Smiling Sally hosts a Blue Monday in which we can post about anything blue — pretty, ugly, serious or funny — and then link up to other Blue Monday participants.
I rechecked Sally’s guidelines to make sure this was ok and that our blue item didn’t have to be an actual object (I didn’t think so as Sally’s pretty creative in other memes she participates in, too. 🙂 ). But over the weekend I was reminded of two poems that mentioned blue, both of which touch my heart for many reasons.
The first is “The Blue Bowl,” which I discovered a while back in Lanier Ivester‘s article, “I Am a Stay-at-Home Wife,” which is excellent reading. This poem has to do with a wife’s loving ministrations for her husband throughout the day.
The Blue Bowl
All day long I did the little things,
The little things that do not show;
I brought the kindling for the fire,
I set the candles in a row,
I filled a bowl with marigolds—
The shallow bowl you love the best—
And made the house a pleasant place
Where weariness may take its rest.
The hours sped on, my eager feet
Could not keep pace with my desire.
So much to do! So little time!
I could not let my body tire.
Yet when the coming of the night
Blotted the garden from my sight,
And on the narrow graveled walks
Between the guarding flower stalks
I heard your step, I was not through
With services I meant for you.
You came into the quiet room
That glowed enchanted with the bloom
Of yellow flame. I saw your face;
Illumined by the firelit space,
Slowly grow still and comforted—
“It’s good to be at home,” you said.
~ Blanch Bane Kuder
The second is one I first saw referenced on Janet’s blog, titled “The Blue Robe” by Wendell Berry.
The Blue Robe
How joyful to be together, alone
as when we first were joined
in our little house by the river
long ago, except that now we know
each other, as we did not then;
and now instead of two stories fumbling
to meet, we belong to one story
that the two, joining, made. And now
we touch each other with the tenderness
of mortals, who know themselves:
how joyful to feel the heart quake
at the sight of a grandmother,
old friend in the morning light,
beautiful in her blue robe!
— Wendell Berry, from The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry
I like the depiction of “old love,” of two who have known and loved each other for years, and I especially like the last four lines. I’ve enjoyed discovering more of Berry’s poems since this one, such as To Tanya on My Sixtieth Birthday, They Sit Together on the Porch (both of these similarly themed about “old love,” but the second almost makes me teary with the symbolism at the end of which will go “first through the dark doorway, bidding Goodnight, and which sits on a while alone”), and To My Mother.
The tenderness in both of these poems really touches me.