I first read this poem on Malcolm Guite’s blog – he included it in his anthology Waiting on the Word: A Poem a Day for Advent, Christmas and Epiphany, into which I dipped recently. It makes me think of my late husband, because we enjoyed, as most married couples must, that sweet and simple privilege of having someone at hand to whom we could say things like, “Honey, come out here and look at the moon!”
Tonight I was driving home from a meeting — the skies were clear midnight blue for the first time in ten days, just in time for me to get a view as long as my journey, of the “silvercoin full” moon hanging there. I wished that I could turn on my jets and angle straight up to talk to the Man who was smiling at me. I remembered the poem, and without thinking whether it made any sense, I said, “Mr. Glad, will you look at this moon!”
You might want to read on the poet’s own website, Grevel Lindop, from which he also links to Malcolm Guite’s presentation. Both of them feature evocative images to accompany the poem.
Too many moons to fill an almanac:
the half, the quarters, and the slices between
black new and silvercoin full –
pearl tossed and netted in webs of cloud,
thread of light with the dull disc in its loop,
gold shaving afloat on the horizon of harvest –
How many times did you call me from the house,
or from my desk to the window, just to see?
Should I string them all on a necklace for you?
Impossible, though you gave them all to me.
Still some of their light reflects from memory.
Here it is, distant gleam on the page of a book.
Though in the Orthodox Church November 1st is not our day to remember “All Saints,” I wouldn’t want to miss the opportunity the western holy day affords, especially when Anglican priest Malcolm Guite has written a fitting poem, Sonnet for All Saints Day. If you visit his site you might like to stay awhile and explore others of his lovely poems; for each one he posts an accompanying audio file of him reading his work. For that reason I’m sending you directly to his page, so you can hear the poet himself.