Monday, December 24, 2012

Poem: The Birth of Christ, 1912

If it weren’t for simple-mindedness, 
how else could you have grasped
that the God who raged over the nations 
has turned mild now and is born in us?

Did you imagine him thus?

What is greatness? Beyond all measure 
he reaches through it and straight across.
Even a star has no such far-reaching orbits. 
And then look at these might lords,

carrying and placing in your lap
treasures they consider precious and great, 
and perhaps you are amazed at them –
one look at your swaddling cloth already outshines

all the amber that is traded in the world, 

every gold ring and the scented air 
barely satisfies and only teases; 
these are of such brief delight 
and one wonders why one cares.

But (you’ll see): He pleases