Friday, May 13, 2011

Vocative (from 2000)

Teach me the word
That will conquer the world,
Will plunder, will lay waste,
Dominions of the dull
And kingdoms of the bad.

         Silence is learning
         Submission to heaven,
         Grace's receiving,
         Kenosis and virtue,
         Works of the good.

Teach me the silence
That will conquer false speech,
Will betray, will scatter
Legions of the proud,
The chattering cheaters.

         The holy and honest
         Speak little and wisely,
         Composed of a faith
         That keeps them in concord,
         Silent or singing.


  1. I really like the quiet feel of this poem, an invitation to ponder.

    A couple of questions -- what about leaving out the second "will" in the third line, first stanza? It creates parallelism with the third stanza, but feels more awkward rhythmically; of course, maybe that's part of the point, part of what you are doing. The fourth line of the third stanza also has that bit of rhythmic awkwardness; again, maybe the point?

    The work of the second and third stanzas is simply lovely in every way, gems of truth and beauty. Thank you for making me think this morning!

  2. Beth --

    Thanks for dropping by, and for your comment!

    I'm looking at the poem and thinking that the "and" in the 3rd line of the 3rd stanza could go. And perhaps the initial "the" in "the legions of the proud"?

    We'll have a look-see. Thanks again! You've made me think! Always a good thing!

  3. Oh, yes, those changes work wonderfully! Much better than my suggestion! :)



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