Friday, December 24, 2010

December

Festivities bestow
upon this twelfth-month night
a whisper of the brisk miraculous:
all but the evergreens stand bare,
relieved of their burdens
(though a few trees harbor "winter-hardy leaves");
moonlight assuages the cumulative ill
of the dying year, and an old star guides
wise and foolish alike toward rebirth.


TD
1990

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Aeronwy Thomas

A video of Dylan Thomas's daughter Aeronwy (1943-2009) reading her poems:

Monday, December 20, 2010

Adam's Carol

Midnight, O Christians, is the solemn hour
when God who is truly Man comes to you:
he shall remove the stain of our offenses;
he'll please his Father and make all things new!
The whole world trembles, chills of expectation:
the long-sought night which brings us saving grace
now has arrived!  O kneel in adoration!
Behold, behold the Child-Redeemer's face!

Now may the light of faith ceaselessly burning
show us the way to the cradle of birth,
just as of old, the brightest star in heaven
led Eastern sages across desert earth.
The King of Kings is born where beasts are feeding:
O powers-that-seem, so boastful of your place,
proud men and cold, now heed the silent teaching!
The Child is God, his Mother full of grace.

The Savior's strength has burst through every fetter;
our world is free, heaven open once again:
a lowly slave becomes a prince's brother;
chains break asunder.  United are men!
What shall we give the Lord for all his goodness,
made flesh for us, to suffer pain and death?
Rise from your sleep!  Deliverance is upon us!
A child is born: praise him with every breath.


trans. TD
stanzas 1 and 2 c. 1997
stanza 3 2010

O Holy Night

Wikipedia gives us the history and text of Placide Cappeau's poem, which became Adolphe Adam's Christmas carol.