cf. Library Company of Philadelphia, “Frankford Creek and Vicinity, Winter” (ca. late 19th century) and
photograph by Peter Gonzalez via Unsplash
Ashes denote that fire was;
Respect the grayest pile
For the departed creature’s sake
That hovered there awhile.
Fire exists the first in light,
And then consolidates,—
Only the chemist can disclose
Into what carbonates.
Polaroid photograph by Andrei Tarkovsky
It was dawn now on Long Island and we went about opening the rest of the windows down-stairs, filling the house with gray-turning, gold-turning light. The shadow of a tree fell abruptly across the dew and ghostly birds began to sing among the blue leaves. There was a slow, pleasant movement in the air, scarcely a wind, promising a cool, lovely day.
“I don’t think she ever loved him.” Gatsby turned around from a window and looked at me challengingly.
—F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
John Dillwyn Llewelyn, The Upper Fall (1853–56)
I dwell in a lonely house I know
That vanished many a summer ago,
And left no trace but the cellar walls,
And a cellar in which the daylight falls,
And the purple-stemmed wild raspberries grow…
–Robert Frost, Ghost House
cf. Photograph by Arnel Hasanovic via Unsplash
‘Tis almost morning; I would have thee gone…
—Romeo and Juliet
Dance you into daylight…
“Rock With You” • The Reflex Re√ision by The Reflex
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, “Playing baseball…” (ca. 1910)
“Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” by The Police
State Library of New South Wales, “Snapshot at fern tree near Hobart prior to departure south” (1911)
“Suspicions” by Eddie Rabbitt
cf. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, “Landscape with dirt road and stone wall” (ca. 1900)
I loafe and invite my soul,
I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass…
—Whitman, Song Of Myself
cf. Henry Farrer, Winter Scene in Moonlight (1869) and stock footage – STARS – Time Lapse – Night
Although crowds gathered once if she but showed her face,
And even old men’s eyes grew dim, this hand alone,
Like some last courtier at a gypsy camping place,
Babbling of fallen majesty, records what’s gone.
The lineaments, a heart that laughter has made sweet,
These, these remain, but I record what’s gone. A crowd
Will gather, and not know it walks the very street
Whereon a thing once walked that seemed a burning cloud.
–W.B. Yeats, Fallen Majesty
99, I’ve been waiting so long…
Charles O’Rear, Sign on a bluff signals the site of a future condominium… (1975)
A quality of loss
Affecting our content,
As trade had suddenly encroached
Upon a sacrament.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
—Robert Frost, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”
I will choose a path that’s clear…
State Library of New South Wales, “A large erratic resting on gneiss Cape Denison area” (ca. 1911)
Geo. H. Scheer, “The Road In The Sand” (ca. 1915)
Starting up from this dream, he felt encompassed by a deep sadness. Worthless, so it seemed to him, worthless and pointless was the way he had been going through life; nothing which was alive, nothing which was in some way delicious or worth keeping he had left in his hands. Alone he stood there and empty like a castaway on the shore…
—Herman Hesse, Siddhartha