Sign up with your email address to be the first to know about new products, VIP offers, blog features & more.

Tag Archives Christ

THE GATES OF MERCY

‘…Their lot forbade: nor circumscrib’d alone
Their growing virtues, but their crimes confin’d;
Forbade to wade through slaughter to a throne,
And shut the gates of mercy on mankind…’
Thomas Gray, Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard.

 

When I was a pre-pubescent boy, I read
The Eagle – having graduated from
the seditious slapstick of The Beano
and The Dandy – a comic with Christian
values, though the masthead did not say so.
Its heroes were square-jawed with no moral flaws:
Dan Dare,

share

ONE FOR SORROW

Piero della Francesca’s painting
La Natività (oil on poplar panel),
hangs in London’s National Gallery,
‘acquired’ in 1874
after a botched restoration and being
slightly singed by an altar candle.

Top left is a winding Tuscan valley,
top right the artist’s home town, Sansepolcro,
more than half a millennium ago;
in the foreground, the infant Christ on a rug,
his mother kneeling, praying, beatific;
behind are five bare-footed angels, two
with lutes, two singing, one thoughtful, as is
Joseph, seated and looking away from
mother and son,

share

THE GARDEN OF EARTHLY DELIGHTS

The left, centre and right panels of the tryptch, ‘Garden of Earthly Delights’, by Hieronymous Bosch circa 1510

 

Paradise flocks. Christ is blessing Adam, Eve

and, looking our way, us. We know, we

know – but a dirty trick to make evil

interesting! Lords and ladies teem: nude

armies on sensual manoeuvres.

In the nightmare, penis becomes knife, vulva

a cracked, open egg on tree-like legs –

and a man, elbow on the cut-away edge,

is unmoved.

share

GARDEN OF EARTHLY DELIGHTS

The left, centre and right panels of the tryptch, ‘Garden of Earthly Delights’, by Hieronymous Bosch circa 1510

 

Paradise flocks. Christ is blessing Adam, Eve

and, looking our way, us. We know, we

know – but a dirty trick to make evil

interesting! Lords and ladies teem: nude

armies on sensual manoeuvres.

In the nightmare, penis becomes knife, vulva

a cracked, open egg on tree-like legs –

and a man, elbow on the cut-away edge,

is unmoved.

share

THE EMBRACE OF NOTHING



i

Rome’s legionnaires quarried its sandstone cliffs

and Ptolemy put the Dee on the map.

William the Conqueror, in winter,

force-marched his army over the Pennines

to reach the river and waste the town – the last

to submit.  For eighteen years, Prince Gryfyd

ap Cynan, shut in the keep, heard only

the river’s voice, dyfrdwy, dyfrdwy.

Parliament’s forces sent fire rafts downstream

to purge besieged citizens. On its banks,

share

THE EMBRACE OF NOTHING

Chester, View from a Balloon, John McGahey, 1855

i

Rome’s legionnaires quarried its sandstone cliffs

and Ptolemy put the Dee on the map.

William the Conqueror, in winter,

force-marched his army over the Pennines

to reach the river and waste the town – the last

to submit.  For eighteen years, Prince Gryfyd

ap Cynan, shut in the keep, heard only

the river’s voice, dyfrdwy, dyfrdwy.

Parliament’s forces sent fire rafts downstream

to purge besieged citizens.

share