Lent is fully underway and so is a new series I’m writing entitled ‘Lent with the Poets.’ I’ll be writing this series with my good friends at AnglicanPastor.com and reposting here. If you visited my blog during Advent last year, I’ll use the same format from that series to reflect on poems that intersect with Lenten themes. The first two posts in the series are already posted on AnglicanPastor.com, featuring poems by Rainer Maria Rilke and Christina Rosetti. Here’s a sample from the Rilke post:
The Scripture readings appointed every Ash Wednesday are Jesus’ words in the Sermon on the Mount about true fasting and repentance, contrasted from hypocritical actions for the sake of public acclaim. The Greek word for ‘hypocrite’ in Matthew 6 is a theatrical word meaning ‘play-actor.’ Lent is a season to confront and forsake the masks we use to ‘keep up appearances.’ Rilke’s terse words about our masks remind me of Jesus’ rebuke of the Pharisees in the Gospels. Lent is the season to follow the pathway to ‘the repository of unlived things‘ for the sake of living in authenticity and humility before the Lord.
Read the rest of my reflection on Rilke’s poem here.
Here is my post on Christina Rosetti’s poem Up-Hill, with a brief excerpt below:
While the title and intervals of questions draw the poet’s dark night to the foreground, friendship and communion shape the background. These are the two dimensions of the poem. You and I, Rossetti’s dear readers, add the third dimension. We ask the poet’s questions, but we have our own questions, too. We long for communion in the darkness, searching for friendship in the midst of our own loneliness.
In the coming weeks, I’ll feature poems by Denise Levertov, Michael O’Siadhail, as well as a few other poets from the Anglican tradition. Stop by AnglicanPastor.com this Thursday, March 20th, to read my post on Scott Cairns’ poem Possible Answers to Prayer.
Be sure to check out the other excellent series at AnglicanPastor.com by my friends, Canon Greg Goebel and Fr. Thomas McKenzie. Canon Greg writes about his journey to the Anglican Church here. Fr. Thomas McKenzie has an interview series with Deacon Tish Harrison about the life of a priest here.
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