The beauty of the word can be such a blessing during the celebration of Easter, and the poems below are by masters. Who else but T.S. Eliot could illuminate Good Friday, especially from his Four Quartets as a response to hollow, wasteland decay? Herbert’s poems for Easter have been beloved for centuries, and the way he traces “stone” through Scripture, history, and the reader’s heart is masterful for Holy Saturday. Finally, Updike’s “Seven Stanzas” forces us to remember that this is no myth on Resurrection Sunday – the laws of physics and carnal materiality conspire with divine grace. Tolle lege! My runner up would be “The Stones” by Wendell Berry. Pair your readings below with “Spiegel im Spiegel (Arvo Pärt).”
The wounded surgeon plies the steel
That questions the distempered part;
Beneath the bleeding hands we feel
The sharp compassion of the healer’s art
Resolving the enigma of the fever chart.
Our only health is the disease
If we obey the dying nurse
Whose constant care is not to please
But to remind of our, and Adam’s curse,
And that, to be restored, our sickness must grow worse.