Theme: Poems

The Greatest Poem

The praise of God is the only poetry there is
that's truly expressive: these times
the least thought of, because in man's heart
God's presence is connected with religion;
and religion nowadays is nothing, or it's
one view of God: each following reflects this.
The poetry of 'nothing to do with religion' omits
to mention, or includes as mention only,
the name of God: it explores God's creation,
excluding God, and is a myth constructed from
reality as perceived: it is detailed,
verbose, in many styles and modes, not
to mention languages; it covers centuries
in retrospect, and builds the prospect of many
more to come; or, from the present, despairs
in the future it foresees; when truly deprived,
it eventually fails, only to revive in
the spirit of the age, and rebuilds a prospect
from the vantage point of the present, the symbol
of its life and death: it is ephemeral
and always imperfect, like all art - the best
man can do, and therefore perfect as it goes;
and its protagonists, the poets and the artists,
wild, imperfect beings, who fail, one and all,
to achieve the definitive word that one
already knows as the root of the creation;
not by effort or skill of man's mind to construct
a temple to in words or acts, but achieve through
plain submission, spontaneous praise! In praise
of God is revealed all on earth and in heaven!
And this praise of God is not couched in
religious poems and tunes, the excellence
of these is nothing to the Word Himself
in infinity of Being: rather, the simpler the
praise, as from a beggar’s lips, true type,
the greater its approach to efficacy, the sure
means to experience the excellence of
the Word; it is at once the very thing
plain poetry aspires to: the essence of life, and
the poetic ideal that words attempt to enshrine:
reality, the whole of it, which removes one
from a superficial level to the sublime.
God lives! How often have we heard this
in religious songs of praise; but hampered
by this context: it is as though there is no place
for God in the world of poetry: the Word
is consistently sought by the religious in words
the world admires: not in simple praise.
Here then is the greatest poem of them all, one
they have searched for since language began:
it is simple, and understood to contain all
one's life, the life of the age, and of the ages
past and to come: the poem that ends all poems
if and when it is truly understood: now understand
why the suffering and the woeful, the professors,
are blessed in their state, so reduced that this
one Name becomes their hope and consolation:
it is of God that man be so compelled to seek
the light and attain to eternal Life - this surely
is the door, and the saying of it, the key.
It is: Jesus.


More By  :  R. D. Ashby

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