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 1984-5. I continue serving as pastor of the First Evangelical Free Church of Marietta, GA. The discipline of weekly biblical exposition is showing up in my poetic life, while inspiration from my other reading and from Nature both continue. The resulting mix was (to me, at least) quite interesting. What makes this sonnet interesting is the ironic understatement of the last line.
Thoughts of a Night Watchman
“The elements are simple: flesh, and stone,
Shroud, seal, silence, watching guard,
Dew, lingering smell of myrrh and nard;
Deserted by his friends, he lies alone.
A prophet, touted once for David’s throne,
A good man and a healer—but he jarred
Their consciences just once too often—hard—
And so became a bag of rotting bone.”
“We’ve seen a lot of cases: other men—
Messiahs always end up in a tomb,
The elements the same. As you’d assume,
Their names are never heard on earth again—
And this one’s won’t be either, I dare say.”
It was almost the dawn of the third day.
Remember: for more poetry like this, go to https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/ and order Stars Through the Clouds! Also look for Inklings of Reality and Reflections from Plato’s Cave, Williams’ newest books from Lantern Hollow Press: Evangelical essays in pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.
Donald T. Williams, PhD