poetry: 1st week of advent

Welcome to Advent! May this season of waiting and watching, hoping and preparing bring moments of calm and quiet, reflection and refocusing…

As promised, I give you a fitting poem for today (or rather, I send you to it, in order to honor the poet’s work and copyright): Those Winter Sundays by Robert Hayden.

I have loved this poem since I was 17 years old, sitting in my AP English class with barely a clue about the depth of its meaning. (What did I know, what did I know / of love’s austere and lonely offices?).

The poet speaks truth about sacrifice, responsibility, and the complicated love of family. All the stuff of vocation – of parent and of child.

I love not only the themes, but the poem’s words as well. Hayden’s “blueblack cold” is what I breathe on Midwestern mornings this time of year, and his images of light and dark, hot and cold, evoke the symbols of Advent.

Gather round a candle and read some poetry this winter; it does a spirit good. Besides, both Paul and Jesus remind us in today’s readings to stay awake. Poetry wakes us up and makes us watchful, casts off the darkness for the light.

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