Poetry

Lectionary Poetry – 4th 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:
Deuteronomy 18:15-20

 
 

CLASSIC POEM:

The Prophet
Alexander Pushkin

I dragged my flesh through desert gloom,
Tormented by the spirit’s yearning,
And saw a six-winged Seraph loom
Upon the footpath’s barren turning.
And as a dream in slumber lies
So light his finger on my eyes,—
My wizard eyes grew wide and wary:
An eagle’s, startled from her eyrie.
He touched my ears, and lo! a sea
Of storming voices burst on me.
I heard the whirling heavens’ tremor,
The angels’ flight and soaring sweep,
The sea-snakes coiling in the deep,
The sap the vine’s green tendrils carry.
And to my lips the Seraph clung
And tore from me my sinful tongue,
My cunning tongue and idle-worded;
The subtle serpent’s sting he set
Between my lips—his hand was wet,
His bloody hand my mouth begirded.
And with a sword he cleft my breast
And took the heart with terror turning,
And in my gaping bosom pressed
A coal that throbbed there, black and burning.
Upon the wastes, a lifeless clod,
I lay, and heard the voice of God:

“Arise, oh prophet, watch and hearken,
And with my Will thy soul engird,
Through lands that dim and seas that darken,
Burn thou men’s hearts with this, my Word.”

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

Advice to a Young Prophet
Thomas Merton

Keep away, son, these lakes are salt. These flowers
Eat insects. Here private lunatics
Yell and skip in a very dry country.

Or where some haywire monument
Some badfaced daddy of fear
Commands an unintelligent rite.

READ THE FULL POEM ]

 
 

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