Advent is celebrated when the year is becoming darker and colder, moving into the death and dormancy of winter. Before we can greet the coming of the light, we need to engage with some themes that are challenging and occasionally fearful. Like the Magi who travelled a long distance to search out and adore the infant Jesus, and who took some wrong turns on the way, we too have a journey to undertake before we find that we have:
‘Walked haphazard by starlight straight into the kingdom of heaven.’ – U. A. Fanthorpe, BC:AD
Haphazard by Starlight is a companion volume to Janet Morley’s bestselling Lent book, The Heart’s Time (SPCK, 2011), which delighted readers with its thoughtfully chosen selection of poems and its biblically sensitive commentaries. Here, the reader is given an opportunity to engage in a pilgrimage of the heart, through Advent and Christmas to the feast of the Epiphany. Each day – from 1 December to 6 January – offers a poem (sometimes explicitly Christian, often not) and an accessible commentary that is both critically informed and devotional in intent.
The poets represented include Rowan Williams, Elizabeth Jennings, Edwin Muir, Philip Larkin, Jane Kenyon, Gillian Clarke, George Herbert, T. S. Eliot, Sylvia Plath, Emily Dickinson, Waldo Williams, P. J. Kavanagh, Ruth Fainlight, William Blake and many more.