I’ve been out in the garden today, looking at the signs of spring – snowdrops and bright yellow flowers (I’m not a botanist) are appearing like a hidden hoard of gold turned up by the plough, reminding me of this spring/Easter poem I wrote a couple of years ago.
I’m very fond of medieval imagery, and I have to confess that this isn’t the first time I’ve used the word ‘oriflamme‘ in a poem – I’m not sure what that says about me! The whole sonnet, though, is based around the medieval theory of atonement called Christus Victor, which I first met (and loved) reading Piers Plowman. The central idea is that Christ is sent as a sort of ‘bait’ or ransom, so that the devil is tricked into killing him, not realising that he is God and will rise again, breaking the gates of hell. There’s a flavour of this in Narnia when the White Witch triumphantly kills Aslan, but forgets the ‘deep magic’ that his sacrifice will awake – and of course, in Narnia too, the spring returns.