Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Great Regulars: Walking into any card shop at Christmas,

we see beautiful images of the Virgin Mary riding on a donkey. Guided by her husband Joseph, she is making the journey towards Bethlehem, where the baby Jesus will be born. This scene appears so cosy, so familiar, that we may not pay it too much attention--or we may assume it's of no relevance to us if we are not religious. Chesterton's poem may change that, forever.

The donkey we see on Christmas cards is often sweet and mild, his head bent down in an attitude of absolute patience and gently plodding loyalty. Chesterton's donkey couldn't be more different. This donkey is not sweet. He is not cute. In fact, he seems like a monster.

from Christopher Nield: The Epoch Times: The Antidote--Classic Poetry for Modern Life: A Reading of 'The Donkey' by G. K. Chesterton


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