Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review


Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review


Article excerpt

In the Book of Kells, 2000 capitals, no two alike.

Animals, humans, plants twisted and interlaced

to form letters: petals, stems, branching patterns.

The line "Remember Lots wife" begins

with a salty white face looking backwards, framed

in the heart of the capital. "Paying taxes to Caesar"

starts with a capital T in Latin, made up of a little man

with his neck torqued and straining, his arms

outstretched, reaching through a tangle of ribbon

to catch a bird in flight. The Pharisees tried

to snare Jesus in their net, but he flew away.

The Sermon on the Mount has eight capital Bs

for Blessed, four of them human, four of them

swans, whose long necks outline the right-hand

side of the letter. I would like my letter B to be

embellished, emblazoned in orpiment, lapis lazuli,

red lead, copper green, woven out of flowers and leaves,

knots and curlicues. …

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