To This Great Stage of Fools: Born December 5th

Today is the birthday of Joan Didion, b. 1934, who won the National Book Award in 2005 for her book The Year of Magical Thinking. I’ve added it to The List, largely on the recommendation of Ms. Mental Multivitamin. If I like it, I may add some others of Didion’s books to The List for I must admit that I’ve never read anything by this particular author.

Today is also the day to honor and remember the birth of Christina Rossetti. She was a thoroughly Catholic Christian poet, and she wrote several Christmas poems/carols. Most people are familiar with In the Bleak Mid-Winter, especially the last verse. The following poem, also by Rossetti, is not as familiar although I think I have heard it put to music:

Love came down at Christmas,
Love all lovely, Love Divine;
Love was born at Christmas;
Star and angels gave the sign.

Worship we the Godhead,
Love Incarnate, Love Divine;
Worship we our Jesus,
But wherewith for sacred sign?

Love shall be our token,
Love be yours and love be mine,
Love to God and all men,
Love for plea and gift and sign.

Love is our plea, our gift, and our sign–that which we need, that which we receive, that which we give. May it be so.

3 thoughts on “To This Great Stage of Fools: Born December 5th

  1. By all means, read some works by Joan Didion! I haven’t read all she’s written, and I won’t call her one of my favorite authors, but I am not sorry to have read three of her novels and three of her non-fiction works, including The Year of Magical Thinking. I think I liked Slouching Towards Bethlehem and The White Album better, but that may be because I was a much younger woman when I read those… .

  2. This is a song, I know it’s on the Jars of Clay Christmas album. I read your poem and said…hmmm, I know those words! It’s been covered by plenty of artists though.

    I’ve always liked what I’ve read of Rosetti.

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