Sunday, March 17, 2013

St. Patrick's Day Poetry

Reverie. By A. Marjorie Robinson

Any Woman

I am the pillars of the house;
The keystone of the arch am I.
Take me away, and roof and wall
Would fall to ruin utterly.

I am the fire upon the hearth,
I am the light of the good sun,
I am the heat that warms the earth,
Which else were colder than a stone.

At me the children warm their hands;
I am their light of love alive.
Without me cold the hearthstone stands,
Nor could the precious children thrive.

I am the twist that holds together
The children in its sacred ring,
Their knot of love, from whose close tether
No lost child goes a-wandering.

I am the house from floor to roof,
I deck the walls, the board I spread;
I spin the curtains, warp and woof,
And shake the down to be their bed.

I am their wall against all danger,
Their door against the wind and snow,
Thou Whom a woman laid in a manger,
Take me not till the children grow!

This favorite poem was written by Irishwoman Katharine Tynan (1861-1931),who, even before the likes of Steinem and Friedan set her free and unburied her, seems to be neither handicapped by her sex nor denigrated by her work at home. She seems to recognize and revel in her power, responsibility, and love.

The lady painted in Reverie (by an Irishwoman, of course, for this is St. Patrick's Day!) reminds me of my Irish mother (Monica Grace Maguire).

My father is Tom Sherlock ~ half Irish, half Italian (Gaelic and Garlic, so to speak!)

Both of these selections were chosen from this book of Irish art and poetry, a gift from Ken and a treasure for the senses.

When we visited Ireland many years ago as volunteer missionaries for the Assemblies of God (Because, you know, Ireland doesn't know about Jesus. Sheesh.), we spent several hours organizing the Bible college's library, surreptitiously reading the good saint's words (Like our children do now when they're supposed to be cleaning their rooms.). We thought that he might be saved (!). He and his words came back to us ten years later as we studied Catholicism.

Saint Patrick, patron saint of Ireland, and caller-home to the Church for Ken and me,  pray for us this day, especially our new Pope Francis and all the bishops.

With love and thanks,

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