Gimme Some Oven

Gloaming

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I’m intrigued by words that define a “between” moment and often need to remind myself that between-times can be beautiful. Like last week’s word, nascent, which describes something coming into existence — budding, but not yet in full bloom. Or one of my all-time favourite words — gloaming, which so aptly names that time after sunset and before dark.

gloam·ing (noun)

  • twilight; dusk.
  • Old English glōmung, derivative of glōm [twilight]; related to glowan [to glow], hence — glow of sunrise or sunset. Fell from currency except in Yorkshire dialect, but preserved in Scotland and reintroduced by Burns and other Scottish writers after 1785.

I love that poets revived the word and kept it alive.

Robert Burns:

Gie me the hour o’ gloaming grey,
It makes my heart sae cheery O’…

Rev. William Buchanan:

But of the whole day I prefer, for my part,
the quiet hour that brings in the gloaming–
the calm and the beautiful gloaming!

Robert Gemmell:

O gloaming, thou hast richly shed
A gladness over me,
As thy pale mantle thou hast spread
Alike o’er land and sea;
And while I’ve wandered forth alone
In thy sweet tranquil hour,
I’ve soared in thought to worlds unknown
Through thy enchanting power.

No matter how subtle the gloaming appears, its magic is never lost. Some nights it’s bright and colourful; some nights it barely hints at light. Either way it always manages to be the visual representation of a longing sigh.

Oh gloaming. Yet another word I wish was a part of our everyday vocabulary. I’m sure it sounds more fitting with a Scottish accent.

» Read previous {word wednesday} posts: NascentBedeck, Bedizen & Festoon YourselfFillip, anyone?No Name Calling HereSaints & MilksopsDo you funk fluffles? and more…

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bet mercer

Bet Mercer is a poet-photographer who writes at Gimme Some Reads and Everyday Poetry. She loves quotes, reading her favourite books over again, great conversation, laughter, trees, films, and travelling the world. Follow along with Bet on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Flickr, Etsy and Google+.

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0 comments on “Gloaming”

  1. I have thought about this word often since you first shared about it. Such a beautiful thought and time of day. Really love the Hyde Park photo.

  2. interesting…
    today i forgot something and had to go out to retrieve it from my vehicle.
    i NEVER do that.
    but today i was greeted by what you’ve just described as a gloaming. i didn’t have a word for it. the sunrise simply turned the entire horizon PINK over the largest contiguous aerospace facility on the planet.
    broken tendrils of clouds hanging below the higher solid layer.
    as i walked back in i had to ask the woman walking in the FIRST time if she’d looked behind her. she hadn’t. she did…
    i had a witness…

  3. as you know, one of my favorite times and words, and your words and these pictures describe it well.

  4. “Do you know me in the gloaming/gaunt and dusty grey with roaming?” Robert Frost. Flower-Gathering. Only poem I really know. Nice word!