Monday, March 26, 2007

The Annunciation

The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary, and she conceived by the Holy Ghost.....

Nothing will ease the pain to come
Though now she sits in ecstasy
And lets it have its way with her.
The angel's shadow in the room
Is lightly lifted as if he
Had never terrified her there.

The furniture again returns
To its old simple state. She can
Take comfort from the things she knows
Though in her heart new loving burns
Something she never gave to man
Or god before, and this god grows

Most like a man. She wonders how
To pray at all, what thanks to give
And whom to give them to.
"Alone To all men's eyes I now must go"
She thinks "And by myself must live
With a strange child that is my own."

So from her ecstasy she moves
And turns to human things at last
(Announcing angels set aside).
It is a human child she loves
Though a god stirs beneath her breast
And great salvations grip her side.

Elizabeth Jennings

1 comment:

Sophia said...

Thank you for this. As I sat in my seminary's chapel earlier today taking in the incense and white vestments for this occasion, I couldn't help thinking about how often I am frustrated with explanations of what Mary did or thought or felt. It seems that when men try to explain these things there is usually something just slightly "off." This poem really captures something about the annunciation in a more "real" way.