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Noël by Anne Porter

Today, I found this lovely poem by Anne Porter. It's from a collection of hers that came out in 2006, a collection of poems that incorporates her earlier work (a National Book Award nominee) plus additional work. Although Porter is known for her religious Christian poems, I think this one makes sense regardless of one's particular religion (unless, perhaps, one is atheist and opposed to any mention of God).

The poem is only seven stanzas of free verse, and addresses the singing of carols at this time of year. I've excerpted the middle three stanzas of the poem here, providing, in essence, the "turn" in the particular poem. Those of you with a few minutes to spare may want to check out the full poem at The Academy of American Poets website.

We hear and sing
The customary carols

They bring us ragged miracles
And hay and candles
And flowering weeds of poetry
That are loved all the more
Because they are so common

But there are carols
That carry phrases
Of the haunting music
Of the other world
A music wild and dangerous
As a prophet's message


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Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
tessagratton
Nov. 30th, 2011 11:45 pm (UTC)
Oh! that is beautiful.
kellyrfineman
Dec. 3rd, 2011 05:04 pm (UTC)
Isn't it?
(Anonymous)
Dec. 14th, 2011 02:44 pm (UTC)
your beautiful.
(Deleted comment)
kellyrfineman
Dec. 3rd, 2011 05:04 pm (UTC)
I thought you'd appreciate that poem.
(Anonymous)
Dec. 1st, 2011 11:18 am (UTC)
tanita
How lovely - the birdlike voices, which sound as if they breathe rarefied helium instead of air, asking impossible questions, which, on the surface, seem so easily answered...until the next one...
kellyrfineman
Dec. 3rd, 2011 05:05 pm (UTC)
Re: tanita
"A child said, what is the grass?"
wordsrmylife
Dec. 2nd, 2011 01:01 am (UTC)
I suspect that carols bring even atheists the flowering weeds of poetry, and that there are atheists who may not dismiss the possibility of another world the same way they dismiss the possibility of God.

At any rate, these are lovely. Thanks for pointing them out.
kellyrfineman
Dec. 3rd, 2011 05:06 pm (UTC)
I believe so as well - most atheists I've met wouldn't object to the use of God as metaphor for nature or something larger than our world.

I thought the poem was spectacular.
(Anonymous)
Dec. 14th, 2011 02:47 pm (UTC)
I LOVE THIS POEM!
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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