A Winter Twilight by Angelina Weld Grimké

Winter is a time for poetry

A Winter Twilight” by Angelina Weld Grimké was published in 1923. The poem is about the beauty of a wintry evening and the power of nature. It is a didactic poem that speaks to the mysteries of the natural world and the inevitability of transitions as the scene moves from day into night.

Walking in winter embraces a stillness that welcomes the change in scenery, the sound of footsteps against snow, the rattle of wind through branches. There is a sense of peace that comes from being surrounded by a cold solitude that brings warmth to the soul.

A Winter Twilight

Angelina Weld Grimké – 1880-1958

A silence slipping around like death,
Yet chased by a whisper, a sigh, a breath;
One group of trees, lean, naked and cold,
Inking their cress ‘gainst a sky green-gold;
One path that knows where the corn flowers were;
Lonely, apart, unyielding, one fir;
And over it softly leaning down,
One star that I loved ere the fields went brown.

The winter season can be a time of reflection and introspection, allowing us to pause and reflect on our hopes and aspirations. Winter offers us time to engage with solitude, knowing that deep in the earth, there are stirrings of life waiting for the coming of spring.

Winter is a time for poetry. 

Thank you for joining me on a Winter walk with Angelina Weld Grimké

Published by Rebecca Budd

Blogger, Visual Storyteller, Podcaster, Traveler and Life-long Learner

59 thoughts on “A Winter Twilight by Angelina Weld Grimké

    1. Dave, Angelina Weld Grimké history is extraordinary. She was born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1880 to a biracial family. She was a teacher, poet, writer, journalist and play writer. I have read in several places that she was one of the first African-American women to have a play publicly performed. I am delighted that you joined me on a winter walk. I continue to learn and learn and learn….

      Liked by 6 people

    1. Don and I have been very concerned about your husband health emergency, Robbie. We are very excited to here that he is on the road to recovery. He continues to be in our thoughts and prayers as you do and your entire family. This is not an easy time. Take care of yourself. Hugs!

      Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you, Lavinia for joining me on a winter walk, especially when we can share poetry together. This year, I will continue looking back into public domain poetry. There is treasure in those poetry collections.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. One of the greatest boons of the internet has been the access to literature that had been forgotten. After all, the original purpose of the internet was for scientists to easily share their research and knowledge with one another to generate new knowledge. I think we tend to forget that. That original purpose needs to be brought back–and brought to the fore!!

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Liz – I agree wholeheartedly! Very well said. I believe that open access is making great strides in creating ways to ensure that everyone has access to knowledge. The Met website states that “In February 2017, The Met introduced its Open Access Initiative which makes all images of public-domain artworks and basic data on all accessioned works in its collection available for unrestricted use under Creative Commons Zero (CC0). Now anyone can download, share, and remix images and data about artworks in The Met collection.”https://www.metmuseum.org/about-the-met/policies-and-documents/open-access

        I just found a new on-line organization: Curationist which is a free online resource that brings together arts and culture communities to find, share, collaborate, and reimagine cultural narratives

        https://www.curationist.org/

        What I believe is essential: that we give credit to those who came before, acknowledge that we value their contribution, and that our hope is to continue their work by engaging in creating thinking and doing.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. I remember when I became aware of the Met’s Open Access program. I was beside myself with excitement. As for the Curationist site, must . . . not . . . go . . . down . . . rabbit . . . hole.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. A wonderful recital, Rebecca. Your poetry voice is a joy to hear.
    I was interested to read, in your reply to Dave Astor, regarding the history of the poet Angelina Weld Grimké. That must have been quite a difficult period in time to achieve all that she did. It is simply enchanting to know of such success.
    The images I found of her certainly reveal a sensitive soul. Obviously, she was also a determined one.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree, Carolyn – this was not an easy time and her life was not for the faint of heart.

      I did a little more digging once I found out through a comment from Marian Beaman of the existence of another Angelina Grimké Weld, who along with her sister, Sarah, was an abolitionist when it was dangerous to be outspoken.

      This is what I discovered:

      Angelina Weld Grimké (1880 – 1958) was an African-American journalist, teacher, playwright and poet. Her father, Archibald Grimké was a lawyer, the son of a white slave owner and a mixed-race enslaved woman of colour owed by his father. Her mother, Sarah Stanley, was European American, from a Midwestern middle class family.

      The second Angelina Weld Grimké, was named after Angelina Grimké Weld, her father’s paternal white aunt. She and her sister, Sarah brought Archibald and his brothers into their families when their father passed.

      Angelina wrote essays, short stories and poems, which were published in The Crisis, the newspaper of the NAACP, edited by W.E.B.Du Bois. Her poems were published in the anthologies of the Harlem Renaissance.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. This is an indescribable scene of silence, solitude and patience in nature to blossom again, which can only be expressed in verse. Beautiful; thank you, Rebecca. Although, I will only be able to keep this in my thoughts because the Winter here is more of a wet, cold Autumn.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You have a marvelous way of describing moments Alaedin – “silence, solitude and patience. The snow has disappeared now that the warmth has turned the snowflakes to raindrops! Thank you for your lovely comments – very much appreciated.

      Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, Shey! There is much to learn about poetry – so many stories and so many ways to enrich our experience.

      I have always thought that writing poetry was gifted to a few, but I am beginning to understand that poetry belongs to us all. I have kept this quote in my quote book for inspiration:

      “I was seized with a strong desire to write poetry, so strong, in fact, that in imagination I thought I heard a voice crying in my ears –”Write! Write”I wondered what could be the matter with me, and I began to walk backwards and forwards in a great fit of excitement, saying to myself– “I know nothing about poetry.””William McGonagall

      Liked by 4 people

    1. I am delighted that you joined me on a winter walk. I have been very interested in the Harlem Renaissance area for its music, writing and poetry. My first introduction was to Langston Hughes and his poem, “The Negro Speaks of Rivers.”

      https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/44428/the-negro-speaks-of-rivers

      Angeline Weld Grimke was a prominent figure in the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s, though most of her major works were created before that era.

      Thank you for adding so much to my understanding of poetry, Colleen. I continue to learn.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Several years ago, I wrote a poem called the Harlem Shuffle. I’ll have to look for it and send it to you. Langston Hughes is another favorite poet. He captures the human condition in ways many can’t. I love this journey, too, Rebecca.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. That would be wonderful, Colleen. Love the name – Harlem Shuffle. I agree – Langston Hughes understands the human experience and coveys it with a gentle power. I cry every time I read “Mother to Son.”

        Liked by 2 people

  3. I very much enjoyed Angelina Weld Grimké‘s winter poem embedded in this white surrounding, dear Rebecca. I grew up in a region where we had lots of snow but through the years it it has always become less white and to me the quietness and introspection has somehow got lost and this is very sad!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Your comments resonated with me, Martina. I think that winter enhances our perspectives especially with the feeling of loss. I just celebrated my father’s birthday a few days before Christmas. He would have been 97. There is a poignancy that comes with winter months. Then I remember, that deep in the earth, everything is resting for the coming of spring. The idea of rebirth is embedded in the solitude of winter. Thank you – I love our conversations.

      Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you Deborah for your lovely comments. I find that early mornings and late afternoons imbue the earth with a quietness even in the centre of a city. It is as if the transition of night to day and day to night is the earth’s way of saying pause and enjoy.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I didn’t know that Angelina Grimke was a poet, though she and her sister Sarah were the first nationally-known white American female advocates of abolition of slavery and women’s rights in South Carolina. What a talent!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I was fascinated by your comment Marian, which prompted me to look into the names. You will be very interested in what I discovered. I had never heard about Angelina Grimké Weld ( 1805-1879 ) or her sister Sarah. Thank you for the introduction!!! This Angelina’s brief biography:

      “Although raised on a slave-owning plantation in South Carolina, Angelina Emily Grimké Weld grew up to become an ardent abolitionist writer and speaker, as well as a women’s rights activist. She and her sister Sarah Moore Grimké were among the first women to speak in public against slavery, defying gender norms and risking violence in doing so.”

      https://www.womenshistory.org/education-resources/biographies/angelina-grimke-weld

      Angelina Weld Grimké (1880 – 1958) was an African-American journalist, teacher, playwright and poet. Her father, Archibald Grimké was a lawyer, the son of a white slave owner and a mixed-race enslaved woman of colour owed by his father. Her mother, Sarah Stanley, was European American, from a Midwestern middle class family.

      I believe that the second Angelina Weld Grimké, was named after the first Angelina Grimké Weld. Notice the date of the second Angelina’s birth – 1880, which was one year after the passing of the first Angelina.

      These are the stories that give meaning to the present – that there is a community that defies the barriers of time and space. That what the first Angelina worked for was evident in the work of the second Angelina.

      Many thanks for joining me on a winter walk!!

      P.S. I am digging further into the narrative and can now confirm that Angelina # 2 was named for her father’s paternal white aunt Angelina Weld Grimké. She and her sister, Sarah brought Archibald and his brothers into their families when their father passed.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Mary Jo for walking with me just as twilight approaches. When I lived in Northern Manitoba, winter twilight would happen around 3. In summer, I remember twilight coming very late and lasting until dawn. I am going through my father’s photos looking for one that captures these moments. Back then, our photos were limited to 36 pictures that had to be developed. In my case, out of those 36, a portion was blurred. So, photos that survived are precious.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you for taking us on this winter walk. The time of day does make such a difference when we are out walking in nature. The light in winter can be quite enchanting, so different than the bolder light of a summer’s day. I enjoyed your reading of this poem, and I enjoyed learning about this poet.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am delighted that you joined Angelina and me on a winter walk, Linda. I love looking into the back story and finding the connections. Happy New Year! Looking forward to where the path will take us in 2023.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Resa – I am making up for lost time when it comes to literature. I had never heard of Angelina Weld Grimke until this year. I am enjoying looking back into public domain poetry and seeing the threads of that time being woven into the poetry of our time. Fascinating and beautiful. Hugs!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This is a very interesting poem and all the comments are excellent, so very interesting. It was well worth the second and third reading. Your choice of poems and your comments are always very educational. Thank you for sharing. I like your choice of scenery, really winter like, but actually gives a feeling of warmth. I am slow at commenting, my computer has not been working!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Such good work, bringing up names of poets and writers who I didn’t know so far. Well, as somebody from Europe I definitely do not know many of American or Canadian poets.
    Winter is a time for arts to look back and ahead, as well.
    We all have our own take on winter. I am basically already waiting for spring and painting it also.
    Interestingly, we didn’t have any snow so far with exception of a storm that passed over in a few days. It looks like next week might bring as snow and shoveling.
    Have a good weekend Rebecca!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for your insightful comments, Inese. Your words “Winter is a time for arts to look back and ahead” resonated with me. I agree wholeheartedly. For me, winter has always been a natural pause, a time of reflection and renewal. Perhaps that comes from living for a few years in Northern Manitoba when snow would come in September and leave the first part of June. I remember how ice would melt off the lakes, with patient slowness. The darkness of the winter months would give way to sunshine. July sunsets would be at 10:30pm and the daylight would be with us for 17hours/day. Vancouver has experienced rain for the past few weeks, but I am not complaining. The rain will wake the daffodils.

      Liked by 1 person

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