Poetry

Lectionary Poetry – 5th 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).

 
 

*** Revised Common Lectionary ***

Lectionary Reading:
Mark 5:21-43

 
 

CLASSIC POEM:

The Healing of
the Daughter of Jairus
(Excerpt)
Nathaniel Parker Willis

Like a form
Of matchless sculpture in her sleep she lay—
The linen vesture folded on her breast,
And over it her white transparent hands,
The blood still rosy in their tapering nails.
A line of pearl ran through her parted lips,
And in her nostrils, spiritually thin,
The breathing curve was mockingly like life;
And round beneath the faintly tinted skin
Ran the light branches of the azure veins;
And on her cheek the jet lash overlay,
Matching the arches pencill’d on her brow.
Her hair had been unbound, and falling loose
Upon her pillow, hid her small round ears
In curls of glossy blackness, and about
Her polish’d neck, scarce touching it, they hung
Like airy shadows floating as they slept.
’Twas heavenly beautiful. The Saviour raised
Her hand from off her bosom, and spread out
The snowy fingers in his palm, and said,
“Maiden! Arise!”—and suddenly a flush
Shot o’er her forehead, and along her lips
And through her cheek the rallied colour ran;
And the still outline of her graceful form
Stirr’d in the linen vesture; and she clasp’d
The Saviour’s hand, and, fixing her dark eyes
Full on his beaming countenance—AROSE!

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

The Raising of
Jairus’s Daughter
Margaret Mackinnon

Snippet:

You have to imagine it, as they all did:
It was as if He’d come to her
in a dream. The walls of the space
where the dead girl lay were like water,

wavering, like the reflection
of water, blue like the blue
at the beginning of night.
And the light blazed and bent

READ THE FULL POEM ]

 
 

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C. Christopher Smith is the founding editor of The Englewood Review of Books. He is also author of a number of books, including most recently How the Body of Christ Talks: Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church (Brazos Press, 2019). Connect with him online at: C-Christopher-Smith.com

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