Poetry

Lectionary Poetry – 19th Sunday After Pentecost ( Year B )

With the dawn of a new church year, we have launched a new feature on our website, a weekly post of poetry that resonates with the lectionary readings for that week.

 
 

*** Revised Common Lectionary ***

Lectionary Reading:
Genesis 2:18-24

 
 

CLASSIC POEM:

Eden 
Thomas Traherne

A learned and a happy ignorance
Divided me
From all the vanity,
From all the sloth, care, pain, and sorrow that advance
The madness and the misery
Of men. No error, no distraction I
Saw soil the earth, or overcloud the sky.

I knew not that there was a serpent’s sting,
Whose poison shed
On men, did overspread
The world; nor did I dream of such a thing
As sin, in which mankind lay dead.
They all were brisk and living wights to me,
Yea, pure and full of immortality.

Joy, pleasure, beauty, kindness, glory, love,
Sleep, day, life, light,
Peace, melody, my sight,
My ears and heart did fill and freely move.
All that I saw did me delight.
The Universe was then a world of treasure,
To me an universal world of pleasure.

Unwelcome penitence was then unknown,
Vain costly toys,
Swearing and roaring boys,
Shops, markets, taverns, coaches, were unshown;
So all things were that drown’d my joys:
No thorns chok’d up my path, nor hid the face
Of bliss and beauty, nor eclips’d the place.

Only what Adam in his first estate,
Did I behold;
Hard silver and dry gold
As yet lay under ground; my blessed fate
Was more acquainted with the old
And innocent delights which he did see
In his original simplicity.

Those things which first his Eden did adorn,
My infancy
Did crown. Simplicity
Was my protection when I first was born.
Mine eyes those treasures first did see
Which God first made. The first effects of love
My first enjoyments upon earth did prove;

And were so great, and so divine, so pure;
So fair and sweet,
So true; when I did meet
Them here at first, they did my soul allure,
And drew away my infant feet
Quite from the works of men; that I might see
The glorious wonders of the Deity.

*** This poem is in the public domain, 
  and may be read in a live-streamed worship service.
 
 

CONTEMPORARY POEM:
Naming the Animals
Anthony Hecht

SNIPPET:

Having commanded Adam to bestow
Names upon all the creatures, God withdrew
To empyrean palaces of blue
That warm and windless morning long ago,

READ THE FULL POEM ]

 
 

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