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Accompanied by Angels: Poems of the Incarnation

4.45  ·  Rating details ·  80 ratings  ·  8 reviews
From the time she was a child in Toronto, celebrated poet Luci Shaw has sent Advent greetings to her friends and family with a carefully crafted original poem. What began as a simple childhood exercise has now become a beloved annual tradition. Though a number of these poems have appeared elsewhere, Accompanied by Angels gathers all of them for the first time into a collec ...more
Paperback, 110 pages
Published June 19th 2006 by Eerdmans
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Mar 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
If I'd rated this early on I would've given it a slightly lower rating. Clearly they saved the best for last! Brilliant in its imagery. Luci Shaw thinks about the incarnation in such a profound way!
May 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018-poetry-list
I liked this volume better than the other Luci Shaw book I read. The theme of incarnation is intriguing to me and I enjoyed the various perspectives she explores, Advent, the life of Jesus, his suffering and death, and resurrection. Some of the poems I found to be lacking something. They almost felt like they were not quite finished and could have used more work. Luci Shaw is not my favorite, but I’m glad I gave her a try.
Joshua Gage
May 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry, religious
Too many cliches and abstractions to work as a whole for me, but there are some hidden gems in here that make it work reading once.
Apr 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Luci Shaw takes a Gerard Manley Hopkins love of the sonority of English (her poems are especially powerful when read aloud)--without Hopkins's sometimes perplexing, even cumbersome, density--and articulates a less eccentrically monastic and much more accessibly familiar, and feminine, sensibility.

I have loved her poetry since my late father introduced me to it in the 1970s, and have found it ever fresh: it prickles and soothes, startles and reminds, commands and comforts.

This collection is good
Joy Schultz
Oct 15, 2016 rated it liked it
The inspiration Shaw draws from the Incarnation has been manifestly clear to me in reading all her other books. Having the clearest examples thereof gathered here is convenient, but I think I prefer the moment of surprise when encountering them out of order, commingled with poems about other facets of life.

Again, her tracing out Christ's life - that is, grouping the poems by Announcement, Arrival, Living, Dying, Risen - is helpful, liturgically. But it seems to me more powerful to have Christ's
Nick Roark
Jan 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
Dec 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Beautiful. A fresh look at an old story. Perfect reading at Christmas.
Jan 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shaw's earthy poems provide shocks of wonder and recognition on the subjects of the Incarnation and the life of Christ. An excellent addition to Advent readings.
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Luci Shaw is a poet, essayist, teacher and retreat leader. Born in England in 1928, she has lived in Australia and Canada and (since 1950) in the United States.

She is the author of a number of nonfiction books, including God in the Dark and Water My Soul. Her first book of poetry, Listen to the Green, was published in 1971. It was followed by several others, including Polishing the Petosky Stone,

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“Mary's Song

Blue homespun and the bend of my breast
keep warm this small hot naked star
fallen to my arms. (Rest...
you who have had so far
to come.) Now nearness satisfies
the body of God sweetly. Quiet he lies
whose vigor hurled
a universe. He sleeps
whose eyelids have not closed before.
His breath (so slight it seems
no breath at all) once ruffled the dark deeps
to sprout a world.
Charmed by doves' voices, the whisper of straw,
he dreams,
hearing no music from his other spheres.
Breath, mouth, ears, eyes
he is curtailed
who overflowed all skies,
all years.
Older than eternity, now he
is new. Now native to earth as I am, nailed
to my poor planet, caught that I might be free,
blind in my womb to know my darkness ended,
brought to this birth
for me to be new-born,
and for him to see me mended
I must seen him torn.”
“Too Much to Ask
It seemed too much to ask of one small virgin that she should stake shame against the will of God. All she had to hold to, later, were those soft, inward flutterings and the remembered surprise of a brief encounter - spirit with flesh. Who would think it more than a dream wish? An implausible, laughable defense.
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