Thursday, December 21, 2006

Special starlight

Vincent van Gogh - Starlight Over The Rhone
"Starlight Over the Rhone," Vincent van Gogh
Musee d'Orsay, Paris

...Shall we look up now at stars in Winter
And call them always sweeter friends
Because this story of a Mother and a Child
Never is told with the stars left out?

Is it a Holy Night now when a child issues
Out of the dark and the unknown
Into the starlight?

...Shall all wanderers over the earth, all homeless ones,
All against whom doors are shut and words spoken --
Shall these find the earth less strange tonight?
Shall they hear news, a whisper on the night wind?
"A Child is born." "The meek shall inherit the earth."

...Shall a quiet dome of stars high over
Make signs and a friendly language
Among all nations?

Shall they yet gather with no clenched fists at all,
And look into each other's faces and see eye to eye,
And find ever new testaments of man as a sojourner
And a toiler and a brother of fresh understandings?

-- From "Special Starlight," by Carl Sandburg, American poet, 1878-1967
The Complete Poems of Carl Sandburg, c. 2003

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