The Heart's Necessities (with Veery Huleatt)
Jane Tyson Clement
The dark emerging trees
from the new-winter wood
are lovelier than leaves,
as cold is also good.
The heart’s necessities
include the interlude
of frost-constricted peace
on which the sun can brood.
The strong and caustic air
that strikes us to the bone
blows till we see again
the weathered shape of home.
No season of the soul
strips clear the face of God
save cold and frozen wind
upon the frozen sod.
December 1955–June 23, 1956 Woodcrest
This episode explores the words of a poet from the past and a musician for the present to explore this timeless question of how to live well in a complicated world.
On this week’s podcast, I interview Veery Huleatt about the life and poetry of Jane Tyson Clement, whose life she recently honored in the beautiful book The Heart’s Necessities , which she edited. The book is a collection of Jane’s poems accompanied by a tenderly written account of Jane’s life, including her conversion to Christianity, the account of her pacifist convictions which developed during the height of World War Two, and the gentle, humorous, deep saga of her love story and marriage. The thing I found so beautiful about this book was how deeply Jane’s questions and hopes and passions mirrored my own, even separated as we are by 100 years. And the strength of her timeless words is reflected in the fact that Becca Stevens, a singer song writer, brought them to life so beautifully in her recent work, which is also discussed in the book.
I know you’ll enjoy this interview, and I hope you’ll check out both the book and Becca Steven’s beautiful music.
Happy Birthday, Jane!
In a happy accident of fate, today (October 1st) would have been Jane’s 102nd birthday. I’m thankful she lived and wrote so faithfully.
This is a musical version of the poem that provides the title for the book.
Another beautiful song from the project combining Becca Steven’s music and Jane Tyson Clement’s poetry.
You can buy the book through Plough Publishing’s website, or through the link below.