The intricacies of script and figure are
amazing. Kudos to the faithful who
made contributions large or small. By far
this volume is the greatest ever to
present illuminated gospel. Ink
was carefully applied to skins of calves
bred for this very purpose. Just to think
of such devotion—nothing done by halves—
puts me to shame. As one who tries to craft
a poem now and then for reasons not
exclusively religious, I know—draft
by draft—when I am falling short. No jot
of mine will ever match the artistry
of monks renowned for anonymity


Jane Blanchard lives and writes in Georgia.  She has two collections—Unloosed and Tides & Currents—both with Kelsay Books.


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4 Responses

  1. David Hollywood

    An extraordinary book to witness and the more often you see the pages turned then the more overwhelmed you are as to the artistry and craft of such a volume. I think your poem offers terrific regard,respect and reverence for such a spectacular piece of biblical transcription and achievement. Thank you.

  2. C.B. Anderson

    Very nice, Jane.

    I’ve read your work all over the place, and I am never disappointed.

    Few people know that “vellum” is a word that’s cognate with “veal,” and of course we’re speaking here of calf-skin.

  3. Reducible Awes

    Ms. Blanchard’s sonnet reminds me of Mr. Whidden’s sonnets generally, for the enjambment here, the carefulness, the embracing of the old—almost breathtaking and convincing—though perhaps Ms. Blanchard’s language is even more refined. It is something I admire in both of these sonneteers, even if I am tilting at sonnets. The opening elision is nice, the dance of exquisite music, not conveyed in her free verse, excellent, the best rhyme of “calves” in the English language (Whose is better?), and the oxymoronic finale. If not as subtle or allusive as “Dear George”, its grace is as elegant as Ms. Coates’ translation of Du Bellay in “Political Correctness”. If the SCP is going to be known for anything, its seems it will be known for its sonnets.

    If only we could take Pound’s “Cantos” and spruce ’em up a bit, maybe we could reach Ithaca.


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