Friday, March 30, 2018

Good Friday, Poetry Friday, Merton Friday

Fr. Louis (Thomas Merton) was such a prolific and moving poet that it's hard to decide which poem to share today. "Death" is a piercing one -- it jolts us (Take time to tremble lest you come without reflection / To feel the furious mercies of my friendship, / (Says death) because I come as quick as intuition)  but ends with the infinite hope of a tiny act of faith.

Read the whole poem here.


Heidi Mordhorst has the round up this week at My Juicy Little Universe. She's also sharing details about her kick-off of Irene Latham's annual Progressive Poem


April is National Poetry Month. For a jam-packed post full of every Kidlitosphere event you can imagine, visit Jama Rattigan at Jama's Alphabet Soup


Ruth said...

Great choice for Good Friday! Thank you!

Heidi Mordhorst said...

Hi, Karen--

I really loved this, full of muscular, surprising strokes of Death's glance, right up until the last couplet. The Hail Mary, the waxen candle do have power, but the lines don't. I wonder what Fr. Louis was thinking when he wrote those.

Happy Easter to you!

Karen Edmisten said...

Thanks, Ruth! Glad you enjoyed it. Have a wonderful Easter!

Karen Edmisten said...

Hi, Heidi --

That's so interesting. When I first encountered this poem, I had a similar reaction to the final couplet. Those lines were really a bit of a letdown, compared, as you so accurately put it, to the muscular, surprising lead-up. But over the years, as I have reread it, I have seen the letdown as a deliberate device. I could be totally off-base, or this could be wishful thinking (springing from my hope that Merton was always deliberate and not lazy with his poetry), but I think of the last two lines as so disarmingly simple, almost sentimental, because that's the way death is disarmed -- by simple but devout acts that are outwardly bland or even seen as silly, but that pack a punch so powerful that death is conquered.

Happy Easter to you, too!

Kay said...

Beautiful poem! Thanks for sharing.