"[P]oetry makes nothing happen: it survives, / [...] a way of happening, a mouth." -W. H. Auden

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Phil Metres: Advent Poems

Phil Metres has posted a video of a reading of his wonderful series of Advent poems, interspersed with music. Phil writes that "the psalms and readings and prayers I heard as a child in Mass were among my first experiences of poetry—a language that draws us into its song, that claims us, even when we don’t understand all its meanings. The longer I write, the more I admire the durable language of Scripture. Despite its translations from distant languages, its vivid evocation of the sacred flows in and between the lines. I am still awed when I read the poetry of Isaiah:

The Lord God has given me a well-trained tongue, 
That I might know how to speak to the weary 
A word that will rouse them. 
Morning after morning 
He opens my ear that I may hear…"

Watch the video here:


  1. Luke, thanks for the shout-out. It's strange for me to see these private words suddenly circulate. I wrote them for myself, as a discipline almost, and then forgot about them for a year and a half.

    One of the sweet responses was from a priest who said he would pray through the poems this Advent.

  2. You're welcome, Phil. Thank you for sharing your wonderful poems. Glad to hear that they've met with many "sweet responses"!