Thursday, July 09, 2009

Theme Thursday - Ghost

I don't really have an opinion on ghosts. I know people who swear they've seen them, but I've also heard plausible explanations for what they saw. Personally, I've never seen a ghost. However... I do believe all living things leave something of an "energy signature" behind when they leave. So who knows? In any case, I have a poem I wrote in 1981 about Newport's primary colonial-era residential neighborhood, combined with some shots of the area.

The Point - Newport

Such a pretty street,
all gas lamps, brick walks,
and old, old houses.
What happens here at night,
after we've gone to bed
and the last, long peal
of the midnight bell has been
swallowed by the dark?

Then rockers rock
and stairs creak
with remembered weight.
Teacups clatter
and clink in their saucers
in memory of long-past parties.
Books float from shelf to table,
opening to a well-worn page,
or to the flyleaf inscribed
in a long outdated hand.

Do those who live here awaken
and tremble
at the sounds
of midnight movement?
Or do they turn and sigh,
in the atmosphere of peaceful security?

Old houses aren't haunted;
they're just nostalgic.

-A. Roy Hilbinger, November, 1981

Speaking of haunted houses... This week's video for the theme concerns English literature's most famous haunted house, and the couple who haunt it. The novel is Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights, and the video uses probably the most haunting piece of music ever written about that book: Kate Bush's "Wuthering Heights". And the video also uses scenes from the best movie of the novel, the 1939 movie starring Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon. Enjoy!

Photos, poem, and text © 1981, 2007, & 2009 by A. Roy Hilbinger


  1. not only a photographer but a poet! what a talented roy!!

    gosh, I'd like to get lost in that last photo.... talk about looking like a secret garden.

    I've always felt kate bush does have one of the most haunting voices around...

  2. Cool house pictures. I'll have to check the video tonight.

  3. These house photos are wonderful, Roy. Yes, they are nostalgic, aren't they?

    I also love the newer version of Wuthering Heights with Fiennes and Binoche. She has a soliloquy at the window looking out on the moors that is just fabulous.

  4. ...Roy, another incredible post. The last photograph of the small cottage and garden with the fountain is exquisite. I'd live there gladly, ghosts and all. The streets with the colorful houses remind me of Williamsburg...beautiful. I should have known you were a poet. You have Renaissance Man written all over you! Great choice of video. (I've never seen a ghost either...)

  5. Roy very cool poem. So descriptive. And nice film selection. Haven't seen that one in a while. The streets here seem deserted...

  6. wonderful words...what does happen when we leave...the thought that life continues, i like it. in nostalgia, yes.

  7. What a gorgeous place , I would love to live there minus the ghost that must inhabit it.

  8. What a great post! Love the poem, love the pics! The last one, the garden, is just wonderful! Some place that looks so peaceful to visit!

  9. "stairs creak with remembered weight." Brilliant, I'm going to remember that line for long time to come.

  10. I still marvel at your amazing surroundings, truly beautiful if not a little spooky.

  11. Love the pictures and the poems. The pics remind me of our visit to Salem, MA a few years ago. There's a town that cashes in on its supposed ghosts!

  12. Thanks for visiting, everybody! I'm sorry I haven't been around until much later this evening; the external hard drive where all my photos, graphics files, videos, movies, etc. live decided to die today. Luckily it was a slow death and I had time to go get a new hard drive (an Iomega this time, so it should last a good long time) and transfer everything, but even with USB 2.0 that transfer process was looooooong! But I'm back in business. Poorer than I want to be, but back in business.

  13. The ghost want you to not have an opinion.

    Sly buggers, ghosts...

  14. This is really very beautiful, Roy.

    And I hadn't heard the Kate bush song since high school!

  15. Great line..."Old houses aren't haunted just nostalgic." Your pictures made me nostalgic for Newport. We used to have season passes to the museums when living in CT. The last picture should be hanging on a wall. Absolutely beautiful!

  16. Yup, the last photo is my favorite, too. But the poem was really excellent.

  17. Your poem is exquisite, Roy! And the pics are so interesting. My house up in Maryland is haunted which is why I moved out!

  18. the photos are beautiful. is that old Newport? it reminds me of Edgartown.

    Your poetry is lovely.

    As for "Wuthering Heights", I always wanted to belt Cathy into next week.

  19. Whew, that was fabulous! I think the second stanza is my favorite.

    (And I'm so glad you managed to save everything.)

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