Yesterday we considered a poem by John Donne, today we pair and compare it with a poem of the same title by Scott Cairns. I draw out some of the parallels and differences in the brief essay on this poem in my Advent Anthology from Canterbury Press Waiting on the Word. The image above was created by Linda Richardson in her book of visual responses to Waiting on the Word. Linda writes:
This poem spoke particularly to my Celtic ancestry and my earthy upbringing in a farming community. As children we spent good days outside throwing dried cow pats and crab apples at each other and stacking bales of hay. I confess that without Malcolm’s commentary I would have wallowed in the lovely words of this poem without necessarily returning to Genesis at all!
The work I made is on brown wrapping paper and is full of rich earth colours. I tore a hole in the paper, leaving the virgin white paper showing through and surrounding the hole with large stitches in thick embroidery cotton. It is meant to suggest a radiating of light, or perhaps a womb, or the homeliness of stitching.
You can find my short reflective essay on this poem in Waiting on the Word, which is now also available on Kindle and you can hear me reading the poem by clicking on the ‘play’ button or the title.
Annunciation by Scott Cairns
Deep within the clay, and O my people
very deep within the wholly earthen
compound of our kind arrives of one clear,
star-illumined evening a spark igniting
once again the tinder of our lately
banked noetic fire. She burns but she
is not consumed. The dew lights gently,
suffusing the pure fleece. The wall comes down.
And—do you feel the pulse?—we all become
the kindled kindred of a King whose birth
thereafter bears to all a bright nativity.
If you would like to encourage and support this blog, you might like, on occasion, (not every time of course!) to pop in and buy me a cup of coffee. Clicking on this banner will take you to a page where you can do so, if you wish. But please do not feel any obligation!
2 responses to “Annunciation by Scott Cairns”
Listening to the excellent Sunday Worship prog from Girton seems very strange indeed without you at its heart. Must feel even stranger for you (if you do listen! Best to have some distance I think). But I hope you and Maggie are enjoying retirement, busy as it may be for you, and may Christmas be specially blessed.
From: Malcolm Guite Sent: 04 December 2021 07:48 To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: [New post] Annunciation by Scott Cairns
malcolmguite posted: ” Image by Linda Richardson Yesterday we considered a poem by John Donne, today we pair and compare it with a poem of the same title by Scott Cairns. I draw out some of the parallels and differences in the brief essay on this poem in my Advent Antholo”
Respond to this post by replying above this line
New post on Malcolm Guite
Annunciation by Scott Cairns
Image by Linda Richardson
Yesterday we considered a po