Every Easter, Christians are reminded of the story of Jesus through music and scripture, but rarely do we see this story told through cards. When one thinks of sending cards, Christmas is usually the first holy day to come to mind. The Cuala Press Printed Materials Collection at the John J. Burns Library, however, has some beautiful examples of Easter cards. One such card is entitled “Christ on the Road”. This card has a very simple image that balances the more complex poem accompanying it. The illustration shows Jesus dressed in red garments that contrast with the colors in the background. The idea of this image is to draw the eye to Jesus and celebrate his life on earth. The poem describes the life of Jesus and recognizes the work he helped perpetuate. This card asks us not only to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus on Easter, but also the sacrifices of the martyrs who died to defend their Christian faith.
Another Cuala Press Easter card contains a more elaborate illustration, featuring an ornate portrayal of Jesus. He is shown in a brightly colored garment, which complements the gray clouds, birds, and angels around him. The poem balances the image, though, by being much simpler. The poem describes Jesus being welcomed home to heaven with “starbells” clashing and “Myriads of stirring wings”. Rather than celebrating the earthly Christ, this poem celebrates the divine nature of Christ.
Lastly, pictured to the right is a Cuala Press card with a pastoral scene of the Irish countryside entitled “In Each Gold Flower”. This image depicts the renewed promise of spring and life after winter and of the risen Christ and his forgiveness of our sins. The poem accompanying the illustration further reminds us of this dual vow. Each gold flower within the poem whispers a promise that although the darkness is conquering and the “winds swept cold across the frozen clay,” spring and light will come again. The gold flowers are just beginning to bloom, showing that new life is possible. This is a parallel to the idea that Jesus rose from the dead and had a new life in heaven. The poem ends describing this sentiment exactly, “A whisper calls each heart to greet the Spring, / And joins the family of Christ the King/ On Easter Day”. This card reminds us through image and words that spring will come despite the feeling that winter will last forever. These cards tell the Easter story in a unique way; reminding the reader that even the simplest words and images can show us a great deal. For while many of us celebrate with dinners and baskets of goodies, there is a deeper meaning to the holiday, one of hope, faith, forgiveness, remembrance, and love. The Cuala Press Printed Materials Collection is available for research in the Burns Library Reading Room. Please visit this website to view the Burns Library’s hours. Contact the Burns Library Reading Room by phone at 617-552-4861 or by e-mail at email@example.com if you have any questions. Happy Easter!
- Danica Ramsey-Brimberg, Burns Library Reading Room Student Assistant and History & Irish Studies, Class of 2013