MASSACRE OF THE INNOCENTS

My poet of the moment, Malcolm Guite, has tackled this tragic subject in his latest sonnet, ‘Refugee’:

Refugee

We think of him as safe beneath the steeple,

Or cosy in a crib beside the font,

But he is with a million displaced people

On the long road of weariness and want.

For even as we sing our final carol

His family is up and on that road,

Fleeing the wrath of someone else’s quarrel,

Glancing behind and shouldering their load.

Whilst Herod rages still from his dark tower

Christ clings to Mary, fingers tightly curled,

The lambs are slaughtered by the men of power,

And death squads spread their curse across the world.

But every Herod dies, and comes alone

To stand before the Lamb upon the throne.

The musician Steve Bell has reworked the sonnet as a basis for a newly-composed song, with an ironic contrast between the lyric and the music:

http://malcolmguite.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/giotto-di-bondone-the-flight-into-egypt.jpg

Giotto di Bondone:  the Flight into Egypt

The poem is from Guite’s collection ‘Sounding the Seasons’:  the music from Steve Bell’s album ‘Keening for the Dawn’.

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