It's so fun to read a book or a poem and to know "where" it came from.
I just finished reading, The Dean's Watch, by Elizabeth Goudge. From reading the author's autobiography just a few weeks prior and from the information on the back jacket of the book, I knew that the author used the town, area, and cathedral of Ely in England as the setting. When we visited England a couple of years ago, we took a day trip out of London to go to Ely to visit the cathedral. (Dr. Grant in his Christendom lectures that year had revealed that Ely cathedral is his favorite and used it in his lecture about cathedrals.) While reading the book, I could imagine the fen country that surrounds the town; I had memories of crossing the large, grass lawn and entering the cathedral under the west clock tower; I had visions of the heights and glory of the pillars and windows inside the cathedral walls. What fun to re-visit Ely and the cathedral with this wonderful novel that must be Elizabeth Goudge at her finest. (But as it was my first novel by her, I cannot say for sure!)
I would like to share a poem written by Dr. Peter Leithart. He is an author whose home I've visited and so the poem becomes even more alive for me because I can envision the setting here as well. Maybe some people would think that takes away from what your imagination does when you read a piece, but I would have to argue that it heightens one's imagination and grants more enjoyment. Dr. Leithart posted this poem on his blog some time ago. Enjoy!
A full moon rises from behind
The topmost branches of a tree,
Then slants across the sky.
A pheasant's shriek joins distant shouts,
The barks and laughter from the park,
On the cooling air.
Then comes the silence of the night:
Not the silence of the dead,
But too alive for sound,
Like a choir waiting poised,
Or like a watchful coiled cat,
Or like a breathless lover.