Thursday, 10 January 2008


We're coming up to the Feast of the Epiphany, and to Orthodox Christmas, so I reproduce here a poem by Anne Stevenson, from her Poems 1955-2005 (Bloodaxe, 2005), with the Orthodox ikon of the Nativity.


The scene they play
is the midwife's
without the midwife.

Blood, groans,
have drained into the gold,
and all her pain

is inward and to be.

The child
is like a prophet
on her knee.

A Doctor of Science.

In joy
his forehead
flexes in its sphere.

His hand
that claws her face
catches her tear.