Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Violent Meditation

C.S. Lewis, in his introduction to his Reflections on the Psalms, called poetry "a little incarnation, giving body to what had been before invisible and inaudible."

I love the way Mary Karr's poem "gives body" to her meditation on the Incarnation in her sonnet "Descending Theology: The Resurrection."

From the far star points of his pinned extremities,
cold inched in—black ice and squid ink—
till the hung flesh was empty.
Lonely in that void even for pain,
he missed his splintered feet,
the human stare buried in his face.
He ached for two hands made of meat
he could reach to the end of.
In the corpse’s core, the stone fist
of his heart began to bang
on the stiff chest’s door, and breath spilled
back into that battered shape. Now

it’s your limbs he comes to fill, as warm water
shatters at birth, rivering every way.

Poem text: The Poetry Foundation

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