Easter Vigil And Mass Analysis

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I’d never heard music like this before, Such loft voices, masculine and clear,
And magisterial- - Credo, Gloria and
Sanctus. I had never known till then,
Felt and though, such sure serenity,
Blood into Christ, wine to his blood, and time
Existed only in the Rome of squares
And shops and fountains.
The speaker in “Easter Vigil and Mass” similarly responds to “The Blessing of new fire,” “the church with the covers on statues removed,” “And the Paschal the centre of the world.” The poem is organized around her impressionistic response to the liturgical symbols of the Easter Mass. Catholic dogma gains emotional strength by being transformed into the shared symbolic system of the Mass. The symbols are a way of establishing relationships
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“ A Roman Trio” and “Easter Vigil and Mass” pick up themes and motifs from earlier poems about religious experience and modify them so that emphasis falls on the values of immediate aesthetic insight. The poems reveal a emotional response deeply receptive to the detailed rituals and the ceremonies which dramatize the dogma of the Catholic Church. The deep words of the priest and the reminiscent music combine with other religious trappings to conceal, however, rather than to reveal the human significance of the “system of rites” which Jennings has sought so insistently in other poems. An emotional resolution has been achieved in these poems through the speaker’s absorption in the religious drama and through her sentimental anxiety of an ideal…show more content…
This collection continues the reflective notes of her Collected Poems, sustaining a meditation on the nature of poetry and the other arts, especially music, and love, faith, joy, sorrow, friendship childhood and the passage of time. The preoccupation with music is dominant so to speak and there is a strong religious element in her affirmation of the artist as an instrument of God’s glory. The poems are entirely accessible, often intensely human in their vulnerality, and set firmly within the context of gratitude explicit in the book’s title. This underlying sense of joy, despite a real darkness that cannot be ignored, beautifully ignores the sequence “A Happy Death” , about the death of 57 of one of the poet’s friends , a Dominican priest. These four poems cover the same ground and ought to be repetitious merely, but mysteriously they are not - indeed they are very moving. They might be taken as representative of Jennings method at large- that is a series of variations which seem to plane away surface after surface in search of a defining core .The danger of the method, to which some of these latest poems also fall a prey, is a misleading impression of a writer almost at ease in unease, or else an overworking of stylistic plainness to the point where it falls flat. Occasionally, too such pronounced tendencies as beginning a number of poems with ‘It’ or with a

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