A Slant Of Light

Light carries so much symbolism, with our greatest source of it, the Sun, being one of the two things that all of life on our planet depends on. It illuminates and nourishes and without it, from plants to humans, life would quickly die off. In Emily’s poem, she used multiple literary devices and has the unknown speaker addressing the themes of despair, religion, nature, truth and transformation, all emanating from a certain slant of light streaming in or through. My poem is definitely less ambiguous and uncomplicated. It’s a nostalgic poem that I wrote by traveling in my mind back more than half a century. Well, that makes me sound ancient, doesn’t it! LOL

I have the fondest memories of sleeping in the attic bedroom at my maternal grandparent’s home in Virginia. Growing up, I spent most weekends and school vacations there. Beginning in 1946, my mother and her 3 sisters shared that room from the time the youngest was 2 until each one of them got married. I was born into that house and spent the first 22 months of my life there. Filled with memories, both literally and figuratively, it was a sweet haven that brought me lots of joy.

I’ve lived in a lot of places since then, (and I do mean a lot- 34 houses/apartments in my lifetime) but that house, my first home, I can still see it today in amazing Kodachrome detail. The smells, the sounds, the tastes, all like it was yesterday in my mind. The black and white parquet kitchen floor and the red table, where everything served tasted like love. The exact way the screen door sounded whenever anyone came in or went out. The white muslin cloth that was draped over the butter, sugar bowl and condiments that stayed there in between meals. Grandma standing by the woodstove, cooking Chicken Pot Pie or venison she or Pappy had hunted. Swinging on the porch swing with my Aunt Lou. Playing on Pappy’s car lift or rolling around on the garage creeper. Getting happy dirty and washing my hands in the garage sink with Gojo. Feeling safe and loved under Grandma’s quilts in the cozy attic bedroom my own mother grew up in. Being proud when I was finally big enough to go to the hen house by myself and get the eggs for breakfast. Digging potatoes in the garden and being sent down to the earthy cool root cellar for vegetables, pickles or sauces that had been canned and put up for the winter. Snapping beans, making butter, and enjoying a cool slice of sweet watermelon or hand churned ice cream outside on a hot summer day. Although my grandparents are both gone now and the house looked nothing like it used to when I drove by it 10 years ago, until their deaths it was the one place on Earth that stayed constant in my life, when it seemed like almost nothing else did. It always felt like my true home.

Perhaps this brought back some of your own memories of growing up. Hopefully you all have a place like this that you remember fondly.

References

https://www.litcharts.com/poetry/emily-dickinson/there-s-a-certain-slant-of-light

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