Thursday, March 20, 2008

Good Friday Poetry

I am reading three books at the moment which I cannot recommend. But one book I am reading (for the third time) is a real winner. Meaty poetry that is not too erudite is hard to find, but this book succeeds in stretching my understanding without turning me off. It contains some of the greatest poetry in all Christendom. In honor of Good Griday I include this poem by Christina Rosetti (1830-1894):

Am I a stone and not a sheep
That I can stand, O Christ, beneath Thy Cross,
To number drop by drop Thy Blood's slow loss,
And yet not weep?

Not so those women loved
Who with exceeding grief lamented Thee;
Not so fallen Peter weeping bitterly;
Not so the thief was moved;

Not so the Sun and Moon
Which hid their faces in a starless sky,
A horror of great darkness at broad noon -
I, only I.

Yet give not o'er,
But seek Thy sheep, true Shepherd of the flock;
Greater than Moses, turn and look once more
And smite a rock.

(Although I typed this single-spaced, my preview page shows huge gaps between lines. Sorry about that. Not sure how to fix it.)

Another excellent Easter poem I discovered this year was Sonnet 15 by John Donne. His Sonnet 14 is by far his most famous ("Batter my heart three-personed God"), but this one was wonderful too. I listened to it through Librivox. Have a blessed Easter.


Anonymous said...

What a beautiful poem -- and so true, so applicable.

Sherry said...

So there's a poem for every day of the year? Is this book especially set up for 2008, the Easter poems coincide with Easter, etc.? Would the oems be appropriate for me to read to my children, ages 6 to 22?