Wednesday, March 01, 2017


"Ash Wednesday" by Troy's Work Table.

Sidewalk chalk wash, sidewalk chalk, charcoal, and chalk pastels on 12" x 12" concrete board.


"By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; you are dust, and to dust you shall return." —GENESIS 3:19

"Teach us to care and not to care / Teach us to sit still. // Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death / Pray for us now and at the hour of our death." —from "Ash Wednesday" by T. S. Eliot


I've never really been one to give up something for Lent. Instead, I am more inclined to add something, usually an in-depth study of sorts.

This year, I have decided to delve into a new poem for each day of Lent. Two years ago, I spent my Lent in the poems of Robinson Jeffers. This year, my plan is to work through different poets and spend some time with each of them, and one of their poems that moves me, for a full day.


It seemed appropriate to start this Lenten journey of poetry with a poem about Ash Wednesday, so I turned to T. S. Eliot. "Ash Wednesday" wrestles with faith in the language of holy text and in the rhythms of ritual and rite. There is a "turning back" (repentance) and a bursting forth toward God and the holy. There is the collapse of one's self in the acknowledgment of one's sinful self and moving into the grace and mercy offered by the divine.

"Lord, I am not worthy."

No comments: