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.”

Why did I go from seminary studying theology to graduate study in English literature?  It is a question I am often asked.  There are many good answers.  One is that Theology is the queen of the sciences, and Philology, even more than Philosophy, is her chief handmaiden.  Another is the sheer wonder of what Christians believe.  Take the reality of Christ’s Person, for example.  How would a theologian limited to mere prose try to capture it?  I have seen the results, abstract and dry, too often.  The problem is not just that they are incomprehensible; they manage to be incomprehensible without conveying any compensating sense of the beauty and mystery surrounding this most glorious of truths.  Here’s my way of doing it (published in Christianity Today, 17 October 1979).


Sonnet XXII

Thrice holy, three times spoken, meant, and heard

By one Voice speaking once, once only hearing,

One only multifold, all-meaning Word

From out of time, in time and flesh appearing;

Separate, though inseparably one,

Thou who art not the Father, yet art God,

Thou who art Son of Man, yet no man’s son;

Root of Jesse, Rock of Ages, Rod

Of Aaron blossoming in barren soil

Whose petals blades are of a burning sword

That strikes its deep wounds full of healing oil;

Servant of all and universal Lord:

With literal metaphors, we stumbling seek

To praise Thee, strong Firstborn of all who speak.

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


About gandalf30598

Theologian, philosopher, poet, and critic; minister of the Gospel who makes his living by teaching medieval and renaissance literature; dual citizen of Narnia and Middle Earth.

Posted on August 30, 2012, in Christianity, Donald Williams, Poetry, Theology and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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