Per Diem Archive: S. Hanson 2019, Darkness
‘The woods are lovely, dark and deep’
Darkness is celebrated here as an aspect of beauty without any hint of its associations with evil and gloom - darkness is gorgeous. There is an unmistakable wonder and softness to the night, a sensuousness not found in the light of day; an observation that has not been missed by poets and artists of all kinds throughout the ages.
Before the fireworks show we wait for darkness. However I do not wish to consider darkness simply in its contrast to light, as a passive background enhancing brightness and colour, though it certainly does that. Darkness is conceived in a more positive mode, black is among my favorite colours and ravens among my favorite birds. While many cultures have imagined lines of connection between stars making pictures we call constellations some of the Aboriginal groups have seen pictures in the dark patches of sky between stars. One of the greats of science once said that ‘as our circle of knowledge expands, so does the circumference of darkness surrounding it,’ far more remains unknown than is known - a sense of mystery I find deeply appealing. Darkness is archaic, empty and full, suggestive of the unconscious, the well spring of creativity, the infinite depth from which becoming unfurls . . . and I love it. ‘And darkness was upon the face of the deep . . .’(Genesis).
My sincere thanks to all the poets whose fine haiku are gathered in this Per Diem, they each deepen its dream space in their own way.