Saturday, December 24, 2005

New Life Amid Old Darkness

In the Slangwhanger-in-Chief's lexicon, this is the Holiday Season, which contains individual days some of which are called Hannukah, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. In his estimation as a hardened media-sifter, the Irish Times does Christmas Eve the best. They always print an actual poem. On the front page, of all places. Quaint old custom, really, to go straight to the heart of matters in that way, reaching for the oldest form of language to convey solemnity.
Carol
by W R Rodgers
Poems, 1993 (The Gallery Press, Dublin)

Deep in the fading leaves of night
There lay the flower that darkness knows,
Till winter stripped and brought to light
The most incomparable Rose
That blows, that blows.

The flashing mirrors of the snow
Keep turning and returning still:
To see the lovely child below
And hold him is their only will;
Keep still, keep still.

And to let go his very cry
The clinging echoes are so slow
That still his wail they multiply
Though he lies singing now below,
So low, so low.

Even the doves forget to grieve
And gravely to his greeting fly
And the lone places that they leave
All follow and are standing by
On high, on high.

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