“The world is stopp’d,” by Nicole K. (Advent 2020, Week 2)

This post is a continuation of a four-week series on Advent and Hope poetry.  An introduction (and brief rambling) may be read here.  The other posts in this series may be found below.

Week 1: The Coming, by R.S. Thomas
Week 3: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, translated by John M. Neale & Henry S. Coffin
Week 4: “What the Bird Said Early in the Year,” by C.S. Lewis

“The world is stopp’d”
Nicole K.

(The left side is to be read first, then the right.)

The world is stopp’d.
Day closes with night,
Night with day.
Morn upon morn,
Eve upon eve.
Each is the same.
We may do naught:
Thus the earth lives in fear.
Fear of another’s touch.
Fear of another’s bread.
Fear of another’s voice.
Our lives now stripped of all,
We see our days for what they are:
Flowers at fall’s end.
Awaiting spring.
For the heart must go through fire
     to test how deep is its

Let nothing disturb you,
let nothing frighten you,
all things will pass away.
God never changes;
patience obtains all things,
whosoever has God lacks nothing.
God alone suffices.
St. Theresa of Avila

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11:28

…The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring…

J.R.R. Tolkien

Less doth yearning trouble him who knoweth many songs or with his hands can touch the harp.  His possession is his gift of verse which God gave him.
The Exeter Book

These words are part of a piece I submitted to the Sonic Timelapse Project1 several weeks ago.  The poem on the left is my own writing, inspired by the despair and restriction I felt during a summer of isolation.  Yet this frustration was always superficial and often punctuated by the reminder of the deep Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love I had in my heart because of Christ’s coming.  The words on the right are the whispered songs of hope and strength that have flowed through my mind constantly this autumn and counteract the pain expressed in the poem. Below are pictures of the artwork which accompanies the poetry.

At Aval House, we are now holding our Yuletide Sale!  All items are 15% off until December 23rd.  However, be sure to place your order before December 7th if you want it to arrive before Christmas.  Read this blog post for details or visit the shop.


1The Sonic Timelapse Project was founded by a group of composers seeking to write several choral works inspired by the choral community’s emotional reactions to COVID-19 isolation.  This fall, my choir had the wonderful opportunity to participate in the Project by crafting a folio of reflections which a composer could potentially use for inspiration.

2 thoughts on ““The world is stopp’d,” by Nicole K. (Advent 2020, Week 2)

  1. Nicole, this is my favorite thing you’ve posted so far. So beautiful. So powerful. My mind is bursting with so many thoughts that I can’t even express them! Thank you for this.


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