For Those Who Made the Book of Kells

For your work, you had light—

as much as could be gathered

in that northern isle—and color

under the too-often colorless sky

 

In scriptorium silence the passion sang

from within; steady hand, pattern-vision

as much a gift from above as the word

you enwrapped for all the world

 

The times cannot have been so dark—

vellum glows with intertwinings

of lapis, vermilion, shimmering gold:

revelation for centuries of souls

 

If you’d like to gaze at pages of this amazing manuscript–probably created in Scotland circa 800 A.D.–find it here in Trinity College Dublin’s digital library. 

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5 thoughts on “For Those Who Made the Book of Kells

      1. I’m almost sure I’ve heard a reference to it somewhere before, but my memory’s so awful that I can’t recall where or who–so, I may do a bit of research now, see if I can shake loose some brain cells!

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  1. I am amazed by this poem. I do love the last stanza:
    “The times cannot have been so dark—
    vellum glows with intertwinings
    of lapis, vermilion, shimmering gold:
    revelation for centuries of souls”,
    and especially the last line… thanks for sharing such graceful words.
    Kind regards from France
    FGM

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