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  • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

Coronation


Those quaint medieval paintings I’ve seen of Mary’s crowning don’t do much for me. You know the stuffy, courtly ones I mean— God and Jesus stiffly on their thrones, with the little Holy Spirit bird between The King holds the crown above her head like he’s still deciding if she should be queen.


There’s something glum about them—something dead, as if they’re not really glad to see her. They seem distracted and disinterested, sweating a little in their brocade robes, golden crowns weighing on their royal head. They’re wondering how soon it can be over so they can change and go hunting instead.


What if the blessed lady’s crowning were not like a medieval court at all, but like that Botticelli painting, “Spring”? A second Eve graceful in a garden crowned with flowers—a near naked youth reaching for fruit, a lurking demon and three lithe ladies in sheer dresses, delicately dancing. Such a vernal, fertile scene would be worth ten thousand courtly crownings. You’d have youth, exuberance, trees swaying, the blithe earth clapping her hands, rivers singing, oceans surging and mountains roaring with mirth. You’d have all creation rejoicing— celebrating her innocent new birth. —August 22, 2017


Featured in Issue Two of New Lyre Magazine


Fr. Dwight Longenecker is Senior Contributor at The Imaginative Conservative. A graduate of Oxford University, he is the Pastor of Our Lady of the Rosary Church, in Greenville, SC, and author of twenty books, including Immortal Combat, The Romance of Religion, The Quest for the Creed, and Mystery of the Magi: The Quest to Identify the Three Wise Men. He contributes to many magazines, papers, and journals, including National Catholic Register, Catholic Digest, and The Stream. His latest book, Beheading Hydra- A Radical Plan for Christians in an Atheistic Age, is published by Sophia Institute Press. Visit his blog, listen to his podcasts, join his online courses, browse his books, and be in touch at dwightlongenecker.com.

4 comentários


Cindy Erlandson
Cindy Erlandson
03 de jul. de 2023

I really like the form -- the seven-line stanzas with their consistently rhyming first, third, fifth, and seventh lines. And I like the contrasting descriptions of the two different styles of art in the first two, and the last two, verses, and their contrasting moods -- something to the effect of static and lifeless, versus moving and lively.

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ddouthat09
ddouthat09
01 de jul. de 2023

Such paintings are iconic of their time -- staid, static, salvational. The Middle Ages always seemed to me like a holding pattern awaiting clearance to land on the Renaissance.

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jm6783685
jm6783685
01 de jul. de 2023
Respondendo a

For me the Middle Ages had its own music. Just as rich in its own way, but different. I wouldn't like to be without them.

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jm6783685
jm6783685
01 de jul. de 2023

Yes. I like this poem. It's always interesting when somebody rebels against a given convention and then gives good reasons for it. The expression of personal emotion always livens up a poem. And makes it more human.

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