Well, we have come to the end of quite a long intense sequence of ‘High days and Holy days’ stretching from the beginning of Advent through to Candlemas, during which I have been posting my ‘seasonal’ sonnets almost every week! We have a bit of a ‘breather’ in the Church Calendar now until things start again in earnest with Ash Wednesday and Lent. I thought I’d take advantage of this ‘space between the seasons’ to fill you in a little more on the whole ‘sacred sonnets project’ and how the sonnets you’ve been reading fit in to my larger plan for a new book, to be called “Sounding the Seasons.”
But first, a big thank you to everyone who has subscribed, and follows this blog, its very encouraging to know that readers around the world are finding the poems and reflections here sufficiently helpful to choose to ‘follow’ the blog. I am currently sending a proposal out to publishers to turn the poems on these pages into a little book and the more subscribers I have to the blog the more I can show publishers that there is a market and a potential readership for something as unusual as a 21st Century Sonnet-Sequence!
Secondly, I have only recently discovered that WordPress have been placing advertisements, (for I know not what goods and services!) on my blog! They don’t appear in my browser so I didnt know they were there. I have been using WP as a free service but I have found out that by paying a subscription I can remove all ads, so from today I will be doing that.The only thing ‘on sale’ on these pages therefore will be my own modest little poetry books and cds, and if anyone who doesnt have them feels like buying them to help me defray the small expense of running the blog, that would be great. The links for poetry are here, and for the cds here. You can also get the music on itunes.
Now let me tell you about the Plan for all these sonnets! My plan is to complete a sequence of seventy-five sonnets to be called ‘Sounding the Seasons’, which could be read for pleasure or devotion by individuals, but which would also provide a liturgical and worship resource for churches and church groups, in which individual sonnets would reflect not only the theme of festivals and saints’ days, but also pick up and develop themes and language from the lectionary readings. The idea is that the sequence would not only take you on a journey through the Church Year but also through the life of Christ, the mysteries of the faith, and a journey, in Christian life, from the font to the altar, from the cradle to the grave which has become for us, the gate of heaven. So the overall cycle, Sounding the Seasons, will be divided into three sections as follows:
I The Year’s Journey:
A sequence of sonnets that takes the reader on a journey through the Church Year from the longings of Advent, through the Incarnation, Presentation, Baptism, Temptation, Transfiguration, Death and Resurrection of Christ, on to the Ascension, Trinity Sunday, and Pentecost, finishing at last with the feast of Christ the King.
II The Company of the Saints:
This section of the cycle would celebrate the saints, as the great cloud of witness who accompany and encourage us on the journey, starting with Mary and each of the Four Evangelists, including Mary Magdalene, Saint Peter and Saint Paul, and going on to some well-known extra-biblical saints such as Saint Francis, and ending with a ‘gathering poem’ for the feast of All Saints itself.
III The Household of Faith:
The third and final sequence within the whole cycle is focused on the life the Church lives now, and comprises another kind of journey, from the Font at the West door towards the Altar, which is also the journey of the individual Christian through life. These sonnets aim to reveal the inward and spiritual through the outward and visible, so there are sonnets about the Font, the Lectern and the Communion Table, but also sonnets on Marriage and Renewal of Vows, on receiving Communion, and the sequence ends with a sonnet on the glimpse of Heaven revealed in listening to the Sanctus at a Requiem.
So that is he plan, and the whole sequence is now nearly complete. In my next post I will share with you a sonnet called ‘Sounding the Seasons’ which I have written to open the whole sequence and set out the heart of what its all about. Let me know what you think and thanks again for following me thus far!
I pause for a pipe in the temple of peace, for a little mid-sonnet inspiration Thanks for the photo Lancia Smith: