There’s a Certain Slant of Light

First Waking Moment of Sunday

First Waking Moment of Sunday

There’s a certain slant of light,
On winter afternoons,
That oppresses, like the weight
Of cathedral tunes.

Heavenly hurt it gives us;
We can find no scar,
But internal difference
Where the meanings are.

None may teach it anything,
‘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, ‘t is like the distance
On the look of death.

Emily Dickinson

I love Emily Dickinson’s work, but have always wondered over this verse.  Like Edward Hopper, I love slanting light, and I love the quality of winter light the most.  So, when I awoke this morning and saw this on my bedroom bookcase, the words of Emily’s poem immediately flashed across my consciousness, and pulling the poem from my book, re-read it.  Still it reads with a sorrow that I never feel when gazing at winter light.  I always wonder if I am misinterpreting her in this poem.

I could not wait to enter the studio with such clear, cleain light flooding my house.

Race Horse Commission

Race Horse Commission

I am spending today, trying to finish this final commission to be devlivered on Monday.  That will make three commissions in three days signed, sealed and delivered.  A load will roll off my back when that happens.  I am overwhelmingly grateful for those two ice days that opened up a four-day weekend for me.  Withouut that precious time, I’m not sure how I would have pulled off these commissions.

Two Commissions nearly ready

Two Commissions nearly ready

The gas station painting will be delivered to its new owner this afternoon.

Christmas Commissions in Progress

Christmas Commissions in Progress

The Jeep painting I delivered yesterday.  I’m starting to feel like Santa Claus.

Back to work.  Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

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8 Responses to “There’s a Certain Slant of Light”

  1. Trapper Gale Says:

    Slanting light and time to paint, what more could you want?


  2. lifeofawillow Says:

    Oh! I love emily dickinsons work as well! Lovely post. Lovely art. Thank you for sharing.


  3. Bonnie Says:

    I love slanting light…especially if it has leaf shadow movement in it. That makes me happy!! 😉 (Yes…I love trees…even though they can be a challenge to portray in art!) I wonder if it was the “softness” of the winter light that made her feel sadness. Melancholy, you know. I don’t know…just a thought that popped in my mind.


    • davidtripp Says:

      Thank you, Bonnie, for responding to this. I’m never sure about what Emily meant by lines such as this. I just love the winter light, and returned recently from St. Louis (and 4-degree temperatures!) where the sun was so strong and the light so clear. It encouraged me to paint while I was up there. I’m glad I responded.


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