Thursday, 23 August 2007
Having quoted Rowan Williams earlier, I reproduce this poem, which means a great deal to me. Its simplicity, as always with Williams' poetry, hides great learning and tremendous psychological and spiritual subtlety. I hope to write something more about it soon.
Rublev is, of course, the famous Andrei Rublev, the greatest master of Russian icon-painting, who was born in the late 14th century. The poem is deeply bound to Rublev's miraculous icon of the Trinity, which shows the persons of the Trinity as angels seated at a table. It is in the Tretyakov gallery in Moscow.
* * *
Rublev, Rowan Williams, from The Poems of Rowan Williams
One day, God walked in, pale from the grey steppe,
slit-eyed against the wind, and stopped,
said, Colour me, breathe your blood into my mouth.
I said Here is the blood of all our people,
these are their bruises, blue and purple,
gold, brown, and pale green wash of death.
These (god) are chromatic pains of flesh.
I said, I trust I make you blush,
O I shall stain you with the scars of birth
For ever. I shall root you in the wood,
under the sun shall bake you bread
of beechmast, never let you forth
to the white desert, to the starving sand.
But we shall sit and speak around
one table, share one food, one earth.