Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Meditation on the Nativity

Because you can never have too much of Elizabeth Jennings' poetry...

All gods and goddesses, all looked up to
And argued with and threatened. All that fear
Which man shows to the very old and new -
All this, all these have gone. They disappear
In fables coming true.

In acts so simple that we are amazed -
A woman and a child. He trusts, she soothes.
Men see serenity and they are pleased.
Placating prophets talked but here are truths
All men have only praised

Before in dreams. Lost legends here are pressed
Not on to paper but in flesh and blood,
A promise kept. Her modesties divest
Our guilt of shame as she hands him her food
And he smiles on her breast.

Painters' perceptions, visionaries' long
Torments and silence, blossom here and speak.
Listen, our murmurs are a cradle-song,
Look, we are found who seldom dared to seek -
A maid, a child, God young.

Elizabeth Jennings

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