Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sunday Sabbath Poetry: Christian Wiman (I)

Upon hearing the recent, very happy news that renowned poet Christian Wiman has been hired to join the faculty at the Institute for Sacred Music at Yale Divinity School for (at least) a five-year appointment, I immediately ordered his most recent collection of poems, Every Riven Thing. It is at once bleak and hope-ridden, unflinching and delicate, formally exemplary and invitingly inventive. It is, in other words, as good as promised. I look forward to engaging his work (both poems and prose) further as time goes on, not to mention potentially in the classroom. I'm sure this will be but the first of many of his poems shared in this space. Enjoy.

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Small Prayer in a Hard Wind

By Christian Wiman

As through a long-abandoned half-standing house
only someone lost could find,

which, with its paneless windows and sagging crossbeams,
its hundred crevices in which a hundred creatures hoard and nest,

seems both ghost of the life that happened there
and living spirit of this wasted place,

wind seeks and sings every wound in the wood
that is open enough to receive it,

shatter me God into my thousand sounds . . .

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