"Adoration of the Magi" by Botticelli‘Sonnet XXXVIII: The Adoration of the Shepherds’ by Joseph Charles MacKenzie The Society December 24, 2019 Beauty, Culture, Holidays, Poetry, Readings 9 Comments Our nakedness was swaddled by the night, With Eden’s worn-out dust our feet were shod, When heaven opened and a being of light Announced that earth had just received its God. And we beheld what angels had foretold: The Patriarch, the Virgin, and the Child. The barn was warm, though human hearts be cold, And we adored the Infant meek and mild. How was it we were first, we cannot say, Though, like our King, we had no fixed abode: Our home was but the sky, the passing day, Possessing nothing, thus, we nothing owed. We saw what those, who better know than we, With self-sufficient eyes shall never see. In Vigilia Nativitatis Anno MMXV Domini From Sonnets for Christ the King © Joseph Charles MacKenzie Joseph Charles MacKenzie is a traditional lyric poet, the only American to have won Scottish International Poetry Competition. His poetry has appeared in The New York Times, The Scotsman (Edinburgh), The Independent (London), US News and World Report, Google News, and many other outlets. He writes primarily for the Society of Classical Poets (New York) and Trinacria (New York). MacKenzie has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Views expressed by individual poets and writers on this website and by commenters do not represent the views of the entire Society. The comments section on regular posts is meant to be a place for civil and fruitful discussion. Pseudonyms are discouraged. The individual poet or writer featured in a post has the ability to remove any or all comments by emailing submissions@ classicalpoets.org with the details and under the subject title “Remove Comment.” Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) 9 Responses Bruce E. Wren December 24, 2019 I especially love the first quatrain and the last couplet. Beautiful meditation for today… Reply Joseph S. Salemi December 24, 2019 Some day in the future, the collection “Sonnets for Christ the King” will be recognized for the brilliant achievement that it is. Reply Sally Cook December 24, 2019 Let us always honor Christ, and never forget why. Reply James Sale December 25, 2019 A great poem and a great sonnet. There is an expressive simplicity in the best of Mackenzie’s work that augments its power. There are so many good technical aspects in this that one could comment on, that has to refrain lest one were here all day, but here’s one: the beautiful balancing in this line – ‘The barn was warm, though human hearts be cold,’ – the contrast of the warmth and the cold is heightened by the awareness of their respective locations. We expect the barn to be cold, but indeed its warm; and we expect the human heart to be warm, but it is the opposite; and the fact that a barn can be superior to a human heart just emphasises how far we are fallen. But then, of course, this is why the Christmas story is occurring and we have received ‘its God’. Superb writing. Reply Mark F. Stone December 25, 2019 Joseph, This is crisp, clear and elegant. Mark Reply C.B. Anderson December 26, 2019 For me, Joseph, the best line was “Our home was but the sky, the passing day,” since we all are nomads in our quest for the bread and water of life, though you, Joseph Charles, seem to have found your true and permanent home. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant December 26, 2019 Simply perfect! Reply David Watt December 26, 2019 A sonnet of the highest standard! Reply Christina December 28, 2019 Truly inspired and inspiring. Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.