Unsettled Christianity

Gloria Dei homo vivens – St Irenaeus

Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

April 2nd, 2017 by Joel Watts

Wesleyan Poems: On the Resurrection #NaPoMo

1 ALL ye that seek the Lord who died,
Your God for sinners crucified,
Prevent the earliest dawn, and come
To worship at His sacred tomb.

2 Bring the sweet spices of your sighs,
Your contrite hearts, and streaming eyes,
Your sad complaints, and humble fears;
Come, and embalm Him with your tears.

3 While thus ye love your souls to’ employ,
Your sorrow shall be turn’d to joy:
Now, now let all your grief be o’er!
Believe; and ye shall weep no more.

4 An earthquake hath the cavern shook,
And burst the door, and rent the rock;
The Lord hath sent His angel down,
And he hath roll’d away the stone.

5 As snow behold his garment white,
His countenance as lightning bright:
He sits, and waves a flaming sword,
And waits upon his rising Lord.

6 The third auspicious morn is come,
And calls your Saviour from the tomb,
The bands of death are torn away,
The yawning tomb gives back its prey.

7 Could neither seal nor stone secure,
Nor men, nor devils make it sure?
The seal is broke, the stone cast by,
And all the powers of darkness fly.

8 The Body breathes, and lifts His head,
The keepers sink, and fall as dead,
The dead restored to life appear,
The living quake and die for fear.

9 The Lord of life is risen indeed,
To death deliver’d in your stead;
His rise proclaims your sins forgiven,
And shows the living way to heaven.

10 Haste then, ye souls that first believe,
Who dare the gospel word receive,
Your faith with joyful hearts confess,
Be bold, be Jesus’ witnesses.

11 Go tell the followers of your Lord
Their Jesus is to life restored;
He lives, that they His life may find;
He lives to quicken all mankind.

John Wesley and Charles Wesley, The Poetical Works of John and Charles Wesley (ed. G. Osborn; vol. 4; London: Wesleyan-Methodist Conference Office, 1869), 129–130.

April 1st, 2017 by Joel Watts

Poems by Wesley: Grieve Not the Holy Spirit

April is National Poetry Month. While we know that John and Charles wrote hymns, they also wrote poems… some of which are still sung in Christian Methodist congregations…

I might highlight a few throughout this month.


1 AND art Thou grieved, O sacred Dove,
When I despise or cross Thy love?
Grieved for a worm; when every tread
Crushes, and leaves the reptile dead!

2 Then mirth be ever banish’d hence,
Since Thou art pain’d by my offence:
I sin not to my grief alone,
The Comforter within doth groan.

3 Then weep, my eyes, for God doth grieve!
Weep, foolish heart, and weeping live:
Tears for the living mourner plead,
But ne’er avail the hopeless dead.

4 Lord, I adjudge myself to grief,
To endless tears without relief:
Yet O! to’ exact Thy due forbear,
And spare a feeble creature, spare!

5 Still if I wail not, (still to wail
Nature denies, and flesh would fail,)
Lord, pardon; for Thy Son makes good
My want of tears, with store of blood.

John Wesley and Charles Wesley, The Poetical Works of John and Charles Wesley (ed. G. Osborn; vol. 1; London: Wesleyan-Methodist Conference Office, 1868), 43.

October 18th, 2012 by Joel Watts

Mark Signorelli: The Poet as Namer

I think it is from this author. Anyway, this is a great essay on the power and duty of the Poet:

What I am suggesting now is that it is the poet who most effectively names things in this way, who most powerfully arrests our attention from the seemingly chaotic tenor of experience and begins to display to us the determinate nature of the reality encompassing us. This is one of the key respects in which poetic language differs from non-poetic language. We customarily think of the language of poetry as being unique on account of its expressiveness, its sweetness, or even its loftiness of tone and diction.

via The Poet as Namer.

Go and doth readeth ye ole essay.

By the way, get a few of Mark Signorelli‘s books!

I’m pretty interested in the power of the Poet – the poet who changes history, writes it, tackles it. So, I am working on an epic poem, in the style of Lucan, Milton, and the like of a mythologized American history. Oh yes… there are gods and dragons and the what-not.

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July 11th, 2012 by Joel Watts

No, Virgil….

W.H. Auden on Virgil’s political tone?

No, Virgil, no
Not even the first of the Romans can learn
His Roman history in the future tense
Not even to serve your political turn
Hindsight as foresight makes no sense.
(“Secondary Epic”)

July 2nd, 2012 by Joel Watts

The Dialogic Red, Red Rose

Poetry is not monologic, but rather, dialogic, even poetry as rustic as this:

O my Luve’s like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June;
O my Luve’s like the melodie
That’s sweetly play’d in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I:
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry:

Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun:
I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run.

And fare thee well, my only Luve
And fare thee well, a while!
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho’ it were ten thousand mile.

Do you see the natural conservation going on in the poem?

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