Friday, March 6, 2009

Poetry Friday: Annus Mirabilis

Annus Mirabilis

how close is
the edge where we gasp
at the wondrous view

to the place where we fall.
we’re addicted to gravity
we fall, and fall, and fall

the attraction is mutual
the disasters are many
the wonders placed as knots

on a rope. Hand over hand,
the shape of each day fitting
to our palms, rough and knobby,

we pull our hearts
tough as burnt sugar
out of the blackened scrape

we’ve gotten ourselves in. A year
is nothing but a spin around
the sun, an annulus,

a common ring,
the crushed remains
of dust orbiting,

a measure of growth,
a given promise of wonder
or disaster as it slips

over a finger. I promise
for years to come
and years past

and this year
that there will be
disasters and wonder,

and how close
we will see them
as we fall.
---Sara Lewis Holmes (all rights reserved)

Annus Mirabilis:  a year of disasters or miracles. In other words, any year in which love exists. 

Poetry Friday is hosted today by Anastasia at Picture Book of the Day.


  1. There is so much truth here it hurts. I suppose that's because I'm working on my own Annus Mirabilis, and it's not of the miraculous kind.

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful gift of poetry.

  2. Sara,

    Wonderful poem. I love the part of the poem with the list of comparisons: spin around the sun...annulus...dust orbiting...measure of growth, etc.--repeating the constancy of Earth's yearly cycle and shape of the circle.

  3. Oh Sara - how mirabilis is this poem. The rope with its knots reminds me (for reasons I cannot fully articulate, but I trust you will see why I made the connection I cannot explain) of the pilgrims who visit the shrine, climbing the hundreds of stairs on their knees as they approach what they hope will be their own miracle.

    This poem is breathtaking.

  4. And the promise that there will be miracles -- and disasters -- a common ring,
    the crushed remains
    of dust orbiting,

    -- this promise of time -- and miracles -- and disaster -- marries us all, binds us together as humans and as people who love each other.

    This poem is a gem.

  5. This poem is a wonder to be savored over and over.

    My favorite lines:

    "Hand over hand,
    the shape of each day fitting
    to our palms, rough and knobby,

    we pull our hearts
    tough as burnt sugar
    out of the blackened scrape

    we’ve gotten ourselves in."

    True true true.

  6. I'm with Kelly. I'm such a fan of your poetry that I'm afraid you might not believe me when I say I found it breathtaking, too. I had to read it over and over and over. The images it brought to my head literally took my breath away. And Tricia's right -- so much truth that it is cathartic to read. And such beauty. But such is life.

    I really love the phrase "Annus Mirabilis." I mean, when I clicked to your dictionary link, I had to do a double-take. Someone came up with a name for this? I wonder where it comes from.

    Oh sigh. Thank you for sharing this with us. Thankyouthankyou.

  7. What a beautiful poem, Sara. Love the we pull our hearts tough as burnt sugar.

  8. Favorite SLH poem.
    Staggering over here under the miracle of it...

  9. Incredible, bookmarking this for sure.

  10. I love your poem. How you made me ache and marvel and hope. Thanks for sharing your gift of bringing important things to such a marvelous light.

  11. Thank you all. It's a wonder and a miracle to me to have a community of poetry lovers like all of you. And to get to travel around in a great circle on Fridays and visit other places of beauty. Let's put any disasters on hold, though, shall we?

    And Kelly, I love that you offered to me what you found in the poem even though you couldn't quite explain it. (I can't say that even I understand what turns up when I make a poem, so join my club of scrambling around for the right words to talk about those random connections that come into our heads and won't leave.) That said...those pilgrims on their knees . . such a searing image. Thank you for adding that.

  12. Wonderful!! I loved every bit of it, and the added tidbit about the historical Annus Mirabilis really gave the poem added resonance.

  13. I was falling and not afraid. Enjoyed.

  14. I just love how the poems each week seem to talk to each other. Your annus mirabilis, Carol Wilcox's sun chewing its cud across the sky, my roses with their necessary's a weekly accidental anthology!

  15. I have to agree with many that line "we pull our hearts tought as burnt sugar out of the blackened shape" Mirabilis!! I really want to read more about Einstein.

  16. This is an amazing poem. I love the beginning, and the knots on the rope. In a week where there have been many more disasters than miracles, your poem reminds me to hope. Thank you!


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