Per Diem Archive: S. Pierides December 2014, Light & Dark
Light and Dark
Light, together with darkness, is one of our most archetypal conceptions. Philosophy, physics, divinity, literature, culture, art, involve numerous notions of light as one of the basic “elements” of the cosmos and essential for life on earth. Humanity has evolved towards the sun, the moon, the stars; has imagined heavens as places filled with light, underworlds as places devoid of it. This fascination with the juxtaposition of light with dark, the shades in between, and the wish to emerge into the light or disappear into dark matter, is at the heart of our constitution.
Per Diem Editor Stella Pierides responds to our mysterious fascination with this gallery of haiku at this moment of the waning of the light in the northern hemisphere. She writes:
Winter is the par excellence season where this duality comes to a head. For some, the long nights come with festivals of light, religious or secular holidays. For others, winter is a season of slowing down, of depression, loneliness, low spirits, spirits… For some poets, light is the source of inspiration; for others, darkness, against light, the essential element spicing their writing. Either way, wherever poets are, whatever their experience, tradition, or culture, poetry of light flows from their pen. This month’s Per Diem draws on haiku exploring this dichotomy of light and dark, and reflects on our dependence on and appreciation of this duality.