Friday, 25 December 2015

Madonna with Child dismembered

John V. Taylor, was Bishop of Winchester between 1975 and 1985, and there has never been his like in that See again since. Those who have followed in his footsteps have never been as inspirational.

A poet, priest and prophet he urged the church to "go into no man's land, for the strange meeting, as Wilfred Owen would have described it". His writings are still in print - "The Go-Between God", "Enough is Enough", "The Christlike God", and show a startlingly original thinker.

Here is one of the poems that he wrote around Christmas, something to reflect on, and there is much here to reflect on, rather like an Icon, many layers of meaning and depth.

The iconography of mother and child has become very familiar, too familiar, so I have chose for this blog a piece of artwork which is a step removed from the halo festooned images.

Madonna with Child dismembered

They have taken away my Lord, those puritans
of evidence and meaning. Yet not they
with all their chiselling doubt could so disface him.
My subtle Lord has taken himself away,
driven still by his will to be one of us,
the nameless multitude who have no faces,
dare to bestow no presence each to other,
nor can meet love when it directly gazes,
trusting only its merest casual traces.
As when the sun, long down, fires the cold skies,
kindling the feathery drifts of upper air,
so, Mother, your deep ecstasy embraces
my godlessness. All Bethlehem's in your eyes
and in your peace I know your son is here.

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