A Religious Selection

The following is a selection of religious poems chosen for discussion at a recent U3A meeting in Canberra. I have included the list for interest – quite a variety of work.

Amoretti LXVIII: Most Glorious Lord of Life – Edmund Spenser
On His Blindness – John Milton                                                                                    
At the round earths imagin’d corners – John Dunne
A Song for Simeon – T.S. Eliot
Spring – Gerard Manley Hopkins
Making a Myth – R A Simpson
Extraterrestrial Report – Michael Thwaites
To J S Bach – Michael Thwaites
The Late Passenger – C S Lewis
How to hide Jesus – Steve Turner
Christmas is really for children – Steve Turner
Christ in the Clay-Pit – Jack Clemco

And below is Michael Thwaites’ humorous poem concerning Mary’s desire for something quite different from the gift she received – but it was by royal decree – so I guess she shouldn’t complain.

Extraterrestrial Report
Arrived at the heavenly mansions, the blessed Saint
(female on earth) was welcomed by St Peter
enquiring whom she most desired to meet.
Mother Mary? Positively no problem;
Let me conduct you.  Presently, bathed in bliss,
they sat together, in light and joy and fun.
The Saint was charmed.  Mother, how can it be –
you so divine, yet still so down-to-earth?
I don’t forget; and here I have my Son –
As a sword pierced my soul, he from the Cross
gave me in tender care to his dear friend,
my Son, my Son.
Yet there, as you have read,
he learned obedience by the things he suffered:
So did we all …
The Saint took courage, asked,
diffidently bold, Those pictures we so loved –
the Babe and you adoring: did we catch
ever a trace of not-quite-perfect joy?
Mother Mary twinkled – I was young:
I’d really wanted a girl.

Michael Thwaites

It is indeed an extraterrestrial report for it is something quite out of this world – to consider Mary desiring a daughter. We are very much conditioned with Mary and son Jesus. It is a nice twist and emphasizes the humanity of Mary – she comes down to earth so to speak – in fact the poem is grounded on the last pivotal line.

Some details on Michael Thwaites.

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