Monday, January 23, 2012

Favorite Poetry: Silentium Altum

I love good poetry, and so I thought I'd post some of my favorites here as I come across them.  I think it would be a good way to fill space when I don't know what to write about introduce you to some poetry you may not have heard of before, as well as cementing the poetry I like into my mind.  If you don't like poetry  - well, too bad.  Read it anyway, it's good for you.  And really, most people don't care for poetry because they don't know anything about it.  I'd bet that if one really tried, he/she would end up liking it as much as I do.  It just has to be the right kind.

To my fellow Seton students, I do apologize.  A good deal of my favorite pieces of poetry have been discovered through the 11th-grade American Literature textbook, so Setoners will probably have seen them before, and will groan instinctively at anything reminding them of the dreaded schoolwork. 

via Amanda Flynn's Pinterest.

Silentium Altum
by Blanche Mary Kelly
I know a windswept hill where all day long
Comes never footfall nor the sound of word,
Only by swallow's wing or woodlark's song
Is that immense and brooding stillness stirred.

I sat awhile in that lost, listening place,
And felt the pulse of Time beat slow, beat slow,
Watching, upon the mountain sides of space
The bright feet of God's heralds come and go.

On pinions of that silence was I raised,
With awe pervaded and pierced utterly,
Like theirs that from an Ostian window gazed
Beyond the bastions of eternity.

 NOTES:  Silentium Altum means "High Silence" in Latin.  The "Ostian window" refers to an episode in the life of St. Augustine.  Once he and his mother, St. Monica, were discussing the nature of eternal life, and as they stood at the window of their house in Ostia, they were granted a vision of the joys of heaven. 


  1. That is so beautiful, Victoria! Thank you so much for sharing. God bless you!

  2. Wow, that poem is beautiful... I love it!

    of Arda Nessimava

  3. What a lovely poem! I loved Seton's World Literature book. Sometimes I pull it off the bookshelf to re-read some of the lovely poems and stories inside. God's blessings~


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