Joy, shipmate, Joy!
(Pleas’d to my soul at death I cry,)
Our life is closed, our life begins,
The long, long anchorage we leave,
The ship is clear at last, she leaps!
She swiftly courses from the shore,
Joy, shipmate, joy.

Walt Whitman
photo by Davie;


In the contemporary Methodist tradition, the third Sunday in Advent is the week of Joy.  Advent used to be a much starker time, focusing on the end of the world and the coming day of reckoning, rather than anticipation of the arrival of an infant Christ.  I was struggling with, for this week’s poem, whether to trend towards the Joy or the End.

But why choose, when you can just have Walt Whitman?  (Next year: Emily Dickinson.)