Thankful Tuesday: A Poem for Advent


by R. S. Thomas

Moments of great calm,
Kneeling before an altar
Of wood in a stone church
In summer, waiting for the God
To speak; the air a staircase
For silence; the sun’s light
Ringing me, as though I acted
A great rôle. And the audiences
Still; all that close throng
Of spirits waiting, as I,
For the message.
Prompt me, God;
But not yet. When I speak,
Though it be you who speak
Through me, something is lost.
The meaning is in the waiting.


R. S. Thomas, “Kneeling” from Not That He Brought Flowers.

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  • caq

    I love this part:

    the air a staircase
    For silence; the sun’s light
    Ringing me

    Thank you for the poem! Great way to wake up. xocaq

  • M.K.

    This is lovely. I like the same part as CAQ above. Staircase as both a thing of perpetual stillness and a vehicle for ascension. And to lend those qualities to the air then lends them also to silence. Weights silence with waiting. The line breaks are great – for me they created a sort of halting rhythm. As if each line is broken by waiting – for some interruption from that voice for which one is waiting. Thanks for sharing – not sure I ever would have come across this on my own!