Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Asking For It

Yesterday I memorized Hopkins's poem "Heaven-Haven," and as it came and went in my mind --

I have desired to go
Where springs not fail,
To fields where flies no sharp and sided hail
And a few lilies blow.

-- parodies of it rose in my mind: it so much does not describe what I have desired, nor --

And I have asked to be
Where no storms come,
Where the green swell is in the havens dumb,
And out of the swing of the sea.

-- where I have asked to be. My version runs

I have desired to go
Where the turmoil of disaster races,
Where remorse and jealousy gnaw each other's faces.
And no lilies blow.

And I have asked to be
The object of hatred and envy,
Where pity is eaten by sidelong greed,
And anchors are dragged by the sea.

I am surprised that I have never seen, as an argument for the existence of God, that He so often, in His infinite mercy, does not give us what we ask for.

Filled with love this morning, rueful love, for all of you. May this be a day of soft light and slow beauty and a soothing of all that is burned and raw. I have desired all good things for you all: as Lear's fool would say, before skipping offstage -- "And that's true too."

No comments: