Sunday, December 18, 2011
Today at church Father Ken's newsletter included a really cool poem based on this fresco painted by Fra Angelico in the San Marco covenant in Florence.
The poem is apparently pretty obscure, and Father Ken couldn't find an author, but there was something about it that I really enjoyed, so I thought I'd share it.
In the ivory colored cloister
acanthus crowns the smooth columns.
Dark arches repeat the ceiling pattern,
the entry shows a small paned window.
Nearby a brown sentry of fence
has not kept out the awesome guest.
He kneels, flush-faced, brimming with purpose;
gold weaves a banner across his chest,
wings tiered amber, jade, carnelian.
She looks past him, her hands protective,
folded across her solar plexus.
In this painting she is not coy
or modest or turned away.
Her face is stark, almost aghast,
and we see soul fight for size.
More is asked than she has got.
It is the moment of summoning up
the language of another future.
We balk and most of us say no;
do not remember being asked.
But he painted and we look
because she saw - beyond the angel -
incipient death, despite the peace
of bell-shaped blossom, greening wood.
She would embrace it all and, yes,
she sent him flying with the news.