Wednesday, January 01, 2003

Bishop Seraphim in his wonderfully eclectic fashion, posts on Woodchucks, topology, and emblematic animals within, finishing with Adam's naming of the beasts. This last brought to mind a poem by John Bennett. I know his work only by a few selections published in the Anglican Theological Review in the 70's and by a small volume of verse based on themes from Moby Dick I ran across in a local library. I have mislaid the xerox copies I made of his poems, but still have this one, calligraphed for me by a friend back in 1976, a gift which I treasure still. I offer it by way of a New Year's greeting:

Old Adam, father, poet, priest, you stood
in human splendor once in Eden wood
and dreamed the holy names; your dreaming spoke
the beasts alive with that first poetry.

So now, Old Father, stranger to an age
when poems are thin knives or bitter smoke,
stand softly at the center of my skull
and chant your early metaphors of love
and set their joy against the bent world's rage.

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