I am quicksilver, the fox in the night, emotional about the poetry, love & desire in scent, read me.
Tuesday 25 June 2013
Poetry & Perfume VI - ‘Let Evening Come’ by Jane Kenyon & ‘Dior Homme Intense’ by Dior
Let Evening Come
by Jane Kenyon
Let the light of late afternoon
shine through chinks in the barn, moving
up the bales as the sun moves down.
Let the cricket take up chafing
as a woman takes up her needles
and her yarn. Let evening come.
Let dew collect on the hoe abandoned
in long grass. Let the stars appear
and the moon disclose her silver horn.
Let the fox go back to its sandy den.
Let the wind die down. Let the shed
go black inside. Let evening come.
To the bottle in the ditch, to the scoop
in the oats, to air in the lung
let evening come.
Let it come, as it will, and don't
be afraid. God does not leave us
comfortless, so let evening come
poem and fragrance may seem at first like unusual companions, but there is subtlety
and grace to my reasoning. Jane Kenyon’s poem is a quiet decent into death,
shadows shifting, light stretching, and time inevitably moving toward darkness.
I have been
haunted by it ever since I first read it many years ago during a brush with
severe illness. It affected me profoundly. Each verse adds more details - dew,
crickets, stars, an abandoned hoe, a bottle in a ditch, air in lungs, a scoop
in the oats, light and foxes. These
quiet things are settled, in repose as darkness comes. The picture painted is
one of shimmering suffused rest. But there is comfort in the creeping shadows,
an inevitability of solace in obscurity and shade.
Let evening come. I am ready. I am rested.
read this I wonder… what will I remember as evening falls, the great highs and
lows, the operatic passions and sexual dramas that shattered the peace of
random seasons. Will it be faces, in rooms, endless rooms, lit by joy and
regret? Or will it be the detail, the minutiae. The scoop in the oats, the bottle
in the ditch?
on strewn student floors, a Paris polaroid on a table, cigarettes in drunken
fingers. The scent of beeswax and oakmoss on sleeping skin, a cat asleep in
moonlight, shoes on a crumpled bed, a Highland lake, safety pins in a broken
Shrouded in dusk. Warmed through with the comfort of letting go. Of faith in
something, even if it is just the knowledge of finality.
…Let the shed
go black inside. Let evening come.
smell something in the darkness. It took me a while to get it. Then remembered
a review of Dior Homme & Dior Homme Intense
I had written for Basenotes a while back:
imagine walking through a city nightscape, kicking through cocoa powder like
the finest of sand beneath my feet, clouds of it catching flickering overhead
neons. I am wearing lipgloss, people stare, some smile, some close their eyes.
The air is still, my skin is alive though with spices, chocolate and the lilac
kiss of bruised iris. I want them to know I am man who takes risks, a man who
walks on the dark side of the line. The ambiguity of Dior Homme is startling enough, but its David Bowie Man Who Fell to
Earth eeriness is almost unbearably beautiful. My skin adores it, drinks itself
giddy on it. It settles around me like a halo, barely glowing, but still warm
enough to burn wings. For me the Intense
version is even better, more swirling cocoa, more sci-fi, more sweet rain. Like
a drug, distance and separation can cause heartache and withdrawal.’
this again I knew I had found my scent for Let
Evening Come, a sweet brooding aroma to drop into, like arms and kisses in
the darkness. The enhanced cocoa note in Dior
Homme Intense floods the senses with drama and detail. The original fragrance by Olivier Polge
changed the face of men’s scent forever. It is perhaps one of the most
beautiful and enigmatic men’s fragrances of the last twenty years. On a visit to Edinburgh Bertrand Duchaufour
said it was the fragrance he would have loved to have made. Praise indeed. So many sweet, powdery men’s scents have
followed, but none of them have ever come close to Polge’s original. Patrick
Demarchy reworked Dior Homme for the Intense version. It has been re-formulated
and this has split the Intense
lovers. Some love the remix, others hate it.
the scent again reminds me how delicately the notes are assembled. There is
space in between the accords and facets, allowing the senses to breathe and
absorb the beauty. I have always admired the stillness of this scent. There is
a tremor of something in the background. Something coming, but it is so hard to
discern edges in the falling darkness.
life was brief; she died of leukemia at the age of 47 after battling depression
for most of her life. Her poetry is incredibly beautiful, marked by simplicity
and a quiet and steadfast faith. Many of her poems feel like prayers or psalms.
In an interview with David Bradt included in her Selected Poems published by
Bloodaxe, Kenyon is asked ‘What’s the poet’s job?’…
replied…’….the other job the poet has is to console in the face of inevitable
disintegration of loss and death, all the tough things we have to face as
humans. We have the consolation of beauty, of one soul extending to another
soul, and saying “I’ve been there too”.’
have her poems by my bed. Her work is balm and solace.