Tag: inspiration

Inspiring Paintings: Much Very Ordinary in the Spiritual Way

There is much

That is very ordinary

In the spiritual way

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Faithfulness

Perseverance

Kindess

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Self-control

Patience

And love

.

May guard

Your soul

Each day.

.

“Christ in the House of His Parents” by John Millais is an ordinary scene but one packed with symbolism of a wound, of a bowl of water, of sheep in the background

Desert Silence

I came to the desert silence
and prayed for purpose

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The vultures of the mind
circled within

.

I waited for the silence to settle
for inspiration to gather

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Opening the door I see mountains
spreading from the distance

.

Some of them

may be moved.

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desertsilence prayedforpurposeTC

Inspirers – George Herbert

 

“Love bade me welcome

But my soul drew back…”

 

So begins one of George Herbert’s great poems, called “Love (III)”.

 

Although Herbert is not well known, he writes with a powerful simplicity.  He understands love, suffering and inner struggles.

Many of his lines have inspired me.  This is how his poem “The Call” begins:

comemyway HERBERT

 

And these words are from a great poem called “The Flower”, about dealing with storms in life, and then “budding again”:

 

6. budagain HERBERT

 

One of my self-published collections is called “The Joy of Creation”,  and I imitated his style in this piece, which called by the same name:

For the Joy of Creation

 

See my first grey hairs have come

but will they also take my brain?

Can I not remain

in writing fine and witty?

 

Sure, my God would not care so

as long as my verses still contain

You are still my God at heart,

which is the richest part

 

And while my body wastes away

I am renewed within and constantly

And as I age

that is my brightest day.

 

So if I keep my lovely lines

or not is not for me to say

All I could ever dare

was You are still my God

 

If I have written this

which ever way it is

then I have written fair.

 

agebrightday JOC

 

This is from an earlier collection, chronologically, again in Herbert’s simple style.

 

‘I took your book’

 

I took your book

and read

 

It said you bled

for me

 

They cried

who watched you die

 

But joy now fills my heart

I’ll not part

 

From your ways

all my days.

 

joyfillsmyheart FW

 

If you are interested in reading more, there are many, many thoughtful, wonderful poems by him. “Prayer (I)” is particularly wonderful, packed full of metaphors.  And “Heaven” is another fantastic poem, where each alternate line answers the previous merely by echoing part of the previous rhyming word.

Inspiring Poem – "Heaven" by George Herbert

I first read this poem when I was a teenager, and I was completely amazed at how George Herbert both makes the poem rhyme with echoes of the word on each previous line, but also how it suggests such profound meaning.

See whether you agree…!

O who will show me those delights on high?
Echo. I.
Thou Echo, thou art mortall, all men know.
Echo. No.
Wert thou not born among the trees and leaves?
Echo. Leaves.
And are there any leaves, that still abide?
Echo. Bide.
What leaves are they? impart the matter wholly.
Echo. Holy.
Are holy leaves the Echo then of blisse?
Echo. Yes.
Then tell me what is that supreme delight?
Echo. Light.
Light to the minde: what shall the will enjoy?
Echo. Joy.
But are there cares and businesse with the pleasure?
Echo. Leisure.
Light, joy, and leisure; but shall they persever?
Echo. Ever.

‘Heaven’ by George Herbert

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Inspiring Poems: The Wreath

A WREATHED garland of deservèd praise,
Of praise deservèd, unto Thee I give,
I give to Thee, who knowest all my ways,
My crooked winding ways, wherein I live,—
Wherein I die, not live ; for life is straight,
Straight as a line, and ever tends to Thee,
To Thee, who art more far above deceit,
Than deceit seems above simplicity.
Give me simplicity, that I may live,
So live and like, that I may know Thy ways,
Know them and practise them : then shall I give
For this poor wreath, give Thee a crown of praise.

This poem is particularly amazing in the way that the words are threaded from one line to the next, like a kind of wreath. See how “praise” is repeated, then “give”, then “ways”, and so on… I’ve marked the first few in bold below.

A WREATHED garland of deservèd praise,
Of praise deservèd, unto Thee I give,
I give to Thee, who knowest all my ways,
My crooked winding ways, wherein I live,—
Wherein I die, not live ; for life is straight,
Straight as a line, and ever tends to Thee,
To Thee, who art more far above deceit,
Than deceit seems above simplicity.
Give me simplicity, that I may live,
So live and like, that I may know Thy ways,
Know them and practise them : then shall I give
For this poor wreath, give Thee a crown of praise.

George Herbert, who wrote this poem, was probably also thinking of the “crown of thorns”; but he has a “crown of praise” instead to give to God.

Image by Nadine Zarya from Pixabay

Inspiring Poem – "Annunciation" by Scott Cairns — from Featured Blog by Malcolm Guite

Image by Linda Richardson Yesterday we considered a poem by John Donne, today we pair and compare it with a poem of the same title by Scott Cairns. I draw out some of the parallels and differences in the brief essay on this poem in my Advent Anthology from Canterbury Press Waiting on the Word. The image above was […]

Annunciation by Scott Cairns — Malcolm Guite

Inspiring Poem from a Featured Blog – "Annunciation" by John Donne — Malcolm Guite's blog

The poem I have chosen for December 3rd in my Advent Anthology from Canterbury Press Waiting on the Word, is The Annunciation by John Donne, and once again it is accompanied by a beautiful illustration from the book of responses to these poems by Linda Richardson. She writes: The imagery of The Annunciation is richly grounded in our […]

Annunciation by John Donne — Malcolm Guite

Featured blog: Daryl Madden

Daryl Madden is another poet/blogger whose work I enjoy, and whose writing has sometimes inspired my own work.

I am sharing this poem for you to enjoy.

I was especially taken by the final verse:

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Let roots of faith

Grow deep this day

In deserts rain

Through shades of gray.

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Here is the whole poem, called “Dawnings’ Gray

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Slow the dawning

From the night

Horizons glow

Of black and white

.

Soul is seeking

Colors, employ

The empty scene

Devoid of joy

.

Still a prayer

Spirit appeal

Inspiration

To reveal

.

Let roots of faith

Grow deep this day

In deserts rain

Through shades of gray.

Dawnings’ Gray — DarylMadden