Saturday, August 27, 2011

Sunday Sabbath Poetry: R. S. Thomas (III)

A theodical poem -- the second in a row by R. S. Thomas -- for reflection in light of the present and potential suffering in the northeast. Living there ourselves, and on the coast, we pray for shelter for the homeless and safety for what matters (human lives) and wisdom for leaders called upon to make difficult decisions. Most of all, we pray for God to be present to and with and among us. See you on the other side.

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Ivan Karamazov

By R. S. Thomas

Yes, I know what he is like:

a kind of impossible robot

you insert your prayers into

like tickets, that after a while

are returned to you with the words

'Not granted' written upon them.

I repudiate such a god.

But if, as you say, he exists,

and what I do is an offence

to him, let him punish me:

I shall not squeal; to be proved

right is worth a lifetime's

chastisement. And to have God

avenging himself is to have

the advantage, till the earth opens

to receive one into a dark

cleft, where, safer than Elijah,

one will know him trumpeting

in the wind and the fire

and the roar of the earthquake, but not

in the still, small voice of the

worms that deliver one for ever

out of the tyranny of his self-love.

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