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Christmas poem 2013. Follow along as it develops.

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  1. 1. Christmas Poem – as you may or may not know, every year for the past thirty-two, I have written a Christmas poem or story and sent it in place of a commercial Christmas card. This year will be no different; however, I invite you to watch its development by reading my blog, <> This year’s poem, entitled Skylark: The Thrice-met Numinous, is drawn from three sources. It involves first, three experiences I had respectively in India, Jerusalem and again in India and secondly the writings of C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity and The Problem of Pain. I have transposed these ideas against the traditional French Canadian children's song, "Alouette" that, according to scholars, originated in France. The innocent-sounding and tuneful ditty actually concerns plucking the feathers from a lark, referred to in the singable English version as the Skylark, because the singer had his sleep disturbed by the lark’s song. It is important for this work that since the middle ages in Europe, the lark (l'alouette,) is the first bird to sing in the morning, hence waking up lovers and causing them to part, and waking up others as well, something which is not always appreciated. Likewise, in French songs, the lark has the reputation of being a gossip and bucket-mouth, a know-it-all, and was thought to carry bad news. The gist of the poem is that the writer, metaphorically the prideful “Skylark,” meets God referred to by C.S. Lewis, quoting the German theologian Rudolf Otto and the psychiatrist, Carl Jung as the “Numinous.” God’s spirit, the through a process, plucks away Skylark’s prideful self until Skylark is uncovered before God. When Skylark finally realizes how truly insignificant he really is in comparison to the Numinous, for the first time, he can truly appreciate the majesty of the Numinous and his own poverty. Armed with such spiritual knowledge, he can realize the purpose the Numinous has for him which in the words of the Westminster Shorter Catechism is “to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” This poem will be written in the meter of the song, “Alouette” that begins with the refrain: “Alouette, gentille alouette,Alouette, je te plumerai.” This is loosely translated, Little Skylark, gentile little Skylark, I will pluck off your feathers.” The singer then proceeds to list the parts of the bird he will pluck: 1. la tête. (head) 2. le bec (beak) 3. les yeux. (eyes) 4. le cou. (neck) 5. les ailes. (wings) 6. les pattes.(legs) 7. la queue. (tail) 8. le dos. (back)
  2. 2. I group the parts into four categories: the will (head and neck,) the motivation (wings or arms and legs,) the senses (beak or nose and eyes,) and the body or frame (back and tail.)