Poetry by Madeleine L’Engle

Madeleine L’Engle is probably best known for her book A Wrinkle in Time (which remained one of my favorite books growing up), but did you know she wrote sequels to A Wrinkle in Time, and she also wrote poetry, nonfiction, and several volumes of memoirs, totaling over 60 works?  I recently came across a few of her poems. The first two below clearly relate to Advent and the Christmas season. I love the last poem below and how she weaves science and spirituality together, just as she does in some of her stories.

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After annunciation

This is the irrational season
When love blooms bright and wild.
Had Mary been filled with reason
There’d been no room for the child.

 

The risk of birth

This is no time for a child to be born.
With the earth betrayed by war and hate
And a nova lighting the sky to warn
That time runs out and the sun burns late.

That was no time for a child to be born.
In a land in the crushing grip of Rome;
Honour and truth were trampled by scorn—
Yet here did the Saviour make his home.

When is the time for love to be born?
The inn is full on the planet earth,
And by greed and pride the sky is torn—
Yet Love still takes the risk of birth.

 

Sonnet, Trinity 18

Peace is the centre of the atom, the core
Of quiet within the storm. It is not
A cessation, a nothingness; more
The lightning in reverse is what
Reveals the light. It is the law that binds
The atom’s structure, ordering the dance
Of proton and electron, and that finds
Within the midst of flame and wind, the glance
In the still eye of the vast hurricane.
Peace is not placidity: peace is
The power to endure the megatron of pain
With joy, the silent thunder of release,
The ordering of Love. Peace is the atom’s start,
The primal image: God within the heart.

 

atom_heart

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