In the Bleak Midwinter, by Rachel Mann
In the Bleak Midwinter. Advent and Christmas with Christina Rossetti, by Rachel Mann. Framed by her most famous poems, `In the Bleak Midwinter' and `Love Came Down at Christmas', this daily devotional explores Advent and Christmas through the poetry of Christina Rossetti. As both a poet of the first order and a leading 19th century Anglo-Catholic, Rossetti's rich and wondrous faith provides an inspiring seasonal companion. For each day there is a poem with a reflection that draws on Rossetti's writings, such as her devotional journal and biblical commentary, encompassing a rich variety of themes: * 'Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone' - setting out on the Advent journey, temptation, failure and restoration. * Heaven and earth shall flee away, when he comes to reign' - preparation, longing, desire for God, renunciation and need. * `Enough for him, whom Cherubim worship night and day' - rejoicing and repentance, delight in God's mercy and grace. * `Angels and Archangels may have gathered there' - Annunciation, promise, new life and God's abundance. * `What can I give him, poor as I am?' - birth, innocence, vulnerability and wonder. * `Love Came Down' - God's love and grace in a violent world. Rachel Mann is a published poet and author with a PhD on the poetry of Christina Rossetti. She is an Anglican priest in Manchester, teaches at the Manchester School of writing and was poet in residence at Manchester Cathedral.