About this Christian Poet:
Bob Sonkowsky is a poet and free lance actor, who has retired from the Departments of Classics and Theater Arts and Dance at the University of Minnesota—Twin Cities, where he taught Latin, Greek, Classical Civilization, acting and directing. He has composed poetry since boyhood, but submitted little for publication, to e.g., Trellis Magazine. Since retiring he has submitted more poems and acted in plays at The Guthrie, Jeune Lune, La Jolla Playhouse and other theaters. Currently, he continues to write poems and is preparing MP3 Compact Discs of readings from Biblical texts for his church.
About this Poem:
"The Dream of the Rood" is one of the earliest Christian poems in Anglo-Saxon literature. "Rood" is from the Anglo-Saxon "rod" (pole), specifically "crucifix" as in the 10th century Vercelli Book. The poem may be considerably older, even one of the oldest works of Old English literature. The orb of the Celtic Cross is the sun, "the light of the world," as in St. Patrick's Breastplate, intertwining God with all creation, including all the animals.
Dream of the Rood
I dreamt I talked with a telephone pole,
an orb, the sun, behind it, radiant;
its cross-arm and wires intertwined my soul;
galactic pulses, flashing, luminant.
Could crafted wood and metal enter hearts
estranged from Mother Earth's galactic beats?
Communicate with worms, with insect parts?
So many pathogens pollute her teats,
us human beings, ev'ry animal
she nourishes to try to neutralize
the toxins, feeding food alchemical
to maggots, hugging bugs to sanitize.
My dream became a golden Celtic cross
embracing me and purging all my dross.
Copyright ©2008 by Bob Sonkowsky