Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Advent Calendar ~ a poem for Celtic Advent Day 5


Photo: Jacqueline Durban

For Celtic Advent Day 5, a favourite poem from 104th Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams. It's full of frost, and it melts me.

Advent Calendar

He will come like last leaf’s fall.
One night when the November wind
has flayed the trees to the bone, and earth
wakes choking on the mould,
the soft shroud’s folding.

He will come like frost.
One morning when the shrinking earth
opens on mist, to find itself
arrested in the net
of alien, sword-set beauty.

He will come like dark.
One evening when the bursting red
December sun draws up the sheet
and penny-masks its eye to yield
the star-snowed fields of sky.

He will come, will come,
will come like crying in the night,
like blood, like breaking,
as the earth writhes to toss him free.
He will come like child.

© Rowan Williams

Poem from Rowan Williams' first book of poetry, 'After Silent Centuries' (Oxford, 1994). Also to be found in his 'The Poems of Rowan Williams' (Oxford 2002).

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