Each Sunday evening at Vespers in Eastertide a different person is going to speak about a poem which says ‘Easter’ to them. We’ll post the poem with some comments from the person here on our church blog.
We begin with Fr Ian, who spoke on Easter Day about his choice – Resurrection by the Czech poet, Vladimir Holan.
Much of Vladimir Holan’s poetry uses obscure language, it is often complex and enigmatic. In many ways he was a tortured soul. Born in Prague in 1905 he experienced great changes in his country, and suffered family tragedy. For a time he was a member of the Communist Party, but later returned to Catholicism.
His much loved daughter, Katerina, suffered from Down’s Syndrome and when she died at the age of 28 in 1977 Holan stopped writing and became a recluse in the centre of Prague. He died in 1980. His poetry is at times poetry of protest, at other times obscure or lyrical.
However, in this short and striking poem – Resurrection – Holan writes simply of the Resurrection day, not seeing it on a grand apocalyptic scale but rather as gentle and domestic. Here we have the image of a peaceful, comforting Resurrection, a gentle awakening – a homecoming.
Is it true that after this life of ours we shall one day be awakened
by a terrifying clamour of trumpets?
Forgive me God, but I console myself
that the beginning and resurrection of all of us dead
will simply be announced by the crowing of the cock.
After that we’ll remain lying down a while…
The first to get up
will be Mother…We’ll hear her
quietly laying the fire,
quietly putting the kettle on the stove
and cosily taking the teapot out of the cupboard.
We’ll be home once more.