Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The First Deadly Sin

This is (hopefully) the first pair of poems in a series on the Seven Deadly Sins and the virtues opposed to them. Ehhhrrrr . . . enjoy?

It's true the truth would little flatter me,
But still I loathe my half-true hidden state,
For fear that my acquaintances might see
Some stains upon my soul, nor care how great
And secret parts propriety may veil,
Nor guess the golden hopes and high desires
That justify me
partly when I fail
By proving that—though failed—my soul aspires
To something better; that—though failed—I know
How failed I am, how poorly I deserve;
How humbled; in my consciousness, how low.
Such knowledge my detractors might unnerve.
But such a revelation on my side
Would make me Socrates; my virtue, pride.

So also my humility, if true,
Must be like tendrils hidden in the snow
In unsuspected bed, till bursting through
The clouds, the sun 'll melt the ice to show
What tender glories spring from waste and frost.
Or if, before the winters end, the plot
Be stripped, and all the preparations lost,
Should I complain? But nothing in your thought
Is rendered void except what's "nothing but",
And "nothing but" am I: but nothing, save
You stayed by me; I am the dust, the rut
Made by your track; your footprint or your grave,
In which your majesty is laid, that takes
Your shape, and by that miracle, awakes.

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