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The human being, creature of eyes, needs the image. Leonardo da Vinci

Luci Shaw & Henry Ossawa Tanner

Henry Ossawa Tanner: The Annunciation

Luci Shaw: Mary Considers Her Situation

What next, she wonders, 
with the angel disappearing, and her room
suddenly gone dark.

The loneliness of her news
possesses her. She ponders
how to tell her mother.

Still, the secret at her heart burns like 
a sun rising. How to hold it in—
that which cannot be contained.

She nestles into herself, half-convinced 
it was some kind of good dream,
she its visionary.

But then, part dazzled, part prescient—
she hugs her body, a pod with a seed 
that will split her.

*****

Henry Ossawa Tanner: Annunciation1898, oil on canvas, 57'' x 71", Philadeplphia Museum of Art.

Luci Shaw was born in 1928 inLondonEngland, and has lived in CanadaAustralia and the U.S.A. A 1953 high honors graduate ofWheatonCollege in Illinois, she became co-founder and later president of Harold Shaw Publishers. Shaw is a frequent retreat facilitator and leads writing workshops in church and university settings. She has lectured in North America and abroad on topics such as art and spirituality, the Christian imagination, poetry-writing, and journal-writing as an aid to artistic and spiritual growth. Shaw is author of ten volumes of poetry and of a long list of books.  Her most recent books are What the Light Was Like (Word Farm), Accompanied by Angels(Eerdmans), The Genesis of It All (Paraclete), and Breath for the Bones: Art, Imagination & Spirit (Nelson). She and her husband John Hoyte live in Bellingham. See www.lucishaw.com.

Henry Ossawa Tanner (1859-1937) grew up in Philadelphia in the years after the Civil War. The artist had success as an American expatriate artist at the highest levels of the international art world at the turn of the 20th century. He played a role as a leader of an artist’s colony in rural France and made unique contributions in aid of American servicemen to the Red Cross efforts in WWI France. His modernist invigoration of religious painting was deeply rooted in his own faith.  

 

 


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