Thursday, 24 December 2015

Special Starlight

 'The Creator of night and of birth was also the Maker of the stars...'

Of all the aspects of the Christmas story it's the star that fascinates me the most, and many poets too it seems. Carl Sandburg poses some pressing questions here. 

Special Starlight - Carl Sandburg

All:             The Creator of night and of birth
                   Was the Maker of the stars.
Solo 1:       Shall we look up now at stars in Winter
                   And call them always sweeter friends
                   Because this story of a Mother and a Child
                   Never is told with the stars left out?
Solo 2:       Is it a Holy Night now when a child issues
                   Out of the dark and the unknown
                   Into the starlight?
Solo 3:       Shall all wanderers over the earth, all homeless ones,
                   All against whom doors are shut and words spoken—
                   Shall these find the earth less strange tonight?
Solo 2:       Shall they hear news, a whisper on the night wind?
All:             “A Child is born.”  “The meek shall inhert the earth.”
Solo 4:       Shall a quiet dome of stars high over
                   Make signs and a friendly language
                   Among all nations?
Solo 1:       Shall they yet gather with no clenched fists at all,
                   And look into each other’s faces and see eye to eye,
Solo 3:       And find ever new testaments of man as a sojourner
                   And a toiler and a brother of fresh understandings?
All:             Shall there be now always
                   believers and more believers
                   of sunset and moonrise,
                   of moonset and moonrise,
                   of wheeling numbers of stars,
                   and wheels within wheels?
Solo 4:       Shall plain habitations off the well-known roads
                   Count now for a little more than they used to?
Solo 1:       Shall plain ways and people held close to earth
                   Be reckoned among things to be written about?

Solo 2:      Shall tumult, grandeur, fanfare, panoply, prepared
                  loud noises
                  Stand equal to a quiet heart, thoughts, vast dreams
                  Of men conquering the earth by conquering themselves?
Solo 3:       Is there a time for ancient genius of man
                  To be set for comparison with the latest generations?
Solo 1:       Is there a time for stripping to simple childish questions
Solo 4:       On a Holy Night we may say:
All:             The Creator of night and of birth
                   Was the Maker of the stars.

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