Christmas in Cadence .1

Posted By on Nov 28, 2012 | 6 comments

Two years have passed since I last posted a series of poems at Christmas. For me, carol and song, poem and rhythm are a vital heartbeat to the days of the Advent season especially. I have never lost the sense I had as a child, of Christmas as a time when the song that hums at heart of earth and depth of soul lifts its voice a little louder and we are invited to join the dance that is Love in motion among us. Somehow, poetry enters this dance for me, for it is a dance of words in which the story of this season whirls and glimmers even brighter.

So, I’m reviving my “Christmas in Cadence” posts. A poem every few days during this luminous season. I’ll start with one by Madeleine L’Engle, a writer beloved of my heart. Madeleine is a writer whose words are a light in my mind, shedding a life-giving brightness over my thoughts about God. A poem about those fabled followers of the star, the wise men, seemed a good place to begin, especially as we are about to begin our inner journey of Advent.

The Wise Men
by Madeleine Lโ€™Engle

A star has streaked the sky.
pulls us,
Where, oh where, where leads the light?

We came and left our gifts
and turned
Time had passed, friends gone from sight[

One by one, they go, they die
to now,
to us-
gone in the dazzling dark of night.

Oh how, and where, and when, and why
and what,
and who,
and may, and should, O God, and might
a star, a wind, a laugh, a cry
still come
from one-
the blazing word of power and might-

to use our gifts of gold and myrrh
and frankincense
as needed,
as our intention was to do the right?

Here, there, hear- soft as a sigh-
all that is spoken, back to the flight

blazing too fierce for mortal eye.
oh, Love, until we, too, may dazzle bright.



  1. I treasure her Advent/Christmas poems. I hardly think there are any better!

  2. This is beautiful! I’m looking forward to more of the poetry.

    I had to take Victoria to see Dr. Lisa on Monday (her veterinarian). We still can’t get the swelling in her paw to go down so she’s on another round of meds.

    So, what does this have to do with L’Engle’s poetry? Dr. Lisa started talking about mitochondria and said I probably hadn’t heard that word and I said… “Oh, yes I have! Madeleine L’Engle talks about them in one of the Time books!”

    Well, it turned out Dr. Lisa is a Madeleine fan and we spent the next five minutes or so talking about mitochondria and Madeleine. One never knows where they will meet another fan. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. I always place a copy of her beautiful ‘Simplicatas’ (printed on cardstock) beside a ‘Willow-tree’ mother and child figurine on the mantlepiece come Christmas morning.

    I look forward to reading the rest of your selection.

  4. Sarah, I’m looking forward to more Advent poems. Thank you for this. I’m going to have to go get my L’Engle poetry off my shelf now ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I now have a strong urge to wrap up in a fuzzy blanket with a hot cup of tea and read poetry….mmmmmm, sounds lovely.

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