Friday, January 30, 2009

Terror of all terrors

If I could write a poem like William Butler Yeat's "The Mother of God," I would die happy:

The Mother Of God
by William Butler Yeats

The threefold terror of love; a fallen flare
Through the hollow of an ear;
Wings beating about the room;
The terror of all terrors that I bore
The Heavens in my womb.

Had I not found content among the shows
Every common woman knows,
Chimney corner, garden walk,
Or rocky cistern where we tread the clothes
And gather all the talk?

What is this flesh I purchased with my pains,
This fallen star my milk sustains,
This love that makes my heart’s blood stop
Or strikes a sudden chill into my bones
And bids my hair stand up?

Not because of the religious connections, though I don't deny they are there, but because of how the poem combines the sacred and mundane to make the experience more palpable. For another example of this juxtaposition, see my friend D.'s post on an experience he had while at Monemvasia in Greece.

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