Sunday, December 11, 2016

Advent Poetry, Innit

One of the Team took time off from cleaning his FNFAL to send this in; pay attention, heathen:

Coming with the shepherds to this mystical crèche, joining Mary and Joseph in holy meditation, and seeing this child in the straw – what do we see? St. Maximus the Confessor said that we see the holy child playing at the boundary of earth and heaven, of infinity and finitude. Standing at the crèche, seeing “this thing that has happened”, we see God’s victory, and our salvation, what the devil and the rulers of this world’s present darkness could never have expected – the infinite having become a finite fact – the foolishness and weakness of the eternal God, dwelling beyond the limit of grammar but having become intelligible; dwelling beyond the building blocks of logic, language, and math, but now having become a discreet reality, wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.

In his great poem Ash Wednesday, T.S. Eliot wrote:

"If the lost word is lost, if the spent word is spent
If the unheard, unspoken
Word is unspoken, unheard;
Still is the unspoken word, the Word unheard,
The Word without a word, the Word within
the world and for the world;
And the light shone in darkness and
Against the Word the unstilled world still whirled
About the centre of the silent Word."

And the speaker in the poem asks “Where shall the word be found, where will the word Resound?” And he concludes: “Not here, there is not enough silence…” and adds, “No place of grace for those who avoid the face / No time to rejoice for those who walk among noise and deny / the voice.”

CS Lewis hated TSE. Whatever, I like everything about that.

God bless,



LindaG said...

Thank you, Parson. God bless and Merry Christmas.

LSP said...

Linda, I thought that was an exellent bit of writing.

God bless!

Unknown said...

Inspiring, truly. Here's my own poor offering for the season:

And the Word was with God...

Well before the twentieth century, when books were bound in leather and vellum and the like,
And were printed with genuine metal type whether iron or lead-based, leaving an imprint
A raised area on the back and front of each page, there were millions of different titles made
Millions of different books printed, with who knows what wisdom lost between their pages?
I'm not exaggerating. Have you ever seen photos of the libraries of the old schools of Europe,
Whether in Spain or England or Ireland, to name a few? Or of the noble houses: good old
Duke of Marlborough having but one? The sheer quantities on display are beyond staggering,
And then there are the "rare" books, hidden from view. Why are they rare, and not visible?
Surely then the handwritten manuscripts through the ages, in their great variety are not few.
And what of lost carvings, lost pressed mud, and the possible lost works of lost civilizations?
How much has turned to dust in Timbuktu, or Darjeeling, or been burned in lofty Tibet
Or burned in Alexandria, or Byzantium, by hostile barbarians thinking themselves the best
And in need of no teachings from others? And what of the lost Mayan codices, priestly banned,
And what of countless other writings, from China and Japan and God literally knows where else?
We are so wise, we have the internet, we have computers and smart phones and smart pads
Which bring to us a tiny fraction of a fraction of a distillation of a faint whiff of all that majesty,
Don't get me started on oral traditions from long vanished tribes or this story will never end...