My Photo
Location: Midwest, United States

Monday, December 25, 2006

The Magi

I dearly love this poem by that gentle southern poet, George Garrett. I return to it often each Christmas, and derive great pleasure in doing so. I have shared this poem with many friends many times, over many years.

I thought I would share it once again, in the hope that you may enjoy it, too:

The Magi

First they were stiff and gaudy,
three painted wooden figures on a table,
bowing in a manger without any walls
among bland clay beasts and shepherds
who huddled where my mother always put them
in a sweet ring around the Holy Child.
At that season and by candlelight
it was easy for a child to believe in them.

Later I became one. I brought gold,
ascended a platform in the Parish House
and muffed my lines, but left my gift
beside the cheap doll in its cradle,
knelt in my fancy costume trying to look wise
while the other two (my friends and rivals
for the girl who was chosen to be Mary)
never faltered with frankincense and myrrh.

Now that was a long time ago.
And now I know them for what they were,
moving across vague spaces on their camels,
visionaries, madmen, poor creatures possessed
by some slight deviation of the stars.
I know their gifts were shabby and symbolic.
Their wisdom was a thing of waking dreams.
Their robes were ragged and their breath was bad.

Still, I would dream them back.
Let them be wooden and absurd again
in all the painted glory that a child
could love. Let me be one of them.
Let me step forward once more awkwardly
and stammer and choke on a prepared speech.
Let me bring gold again and kneel
foolish and adoring in the dirty straw.

* * *


Blogger Kelvin said...

Hello from down under inNew Zealand. I was searching the blog world when your blog popped up. Great poem. I hope you had a good day.

Mon Dec 25, 12:02:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones