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  1. Behind The Door

    So easy, saying what we’ve thought before.
    New thoughts are never understood – until
    we’ve slain a hundred ways of speaking ill,
    and wrested pictures from existing lore;
    until we’ve prised a warped and swollen door
    apart from lintels rigid with the chill
    of never-use, and yanked it hard — and still
    the light comes slow, the bottom scrapes the floor.

    And then you turn and look — the face of Man
    is screwed against the glare. Oh, wretched squint,
    a testament to just how hardly can
    this creature, erect and falling, bear the glint,
    much less the beacon’s blaze. It was a ban,
    that door, against suspected truth’s bare hint.

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  2. Christ gave it you in death—it is your name,
    Your birthright by his blood, yea, also mine.
    ‘Tis what persuades our love not to confine
    Itself, but to extend, in spite of shame.
    No stones cast by this virtue, no, nor blame
    Bestowed without forgiveness’s design,
    But thinks the best, presumes not to malign
    In secret heart nor with far-flinging fame.

    Ah, friend! What friend, so quickly to forget
    Ten thousand talents stricken with no trace.
    One slanderous whisper of the serpent let
    You in, and, deafened, cursed me to my face.
    You gave me none, and none, and none, and yet,
    God give me strength to give it to you!—Grace.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Alena,

      This sonnet fully displays your talent. You’re either a natural or highly skilled at metaphysical poetry, and you easily and correctly adopt the diction and usage of the ages when such poetry was more common. And it’s important to to hold on to that. The skill you master first is like your “core” in yoga or pilates. It’s what you must maintain and use and activate and stay centered within, while you expand your expertise to more peripheral skills.

      A note somewhat aside: your clear preference for metaphysical, structured, and rational language persuades me that in the MBTI system, you would be better classed as an Intuitive Thinker than an Intuitive Feeler. You would not be the first woman to mistake her femininity for feeling-ness (just as men often mistake their masculinity for thinking-ness) but that is to misunderstand Jung’s rather esoteric personality-typing system. I’ve done it myself.

      I loved your design for this poem: you address both the virtue grace, and a friend named Grace who doesn’t give grace but does need a lot of it. The pain of this relationship is genuine and the pathos touching. This is a good example of what I was talking about in a different comment: treating raw experience as a source for material, but not writing it raw. The elegant writing actually brings it home more deeply. That fact suggests to me that the true nature of our feelings is spiritual (and therefore “noetic” or intellectual in a special sense) and is therefore best understood through deep reflection; the closer an emotion is to being physical anguish, the less it can be understood and communicated.

      The only lines I have trouble with are these:

      One slanderous whisper of the serpent let
      You in, and, deafened, cursed me to my face.

      The first issue is that “let you in” is really unclear. I realize that you rhyme scheme is quite restricting here. But unfortunately, my first and long-lasting impression from this line was that you had switched to addressing a personification of sin – though your excellent structure soon led me out of that thicket of misunderstanding.

      My second problem is ‘deafened.’ It’s not clear who’s deafened.

      …cursed me to my face/you gave me none and none and none… – this part is very affecting, as is everything that comes after. Really a remarkable poem. Thank you for sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I have not read George Herbert. I’ll add him to my list. 🙂

        Thank you for your encouragement and compliments! How is this as a revision of the couplet you mentioned?

        Ah, friend! What friend, so quickly to forget
        Ten thousand talents stricken with no trace.
        What was our love? For what the day we met,
        That you should turn and curse me to my face?
        You gave me none, and none, and none, and yet,
        God give me strength to give it to you!—Grace.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. A day alone spent listening to the rain.
    Fifty, sixty years could spatter by like this;
    A joy, a grief, a love, a toil, a nothingness.
    Mote on mote. Mere pointillist refrain.
    A night alone spent wishing in the dark.
    The hours creep with merciless tranquility,
    Each an age of restless infertility,
    Afraid to take the shot and miss the mark.

    How to greet the shining, risen Son?
    Deeds, inaction, both are commonplace;
    Raindrops, clouds, quite colorless, quite gray.
    Ah! How His glance transfigures all I’ve done!
    Exquisite rainbows multiply apace:
    My prisms holding forth the light of day!

    Liked by 1 person

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