Advent

By Donald Hall b. 1928 Donald Hall
When I see the cradle rocking
What is it that I see?
I see a rood on the hilltop
        Of Calvary.

When I hear the cattle lowing
What is it that they say?
They say that shadows feasted
        At Tenebrae.

When I know that the grave is empty,
Absence eviscerates me,
And I dwell in a cavernous, constant
        Horror vacui.

Source: Poetry (January 2010).

MORE FROM THIS ISSUE

This poem originally appeared in the January 2010 issue of Poetry magazine

January 2010
 Donald  Hall

Biography

Donald Hall is considered one of the major American poets of his generation. His poetry explores the longing for a more bucolic past and reflects the poet’s abiding reverence for nature. Although Hall gained early success with his first collection, Exiles and Marriages (1955), his more recent poetry is generally regarded as the best of his career. Often compared favorably with such writers as James Dickey, Robert Bly, and James . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Religion, God & the Divine, Christianity

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

Report a problem with this poem


Your results will be limited to content that appeared in Poetry magazine.

Search Every Issue of Poetry

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.