A poem for Julian

Today is the feast day of Julian of Norwich. Although she was never canonized by Rome, Anglican churches around the world revere her as a saint and celebrate her on this date–not the day of her death, as is usual for Christian saints, but the day on which, after a week of severe illness, she received the revelations which became the basis of her book.

I originally wrote this poem in 1999, when I was an Associate of the Order of Julian of Norwich, a monastic order of men and women in the Episcopal Church, USA.


The Last Revelation of Julian of Norwich

And he showed me a little thing, a book,
scarce larger than the span of my hand,
and it was all I had writ.
My great book of his Showings,
wrote by me with so much labour,
lo, it was gone, as if it had never been.
And our Lord said,
Fret not, for I shall put you away like wine;
I shall hide you in my cellar; I shall keep you
even until last, until your even-Christians
be never so thirsty. And then
I will pour you out, I will crack open
the little hazelnut, and many shall drink
from your book, a multitude shall feast
on the meat of the nut. Wilt thou wait?
Yea, Lord, said I,
if such be thy will, then will I wait,
and all be well.

And I closed my eyes, which had gazed so long
on his blessed image, and stepped through
his wounded side into paradise.

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One thought on “A poem for Julian

  1. That’s very nice, and beautifully captures Julianine (?!?) spirituality, I think!

    Julian’s work is very inspiring in a number of ways; she’s not my favorite woman medieval Christian mystic, but she’s certainly in the top 10, and perhaps even the top 5.

    Like

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