As you might have noticed I’m lagging behind on writing Advent Calendar poems so today you get a double re-post of two poems with the the Swedish tradition around Saint Lucia. Both poems are from 2019.
Fair maiden © REDCAT
come to rekindle the light
sung to heavens delight
Not a word sung
about your saintly fight
As a woman
with your own goal in sight
Condemned by men
to suffering without respite
To write your praises
my hopes reignite
All trough childhood and adolescence I where one of those girls that sang like the angels in Lucia processions. In Sweden it’s all about upcoming midwinter and celebrating the returning light. Also the protestant church don’t have saints so the real symbolism of the story of Saint Lucia of Syracuse has gotten lost along the way.
Also posted to OpenLinkNight #256 at dVerse. Which is why this poem is in the dVerse form of a Quadrille – a poem of 44 words, not counting the titel.
Preparations for the last full moon abounds © REDCAT
Where we let the Midwinter darkness fall
Then light return with a fair singing maiden
Her clear voice and it’s adoration turns our eyes upon the star
It’s light compelling us to contemplate
the birth-death-rebirth of the fisher king
Yearly reminder to shed the old and start anew
Where I grew up. A several hundreds year old small, pre-steam industrial-mining-farm-wood-lakes town. Folklore still ran deep even in the 1980s.
“The tradition of Lussevaka – to stay awake through the Lussinatt to guard oneself and the household against evil, has found a modern form through throwing parties until daybreak. ”
As a teenager and young adult, no real adult found a problem with us staying out late at discos and parties. As long as some of us (nearly, girls only) also showed up in the early morning hours, clear eyed and sweet voiced to carry lights in our hair or hands singing hymns to Lucia and Light re-born.
So, I grew up with Lucia vigil. It’s a tradition dating back to when Lucia occurred on midwinter, the origin might be somewhere in the pre-christian era, but it is known from the 15th and 16th century. Meaning before Sweden switched to the Gregorian calendar in 1753.
As Midwinter is the opposite point of the year from Midsummer the veil between the worlds where thin, and you kept vigil to keep harmful spirits away and to celebrate and greet the light of a new year in form of a fair singing maiden with light in her hair.
Written for Kerry’s prompt on Real Toads ~ Art FLASH! / 55 in December.
55 words without the title.
Read my first contribution to this double feature prompt here.