Sunsets bid farewell to death, welcome life
COFFEE WITH WARREN, with Warren Harbeck
P.E.I. sunsets inspire Joan MacRae to recall John Donne’s sonnet “Death, Be Not Proud.” Photos by Joan MacRae
Whenever Joan MacRae views a sunset from her deck on P.E.I., she recalls a poem that sees beyond the fading glow to the hope beyond. I was originally intending to run her story last week, but Jack Tennant’s death delayed her story till this week. As a result, Joan has requested that her sunset photos and story be her personal tribute to the legendary journalist and community builder.
At the turn of the century, Joan was very much part of the live-theatre scene in Cochrane – for example, the Vision Theatre Players Guild production of On Golden Pond. In 2002 she and her husband moved to Malpeque, P.E.I., and added to her artistic achievements some exceptional sunset photography. From her deck she often experiences sunsets to die for, she says – and to inspire thoughts beyond the grave.
Recently she sent me a photo and said, “This was a sunset that made me feel that I was going to pass away that night.”
That opened a discussion around her favourite poem that often comes to mind at such sunset moments: the early 17th century poet John Donne’s sonnet Death, Be Not Proud:
Yes, beyond the sunset there is a blissful morning – the dawn of a day that has no sunset. For if sunsets, like Death, emphasize the mortality of our temporal days, there comes a time when “one short sleep past, we wake eternally” to die no more.
Thanks, Joan, for this tribute to Jack.
© 2018 Warren Harbeck