Thursday, August 23, 2012

Homecoming (A Poem)

Yesterday I received a brochure for Carson-Newman's 2012 Homecoming celebrations, and that put me in mind of the entry I wrote after attending Homecoming last year (read that entry here; it is one of my favorites). At the same time, a friend invited me to attend UM's "Thursday Club," in which students and faculty gather to read and write poetry. This was my offering today: 


This time we’ll not chase fireflies to fill our jars with short-lived lights,

Nor burn our candles at both ends and crowd the walls with shadow-play.

Instead we’re seeking oil for our trimmed and polished lamps.

Our waiting is a pilgrimage: we have not come to stay.


  1. I always love reading your thoughts, Bethany. I thought I’d share one of my favorite home-themed quotes—it seems to reflect your image of “Homecoming.” :)
    It’s an excerpt from Fra Giovanni Giocondo (1435-1515).
    A Letter to the Most Illustrious the Contessina Allagia Dela Aldobrandeschi,
    Written Christmas Eve Anno Domini 1513
    No peace lies in the future
    which is not hidden in this present little instant.
    Take Peace!
    The gloom of the world is but a shadow.
    Behind it, yet within our reach, is Joy.
    There is radiance and glory in the darkness,
    could we but see; and to see, we have only to look.
    …Remove the covering, and you will find beneath it
    a living splendour, woven of Love, by Wisdom, with Power.
    …Courage, then to claim it: that is all!
    But courage you have; and the knowledge that
    we are pilgrims together,
    wending through unknown country,

    1. Oh, I love this letter, though I haven't seen it in a few years. I'm honored that you would link my thoughts to it. (I should also note that most scholars don't think Fra Giovanni Giocondo existed, since the only record of the letter was published by Greville MacDonald in the 1930s. However, even if the letter was written in the 1930s, I almost like that better, since Greville MacDonald was the son of George MacDonad, subject of my dissertation!). I've been thinking I might use part of this letter in my own Christmas greetings this year.