Friday, April 14, 2017

Poetry Friday, Good Friday

I was looking back through the poems I've chosen for past Good Fridays, and I discovered that in 2008 I posted some George Herbert, in 2009 the hymn "Abide with Me," and in 2010 some Shakespeare (seasonally appropriate but not so much for Good Friday). In 2012 I paired Housman and HopkinsIn 2014 I shared Andrew Peterson's song "The Silence of God."  In 2015 I chose Luci Shaw and last year, E.A. Markham.

While I was doing that retrospective of Good Fridays past, I accidentally deleted my 2013 post, where I had posted a video of "O Sacred Head."  The video had been removed from YouTube, so I was trying to replace it, when, oops, gone.  (So much for things lasting forever on the internet.)  So here's another video of that hymn, one of my favorites.

The words are attributed to Bernard of Clairvaux.

This year, I'm sharing an Emily Dickinson poem.

To know just how He suffered — would be dear —
To know if any Human eyes were near
To whom He could entrust His wavering gaze —
Until it settle broad — on Paradise —

To know if He was patient — part content —
Was Dying as He thought — or different —
Was it a pleasant Day to die —
And did the Sunshine face his way —

What was His furthest mind — Of Home — or God —
Or what the Distant say —
At news that He ceased Human Nature
Such a Day —

And Wishes — Had He Any —
Just His Sigh — Accented —
Had been legible — to Me —
And was He Confident until
Ill fluttered out — in Everlasting Well —

And if He spoke — What name was Best —
What last
What One broke off with
At the Drowsiest —

Was He afraid — or tranquil —
Might He know
How Conscious Consciousness — could grow —
Till Love that was — and Love too best to be —
Meet — and the Junction be Eternity

Jan has today's line for the Progressive Poem.

Dori has today's roundup.


jama said...

Wow, what a beautiful, moving poem, Ruth. Hadn't seen it before. Thanks so much for sharing!

Linda B said...

I just came from Jane at Raincity Librarian with another hymn, and now your lovely one, too. Sorry you lost your earlier post, Ruth. When I find another from Emily Dickinson, I am in awe. She writes so beautifully, and imaginatively too. It's a poem that touches. Thank you, and Happy Easter!

Jane @ Raincity Librarian said...

You and I are on a similar wavelength this Good Friday. Dickinson always moves me, there's something so evocative about her words that makes you feel as though you're peering into her very soul through her words.

Carol Varsalona said...

Today's Good Friday service featured the hymn, O Sacred Head so the video you shared was a comfort reminding me of the solemn ceremony. Emily Dickinson spoke so beautifully of the suffering of Good Friday, a thought our priest described. Thanks, Ruth for a reflective piece.

Anonymous said...

That first verse of Emily Dickinson's poem. #heartwrench I had never considered it that way, before. It reminds me of this post, on instagram; about the comfort of a friend when facing pain. Thank-you for sharing

Mary Lee said...

I still love that pairing of Houseman and Hopkins...

Brenda Harsham said...

Lovely and warm.

Kay said...

What a beautiful poem from Dickinson. Thank you for sharing. I have not encountered this one before.

Doraine Bennett said...

This is such a beautiful poem, Ruth. Happy Easter.

Alice Nine said...

I hadn't seen this poem before, Ruth. As I read, I was forcefully struck with humanity of Jesus in his dying. Thanks for sharing!