"The Gate of the Year", 16x20, oil on linen, Minnie Louise Haskins, King George VI, Christmas address, gates, darkness, paintings inspired by poetry, Maryanne Jacobsen art
"The Gate of the Year", 16x20, oil on linen
This painting was inspired by a poem by Minnie Louise Haskins, (1875-1957).
It was recited by radio to a troubled nation by King George VI, the reigning monarch of England during the time when Great Britain was at war.
The Third Reich of Nazi Germany had ruled in Germany since Hitler took over in 1933. Germany had become a fascist totalitarian state and the Hitler regime had spread terror across Europe. In September 1939, Great Britain had entered the Second World War. And in three months, the nation was gripped in the clutches of fear. With every air-raid siren that pierced the ears of the English people, anxiety increased and fear overwhelmed them. Uncertainty for the New Year reigned in the hearts and minds of Great Britain’s citizens.
In December 1939, as was the English custom, the king addressed the nation on a BBC radio broadcast on Christmas Day, and, in the uncertain last days of 1939, the king spoke words of peace to calm his nation. He reminded them of the only true King, the One who can provide true peace and real rest in such troubled times. As King George concluded his message of encouragement, he read the preamble of a poem that had been brought to his attention by his young daughter, Princess Elizabeth.
And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”
And he replied:
“Go out into the darkness and put your hand in the Hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”
So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night. And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.
I hope you enjoy this painting, and thank-you, Ms. Haskins, for the inspiration.