Advent Poetry: Shadows, D.H. Lawrence

As a means of brightening my own soul as I rebuke anxiety in my own mind during the coldest, darkest part of the year, I’ve decided to intentionally cultivate joy and gratitude by focusing on Christ and that which points to Him and the good, beautiful, and true things in this world.

So I thought I would share a bit of poetry periodically throughout this season of Advent. This poem is new to me, but not new by any means. But I did find it beautiful and intimately relatable.

Shadows

by D.H. Lawrence

And if tonight my soul may find her peace
in sleep, and sink in good oblivion,
and in the morning wake like a new-opened flower
then I have been dipped again in God, and new-created.

And if, as weeks go round, in the dark of the moon
my spirit darkens and goes out, and soft strange gloom
pervades my movements and my thoughts and words
then I shall know that I am walking still
with God, we are close together now the moon’s in shadow.

And if, as autumn deepens and darkens
I feel the pain of falling leaves, and stems that break in storms
and trouble and dissolution and distress
and then the softness of deep shadows folding,
folding around my soul and spirit, around my lips
so sweet, like a swoon, or more like the drowse of a low, sad song
singing darker than the nightingale, on, on to the solstice
and the silence of short days, the silence of the year, the shadow,
then I shall know that my life is moving still
with the dark earth, and drenched
with the deep oblivion of earth’s lapse and renewal.

And if, in the changing phases of man’s life
I fall in sickness and in misery
my wrists seem broken and my heart seems dead
and strength is gone, and my life
is only the leavings of a life: and still, among it all, snatches of lovely oblivion, and snatches of
renewal
odd, wintry flowers upon the withered stem, yet new, strange flowers
such as my life has not brought forth before, new blossoms of me
then I must know that still
I am in the hands of the unknown God,
he is breaking me down to his own oblivion
to send me forth on a new morning, a new man.

Of course as a Christian woman, I would ammend it to read, “I am in the hands of the known God,” but there is beauty in poetic license.

And, as an added bonus, I have family that is quite artistic and I decided it would be a shame to deprive you of that beauty. So here is an original from my Grandmother (in-law), Gail. She is quite a talented lady.

My prayer is to draw closer to God at this time and to know him more fully and deeply. Amen.

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