Icon (Close Menu)

‘Magdalene’

Editor’s note: Over the next four days we will be publishing four paintings by Silvia Dimitrova and four poems by Bishop Graham Kings expounding the paintings. These paintings form part of a series of seven paintings portraying women in the Bible, which Silvia and Graham are working on over 20 years.

Silvia Dimitrova is a Bulgarian icon writer based in Bath, England.

The four paintings and poems in the series so far are “Magdalene” (2003) in the garden with the risen Jesus; “Lydia” (2009) at Philippi with Paul; “Priscilla” (2013) at Ephesus with Aquila; and “Sarah” (2015) with Abraham at Mamre.

In the next few years, the remaining three to be completed are “Miriam” (with Moses), “Ruth” (with Boaz) and “Esther” (with Mordecai).


Magdalene

Who is this woman facing this man?
Head lightly inclined,
Eyes wide open, gazing;
Hands uplifted, palms upward, surprised;
Gorgeously arrayed.

Who is this man facing this woman?
Coming from the right,
Profile clear, bearded;
Hand outstretched, palm down;
Gloriously apparelled.

Behind her, two angels hover
Reflecting her shape:
Behind him, scented trees lean
Setting the scene:
Below her, a dark opening hints.
All silent witnesses.

The eyes have it:
Focus of tension and attention.
One word awakes her: ‘Mary’.
One word responds: ‘Rabbouni’.

Their hands shape a triangle
At the centre of meeting:
Her two, shocked and suppliant;
His one, blessing, calming, sending.

 

The Rt. Rev. Dr. Graham Kings (@MissioTheology) is Mission Theologian in the Anglican Communion, a new post set up by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Durham University, and the Church Mission Society. His other posts are here.

WEEKLY NEWSLETTER

Top headlines. Every Friday.

MOST READ

Classifieds

Most Recent

Curry Exudes Optimism & Good Health

“Don’t you worry about this church. Don’t you weep, and don’t you moan. Just roll up your sleeves and let’s get to work.”

Committee Divides on Prayer Book Redefinition

General Convention’s Committee on Constitution and Canons issued a rare split decision on a major issue at its first in-person meeting on June 22.

Bishop Allin, Women’s Ordination, and the Zebra Book

Remembering the 1973 General Convention in Louisville

PB Nominees Address Church’s Future

Five nominees for Presiding Bishop tackled questions about church structure, reconciliation, self-care, and leadership in a well-attended pre-election forum.