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.”

Two villanelles on the noetic effects of sin, i.e., its effects on the mind?  It is an important and neglected topic.  Last week we looked at it in the abstract; this week’s villanelle takes a more existential approach to the idea.



Though Satan threatens always to deceive

And oft the veil seems heavy on my face,

Lord help mine unbelief, for I believe!

I’ve seen through every subtle wile he weaves

And would with all my heart your truth embrace,

But Satan threatens always to deceive.

The tyranny of sight gives no reprieve,

More garish than the glimmers of your grace;

Lord, help mine unbelief, for I believe.

The evidence is there; I do perceive

It clearly and myself can make the case,

But Satan threatens always to deceive.

The certainty you help me to achieve

Can sometimes disappear without a trace;

Lord, help mine unbelief, for I believe.

It’s all so plain!  How deeply you must grieve

To see me still in doubting Thomas’ place.

Since Satan threatens always to deceive,

Lord, help mine unbelief, for I believe.


Remember: for more poetry like this, go to 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.  And look for Williams’ very latest book, Deeper Magic: The Theology behind the Writings of C. S. Lewis, from Square Halo Books!

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 November 17, 2016, in Christianity, Donald Williams, Theology and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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