Winter Solstice Chant
-- Annie Finch
Hap Notes: Annie Finch (born 1956) means for you to recite this and think of it as an actual chant. Here she is chanting/reading it for you: www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/238500
A chant is repetitive and prayer like and is often used in rituals. Let's not forget that the meaning of the word "enchant" stems from the same root and originally meant to captivate by chanting or incantation. Finch's work often plows the rich field of rhythms whether of the word, the world, the spirit or the body and the cadences of their interconnectedness. This particular chant is quite enchanting, I think.
Born in New Rochelle, NY, Finch had parents who were tailor-made for a poet. Her mother was a poet and artist, her dad was a philosophy professor at Sarah Lawrence who studied Wittgenstein. Finch said that her parents met at a lecture given by W.H. Auden. She got her B.A. at Yale, graduating magna cum laude. She received her masters at the University of Houston and got her Ph.D. at Stanford. She currently teaches at the University of Southern Maine and is the author of some dozen or more books of poetry and essays.
She has her own website here: web1.uct.usm.maine.edu/~afinch/
Note the spirals with words to get to her poems– this, alone, is telling you something about her thoughts on nature and our connections.
Here's a good Finch quotation: "Unlike autumn, in whose complex and fertile imagery poets love to linger, winter, that stylized season, is often evoked as a single deft emblem in just a line or two—lines that can be cold and heavy with the press of everything not said."
and another: "I have always felt myself to be largely a religious poet, but until I became aware of paganism, I didn't know what kind of religious poet I was."
You can find more of her poetry at her website listed above.