Poetry

Poetry by Catholic writers, or that deals with subjects and themes of interest to Catholics.


Poetry: An Invaded Life by Fr Rob Esdaile

Fr Rob Esdaile - photo © Olivia Fabb

An Invaded Life is the title of Fr Rob Esdaile's latest book of poems, just published, which gathers reflections on a rather disparate series of themes, as he explains in the introduction:

"I have long had the custom of writing a reflection for our parish 'Advent Carols and Readings by Candlelight' service each year, trying to tease out what the Christma...

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Poem: The Lost Pyx: A Mediaeval Legend

ICN/JS

Some say the spot is banned; that the pillar Cross-and-Hand

Attests to a deed of hell;

But of else than of bale is the mystic tale

That ancient Vale-folk tell.

Ere Cernel's Abbey ceased hereabout there dwelt a priest,

(In later life sub-prior

Of the brotherhood there, whose bones are now bare

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Poetry: Birds and Angels

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 post...

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Our Lady of Sorrows

Mater Dolorosa by Titian

Blessed Mother,

You knew Not only how to carry Your own deep sorrows with dignity

But to make room to hold the sorrows of another.

You were not afraid of annihilation

Not alarmed by a fresh dismemberment.

You were the centrifugal force of love

That holds the accelerating universe In a wide offering of ever-expanding joy

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Poem: The Holy Guest

Sarah de Nordwall

A poem to celebrate the Art Exhibition at the Servite Church - Holy Spirit Shaping Presence on 16th September 2019

The Holy Guest

And the Holy Spirit is released from the ark

As from the hand of the Father

Forth she goes

To seek a place of rest

Where the waters of unconsciousness have withdrawn

And the need for healing souls

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Poem for the Presentation

Rembrandt

Nunc Dimittis

I am a ghost man, shelled like a pea pod By the very unkindness of my God, who leading me a merry dance of years- does not alleviate, but accentuates my fears.

I have served in sacred words and rhyme, The praises of this Lord through time. Up and down the minute...

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Poems for St Lucy's Day

Saint Lucie's Day

Midwinter comes and in the North, the light denigrates into inky royal blues so often tinged with dark grey closing over us in squid-ink darkness.

There are lights there in the pitch-purpleness, Sparkles of light coming and going Some ever so long dead by millions of human year...

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Advent Poem by John O'Brien: Attentiveness

Hampstead Heath ICN/JS

Kimmage asylum room my monastic cell And your cell will teach you everything; Say the Desert Fathers - and Mothers too. Becoming attentive to my own Autumn Invitation to hear what my soul is saying. Easing off that narcotic habit of hurrying On to an ever-receding, incomplete future Recov...

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Poem: Christ Bled Poppy-Red

Poppies fleck the fields of Flanders mud, their scarlet dashes dotting red the shell-churned brownscape, little moments of vitality amidst morass of death, standing tall in a land where none dare stand at all.

Trees felled, birdsong stilled, bodies threaded on the wire; only the poppies wave now, not in surrender but rec...

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Closing St Cuthman's

Closing St Cuthman's

And in the orchard an apple fell to earth, floored by heaviness, fallen from the tree of life, flawed as we all are by the worm at work, while on the lawn under a canopy polite obsequies were acted out as though there'd been no death.

A strange wake this, with the dearly depart...

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Journey to Seamus Heaney HomePlace - read by Liam Neeson

Liam Neeson at Deauville American Film Festival 2012

Actor Liam Neeson lends his voice to a short film celebrating the life, literature and inspiration of Ireland's best-loved poet, the late great Seamus Heaney.

The film was launched by Tourism Ireland, at The Bloomsbury Hotel in London on Monday, to celebrate the work of the Nobel Laureate, and to promote the Seamus Heaney HomePlace visitor attraction in Bellaghy, County Derry, the poet's ...

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Poetry: Norah Hanson on BBC Poetry Please

Norah Hanson - image ICN/JS

The poem Grafters, by the award-winning Catholic poet Norah Hanson, from her book Sparks, will be read on BBC Radio 4's Poetry Please today, Sunday 28 January at 4.30pm.

One of Hull's most important modern poets, Norah Hanson was born in Hull, in 1937, and has been a proud resident ever since. She spent her working life teaching in secondary schools, then turned to writing after her retir...

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Poems for Blue Monday: Hope in Dark Places

A new collection of poems by Anglican priest Rev David Grieve, is being launched today at Durham Cathedral for 'Blue Monday'. This gloomy title assigned to the third Monday in January is due to a combination of post-Christmas blues, cold dark nights and the arrival of unpaid credit card bills.

'Hope in Dark Places' is a 50-page collection of poems about depression and Christianity. David ...

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Believing in poetry in a secular age

If we live in a secular age, you wouldn't know it from our poetry. Not only are some of the greatest poets of recent years overtly Christian, such as Geoffrey Hill and Les Murray, but many who are not remain drawn to and fascinated by "the soul in paraphrase, heart in pilgrimage." Michael Symmons Roberts is one of the leading English poets writing today, his work having won the For...

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