Perspective

Thoughts of a Catholic convert

My Photo
Name:
Location: United States

Saturday, May 31, 2008

New book by William Barry SJ

I'm just starting the latest book by William A Barry SJ - A Friendship Like No Other. One of the ways he illustrates his points is with poetry. Here are a couple of the poems from his book ....


Love (III) - George Herbert

Love bade me welcome, yet my soul drew back,
Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-ey'd Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning
If I lack'd anything.

"A guest," I answer'd, "worthy to be here";
Love said, "You shall be he."
"I, the unkind, the ungrateful? ah my dear,
I cannot look on thee."
Love took my hand and smiling did reply,
"Who made the eyes but I?"

"Truth, Lord, but I have marr'd them; let my shame
Go where it doth deserve."
"And know you not," says Love, "who bore the blame?"
"My dear, then I will serve."
"You must sit down," says Love, "and taste my meat."
So I did sit and eat.


Annunciation - Denise Levertov

We know the scene: the room, variously furnished,
almost always a lectern, a book; always
the tall lily.
Arrived on solemn grandeur of great wings,
the angelic ambassador, standing or hovering,
whom she acknowledges, a guest.

But we are told of meek obedience. No one mentions
courage.
The engendering Spirit
did not enter her without consent.
God waited.

She was free
to accept or to refuse, choice
integral to humanness.

____________________________

Aren’t there annunciations
of one sort or another
in most lives?
Some unwillingly
undertake great destinies,
enact them in sullen pride,
uncomprehending.
More often
those moments
when roads of light and storm
open from darkness in a man or woman,
are turned away from
in dread, in a wave of weakness, in despair
and with relief.
Ordinary lives continue.
God does not smite them.
But the gates close, the pathway vanishes.

______________________________

She had been a child who played, ate, slept
like any other child – but unlike others,
wept only for pity, laughed
in joy not triumph.
Compassion and intelligence
fused in her, indivisible.

Called to a destiny more momentous
than any in all of Time,
she did not quail,
only asked
a simple, 'How can this be?'
and gravely, courteously,
took to heart the angel’s reply,
perceiving instantly
the astounding ministry she was offered:

to bear in her womb
Infinite weight and lightness; to carry
in hidden, finite inwardness,
nine months of Eternity; to contain
in slender vase of being,
the sum of power –
in narrow flesh,
the sum of light.
Then bring to birth,
push out into air, a Man-child
needing, like any other,
milk and love –

but who was God.


8 Comments:

Blogger Liam said...

Two great poems with two powerful last lines.

8:53 AM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi Liam :)

11:01 AM  
Blogger cowboyangel said...

Herbert and Levertov. Great choices. And powerful poems.

While she was doing her MFA in poetry at UW, La Reina was an assistant to Levertov. She sent us a lovely handmade chapbook of one of her long poems for our wedding. One of my favorite gifts.

4:27 PM  
Blogger victor said...

>She had been a child who played, ate, slept like any other child – but unlike others, wept only for pity, laughed in joy not triumph.
Compassion and intelligence fused in her, indivisible.

Called to a destiny more momentous
than any in all of Time, she did not quail,only asked a simple, 'How can this be?'and gravely, courteously, took to heart the angel’s reply,perceiving instantly the astounding ministry she was offered:

to bear in her womb Infinite weight and lightness; to carry
in hidden, finite inwardness,
nine months of Eternity; to contain
in slender vase of being,the sum of power – in narrow flesh,
the sum of light.Then bring to birth,push out into air, a Man-child needing, like any other,
milk and love –

but who was God.

Hi all!
I wonder what philosopher Vic from the hotel of fools might have to say about these poems? Take “it” away phil!

Hey! I’m not going to touch flesh but I’ll try to tell you who God was in Her, but don’t ask me if “I” care who will believe ‘Me’. ‘Myself' and ‘I’ believe that God was Word made Flesh of 'Our HEAVENLY FATHER as a Holy Fruit'. In His Own "Way?", He and The Holy Spirit sat down for a micro second of our time and agreed with The Spirit of The Animal that Christ be born in a stable and if you don’t believe “Me” then just ask ‘Darwin’ and ‘The Angel Gabriel’. A little more light can be add for those who are close to their soul and or spirit but be very carful indeed that they don’t suck any of the dead who are resting in peace. Ok true that The Savior of Man came to replace Adam and was pushed out into air after about nine months with all other genes who were caught UP in cells of all time dimensions. “IT” sure would certainly have been sensitive crystal, forgive the pun, matter had He truly not been “God Himself” but He was “GOD” and believe it or not “IT” was ‘Top Secret’ because that’s the way “it” was planned in the beginning. He kept growing in Wisdom and Grace with His Heavenly Father and His Holy Spirit but He was also under the influence of His earthly Loving Mom and adopted earthly Father. For thirty some years He kept breathing in all kind of air and soon it came time for Him to “Die IT.” He ventured into the desert where He fasted for forty days and nights while His Father gathered and replaced all those dead cells and in another time zone, He gave them all a good washing for about forty days and nights.


I could go on and on but many of my spiritual friends from the hotel of fools want their say also in time, so I’ll close with “When you talk to God, it’s called prayer. When God talks to you, it’s called schizophrenia so please don’t be too hard on my schizo or should I say skitso friends.

God Bless All His Children and please don’t stop praying for this poor sick sinner.

5:39 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi William,

That's interesting - friends in high places :) There are a few poems by her in Fr. Barry's book, so he must like her.

8:55 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi Victor,

That thing about chizophrenia is Agent Mulder's take on religious experience, but although I'm always worrying that I'm losing my marbles, I haven't given up on the idea that some religious experience is valid.

8:59 PM  
Blogger Cura Animarum said...

I love them both! I'm going to copy them into my Journal! Thanks Crystal.

1:54 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi Cura :)

4:06 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home