poet Geoffrey Hill

Geoffrey Hill

Picture Of A Nativity

Sea-preserved, heaped with sea-spoils,
Ribs, keels, coral sores,
Detached faces, ephemeral oils,
Discharged on the world’s outer shores,

A dumb child-king
Arrives at his right place; rests,
Undisturbed, among slack serpents; beasts
With claws flesh-buttered. In the gathering

Of bestial and common hardship
Artistic men appear to worship
And fall down; to recognize
Familiar tokens; believe their own eyes.

Above the marvel, each rigid head,
Angels, their unnatural wings displayed,
Freeze into an attitude
Recalling the dead.

Poem Submitted: Monday, January 2, 2012
Poem Edited: Monday, January 2, 2012

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Comments about Picture Of A Nativity by Geoffrey Hill

  • John PendreyJohn Pendrey (7/10/2016 3:12:00 PM)

    Is this what he sees in the rubbish on a beach? I think so.

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