Saturday, April 3, 2010
National Poetry Month--Happy Easter!
(photo by prkos flickr.com/photos/prkos/1162124205/)
Today, Christians around the globe proclaim, "Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!" Nineteenth century English poet, Gerard Manley Hopkins put it more eloquently:
THE world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.
And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs --
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.
(photo by Untitled Blue, www.flickr.com/photos/untitlism/2547423465/)
Two centuries earlier, British metaphysical poet John Donne addressed death this way:
Death Be Not Proud
Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those whom thou think'st thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and soul's delivery.
Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell;
And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well
And better than thy stroke; why swell'st thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.
(photo by Pink Dispatcher flickr.com/photos/98529529@N00/254011128)
Early 20th-century Welsh poet, Dylan Thomas, asserts the continuation of life in "And Death Shall Have No Dominion."
And death shall have no dominion. Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed!