Selected Poems by Angelico Chavez

Here are a few of Chavez’s not so well known poems. All of these poems come from his book “Canticle: canticles poems of youth, 1925-1932”

Jesus at the Well

Give me to drink this desert wine,
This water welled by men.
Amen, I say, but drink of mine…

Give me to drink, for I am I,
Begging from earthly jars,
Who plunged the Dipper in the sky
And splashed the night with stars! (p. 92)

Prayers

They stand and wait in countless rings,
With folded hands and folded wings,
A holy Throng of heavenly Things.

And when we pray, how sweet they nod;
They soar afar, the clouds they trod,
And bring our love and praise to God. (p. 99)

A poet’s House

A pagan house without sees the wind,
Of Indian pueblo clay.
A heathen house within feeds the mind
With treasures from Cathay.
Yet, in that house one good and kind
Pours forth a soothing lay,
Where neither East nor West I find:
Just—song the human way. (p. 5)

Roses

God gave to me a rose to kiss,
A bursting, blushing rose,
Still, I was not content;
He pressed a cactus to your lips:
You looked at Him and smiled—
You gave to God a rose to kiss (p. 9)

The Jester’s Carol

Christ was born in a friary,
How long it must have been,
Since the inn was full and so lovingly
–An ancient Padre told me this—
The friars took them in.

Two friars lived in a convent wood
That stood near Bethlehem;
A friar grey in a greyish hood,
And cowled in brown, in chestnut brown,
The host that welcomed them.

They did their best and gave their best
To them that Christmas night—
A bed of straw for their knightly guest,
Their breath to warm the little One
Against the winter’s bite.

Yes, Christ was born in a friary,
How long it must have been,
Since the inn was so full, and so lovingly
–An acient Padre told me this—
The friars took them in! (p. 57)

(Chavez, Angelico, and Nasario García. Cantares: Canticles and Poems of Youth, 1925-1932. Houston, TX: Arte Público, 2000. N. pag. Print.)

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