Help for Abu Nofer!

edited December 1969 in Random Issues
I just finished writing a poem for Abu Nofer the anchorite and I need everyone's help editing and proof-reading. This is very important for me because I'm planning to get it made into a song... I want everyone to know about him  :D and there's currently no tarneema for him. I still haven't re-read the poem... it's still fresh ... so I know it need lots of work. I will not be upset or offended if someone picks out errors or rewords part of it to make it sound better so please don't hesitate. Warning: it is a little long but I wanted to include his whole life :) Here it is:

Long ago when I was called
By the Lord, He said to me
You have been faithful so
There is someone I want you to see

Four days and four nights
Travelling the quiet desert
Forgetting the world’s delights
And to it I will not revert

With hunger and thirst, I weakened
Until in the distance, I beheld
An old man and I hastened
My anguish was dispelled

He said “Thou art a friend of God”
And my name is Onophirous
Sixty-six years ago I came from abroad
Leaves and my beard are my only clothes

I am a monk, Father
Prayed and learned and served
But for my questions, I need an answer
My faith, I want preserved

Are those in the desert living
More excellent than we
Who aid brothers who are ailing,
But here no one can see?

He said: I too suffered much
Hunger, thirst, cold, and heat
And God saw my endurance such
That He gave me food to eat

Near my cave, a palm tree stood
Yielding twelve bunches of dates a year
One bunch enough for one month’s food
For our cries, He does hear.

And the Angel of God comes to me
That I may partake of Holy sacrament
Heavenly glory, my eyes see
His love for us so whole and ardent

Seek God’s kingdom and His righteousness
Everything else will be added to you
For His everlasting love is changeless
Your life, you will life anew

We ate and drank together
And then we prayed till morning
The saint I will always remember
For him to stay, I was begging

But his face was transformed
It seemed glowing like fire
Astounded, I was frightened
Of what was to transpire.

He encouraged me: Do not to fear
Care of my body, to you God has bequest
For I know my time is very near
When I will go to my place of rest

Whoever makes an offering in my name
Will be at the first hour of a thousand years
And Him, Jesus will proclaim
Accepting prayers with open ears.

When he had finished saying these things
He opened his heart toward the heavens
And prayed and to God, clinging
Then angels carried him, singing hymns

In a cleft in a rock I buried the saint
Then hurried again towards Egypt
I wrote these things which I had seen
And quickly signed – Abba Paphnote.

Thanks in advance for your honest and positive feedback!!

God Bless


  • Anybody?? Please....
  • If you want it to remain as a poem, try working on punctuation. Punctuations are very important for a poem. If you plan to change it into a song you would probably need a chorus. Having a rhyme wouldn't hurt either, especially for a song.

    Other than these I love it - God bless you  :)
    In Christ
  • Hi Theophilus,
    thank you so much for your reply! I'm glad you liked it :) yes, I will be making it into a song (God willing) but you're right.. I still do need to put in punctuation. For the chorus, I was thinking of it being the 10th verse, the on that starts with: "seek God's kingdom..." What do you think? I tried to make it rhyme on every second line so it follows the abab rhyme scheme. if it doesn't sound good the way it is then I can try to change it to aabb.

    Thanks again and God bless.

    If anyone else has any input they would like to share please feel free to do so... I need and appreciate all your opinions :)
  • Hi Marmoura99,

    I love the poem and moreover the time you put into making a poem for Abba Nofer. It's perfect! Have you figured out the tune for the song? I'd like to say that when i first started reading the poem, i sang it! I sang it to the Anba Antonios glorification tune!  :) ;D (which is the same tune for all saints - - [Song to St. Antonios]) and it sounds very good! Instead of putting a refrain after every few verses, i suggest making the last line of every verse - Peniot Avva Nofer - Even if you still have to extend the song itself to include his whole life story so that in this way it could be a glorification that's sung in church on his feast day!. This could even be a motivation to write a glorification of my own!

    In Christ,

  • Wow George! Thank you so much for your encouraging words... You don't know how much I appreciate them :D Abu Nofer is the one I go to for everything. Honestly, he's helped me in so many ways and performed so many miracles that I could fill a book with all the ways he's helped me!! This poem is just something small to help everyone know about him :) One thing I learned while I was writing this poem is that Catholics and Eastern Orthodox Christian actually commemorate Abu Nofer (Onophrious) in their Church, but very few actually know about him.

    And you are absolutely right about the glorification tune working... I tried it myself and I love it!!

    Thank you so much and God Bless
  • Marmoura, this is reallyyy nice!

    God bless your hard work.
  • it's a nice song. i like the idea of a chorus (seek His righteousness), then everyone can sing along, instead of just one line.
    can u give me link to his life story?
  • Kol Sana W ento Tayebeen!! Today is the commemoration of the Blessed St. Nofer (Onophrious)  :D My his prayers be with all of us!

    Thanks Joyful in Him and Mabsoota for your encouragement and support!! Mabsoota, I think we'll try all the possiblities (ie. no chorus vs 1-line chorus vs. a whole verse chorus) and see which one fits better to the music... what do you think?? I'm not the one making the music anyways so we'll see how the musician makes everything fits :)

    God Bless!
  • Sorry Mabsoota, I forgot to give you his life story so here it is:

    On this day, the ascetic father, Abba Nofer the Anchorite, departed at a good old age, and of a glorious memory, in the desert of Upper Egypt. The grace of God had moved St. Paphnoute (Paphnutius), and he longed to see the servants of God, the Anchorites. He saw many of them, among them St. Abba Nofer, and wrote their biographies.

    He said that once he went into the desert and found a well of water and a palm tree. Then he saw the saint coming to him, naked, and the hair of his head and beard covered his body. When St. Paphnutius saw him, he was afraid and thought that he was a spirit. Saint Abba Nofer encouraged him, made the sign of the cross, and prayed the Lord's prayer, then said to him, "Welcome O Paphnoute." When he called him by his name, St. Paphnutius calmed down. They prayed together, then sat, and talked about the greatness and goodness of God.

    St. Paphnutius asked Abba Nofer to tell him about his life and how he came to that place. Abba Nofer replied, "I was in a monastery wherein lived holy and righteous monks. I heard them talking about the greatness of those anchorites who dwelled in the desert and their good virtues. I said to them, 'Are there any who are better than you?' They said to me, 'Yes, those anchorites who dwell in the wilderness. We live near the world, if we are sorrowful or sad, we find someone to console us; if we are sick, we find someone to visit and treat us; if we are naked, we find someone to clothe us. Those who live in the wilderness lack all these things.' When I heard that from them, my heart became anxious.

    "When the night came, I took a little bread and I went out from the monastery. Then I prayed to the Lord Christ and asked Him to guide me to the place where I was to live. The Lord facilitated my way and I found a holy and righteous man. I dwelt with him, and he taught me all about the life and the ways of the hermits and the anchorites. After I came to this place, I found a palm tree, and a well. The tree bore twelve clusters of dates each year. One cluster of dates is enough food for me for a month, and I drink water from this well. I have lived here for sixty years during which I have never seen the face of a man except yours."

    While they were talking together the angel of the Lord came down, and told St. Abba Nofer that his departure was near. Straightway, his color changed and became like fire, then he bowed his knees and worshipped God. After he embraced St. Paphnutius, he delivered up his pure soul. St. Paphnutius wrapped him, and buried him in his cave. St. Paphnutius wished to live in the place of Abba Nofer. But after he had buried him, the palm tree dried and fell down and the water of the well dried up. That happened by the Will of God, so St. Paphnoute would return to the world and tell us about the holy hermits that he had seen.

    May their prayers be with us and Glory be to god forever. Amen.
  • wow, that's so nice, thank you for his life story.
    many happy returns on abba nofer's feast day (wa antum tayyib)  :)
  • Thanks mabsoota! Just one favor I ask you in return... share his story with everyone who's interested please :)

    God bless
  • Aghapy!
    I feel that the 4th verse ("he said: thou art...") is kind of long. It doesn't fit with the same beat or have the same number of syllables as the other verses.

    Any ideas on how to shorten it a little but still have the same meaning??


    God Bless :)
  • Hi everyone! I'm sending the poem to my friend tomorrow night for the music so if anyone has any other comments/suggestions about it please let me know!

    God Bless
  • Obviously I'm late! Sorry.

    I'd like to congratulate you for your beautiful work.
    It's OK if a word or 2 would be swapped by an appropriate one for the sake of music.

  • You're not too late or anything! Thank you so much for your kind words :) My friend is actually really busy with finals right now so it’ll be a little hard to start any time soon… maybe towards the end of the month.

    Were there any specific words that you think would be better to change?

    God Bless!
  • Hello Marmoura, I'm a huge fan of St Nofer and was wondering how your song/poem progressed. I would love to receive a recording if possible.

  • I miss these kind of conversations here on Tasbeha..

    All we talk about now is technical stuff and controversial issues

    I wish we can bring this back
  • I saw the title of this thread and I thought St. Nopher was in trouble! I was like,"What can I do for him?!"

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