Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Poem 031

from Goblin Market

Morning and evening
Maids heard the goblins cry:
“Come buy our orchard fruits,
Come buy, come buy:
Apples and quinces,
Lemons and oranges,
Plump unpeck’d cherries,
Melons and raspberries,
Bloom-down-cheek’d peaches,
Swart-headed mulberries,
Wild free-born cranberries,
Crab-apples, dewberries,
Pine-apples, blackberries,
Apricots, strawberries;—
All ripe together
In summer weather,—
Morns that pass by,
Fair eves that fly;
Come buy, come buy:
Our grapes fresh from the vine,
Pomegranates full and fine,
Dates and sharp bullaces,
Rare pears and greengages,
Damsons and bilberries,
Taste them and try:
Currants and gooseberries,
Bright-fire-like barberries,
Figs to fill your mouth,
Citrons from the South,
Sweet to tongue and sound to eye;
Come buy, come buy.”...

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Christina Rossetti of London, England is one of the most celebrated female poets of the nineteenth century. Visit Kingdom Poets to find out more.The refrain "Come buy, come buy" contrasts the invitation by God to his people in Isaiah 55:1. This 567-line narrative poem (written in 1859) tells the tale of a woman who risks her life to save her sister from the spell of the goblins' fruit. Symbolism may be seen in the poem relating to Eden, and to Christ's sacrifice and the imagery in the sacrament of Communion.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Poem 030

The Myrtle Calls

Listen!
The whispering Word ripples across
A withered world: endlessly
Yearning days, weeks,
Months, years,
Millennia.
Promises wallowed in accumulated grime surface into memory
And harmonize with dust-cracked lips.
Listen.
Champagne rivers sprout in Jerusalem;
Just beyond this threshold
They christen a new Eden.
Come in!
Echoing crags sing out for you to echo
The echoed beat of trees now clapping
With fruited joy for you.
Go out!
See Zion’s garden walls stretching beneath the overflow,
Rolling forward before the surge.
Why linger in the rapidly surrendering waste
Until the blanketing streams seam Earth in,
You out?
One crypt split once
To snap this garden’s gate.
Now clinging to its frame, I cry:
Just look!
The door stands
Open.

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Bryn Phinney of Redstone, Colorado was a member of the original Festival Circle at the Festival of Faith & Writing where this project was first introduced. She is a writing major at Wheaton College in Illinois. "The Myrtle Calls" echoes from Isaiah 55: 13.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Poem 029

Hurrahing in Harvest

Summer ends now; now, barbarous in beauty, the stooks rise
----Around; up above, what wind-walks! what lovely behaviour
----Of silk-sack clouds! has wilder, wilful-wavier
Meal-drift moulded ever and melted across skies?

I walk, I lift up, I lift up heart, eyes,
----Down all that glory in the heavens to glean our Saviour;
----And eyes, heart, what looks, what lips yet give you a
Rapturous love’s greeting of realer, of rounder replies?

And the azurous hung hills are his world-wielding shoulder
----Majestic — as a stallion stalwart, very-violet-sweet! —
These things, these things were here and but the beholder
----Wanting; which two when they once meet,
The heart rears wings bold and bolder
----And hurls for him, O half hurls earth for him off under his feet.

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Gerard Manley Hopkins was living in Dublin, Ireland at the time of his death in 1889, where he taught at University College. In retrospect, Hopkins is one of the most important poets of the 19th century, even though most of his poems were not published within his own lifetime. Visit Kingdom Poets to find out more. The "hurrahing" in the title "Hurrahing in Harvest" is thought to derive from Isaiah 55:12.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Poem 028

All the Trees of the Field Will Clap Their Hands

If I am alive this time next year
Will I have arrived in time to share?
Mine is about as good this far
I'm still applied to what you are
And I am joining all my thoughts to you
And I'm preparing every part for you

I heard from the trees a great parade
And I heard from the hills a band was made
Will I be invited to the sound?
Will I be a part of what you've made?
And I am throwing all my thoughts away
And I'm destroying every bet I've made
And I am joining all my thoughts to you
And I'm preparing every part for you

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Sufjan Stevens of Brooklyn, New York, is a singer-songwriter. Along with his step-father he founded Asthmatic Kitty Records, through which his music is released and the music of such artists as The Welcome Wagon and My Brightest Diamond. "All the Trees of the Field Will Clap Their Hands" lifts out of Isaiah 55:12, and appeared on his fourth CD Seven Swans.