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Orthodox poetry

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#1 Nina


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Posted 18 January 2008 - 01:51 AM

Blessed is the Messenger who came bearing
a great peace. By the mercy of His Father,
He lowered Himself to us. Our own debts
He did not take up to Him. He reconciled
His Lordship with His servants.

Glory to Your Dawn, divine and human!

Glorious is the Wise One, Who allied and joined
Divinity with humanity,
one from the height and the other from the depth.
He mingled the natures like pigments
and an image came into being: the God-man.
O Zealous One who saw Adam
who had become dust and the accursed serpent
devouring him. Reality dwelt
in what had lost its flavor. He made him salt
by which the cursed serpent would be blinded,
Blessed is the Compassionate One Who saw, next to paradise,
the lance that barred the way
to the Tree of Life. He came to take up
the body that would be struck so that by the opening in His side
He might break through the way into paradise.
Glorious is the Compassionate One Who did not use
violence, and without force,
by wisdom He was victorious.

Glory to Your Dawn, divine and human!

St. Ephraim the Syrian
Hymn 8 On the Nativity 1-5

#2 Olga



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Posted 18 January 2008 - 04:14 AM

St Kassiane the Hymnographer was a prolific writer of hymns, poems and prose (sacred and secular). Many of her literary works have survived to this day. I'll have to dig some up from my archive.

#3 Nina


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Posted 23 January 2008 - 09:32 PM

Whom have we, Lord, like you? -
The Great One who became small, the Wakeful who slept,
The Pure One who was baptized, the Living One who died,
The King who abased himself to ensure honor for all.
Blessed is your honor!

It is right that man should acknowledge your divinity,
It is right for heavenly beings to worship your humanity.
The heavenly beings were amazed to see how small you became,
And earthly ones to see how exalted.

St. Ephrem the Syrian

#4 Nina


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Posted 06 February 2008 - 07:40 PM

A Communion Prayer of St. Dmitri of Rostov

Open, O doors and bolts of my heart,
that Christ the King of Glory may enter!
Enter, O my Light, and enlighten my darkness;
enter, O my Life, and resurrect my deadness;
enter, O my Physician, and heal my wounds;
enter, O Divine Fire, and burn up the thorns of my sins;
ignite my inward parts and my heart with the flame of Thy love;
enter, O my King, and destroy in me the kingdom of sin;
sit on the throne of my heart and alone reign in me,
O Thou, my King and Lord."

#5 Nina


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Posted 16 February 2008 - 05:30 AM

Splendor paternae gloriae

Splendor of the Father's glory,
Coming forth from light as light,
With new beginnings of new light;
True Sun come down,
Sparkling with unfailing gleams,
With all the radiance of the Spirit,
Come fill us in our every sense.
And in prayer we call upon the Father,
That Father of unending glory,
Father of all-mastering grace.
Lord, set aside our sinful guilt
And teach us eagerness of deed;
Restrain the biting teeth of foes,
Prosper us in times of grief,
Grant the grace to bring us through.
Guide and rule our inmost mind,
In a chaste and faithful heart.
May our faith grow hot again,
Far from poison's foul pretense.
Let Christ himself be all our food,
And faith our cup to drink;
Let us drain it deep in joy,
The sober drunkenness of Spirit.
Let this day be spent rejoicing.
Let shame be as the dimmest dawn,
And faith like midday sun;
Our minds ever ignorant of dusk.
The chariot of the rising sun sets forth,
The rising sun appears in fullness:
The Son complete within the Father,
The Father complete within the Word.

St. Ambrose of Milan, 4th century

#6 Nina


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Posted 14 March 2008 - 02:29 PM

I fall in adoration at your feet, Lord!
I thank you, God of goodness;
God of holiness, I invoke you,
on my knees, in your sight.

For me, an unworthy sinner,
you have willed to undergo the death of the cross,
setting me free from the bonds of evil.

What shall I offer in return for your generosity?

Glory to you, friend of men!
Glory to you, most merciful!
Glory to you, most patient!
Glory to you who forgive sin!
Glory to you who have come to save us!
Glory to you who have been made man in the womb of a Virgin!
Glory to you who have been bound!
Glory to you who have been scourged!
Glory to you who have been derided!
Glory to you who have been nailed to the cross!
Glory to you, laid in a sepulcher, but risen again!
Glory to you who have preached the Gospel to men and have been
Glory to you who have ascended to heaven!
Glory to you, seated at the right hand of the Father
and who will return with him, in majesty, among the angels,
to judge those who have disregarded your passion!

The powers of heaven will be shaken;
all the angels and archangels, the cherubim and seraphim
will appear in fear and trembling before Your glory;
the foundations of the earth will quake
and all that has life will cry out before Your majesty.

In that hour let your hand draw me beneath Your wings,
and save me from the terrible fire, from the gnashing of teeth,
from the outer darkness and from despair without end.
That I may sing to Your glory:
Glory to Him who through His merciful goodness
has designed to redeem this sinner.

attributed to St. Ephrem the Syrian

#7 Nina


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Posted 17 March 2008 - 01:06 AM

This is not poetry per se, however it is one of the most beautiful things ever written and like poetry for the soul and senses! Christ is talking to each one of us through the pen of the Goldenmouth. Ah if it was possible to inscribe this in the heart!

'What is Christ for the soul' - by Saint John Chrysostom. It can be read hundreds of times (in original) consequently and it will still be moving!

Ἐγὼ πατήρ, ἐγὼ ἀδελφός,
ἐγὼ Νυμφίος, ἐγὼ οἰκία,
ἐγὼ τροφεύς, ἐγὼ ἱμάτιον,
ἐγὼ ῥίζα, ἐγὼ θεμέλιος.
Πᾶν ὅπερ ἂν θέλῃς ἐγώ.
Μηδενὸς ἐν χρείᾳ καταστῇς.
Ἐγὼ δουλεύσω.
Ἦλθον γὰρ διακονῆσαι, οὐ διακονηθῆναι.
Ἐγὼ καὶ φίλος καὶ ξένος
καὶ κεφαλὴ καὶ ἀδελφὸς καὶ μήτηρ.
Πάντα ἐγώ· μόνον οἰκείως ἔχε πρὸς ἐμέ.
Ἐγὼ πένης διὰ σέ, καὶ ἀλήτης διὰ σέ,
ἐπὶ τοῦ Σταυροῦ διὰ σέ, ἐπὶ τάφου διὰ σέ,
ἄνω ὑπὲρ σοῦ ἐντυγχάνω τῷ Πατρί,
κάτω ὑπὲρ σοῦ πρεσβευτὴς παραγέγονα παρὰ τοῦ Πατρός.
Πάντα μοι σὺ καὶ ἀδελφὸς καὶ συγκληρονόμος καὶ φίλος καὶ μέλος.
Τί πλέον θέλεις;

(Τί εἰναι ό Χριστός γιἀ τήν ψυχή κατἀ τόν ί. Χρυσόστομο)

I wish the translation was better because it does not do justice to the original, however for some understanding:

I am Father, I am brother, I am bridegroom, I am dwelling place, I am food, I am raiment, I am root, I am foundation, all whatsoever thou willest, I am.” “Be thou in need of nothing, I will be even a servant, for I came to minister, not to be ministered unto; I am friend, and member, and head, and brother, and sister, and mother; I am all; only cling thou closely. to me. I was poor for thee, and a wanderer for thee, on the cross for thee, in the tomb for thee, above I intercede for thee to the Father; on earth I am come for thy sake am ambassador from my Father. Thou art all things to me, brother, and joint heir, and friend, and member.” What wouldest thou more?


#8 Effie Ganatsios

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 08:15 AM

Dear Nina, thank you so much. I have printed it for my prayer book. Beautiful.


#9 Nina


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Posted 26 August 2008 - 03:06 PM

O Christ come among men
as source of light,
Your ineffable birth
is before the beginning of time.
You are the radiant light shining with the Father.
You irradiate lusterless matter
and illumine the souls of the faithful.

You have created the world
and fixed the orbit of the stars;
You sustain the axis of the earth,
You save all mankind.
You guide the sun in its course
to light up all our days
and the crescent moon
which dispels the darkness of night.
You make the seed to sprout
preparing food for the flocks.
From your inexhaustible fount
You pour out the splendor of life
making fruitful the whole universe.

Synesius of Cyrene, c. 400

#10 Nina


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Posted 31 December 2008 - 12:29 AM

by St. John of Damascus
(trans., Elizabeth Barrett Browning, 1842)

From my lips in their defilement,
From my heart in its beguilement,
From my tongue which speaks not fair,
From my soul stained everywhere,
O my Jesus, take my prayer!
Spurn me not for all it says,
Not for words and not for ways,
Not for shamelessness endued!
Make me brave to speak my mood,
O my Jesus, as I would!
Or teach me, which I rather seek,
What to do and what to speak.

I have sinned more than she,
Who learning where to meet with Thee,
And bringing myrrh, the highest-priced,
Anointed bravely, from her knee,
Thy blessed feet accordingly,
My God, my Lord, my Christ!
As Thou saidest not 'Depart'
To that suppliant from her heart,
Scorn me not, O Word, that art
The gentlest one of all words said!
But give Thy feet to me instead
That tenderly I may them kiss
And clasp them close, and never miss
With over-dropping tears, as free
And precious as that myrrh could be,
T'anoint them bravely from my knee!
Wash me with Thy tears: draw nigh me,
That their salt may purify me.
Thou remit my sins who knowest
All the sinning to the lowest --
Knowest all my wounds, and seest
All the stripes Thyself decreest;
Yea, but knowest all my faith,
Seest all my force to death,
Hearest all my wailings low,
That mine evil should be so!
Nothing hidden but appears
In Thy knowledge, O Divine,
O Creator, Saviour mine --
Not a drop of falling tears,
Not a breath of inward moan,
Not a heart-beat -- which is gone!

St. John of Damascus
Commemorated 4 December

#11 Nina


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Posted 27 February 2009 - 04:29 AM

O Cross, ineffable love of God and glory of heaven!
O Cross, eternal salvation!
O Cross, terror of the reprobate!
O Cross, support of the just, light of Christians!
For you, God became a slave in the flesh, here on earth;
by your means, man in God is crowned king in heaven;
from you streams the true light, victorious over accursed night.
You gave believers power to make the pantheon of the nations quake;
you are the soul of peace that unites men in Christ the mediator;
you are the ladder for man to climb to heaven.
Be always for us, your faithful, both pillar and anchor;
watch over our homes, set the course of our ship.
In the Cross may our faith remain strong,
and there be our crown prepared.

St. Paulinus of Nola (352-431), Carmina 19.718-730

#12 Nina


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Posted 25 May 2009 - 07:27 PM

Glory, O Lord, to Your immeasurable grace.
Behold, O Lord, the waves of Your grace
have made me silent;
and no thought has been left in me
before Your good graces.
With what words can we praise You, O good King,
You who love our life?
Glory to You for the worlds
which You have created for our growth and pleasure,
leading us through all that You have created
to the knowledge of Your glory,
from now and unto the ages. Amen

St. Isaac the Syrian, seventh century

#13 Anna Stickles

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 07:42 PM

Maybe it doesn't belong here with the poetry of all the saints. This is just by a simple layman who would like to remain anonymous, but I thought maybe some others besides myself might enjoy it.

O Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me,
Teach me to be content with Thee.
Our only solace in times of pain
As the effects of the Fall within us reign.

We cut each other on the shattered edges
Of the broken image that lies within.
Only Thy healing grace can mend us
Melting, reforming the damage of sin.

Thy peace must fill our heart and mind
If peace with our neighbor we hope to find.
O Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me,
Teach me to be content with Thee.

#14 D. W. Dickens

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 04:26 PM

I've begun writing poetry. I often fall behind over the weekend, but most days I post a new poem.


I just thought I'd share.

#15 Ryan Close

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 06:58 PM

Does anyone know of an Orthodox Christian poet from the twentieth century equivalent to Thomas Merton? I love his poetry but I know he is RC and quite heretical in some details.

#16 Ryan


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Posted 03 August 2009 - 07:12 PM

Philip Sherrard maybe? I haven't been able to get a hold of his poems though so I can't say what he's like.

#17 Kusanagi


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Posted 27 September 2009 - 11:12 PM


The Lord of Glory calls you to the light,
The martyrs call you into eternity,
Fortify the Christian Church
With living stones built into the foundation!

May there grow within your restrained hearts
A man reborn, harmonious,
May he stamp upon your faces
The seal of our Lord Jesus Christ.

A secret bell rings at midnight
Jesus comes down to earth.
From your bloody chests
Resounds the hymn of holy Resurrection.

Tear yourself out of the midst of the evil,
Enter into the ranks of the Christian army,
Look toward the Heavenly Gates,
For the last shall be the first.

Come Christian, take the Light,
With souls serene, purified,
Come ye hungry, taste of the supper,
It is the Wedding of the Emperor's Son!

a short hymn or poem by Valeriu Gafencu which is taken from the newly translated book called "The Saint of the Prisons.
Now i await impatiently for someone to translate St. John Jacob's poems.

#18 Thalia Zeniou

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 05:14 PM

[h=3]Joy of joys[/h]

Joy of joys
Beauty of every beauty
Scent of all truth,
Friend of my heart,
Fresh air,
Clarity of my mind.
Light of lights
Beauty of all things.
I gaze upon you.

- Thalia Zeniou -

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