Monday, July 10, 2017

Poetry Corner: "Poetics of Faith"

I found this poem during a rainy-day perusal of a new volume of poetry - Denise Levertov's collection The Stream & the Sapphire: Selected Poems on Religious Themes. I love how she uses the form of the poem to make waves with her words. It's also a good one to read aloud. 

Poetics of Faith
by Denise Levertov

'Straight to the point'
             can ricochet,
Circumlocution, analogy,
             parable's ambiguities, provide
                       context, stepping-stones.

Most of the time. And then

the lightning power
             amidst these indirections,
                       of plain
unheralded miracle!
              For example,
                        as if forgetting
to prepare them, He simply
             walks on water
                       toward them, casually -
and impetuous Peter, empowered,
             jumps from the boat and rushes
                        on wave-tip to meet Him -
a few steps, anyway -
              (till it occurs to him,
                        'I can't, this is preposterous'
and Jesus has to grab him,
            tumble his weight
                        back over the gunwale).
Sustaining those light and swift
              steps was more than Peter
                         could manage. Still,
years later,
              his toes and insteps, just before sleep,
                         would remember their passage.

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