Saturday, February 18, 2012

Trinity Arts Festival

This year I entered a couple of poems in my church's annual arts festival. One of them is kind of gloomy. The other is a rewrite of the song Mad World.

One of the requirements was that each piece had to have a short description by the author. This is what I wrote for the first poem, Adeste.

I started this poem with the idea of a paradox: what if a person felt extremely cold in the middle of one of the hottest places on earth? Why would this be? Then I had the idea that maybe it was a spiritual feeling, rather than a physical one. As I wrote the poem, I began to realize that the struggle between the speaker and the elements represented the inner turmoil of a sinner who has just begun to realize that salvation comes from God alone. The last two lines tie in the theme of helplessness without God.
Since Adeste is rather long, I'll save the other poem, Green World, for another post.


In the wide, barren wasteland 
So yellow and orange
The cruel sun - unmerciful sun!
Which struggles to warm me;
I cannot be touched
My heart is like ice
The wind whips by around me
Brushing my face
Touching my hand 
Striving to warm me
It is all hot air
I cannot be touched
They call this a desert
I cannot get warm
They call a city crowded
I have stood in one
So lonely, so lonely
I cannot be touched
The fine grains of sand
Sinking beneath my feet
Carry me gently downwards
Hardening beneath my weight
So have I been
Sinking, drifting downwards
Hardening my heart
My heart that is ice
Save me
O sun
If you can
Warm me
O wind
If you will
Carry me away
Soft sand
Even though
I will never get warm
I will sink into oblivion
Unless Thou comest quickly
Unless Thou comes to free me

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