Poetry

Lectionary Poetry – Second Sunday After Epiphany ( Year C )

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:
John 2:1-11

 
 

CLASSIC POEM:

Of the Marriage at Cana
Ranier Maria Rilke

Could she be anything but very proud
of him who made the plainest things become
lovely? And was not the high, large accustomed
night as though beside itself when he appeared?

Did not his having lost himself once, also
add unbelievably to his renown?
And did the wisest not change mouth into
ears, to hear him? Had not the house grown

new, at his voice? Ah, surely in those days
she had restrained herself a hundred times
from beaming forth with her delight in him.
And so she followed after him, amazed.

But there on that day at the wedding feast
when, unexpectedly, more wine was needed,
she looked, and begged a gesture at the least
and did not understand when he protested.

Then he did it. And she saw much later
how she had thrust him then upon his way.
Now he’d become a real miracle-maker,
and in this act unalterably there lay

the sacrifice. Yes, written and decreed.
Then on that day, was it prepared already?
She; it was she had driven on the deed
in the blindness of her vanity.

At table, heaped with vegetables and fruits,
she shared the joy, and never understood
that the water from her own tear-ducts,
with this wine, had been transformed to blood.

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

 
 

CONTEMPORARY POEM:

Cana
Thomas Merton

SNIPPET:

Once when our eyes were clean as noon, our rooms
Filled with the joys of Cana’s feast:
For Jesus came, and His disciples, and His Mother,
And after them the singers
And some men with violins.

[ 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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