Friday, December 15, 2017

Two Poems

Poetry is the hardest to write but such a delight to read. I've been savoring Literary Converts by Joseph Pearce--it's a book I read slowly because there are so many gems--and these poems by Maurice Baring capture my feelings of a body that betrays. He was very upset by not being able to attend his friend G. K. Chesterton's funeral due to Parkinson's. He wrote to Chesterton's wife, Frances, "I wish I could come down tomorrow, but I cannot even go to Mass here on Sundays...O Frances, I feel as if a tower of strength had vanished and our crutch in life had broken." A year later (1937), he wrote this poem:

My body is a broken toy
Which nobody can mend
Unfit for either play or ploy
My body is a broken toy;
But all things end.
The siege of Troy
Came one day to an end.
My body is a broken toy
Which nobody can mend.

I can only imagine the terrible deterioration, but instead of giving in to the desolation, he makes an act of hope with this parallel poem written in 1941.

My soul is an immortal toy
Which nobody can mar,
An instrument of praise and joy;
My soul is an immortal toy;
Though rusted from the world's alloy
It glitters like a star;
My soul is an immortal toy
Which nobody can mar.

How these poems speak to my heart! Never lose hope in the trials of life. Never let anybody or anything take away God's peace and joy. It is our inheritance. Gaudete Sunday is almost here!

I've been thinking about some of my struggles with writing lately and it has to do with not having the right words to convey emotion. All my words fall flat. Perhaps poetry will be the answer. I'm often singing my favorite hymns or psalms and they say everything in my heart. Along with Pearce's book, I'm re-reading Brightest and Best: Stories of Hymns by Fr. George Rutler. I hope immersing myself in poetry will help me write better. I'd appreciate if you would please share your recommendations for reading and writing poems.  


Mirka Breen said...

"A broken toy..." this makes me wonder who the one playing with it is. Self? Surely not G-d.

Vijaya said...

Even St. Therese felt like a punctured ball, ignored by her Beloved. It matters not who broke the toy--self, others, the devil--but God allows it.