Advent Sonnet 1: Silence

The season of Advent, the four weeks before Christmas, is a time for reflection and meditation, made quite a bit more difficult by all the other things competing for our time and attention on the lead-in to the Christmas season.

I manage to avoid a certain degree of the ‘noise’ by staying out of shopping malls as much as possible, but even so I find that I am distracted by other things: the weight of work at the end of the college semester, travel arrangements, the press of deadlines, an overflowing e-mail inbox, the pile of books I need, ought, and want to read…

My mind can fill up all too quickly with my own words and others’ words.

I am grateful to be recalled to that silence of the Incarnate Word, the Word who is wordlessly present in the Blessed Sacrament.

You can hear my reading of the poem by clicking here or on the poem title.

The first Advent candle lit.

Advent 1: Silence

So many words, so many empty shells,
These flimsy sounds that crack beneath the weight
Of meaning. Blared as slogans in those hells
Where shoppers scurry, words disintegrate
And leave us mouthing ‘peace’ and ‘joy’ and ‘love’
Not knowing what we speak, or why.
O Christ! You chose to come down from above
And join this mad cacophony, and die.
You blessed the silence of the womb, and grave;
You fed the clamoring thousands as a sign;
You spoke, and we were healed; and you gave
Yourself in broken bread and blessed wine,
Beyond all speech, yet touched and seen and heard,
That we could know you, Christ, eternal Word.
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