Saturday, March 13, 2010

Sunday Sabbath Poetry: Mark Jarman

This past week was Spring Break, and I took the time to sleep in, read some theology, and read a lot of poetry. I read through collections by Li-Young Lee, Mark Jarman, Geoffrey Hill, and W.B. Yeats, with Andrew Hudgins and Kevin Hart on deck for next week. I have shared from Jarman before, but I enjoyed his collection Unholy Sonnets so much that I thought I'd share another one. In fact, the last poem of his I shared was from a smaller series of "unholy sonnets," and it was also the ninth in sequence! I'm not sure what that means, but I hope you are blessed by these similarly powerful words.

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Unholy Sonnet #9

By Mark Jarman

Someone is always praying as the plane
Breaks up, and smoke and cold and darkness blow
Into the cabin. Praying as it happens,
Praying before it happens that it won't.
Someone was praying that it never happen
Before the first window on Kristallnacht
Broke like a wine glass wrapped in bridal linen.
Before it was imagined, someone was praying
That it be unimaginable. And then,
The bolts blew off and people fell like bombs
Out of their names, out of the living sky.
Surely, someone was praying. And the prayer
Struck the blank face of earth, the ocean's face,
The rockhard, rippled face of facelessness.

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