Friday, December 18, 2009

ADVENT COUNTDOWN 8

The shepherds went their hasty way,
And found the lowly stable-shed
Where the Virgin-Mother lay:
And now they checked their eager tread,
For to the Babe, that at her bosom clung,
A Mother's song the Virgin-Mother sung.
They told her how a glorious light,
Streaming from a heavenly throng.
Around them shone, suspending night!
While sweeter than a mother's song,
Blest Angels heralded the Savior's birth,
Glory to God on high! and Peace on Earth.
—Samuel Taylor Coleridge, "A Christmas Carol."
———————
[The word "Advent" comes from the Latin adventus, which means "coming." In the Christian church Advent is that period of expectant waiting leading up to the Nativity of Jesus. Some prefer to think of it as a "Countdown to Christmas." If you've ever had an Advent calendar, you know that each day prior to Christmas has it own window, usually hidden behind a little flap or door, behind which is a scene or verse from the Scriptures. I thought it would be fun to take that idea and post a daily photo with a bit of text below—a stanza or two from a Christmaspoem or a few lines of prose from a favorite Christmas story. The photos aren't intended to be tied with the text. Some are just ones I meant to run with a post this past year, but for whatever reason, didn't. To set these posts apart from my regular—or irregular!—ones, I've given them a different typeface and look.]

12 comments:

Wanda said...

Love your angel tree topper...
Blogger wouldn't let me access my reader or comment earlier this morning.

Gail said...

Hi Grizz-

And this Advent season, and always, HIS 'Light' of Hope and promise glows to guide us through the night. Very hopeful image and words of promise for us all. Amen.

Love to you
Gail
peace.....

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Wanda…

I'm glad whatever Blogger's problem was, things got worked out and you made it through.

I've been having a variety of problems with Blogger myself, lately, plus the ongoing deal of the those comments in Japanese which lots of folks seem to be getting.

Anyway, I'm glad you like the angel, which I sit on the table by the front door rather than atop the tree. I'm not even sure it is a tree topper as the only way you can affix it to the top of the tree is by fastening it on with wire or string, which places it off the side of the very top spire.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Gail…

I don't think I ever look at a night sky in December without thinking of this holy leading light. How I would have loved to witness that scared star.

But the promise and meaning still endures…

Bernie said...

Another meaningful poem Grizz. I love the angel.....I collect them and have them placed in several places in most rooms. I love feeling their presence....:-) Hugs

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Bernie…

This angel, which sits on a table near the door, is visible through the window when I'm walking Moon the dog at night—a beacon to the way back home.

Stay warm…

The Weaver of Grass said...

I am just amazed by how many really well-known poets have written about Christmas Scribe.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Weaver…

This isn't near the half of it—in fact, 'd be hard-pressed to think of any poet of note (and some of far less note than others!) who hasn't written of Christmas, at least in passing. I could do at least four more Advent countdowns and quote from only "famous" poets, and still not empty my daybooks; and I'm sure a bit of research would uncover many times that number.

KGMom said...

Pray tell, whence all these little bits of Christmas poems?
Do you have a book with a large selection?
Or are you running from volume to volume, looking up appropriate verses?

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

KGMom…

Daybooks, or whatever you wish to call them. Years ago, one of the first magazines I wrote for began sending me boxes of reporter's notebooks. I was not a reporter, didn't want to be a reporter. But I liked telling stories and those little notebooks were handy, so I always had one in a jacket or shirt pocket, several in the pickup's glove box, in my fishing vest, tackle box, camera bag, and any other place I could stash one—and I got in the habit of jotting down ideas, quotes, bits of poetry, prose, conversation, observations, maps to good fishing holes, etc. These were later copied into larger notebooks. A lot of stuff therein has made its way into my writings over the years.

I have well over a hundred Christmas quotes—possibly two or three times that number. When I thought about doing this Advent countdown, I looked in only a couple of those larger notebooks and saw I had more than four or five times the amount of material needed. I know there are more Christmas quotes in other notebooks, too. (And in case you're wondering, there are also quotes re. various trees, wildflowers, and a hundred other ideas, moods, places, times, whatever.) Plus…I have a lot of Christmas books with lots of poetry in them, and not as much duplication as you might imagine. If I had access to one of the good research databases (Gale's LitFinder comes to mind) I'd be willing to bet it would churn up 1000 Christmas poems, easy.

How's that for an overanswered answer?

Hildred and Charles said...

Thank you for today's Advent posting Griz, - it is early evening and I am late in visiting after a busy day, - but relish the peace and quietness your post brings each day.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Hildred and Charles…

I don't know how I missed this comment for so long…but I did and I'm so very sorry. I hope you'll forgive this lapse.

Thank you for your nice words. I do hope you enjoy the posts.