Poetry for Lent Nos 41-44

Lenten Poetry Challenge
Well, I’m in the last stretch now, and I’ve enjoyed reading all these so much. I think my personal favourite (so far) is included here – On the back of a photograph.
As always, please let me know your thoughts about the poems!

Thursday Lent Poem 44

Everyone Sang

Siegfried Sassoon

Everyone suddenly burst out singing;

And I was filled with such delight

As prisoned birds must find in freedom,

Winging wildly across the white

Orchards and dark-green fields; on – on – and out of sight.


Everyone’s voice was suddenly lifted;

And beauty came like the setting sun:

My heart was shaken with tears; and horror

Drifted away…O, but Everyone

Was a bird; and the song was wordless; the singing will never

                        be done

Wednesday Lent Poem 43


Sylvia Plath

Overnight, very
Whitely, discreetly,
Very quietly

Our toes, our noses
Take hold on the loam,
Acquire the air.

Nobody sees us,
Stops us, betrays us;
The small grains make room.

Soft fists insist on
Heaving the needles,
The leafy bedding,

Even the paving.
Our hammers, our rams,
Earless and eyeless,

Perfectly voiceless,
Widen the crannies,
Shoulder through holes. We

Diet on water,
On crumbs of shadow,
Bland-mannered, asking

Little or nothing.
So many of us!
So many of us!

We are shelves, we are
Tables, we are meek,
We are edible,

Nudgers and shovers
In spite of ourselves.
Our kind multiplies:

We shall by morning
Inherit the earth.
Our foot’s in the door.


Tuesday Lent Poem 42

On the back of a photograph

Janos Pilinszky (translated from the Hungarian by Peter Jay)


Hunched I make my way, uncertainly.

The other hand is only three years old.

An eighty-year-old hand and a three-year-old.

We hold each other. We hold each other tight.


Monday Lent Poem 41

Swans Mating

Michael Longley


Even now I wish that you had been there

Sitting beside me on the riverbank:

The cob and his pen sailing in rhythm

Until their small heads met and the final

Heraldic moment dissolved in ripples.


This was a marriage and a baptism,

A holding of breath, nearly a drowning,

Wings spread wide for balance where he trod,

Her feathers full of water and her neck

Under the water like a bar of light. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s