17 June 2015

The Spirit of Fatherhood

St. Joseph the Carpenter, by Georges de La Tour, 1640s.


Blame God for undervalued fatherhood—
or blame Christian biblical stories that
omit Dad from Jesus Christ’s life:  Joseph
is invisible, thus, human father-
hood is nowhere, and tenderness—displayed
by silent Josephs in nativity
scenes everywhere—is unremarked rather
than marked as Exceptional, Desirable.

Thank God that Joseph accepted Mary
despite doubt and rumor, loved and cared
for wife and child.  Thank God for his
willingness to uproot his home, to trust
holy bonds, to work and to love children.
May Joseph’s spirit grow in everyone.


Posted for my prompt  

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Fathers




Copyright © 2015  S.L.Chast



21 comments:

Sumana Roy said...

"...tenderness—displayed / by silent Josephs in nativity"...love the reverence expressed here and the prayerful end...you've truly captured the spirit of fatherhood.....

I am so sorry Susan for not being able to comment on other poems as I can't see the links...

Sanaa Rizvi said...

Susan, this is an exceptional piece of work.. I so enjoyed reading this beautiful poem of yours :D

Thank God for his
willingness to uproot his home, to trust
in holy bonds, to work and love children.
May Joseph’s spirit grow in everyone.

I so appreciate the message at the end.. Amen :D

Lots of love,
Sanaa

Hannah said...

Amen to your closing line and the rest...you've voiced so well some of the thoughts that I've thought before...thank you for this important father poem, Susan.

Buddah Moskowitz said...

Thank you! As a stepfather, I identify with Joseph, and his silent, unmentioned sacrifice. Your poem is a wonderful tribute.

kaykuala said...

The father image at its best. Fathers get high regards more from daughters than the sons. True in many instances. Great, Susan!

Hank

alan1704 said...

Interesting perspective and the way you make us think, certainly works, well done.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Oh I love the direction you went with this. Tenderness in fatherhood is so beautiful to see. Loved this, Susan!

debispoems said...

I never thought of that first stanza - interesting perspective. Love the way you tie it up and makes me wonder how Mary's own father reacted. Nice,Susan

Claire said...

Love how the poem changes direction - and what a great blessing you end on too!

Mary said...

What a fascinating take on the prompt, Susan. I agree that we all need a bit of Joseph's spirit. I can bet there are qualities about Joseph that have never been written about! I picture him as an exceptional man.

Audrey Howitt aka Divalounger said...

Tenderness, love and giving. Thank God for fathers who possess these qualities!

Old Egg said...

What is so remarkable about Joseph was that he trusted his wife and was happy for her to bear his children.

rallentanda said...

True...the story of Joseph is low impact. Interesting point you make. He is the role model for a gentle quiet unassuming man.

sreeja harikrishnan said...

I think nobody must have thought this way.....very true....

annell said...

I enjoyed reading your poem.

Jae Rose said...

What a beautiful piece - uniquely and carefully written...yes, i think you are right in saying that fathers are overlooked in their ability to be caretakers and provide unconditional love

G L Meisner said...

Yes the example Joseph gives is one that many men fail to follow.

Eileen T O'Neill ..... said...

Susan,

I truly liked this perspective about fatherhood and the absence, as far as we can know, of Joseph, from the life of Jesus. I suspect that his role was that of a quiet, supporting father; although, little is really known.
Eileen

Panchali said...

What a fabulous take on the prompt, Susan...How neatly you used the picture of Jesus as father. This 'divine father's love continues to reach out to his children... Phenomenal work!

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Yes, I agree.

Nicholas V said...

What a wonderful poem, Susan. I believe Joseph's example is followed by some very good fathers (but also mothers) - those who adopt children and love them and care for them as if they were their own children.