Tania Runyan, “Angel at the Nativity”–Lectionary Poem for Epiphany 1A

With the dawn of a new church year, The Englewood Review of Books is curating a weekly series of classic and contemporary poems that resonate with the themes of the lectionary readings. Here is one of the poems for this coming Sunday (Epiphany Week 1– More poems for this Sunday can be found here)

Angel at the Nativity
Tania Runyan

 (to accompany the lectionary reading: Psalm 29)

(Editor’s note: With the nativity fresh in our lectionary memories,
this poem is a fitting link between that and the Psalm for this week. )

Oh, God, I am heavy

with glory. My head thunders
from singing in the hills.

This night will come once.
Enough bright lights.
Enough shouting
at the shepherds in the fields.

Let me slip into the stable
and crouch among
the rooting swine.
Let me close my eyes
and feel the child’s breath,
this wind that blows
through the mountains and stars,
lifting my weary wings.

 

Published here with the permission of the poet.
(c) Tania Runyan, 2010.
Published by FutureCycle Press, Lexington, Kentucky, 2010.


Tania Runyan grew up in southern California, where she studied creative writing at the University of California, Riverside. She went on to receive an MFA from Bowling Green State University and an MA in Secondary Education from Roosevelt University. After working in educational publishing and teaching high school English, she began her own tutoring business and now works with students on reading, writing and college admissions testing and applications. She is also an editor for Every Day Poems and the poetry editor for Relief Journal.  Runyan is the author of the poetry collections Second Sky (Cascade Poiema Series), A Thousand VesselsSimple Weight, and Delicious Air, which was awarded Book of the Year by the Conference on Christianity and Literature in 2007. 

Gerard Manley Hopkins – Patience, Hard Thing! – Lectionary Poem for Advent 3A

With the dawn of a new church year, The Englewood Review of Books is curating a weekly series of classic and contemporary poems that resonate with the themes of the lectionary readings. Here is one of the poems for this coming Sunday (Advent week 3 – More poems for this Sunday can be found here)

 

Patience, hard thing!

Gerard Manley Hopkins

to accompany the lectionary reading: James 5:7-10

Also pairs well with Wendell Berry’s poem, Whatever is Foreseen in Joy

 

PATIENCE, hard thing! the hard thing but to pray,           

But bid for, Patience is! Patience who asks          

Wants war, wants wounds; weary his times, his tasks;    

To do without, take tosses, and obey.    

  Rare patience roots in these, and, these away,       

Nowhere. Natural heart’s ivy, Patience masks    

Our ruins of wrecked past purpose. There she basks       

Purple eyes and seas of liquid leaves all day.      

 

  We hear our hearts grate on themselves: it kills             

To bruise them dearer. Yet the rebellious wills           

Of us we do bid God bend to him even so.          

  And where is he who more and more distils     

Delicious kindness?—He is patient. Patience fills

His crisp combs, and that comes those ways we know.

 


Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J. ( 28 July 1844 – 8 June 1889) was an English poet and Jesuit priest, whose posthumous fame established him among the leading Victorian poets.

Malcolm Guite – St. John the Baptist 1 – Lectionary Poem for Advent 2A

With the dawn of a new church year, The Englewood Review of Books is curating a weekly series of classic and contemporary poems that resonate with the themes of the lectionary readings. Here is one of the poems for this coming Sunday (Advent week 2 – More poems for this Sunday can be found here)

 

St. John the Baptist 1
St. John’s Eve

(to accompany the lectionary reading: Matt. 3:1-12)

Malcolm Guite

Midsummer night, and bonfires on the hill

Burn for the man who makes way for the Light:

‘He must increase and I diminish still,

Until his sun illuminates my night.’

So John the Baptist pioneers our path,

Unfolds the essence of the life of prayer,

Unlatches the last doorway into faith,

And makes one inner space an everywhere.

Least of the new and greatest of the old,

Orpheus on the threshold with his lyre,

He sets himself aside, and cries “Behold

The One who stands amongst you comes with fire!”

So keep his fires burning through this night,

Beacons and gateways for the child of light.

 

— Reprinted here with the permission of the poet.
 This poem (and another St. John the Baptist sonnet) can be found on
Malcolm Guite’s blog
They also  can be found in his book:  
Sounding the Seasons: 70 Sonnets for the Christian Year


Malcolm Guite
is a poet-priest and Chaplain of Girton College Cambridge. He performs as a singer and guitarist fronting the Cambridgeshire-based blues, rhythm and blues, and rock band “Mystery Train”.