Michaelmas; a sonnet for the Archangel

Michael's scale is true his blade is bright

The Feast of St. Michael and All Angels is known as Michaelmas in England, and this first autumn term in many schools and universities is still called the Michaelmas term. The Archangel Michael is traditionally thought of as the Captain of the Heavenly Host, and following an image from the book of Revelation is often shown standing on a dragon, an image of Satan subdued and bound by the strength of Heaven. He is also shown with a drawn sword, or  a spear and a pair of scales or balances, for he represent, truth, discernment, the light and energy of intellect, to cut through tangles and confusion, to set us free  to discern and choose. He is celebrated and revered in all three Monotheistic religions. There is a good, full account of him here.

Margot Krebs Neal's beautiful response to this poem

Continuing my series of sonnets for the Church Year I have written a Michaelmas sonnet which I post below as always you can hear it by clicking on the ‘play’ button if it appears, or the title.

Michaelmas

Michaelmas gales assail the waning year,

And Michael’s scale is true, his blade is bright.

He strips dead leaves; and leaves the living clear

To flourish in the touch and reach of light.

Archangel bring your balance, help me turn

Upon this turning world with you and dance

In the Great Dance. Draw near, help me discern,

And trace the hidden grace in change and chance.

Angel of fire, Love’s fierce radiance,

Drive through the deep until the steep waves part,

Undo the dragon’s sinuous influence

And pierce the clotted darkness in my heart.

Unchain the child you find there, break the spell

And overthrow the tyrannies of Hell.

undo the dragon's sinuous influence

3 Comments

Filed under christianity, literature, Poems

3 responses to “Michaelmas; a sonnet for the Archangel

  1. Thanks, this is wonderful.

    The rhythm and music of the words make it a kind of Christian incantation.

  2. Jeanette Sears

    A wonderful poem. Thank you.

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