The Guéranger Blog

Welcome to the Gueranger Blog! You have stumbled across the notebook I use to record my thoughts as I read through Dom Prosper Gueranger's 15-volume set, The Liturgical Year. I do not have any special expertise in liturgy, but I have some general knowledge of Catholic theology and an enthusiasm for Gueranger's magnum opus. Think of it as the Liturgical Year fan site!

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An Original Poem

Canisius | 30 December, 2005 19:26

Last night, Louis and I were admiring the abundance of Latin poems and hymns in The Liturgical Year, and especially the ones with clever, intricate rhyme schemes. Louis was commenting that it would be easier to write such poems in Latin than in English because one can rearrange the words more easily, and because the conjugated and declined endings make for easier rhyming. We both wondered how hard it would be to write such poetry in English.

As I thought about it, I realized that some of what the Latin-language poets did is imitable in English. For starters, we can drop the articles ("the" and "an") to give ourselves a bit more flexibility in meter. Also, the Latin poets did not always bother to make their poems consist of grammatical sentences: often they had only participles instead of verbs, or simply adjectival phrases. The content of the poem was often a series of images rather than a rational discourse.

With the above thoughts in mind, I sat down to try my hand at a poem in the style of the ones we had seen in Gueranger. It took me about half an hour to produce the following:

Maiden lowly,
Virgin holy,
Bearing God as her own child;
God the Mighty
Takes a body
From the virgin mother mild.

God is gracious,
Heaven spacious:
There is room for all but sin.
Earth is stingy,
Growing dingy,
Thrusts her God out from the inn.

Mary's able
In the stable
To give birth to God's own Son;
Donkey's braying
As though saying,
"Come and see Him, everyone!"

Star is gleaming,
Glory streaming,
Where the shepherds watch by night:
"Come and see
Caress and hold the God of Might!"

Like the Wise Men
Let us find Him,
Seek the Babe so highly prized.
Mankind's Maker
Took our nature
That we might be divinized.


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