I’ve enjoyed posting poetry series themed around the Christian year in the past couple of years (see “Poetry for Lent” and “Poetry for Easter“). I will continue that with a series called “Poetry for Ordinary Time.” Ordinary time includes two sections of the church year between Christmastide and Lent and Easter and Advent. The word “ordinary” here derives from the word ordinal by which the weeks are counted. Still, ordinary time does serve an opportunity to embrace the ordinary spaces and places of our lives, and the themes of the poems will express this.
Here is “All Glory, Laud, and Honor” by St. Theodolf, Bishop of Orleans. While perhaps not exactly a poem, but more appropriately a hymn, this 9th century work was translated into English by John Mason Neale as part of his effort in the late 19th century to recover early Christian hymns for the church at that time.
All glory, laud, and honor
to you, Redeemer, King,
to whom the lips of children
made sweet hosannas ring.
You are the King of Israel
and David’s royal Son,
now in the Lord’s name coming,
the King and Blessed One.
The company of angels
is praising you on high;
and we with all creation
in chorus make reply.
The people of the Hebrews
with palms before you went;
our praise and prayer and anthems
before you we present.
To you before your passion
they sang their hymns of praise;
to you, now high exalted,
our melody we raise.
As you received their praises,
accept the prayers we bring,
for you delight in goodness,
O good and gracious King!
Previous poems in this series:
- C. S. Lewis, “Evensong”
- Tomas Tranströmer, “Open and Closed Spaces”
- James Weldon Johnson, “The Creation”
- Denise Levertov, “Living”
- Wang Wei, “Morning, Sailing into Xinyang”
- Gerard Manley Hopkins, “Pied Beauty”
- Mary Oliver, “The Kingfisher”
- Osip Mandelstam, “Consider the River”
- Kwame Dawes, “Peach Picking”
- Anna Kamieńska, “A Prayer That Will Be Answered”
- Judah al-Harizi, “The Sun”
- Wendell Berry, “The Peace of Wild Things”
- Tu Fu, “Clear After Rain”
- John Milton, “On His Blindness”
- Rainer Maria Rilke, “It’s Possible”
- St. John of the Cross, “Living Flame of Love”
- Jacqueline Osherow, “Autumn Psalm”
- Gerard Manley Hopkins, “Spring and Fall”
- Marilyn Nelson, “How I Discovered Poetry”
- T. S. Eliot, excerpt from Choruses from ‘The Rock’, II
- Luci Shaw, “Arrangement in Space and Time”
- Malcolm Guite, “A Sonnet for All Saints Day”
- Scott Cairns, “Idiot Psalms”
- R. S. Thomas, “The Kingdom”