GREAT FIND: Daily Poems on the Saints

Every once and a while, one stumbles upon a great hidden treasure on the Internet—and this is one of them.

 This collection of poems offers a completely unique take on the lives of the saints—this is the saints as you have never seen or thought of them before. The poems are electric, surreal and sublime, simple yet profound. One of the things that makes them so compelling is their lively mix of contemporary and traditional flavors. Across the board, the poems are imaginatively evocative and intellectually provocative—a true treasure.

In some cases, the author seems to draw inspiration from the saint’s life or the things for which the saint is a patron. Sometimes, the poet seems to be reacting to a portrait or statue of the saint. Sometimes the saint’s life is merely a canvass upon which the author seems to be projecting her own struggles or anxieties of the moment. Occasionally, she will even take a famous quotation from the saint and use it as the launching off point for the rest of the poem. Below I’ve listed a few samples that really struck me.

On the Visitation:

that movement in the womb is real.

as if a whole world is coming into

the light.

 

your eyes are blue and the sea swells

inside. give birth to this high-tide child.

 

this is how to make things whole again.

 

On St. Paul’s conversion:

 

With the strength of a boxer swinging wildly,

your plush red fists pummel the sky to purple,

spotted with black clouds and streaks of blue.

The blood pools under the sun’s eye like a pond

that forms only after a storm. You have blinded

the light. We are thrown into darkness as our

one and only hot star, holds a thick red steak

over her eye. After days of nothing but night,

our skin fades to a virginal white. We forget

what the trees look like when they’re not

hunched over, their limbs clutching their

swollen bellies that rumble with hunger.

You must teach us how to survive in this.

Our ache for the light is an insatiable itch.

 

The Eucharistic imagery used for St. Catherine of Siena is especially interesting:

 

teach us how to kiss. & then crumble

on our sharp teeth. remember: you take the bleach

 

to your hair, not to your mouth. eat nothing but

Christ-as-flattened-moon. drink nothing but

 

water from those lakes on the moon.

 

And, finally, this description of heaven:

 

you tried to explain heaven,

but I just couldn’t wrap

my head around it.

 

it was like a carnival

with all the lights on. …

Stephen Beale

By

Stephen Beale is a freelance writer based in Providence, Rhode Island. Raised as an evangelical Protestant, he is a convert to Catholicism. He is a former news editor at GoLocalProv.com and was a correspondent for the New Hampshire Union Leader, where he covered the 2008 presidential primary. He has appeared on Fox News, C-SPAN and the Today Show and his writing has been published in the Washington Times, Providence Journal, the National Catholic Register and on MSNBC.com and ABCNews.com. A native of Topsfield, Massachusetts, he graduated from Brown University in 2004 with a degree in classics and history. His areas of interest include Eastern Christianity, Marian and Eucharistic theology, medieval history, and the saints. He welcomes tips, suggestions, and any other feedback at bealenews at gmail dot com. Follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/StephenBeale1

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