Tag Archives: Advent

Walking Down the Saddest City Lane

In which I read Robert Frost’s “I Have Been Acquainted with the Night” as an Advent poem.

Posted in Auden (W. H.), Frost (Robert) | Also tagged , , | Leave a comment

The New Moon, A Prayer Opening to Faith

In a powerful Advent poem, David Whyte compares waning faith with the waning moon. The poem reminds me of poems by John Keats and Lucille Clifton.

Posted in Keats (John), Whyte (David) | Also tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Let Us Enter Advent in Hope

At a time when many of us are worried about the future, Allan Boesak reminds us that Advent is a time of hope.

Posted in Boesak (Allan) | Also tagged , | Leave a comment

The Twisted Fingers Letting Go

Catherine Alder has a beautiful poem in which she calls upon us to unclench our fists. I reflect also upon two other works that feature clenched fists, Blake’s “Grey Monk” and George MacDonald’s “Lilith.”

Posted in Alder (Catherine), Blake (William), MacDonald (George) | Also tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Stable Is Our Heart

Madeleine L’Engle alludes to “The Second Coming” in this Advent poem, which promises stability in the face of fear and lust for power.

Posted in L'Engle (Madeleine) | Also tagged , | Leave a comment

And the Light Shineth in the Darkness…

Auden’s Advent section in “For the Time Being” captures the pessimism that many feel about the world today. Luckily, the poem moves on to the Christmas promise.

Posted in Auden (W. H.) | Also tagged , , , | 1 Comment

The Animals Are Trying to Warn Us

Scott Bates invokes “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” in this Nativity poem.

Posted in Bates (Scott) | Also tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Advent and Horror at the Void

Donald Hall’s “Advent” captures the darkness of the season, linking death with birth.

Posted in Eliot (T.S.), Hall (Donald), Whitman (Walt) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Weeping, We Hold Him Fast Tonight

Christina Rossetti invokes Jesus’ parable of the ten virgins awaiting the bridegroom in this Advent poem.

Posted in Rossetti (Christina) | Also tagged , | 1 Comment

He Will Come Like Crying in the Night

Christmas hope does not come without deep struggle at the darkest time of the year.

Posted in Williams (Rowan) | Also tagged , , | 1 Comment

The Rest between Two Notes

A Rilke poem captures the spirit of Advent when he describes his life as “the rest between two notes.”

Posted in Rilke (Rainer Maria) | Also tagged , , | 4 Comments

The Intrusion of an Overwhelming Joy

Advent is a time for waiting and listening for a message from God. Jarman describes having once experienced it and feeling driven to find it again.

Posted in Jarman (Mark) | Also tagged , , | 1 Comment


  • Literature is as vital to our lives as food and shelter. Stories and poems help us work through the challenges we face, from everyday irritations to loneliness, heartache, and death. Literature is meant to mix it up with life. This website explores how it does so.

    Please feel free to e-mail me [rrbates (at) smcm (dot) edu]. I would be honored to hear your thoughts and questions about literature.

  • Sign up for weekly newsletter

    Your email will not be shared or sold.
    * = required field

    powered by MailChimp!
  • Twitter Authentication data is incomplete