Barter by Sara Teasdale

As the dark nights set in and the chill descends, it can be hard to keep your chin up. My other half feels the change of seasons very strongly, probably because of his Mediterranean blood which so craves the sun. So in order to stave off a bout of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) getting out and about during the brief hours of winter daylight is very important.

But it’s a blessing in disguise because this decline of autumn into winter has as much charm and beauty to offer up as a spring day as far as I’m concerned. At this time of year more than any other I long for the seaside. The thought of the waves raging on the coastline, the wind on your face, the long deserted beaches – what better way to blow the cobwebs off in a season when everything gets so stuffy.

This is perhaps why my mind has turned to Sara Teasdale’s lovely Barter. The loveliness of life, the dark nights, firelight, surf, pine trees, even rain. There is no explicit mention of fireworks or Christmas but that’s where my mind races when I read this poem. Bring it on!

Barter by Sara Teasdale

Life has loveliness to sell,
     All beautiful and splendid things,
Blue waves whitened on a cliff,
     Soaring fire that sways and sings,
And children’s faces looking up
Holding wonder like a cup.
Life has loveliness to sell,
     Music like a curve of gold,
Scent of pine trees in the rain,
     Eyes that love you, arms that hold,
And for your spirit’s still delight,
Holy thoughts that star the night.
Spend all you have for loveliness,
     Buy it and never count the cost;
For one white singing hour of peace
     Count many a year of strife well lost,
And for a breath of ecstasy
Give all you have been, or could be.

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