell, some one's death
A chorus ending from Euripedes, -
And that's enough for fifty hopes and fears
As old and new at once as Nature's self,
To rap and knock and enter in our soul.

Lord Byron (I think from Childe Harold) has a nice little mention too:-
The moon is up - and yet it is not night -
Sunset divides the sky with her - a sea
Of glory streams along the Alpine height
Of blue Friuli's mountain.
(My father quoted this regularly at sunset if anyone was listening!)

And, of course, there is the old Tennyrson quote
Sunset and evening star
and one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning at the bar
when I put out to sea.

Oh dear - all a bit sad and pessimistic aren't they? Well,, I have to tell you that I don't view sunset like that. Our kitchen window faces due West, so at this time of the year we usually eat our tea to the accompaniment of a glorious sunset if one is available. I thought you might like to see these five different sunset photographs - all taken from our kitchen window - to say that each one fills the sky with beauty is an understatement. Enjoy them.


Gramma Ann said...

Oh! Weaver, I love sunset photographs.

Before we retired 11 years ago, we lived on a farm and our kitchen window faced west and we too enjoyed those beautiful sunsets.

I like you would take pictures of them. And even though the pictures are lovely like yours, it is never as lovely as the spectacular sunset as we watch with our own eyes.

Coastcard said...

Wonderful to revel in those familiar and favourite quotations. Thank you, Weaver. I love your photographs, too: a real touch and tonic of that clear, crisp Yorkshire light.

Reader Wil said...

Lovely words to a fabulous sunset! I always like poems to go with the setting sun.
Here is a song from "Fiddler on the Roof":

Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly flow the days
Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers
Blossoming even as we gaze

Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly fly the years
One season following another
Laden with happiness and tears

Dragonstar said...

What glorious photos. I find sunsets like that to be full of hope.

Titus said...

Simply stunning Weaver.
Like Dragonstar, I find them inspiring and uplifting rather than melancholy.

ArtPropelled said...

A wonderful setting to eat your tea!

Heather said...

Thankyou for your beautiful sunset photos Weaver. I went to visit my Mum in her care home this afternoon and we enjoyed watching the clouds change shape and colour through the lounge window as the sun went down. There wasn't a lot of colour but the textures in the clouds and the lovely subtle tones of lavender and peach were just wonderful.

Penny said...

Glorious sunsets, somehow I never look at them as an ending, not sure why, when we are at the beach in summer we always toast the sun setting over the sea.
Also as farmers I think we look at them as a sign of what weather we may get on the following day,

Crafty Green Poet said...

those are stunning sunsets, Weaver. I love sunsets, especially at this time of year

Coastcard said...

P.S. I have followed suit, and have posted three sunsets on my Land&Lit blog here. I am wondering if others will post their sunset photos, too...

Elisabeth said...

Do you turn off the lights inside, to eat your evening meal against a backdrop of such beauty. Amazing.

Midlife Jobhunter said...

How little I know of the great poets. I enjoy the sunset and I don't think of it as an ending. Perhaps because I stay up so late at night, maybe? Dragging myself out of bed in the morning seems more like putting out to sea.

Golden West said...

I always consider a sunset to be the promise of a fresh beginning.

Cloudia said...

Hawaii bows to your lovely English skies today!

Cheerio & Aloha, Friend!

Comfort Spiral

dinesh chandra said...

Oh, Nice to read you , I m also fan of Robert browning and Keats.
When I found time I read the poem of Robert Browing' The last ride Together and My Last Dutches.

I love the monologue written by Browing and I love to read your poem and prose.

I keen to know about farming,Pls write something the life of the country side.

the watercats said...

sunset, sunset!... beautiful.. not and ending just the notation of the impending beginning :-)

Poet in Residence said...

Lucky you, Weaver. We sit day by day under the grey uniform cloud wondering when the sun will reappear. But the trees are yellow and gold, almost sunny.


My kitchen window faces the east, so sunsets are
reflected in the windows facing west! Thank you for your comments about the cliches of sunsets - and I do like your series. Every sunset is different and personal as seen, and captured, at any given moment.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks to everyone for comments. Nice to read reader wil's song from Fiddler on the Roof.
HEATHER makes a good point about how restful it is to watch the changing sky at sunset. Many times I have gone in to get my camera and but the time I am out again the wonderful colour has faded.
I do agree with Penny that, as farmers, we often take the sunset as an indication of what kind of day we shall have tomorrow.
One thing we are all agreed on is that sunsets are wonderful - and they are also hopeful for tomorrow and not an ending at all.

Derrick said...

Hello Weaver,

Great photographs. I never tire of looking at sunsets and have photographed many but there are times when the camera can never quite capture the beauty as we see it. I wouldn't mind reading more sunset poetry if it was as wonderful as the pieces you've quoted!
WV: blesst !

Teresa said...

Wow... you really do have some spectacular sunsets.... I'd enjoy them with tea too!

BT said...

How fantastic to be able to see the sunsets from your window. We have to go and look outside for ours. I have put a couple on today, funnily enough. I just love those photos.