Thursday, December 17, 2015

Merry, Merry, Merry

Here you see thirteen of the eighteen stockings hanging in my den. I'm off until the new year, so enjoy your holidaying. Wishing you great joy, peace in the midst of your preparations, and rest deep in your bones.

from Seventeens
by Amit Majmudar

1. Incarnation

Inheart yourself, immensity. Immarrow,
Embone, enrib yourself. The wind won’t borrow
A plane, nor water climb aboard a current,
But you be all we are, and all we aren’t.
You rigged this whirligig, you make it run:
Stop juggling atoms and oppose your thumbs.
That’s what we like, we like our rich to slum.
The rich, it may be, like it too. Enmeat
Yourself so we can rise onto our feet
And meet. For eyes, just take two suns and shrink them.
Make all your thoughts as small as you can think them.
Encrypt in flesh, enigma, what we can’t
Quite English. We will almost understand.
And if there’s things for which we don’t have clearance,
There’s secrecy aplenty in appearance.
Face it, another word for skin is hide.
Show me the face that never lied.

For  more about the poet, see his bio at the Poetry Foundation. Visit the his website.

Read the full poem, "Seventeens," here at The Flea.

"Seventeens" was published in Heaven and Earth, Majmudar's second collection of poetry, which won the 2011 Donald Justice Prize.

Here is an interview by author, Sarah Arthur. 

Arthur's book, Light upon Light:A Literary Guide to Prayer for Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany is where I first found the poem. It is a wonderful collection of readings for the season.

Be sure to stop at Random Noodling for the Poetry Friday Roundup. 


  1. Dear Doraine, I love all those stockings, and the unseen ones, too. :) And your toes! I assume those are YOUR toes. The poem is a bit of a toughie for me. I will need to read it again. I do love that line about skin and hide. Love to you and yours, my radiant friend! xo

  2. Yep. My toes. Yep, this one takes a little time, but becomes richer with each reading. Love to you, sweet friend.

  3. Thanks for sharing this poem. I think I like the section titled "Acoustics" the best. Especially this line, "The absence of the touch is what resounds." How true is that? Merry Christmas, Dori!

    1. Delighted that you found something that touched you.

  4. Your picture makes me want to run right into the living room and relax, Dori, but I must be off with errands today. The sun is out and it's supposed to be warmer! I will read this again, as you suggested, but take this away for today: "You rigged this whirligig, you make it run:/Stop juggling atoms and oppose your thumbs." Act human? Thanks for the thought-filled poem. Merry Christmas to you and yours. Hope you have many relaxing moments.

    1. So many ways to read these words! I hope you got all your errands run and can sit down with a cup of tea/coffee/chocolate and enjoy.

  5. Your photo is so crystal clear, so bright, so joyful, so inviting; makes me wish you had a nineteenth stocking--mine! Thank you for the poem, all the associated links, and most of all, for recommending a book of spiritual poems to inspire this holiday inward, outward, and upward journey. God bless you! Merry Christmas to you and all the (other?) blessed stocking owners!

    1. I hope you find the book. It's really marvelous. I also have another one of Sara Arthur's called "At the Still Point ." So lovely.

  6. Thank you for a poem to return to and savor.

  7. This is a poem that will gradually unfold in meaning and understanding, methinks. Which goes well with resting 'deep in your bones'. How rich and restorative that sounds. Blessings.

  8. How clever and deep. Some favorite lines:
    "You rigged this whirligig, you make it run:..." and "... another word for skin is hide." Thanks for the introduction to this interesting and brilliant man.

    I'm a sucker for poetry collections that help interpret the liturgical celebrations. I buckled and bought (for my Kindle--much too easy).

  9. That's some pretty astounding wordplay. The opening couplet "immarrow" and "borrow" really grabbed me. Happy holidays to you, Dori!