At Tara in this fateful hour…

Madeleine L’Engle has died.

I was about ten, maybe eleven, when I first read A WRINKLE IN TIME. It’s early in my perception of reading fantasy, at least, so I could’ve been as young as eight or nine. And as I was sitting here reading ‘s tribute, I was becoming slightly frantic, thinking, no, no, that’s not it, that’s not the *right* poem, that’s not the one I remember…

I had not thought of this poem in many, many years, but it was one of two pieces from fantasy novels that I memorized as a child:

At Tara in this fateful hour,
I place all Heaven with its power,
And the sun with its brightness,
And the snow with its whiteness,
And the fire with all the strength it hath,
And the lightning with its rapid wrath,
And the winds with their swiftness along their path,
And the sea with its deepness,
And the rocks with their steepness,
And the earth with its starkness:
All these I place between myself and the powers of darkness!


14 thoughts on “At Tara in this fateful hour…

  1. I just read this elsewhere, before I signed into LJ. I’m truly saddened….
    In fact, I just re-read one of her books on Wednesday.

  2. Oh – yes – I remember that poem. I want that in my post too. Thanks for reminding me!

  3. That’s my most vivid memory of her books, too. I read that trilogy twenty times or more as a kid. It got me through at least one difficult summer.

  4. Oh, how I loved Wrinkle in Time!

    It wasn’t until the last 15 years that I even dared read the rest of the trilogy, because I was so afraid it couldn’t live up to Wrinkle.

    To me, it didn’t really match it, but not in the bitter way, but in the ‘I am pleased to have revisited my friends’ way.

    Rest well!

  5. Similar to a story I think you told a week or so ago, I accidentally read A Swiftly Tilting Planet before reading the first two. I loved that book, the other two not so much, but that poem, I remember, even if I didn’t immediately connect it with the trilogy.

    Wah. :(

  6. A well chosen poem! It’s sad to hear that l’Engle has gone, that was one of my favorite books, back when.

  7. I’ve long since lost my copies. Guess it’s time to take a trip to the bookstore.

  8. Oh no, this just brought me to tears. My son just read her last year (8 at the time).
    double damn.

  9. People only ever come to me in fateful hours. If they came earlier, perhaps they wouldn’t need to stave off the powers of darkness. :)

    Sad about L’Engle, though. :(

  10. I’ve never read any of her books.

    Or McCaffrey’s. Or Peter S. Beagle. Or a half dozen other classic writers.


  11. I still have that one memorized too. Good luck and godspeed to her, wherever she is.

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