Tuesday, December 1, 2020

The Absurd and the Divine

When I began this Advent blog in 2009, one of the greatest motivations was to build a space to reflect and share the plethora of Advent poems and quotes I was finding online.

In general, I’m not a big poetry person, but Madeleine L’Engle’s poetry—especially her Advent poetry—is some of my favorite verse. It is at the same time gritty and ethereal, cosmic and humble, vulnerable and sacred. And her prose is the same.

Poetry helps transport us to a mental and emotional space ready for the mystery of Advent. Honestly, who could have thought up a star, some shepherds, and globe-trotting wisemen to herald the arrival of God’s son? It could be fantasy, science fiction, or at the very least magical realism. But no, it is the intentional, precise story that God chose to tell. Poetry helps us open our hands a little wider, to receive the absurd along with the divine.

Here is one of L’Engle’s poems called "The Glory," which I first posted on the second Advent Tuesday in 2009, and recently read in her Christmas anthology, Miracle on 10th Street.


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