Music and Arts‎ > ‎Poetry‎ > ‎

Arnold Kenseth Series

The Arnold Kenseth Poetry Series

Arnold Kenseth, published poet, writer, and Pastor Emeritus, was the Pastor of South Church for more than forty years. He lived in South Amherst from 1948 until the end of his life. Since 1989, the church has held an annual poetry reading in his honor. The South Church Arts Committee sponsors this reading, which is open to the public. Admission is free, but contributions are welcome. Everyone who attends receives a souvenir broadside.


* * * * * * *

Summer Canticles

by Arnold Kenseth
 Thou visitest the earth and waterest it;

Thou makest it soft with showers;

Thou crownest the year with thy goodness,

and thy paths drop fatness.

They drop upon the pastures of the wilderness,

and the little hills rejoice on every side.

The pastures are clothed with flocks;

the valleys also are covered with corn;

they shout for joy; they also sing.

from Psalm 65 (adapted)

* * * * * * *

Yea Lord, we give thee thanks

For this day and all our yesterdays:

For good days and bad days,

For days of hope and days of despair,

For days of losing and days of finding.

And we praise thee especially

For the lofty open pause of summer:

A pasture running to a hill,

A pool and a deer.

Many birds in the mornings

And their soft talk in the evenings,

And sleep drifting in

After the games and the run and the people. Under it all, over it all, most gracious Lord,

We hear and touch thyself.