There be dragons!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Caedmon's Hymn

Now let me praise the keeper of Heaven's kingdom,
the might of the Creator, and his thought,
the work of the Father of glory, how each of wonders
the Eternal Lord established in the beginning.
He first created for the sons of men
Heaven as a roof, the holy Creator,
then Middle-earth the keeper of mankind,
the Eternal Lord, afterwards made,
the earth for men, the Almighty Lord.
In the beginning Cædmon sang this poem.


Nu sculon herigean heofonrices weard,
meotodes meahte and his modgeþanc,
weorc wuldorfæder, swa he wundra
gehwæs, ece drihten, or onstealde.
He ærest sceop eorðan bearnum
heofon to hrofe, halig scyppend;
þa middangeard moncynnes weard,
ece drihten, æfter teode
firum foldan, frea ælmihtig.
Read aloud it sounds like this.

An appropriate first offering for poetry therapy. The beauty of the words alone is striking. This Old-English poem came from a young man who had hitherto sang/composed nothing at all. What is that moment in the mind when first we compose poetry or see the world as poetical, beautiful, something to be marvelled over and admired instead of used? The lines reflect this sense of wonder at the creation itself - both of the poet and of the Lord, too. How much God must have looked at his own creation like a poet looks at a well-turned line and simply taken delight in the sound of the words, birds, water, wind, trees, fishes, creeping things on the land. W/o any commentary, explanation, analysis, or reluctance on the part of the listener. How unlike the classroom that first genesis of glory must have been. To simply create, simply construct, simply fill the empty silence of chaos with a single hymn; glorifying Himself through the glory of his own creatures. firum foldan, frea ælmihtig. "the earth for men, the almighty Lord" - like reflections of each other in the pools of the earth mirror in sound, action and essence like two parts to a line of poetry.


Why dwell on how the world will end, bang or whimper; endings and beginnings are one - and our joy comes from the fact that in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth - brushstroke - chisel chip - A major chord - Yahi moroth!


1 comment:

  1. I always liked to think of God as a great artist. We are, after all, made in his image, and are we not the only creatures that create art? When we do that, we are imitating the Creator by essentially making creations of our own. Why? Something in us stirs us to create, to sing songs, to make images, to decorate! I am convinced that it is the divine imprint.

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