Poetry Friday: Lenten Poetry

IMG_2693Our assistant pastor’s wife sent me a link to a group of poems compiled for Lenten meditation. This came at a perfect time as I had just been bemoaning the fact that I always want to do more during Lent but somehow never do. I’m not sure yet how I’ll use these poems but they are beautiful and just reading them alone is probably enough.

The one for today is by Robert Herrick, a poet I know nothing about. It was written in 1648 so I’m going to assume it’s in the public domain and post the whole thing here.

To Keep a True Lent

Is this a Fast, to keep
The Larder lean?
And clean
From fat of veals and sheep?

Is it to quit the dish
Of flesh, yet still
To fill
The platter high with fish?

Is it to fast an hour,
Or ragg’d go,
Or show
A down-cast look and sour?

No: ’tis a Fast to dole Thy sheaf of wheat And meat
Unto the hungry soul.

It is to fast from strife And old debate,
And hate;
To circumcise thy life.

To show a heart grief-rent;
To starve thy sin,
Not bin;
And that’s to keep thy Lent.

Poetry Friday is hosted today at Reflections on the Teche. Stop by and share a poem.


2 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: Lenten Poetry

  1. Thanks for sharing this poem and the link. I’ll add it to my things to do for Lent. In South Louisiana, where there is a strong concentration of Roman Catholics, an irony of Lent is the “All you can eat Lenten Special.”

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