Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.” I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.”
It is now 1976-77. I have graduated from seminary with a Masters of Divinity degree and am now pursuing my PhD in Medieval and Renaissance Literature at the University of Georgia, where I will transition from sneaking off to read Dante, Chaucer, Spenser, Shakespeare, and Milton when I was supposed to be studying theology to sneaking off to read Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, and Hodge when I was supposed to be studying literature. I cannot think of a better approach to education. But first there is a transitional summer job, which produced the following:
Sweet to the nose, but rough to the hands, the pine
Boards must be sawed just so and stacked in line
(Not resting, lest they warp, upon the ground),
Until their turn has come to be nailed down
With all their fellows, framing floor or wall.
Here will be the kitchen, there the hall,
And here a bedroom with its bath, and there
A porch on which to breathe the summer air,
All laced with starlight when the night is warm,
And wonder if the distant thunder storm
Or one of its wild kin will come and pay
A boisterous visit e’er the break of day.
But that is weeks off yet. For now, the wide-
Spaced workmen must be all kept well supplied
With lumber, hauled up from the pre-sawed stack
By means of someone’s hands and someone’s back.
When palms grow tender, fingers stiff, back sore,
The job has just begun. You carry more.
And so the summer passed. I often stopped
At close of day when the last load was dropped
And thought, “In this, I’m not alone: my Lord’s
Hands also were worn raw by rough pine boards.”
Remember: for more poetry like this, go to https://www.createspace.com/3562314 and order Stars Through the Clouds! Also look for Reflections from Plato’s Cave, Williams’ newest book from Lantern Hollow Press: Evangelical essays in pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty. https://www.createspace.com/3767346.
Donald T. Williams, PhD
Posted on July 19, 2012, in Christianity, Donald Williams, Edmund Spenser, Poetry, Shakespeare, Theology and tagged carpentry, Charles Hodge, Dante, Jesus, John Calvin, John Milton, Martin Luther, Shakespeare, Thomas Aquinas. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.