“. . . Heaven may be only the mind’s fear of the wonders it imagines. . .”

Digges croppedIf you read only one poem today (or this week, or this month), let it be “Ancestral Lights” by Deborah Digges. Here is more of the sentence that the quotation comes from: “And though I know now that heaven may be only the mind’s fear of the wonders it imagines, I like to believe we turn into light around those we love. . . and warm them through the blood by ringing in their ears.” This poem has stuck with me for a long time — since 1985 — because it shares big ideas — love, eternity, healing — by describing how light looks and feels.

Deborah Digges, Vesper Sparrows (New York: Atheneum, 1986), 19-20.



This entry was posted in poetry and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to “. . . Heaven may be only the mind’s fear of the wonders it imagines. . .”

  1. Brian Avery says:

    Deborah Digges was a treasured friend of mine. She gifted me with a First Edition hardback copy of “VESPER SPARROWS” which she inscribed to me in a special way. I want to point out two things about ANCESTRAL LIGHTS on Page 20 in the sentence that is referred to in the Post above of 9 January 2014. The sentence is:
    “And though I know now that heaven may be
    only the mind’s fear of the wonders it imagines,
    the way our best thoughts surprise us
    and seem not to be our own (above Deborah wrote “BELONG TO US”), I like to believe
    we turn into light around those we love,
    or would have loved, had we known them,
    and WARN them through the blood
    by ringing in their ears.”
    Deborah hand wrote the correction “BELONG TO US” which she preferred to BE OUR OWN and she used the word WARN and not WARM = “and warn them through the blood…” I hope this is informative and helpful. I adored Deborah and have become friends with her eldest son,Charles, since he informed me on Easter Sunday 2009 of the untimely death of his mother on Good Friday – how ironic! Spread Deb’s poetry!!
    Kindest regards,
    Brian Avery

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *