John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton
jheaton

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Advent 2009: Minstrel's Song

I was just sort of skimming through a book of poetry when I came across this poem by Ted Hughes, and somehow it caught my eye and forced me to read it more carefully. The imagery is amazing.

Minstrel's Song

I've just had an astonishing dream as I lay in the straw.
I dreamed a star fell on to the straw beside me
And lay blazing. Then when I looked up
I saw a bull come flying through a sky of fire
And on its shoulders a huge silver woman
Holding the moon. And afterward there came
A donkey flying through that same burning heaven
And on its shoulders a colossal man
Holding the sun. Suddenly I awoke
And saw a bull and a donkey kneeling in the straw,
and the great moving shadows of a man and a woman—
I say they were a man and a woman but
I dare not say what I think they were. I did not dare to look.
I ran out here into the freezing world
Because I dared not look. Inside that shed.

A star is coming this way along the road.
If I were not standing upright, this would be a dream.
A star the shape of a sword of fire, point-downward,
Is floating along the road. And now it rises.
It is shaking fire on to the roofs and the gardens.
And now it rises above the animal shed
Where I slept 'til the dream woke me. And now
The star is standing over the animal shed.

Ted Hughes (1930–1998)

Previous Advent posts:

2003: How far is it to Bethlehem?
2004: Christmas Mail
2005: Look, up in the sky!
2006: Adam lay ybounden
2007: Mug with the Adoration of the Magi
2008: Happy Holiday/The Holiday Season

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