Josephine Jacobsen

(1908 - 2003 / Cobourg, Ontario, Canada)

The Animals - Poem by Josephine Jacobsen

At night, alone, the animals came and shone.
The darkness whirled but silent shone the animals:
The lion the man the calf the eagle saying
Sanctus which was and is and is to come.

The sleeper watched the people at the waterless wilderness' edge;
The wilderness was made of granite, of thorn, of death,
It was the goat which lightened the people praying.
The goat went out with sin on its sunken head.

On the sleeper's midnight and the smaller after hours
From above below elsewhere there shone the animals
Through the circular dark; the cock appeared in light
Crying three times, for tears for tears for tears.

High in the frozen tree the sparrow sat. At three o'clock
The luminous thunder of its fall fractured the earth.
The somber serpent looped its coils to write
In scales the slow snake-music of the red ripe globe.

To the sleeper, alone, the animals came and shone,
The darkness whirled but silent shone the animals.
Just before dawn the dove flew out of the dark
Flying with green in her beak; the dove also had come.

Comments about The Animals by Josephine Jacobsen

  • (12/21/2017 7:51:00 PM)

    All of the animals mentioned in the poem are animals from different parts of the Bible. Fascinating interplay of images. Stanza 1, Book of Revelation, ; Stanza 2 Leviticus (Atonement): Stanza 3 Matthew (God knows the sparrow's fall): Stanza 4 story of Noah in Genesis. I will need to read it many times to (Report) Reply

    (12/21/2017 7:55:00 PM)

    I missed one: Stanza 3 is the cock that crows in the Gospels, reminding Peter of his denial of Jesus, as Jesus prophesied. The other stanzas should be noted as re-numbered accordingly.

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  • (3/21/2017 2:11:00 PM)

    gd well donnnnnnneeeeeee soz had to fll in 20 letters! ! ! (Report) Reply

  • Anil Kumar Panda (3/21/2017 7:18:00 AM)

    So many animals doing so many tasks. Enjoyed the poem. Thanks for sharing such a nice poem. (Report) Reply

  • Tom Allport (3/21/2017 4:50:00 AM)

    an interesting poem of animalistic goings on? till peace was finally given... to everyone! .. nicely penned. (Report) Reply

  • Lantz Pierre (3/21/2017 4:06:00 AM)

    So beautifully evocative. Nightmarish night, dark, shrouded, unclear but inhabited by luminous creatures, beings of nature, entities that come and go regardless of what we in the sleep of our conscious intelligence my wish and interpret to ourselves. The natural world is beyond the grasp of our reaching, dissecting logical analyses. We dream a dream unsanctified because it's ours and we with language command an order that is not ours. Weep we may but peace will also come when we allow. (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (3/21/2017 2:00:00 AM)

    Alone at night. Thanks for sharing this poem with us. (Report) Reply

  • Rajnish Manga (3/21/2017 1:22:00 AM)

    This is indeed a scintillating description of wild life in a forest during night. Just outstanding.
    ....the cock appeared in light
    Crying three times, for tears for tears for tears.
    (Report) Reply

  • Bernard F. Asuncion (3/21/2017 12:56:00 AM)

    Just before dawn...... thanks for sharing..... (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Monday, September 21, 2015

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