Poetry and Holy Family’s 1st donkey


Tricky artist. The “weight” of the picture is to your right even while Jesus is shining out from the midst of the middle, leaving the left side a bit “unweighted”, a bit empty, so that you have to do the work to fill in what’s missing… which you find… who you find… by following Mary’s eyes. She looks so content to watch him – surely Joseph – say, gathering vittles on their trip to Bethlehem for the census. Meanwhile, the donkey continues to lumber along peacefully, eager to hear the slightest whisper from Mary.

G.K. Chesterton’s poem “The Donkey” is a bit sharp, in contrast, and refers to another donkey who brought Jesus into Jerusalem for His crucifixion, when there were shouts about the donkey’s ears, and palms beneath his feet.

Should there be a poem written about this donkey, pictured above, I’m imagining that it would have to show the contrast between this more peaceful moment on the way to Bethlehem and then, shortly thereafter, a hasty fleeing through the desert into exile into, ironically, an enemy country.

[Various readers are sending in donkeys. Thanks for that.]


Filed under Donkeys

5 responses to “Poetry and Holy Family’s 1st donkey

  1. pelerin

    What a beautiful picture. I would love to know who painted it and where I might find a copy as my printer no longer works. I could gaze at it for ever. It really does speak volumes.

  2. Gina Nakagawa

    We have a neighbor who owns a little stud donkey interestingly enough named “Jack.” Sometimes he gets out and comes to visit our two mares. He is always welcome. He is a very polite fellow, always polite and gracious. The next time he comes, I will send you a picture. God’s blessings be showered upon you and everyone here , at Christmas and always.

  3. Angela

    Such a beautiful image.

  4. sanfelipe007

    I find your invitation (challenge?) of writing a poem for the above picture, to be wholly praiseworthy. Hopefully, some one will take it up and post it here for all to enjoy. To that person I say; this is the sign for which you waited.

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