Sunday, October 08, 2023

Two Poem Drafts and a Poem Re-Draft

 Psalm 12

Help, O Lord!
No godly remain;
all tell lies,
the faithful gone.

Lips seduce,
hearts plot schemes;
Lord, slice
their lying lips.

They say, "Words
are ways to win;
thus we rule all
with our smart tongues."

God says, "I rise;
the poor my help
will have, for grace,
and be saved."

God's words
are silver-pure,
so refined,
all dross gone.

Lord, you guard;
guard us ever,
though vile folk
strut in their pride.

The Poem

The poem is beyond doubt and certainty;
it is an obvious and ambiguous whole,
both exactly what it presents itself to be
and but a corner of the dimly known.
Read it once and its words are primary,
marks and sounds on the page and air;
read it twice and the words are nothing,
and themes and images are everywhere.
A poem is a thing contingent,
an artifact of the spirit within;
and a poem cannot be prevented,
being necessary in all that it is.
It is a visceral thing that we sense;
it is an idea that no senses can see;
it is fish, it is fowl, it is red herring,
the child of a mind that is free.
We speak with it, person to person,
we sympathize with it, face to face,
though it is not a person, has no faces,
except where thought dances and plays.
Only the intellect can know it;
it is beyond a mere intellect to know;
it suggests divine madness and glory
from realms no human intellect goes;
for it is like the mind, its father,
and resembles its mother, the mind,
which is divine in its nature and power,
and weak because it is not divine.


Great things are prone to fall, says Plato --
ah, but yet not all!
Mountains stand and years will not forget.
And yet -- and yet! --
mountains too that fate have met,
mountains too to time are thralled.