Poetry: Birds and Angels

St Michael, with bright wings (BL Royal MS 18 D II, f. 161v)

St Michael, with bright wings (BL Royal MS 18 D II, f. 161v)

A Clerk of Oxford writes:

Today is Michaelmas, the feast of St Michael and All Angels - a beautiful feast at perhaps the loveliest time of the year. In honour of the day I want to post a medieval English poem which I stumbled across for the first time recently. It's not strictly for Michaelmas (it's set in the spring) but by the time you reach the end of it you'll understand why I'm posting it today.

For reasons which may become obvious, this poem reminds me a little of the 14th-century masterpiece Pearl, a glowing jewel of a poem, a meditation on love, grief, and loss which attempts to render in the intricate beauty of its words something of the surpassing beauty of heaven.

To read on see: Birds and Angels

Tags: A Clerk of Oxford, Angels, Michael, Archangels

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