Poetry

Lectionary Poetry – 3rd Sunday After Epiphany (Year B)

Lectionary Poetry Trinity Sunday

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).
 
 

*** Revised Common Lectionary ***

Lectionary Reading:
Jonah 3:1-5,10

 
 

CLASSIC POEM:

Jonah
Robert Graves

A purple whale
Proudly sweeps his tail
Towards Nineveh;
Glassy green
Surges between
A mile of roaring sea.

“O town of gold,
Of splendour multifold,
Lucre and lust,
Leviathan’s eye
Can surely spy
Thy doom of death and dust.”

On curving sands
Vengeful Jonah stands.
“Yet forty days,
Then down, down,
Tumbles the town
In flaming ruin ablaze.”

With swift lament
Those Ninevites repent.
They cry in tears,
“Our hearts fail!”
The whale, the whale!
Our sins prick us like spears.”

Jonah is vexed;
He cries, “What next? what next?”
And shakes his fist.
“Stupid city,
The shame, the pity,
The glorious crash I’ve missed.”

Away goes Jonah grumbling,
Murmuring and mumbling;
Off ploughs the purple whale,
With disappointed tail.

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

Intercession
Thomas John Carlisle

Abraham interceded for Sodom
but Jonah couldn’t have cared less
if Nineveh had harbored one
relatively innocent inhabitant

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