Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Funeral Oration

"For men can endure to hear others praised only so long as they can severally persuade themselves of their own ability to equal the actions recounted; when this point is passed, envy comes in and with it incredulity." - Pericles

The Peloponnesian War
Thucydides
(Tr. Crawlry )

Friday, October 7, 2011

Via Negationis

No,
No,
No, Samuel, he is none of these.
No,
No,
No, I do not find him here.
No,
No,
No, I would have given up if it were hopeless.
No,
No,
No, perhaps this is the one!
No,
No,
No, ruddy though he is,
No,
No,
No, he is none of these.
No,
No,
No, I grow weary of searching, Lord.
No,
No,
No, you are to have no rest.
No,
No,
No, the standards shall not be relaxed.
No,
No,
No, you have overlooked him.
This is the messiah of Israel,
Your king,
and you looked on the outward appearance,
but God tests the heart.
Even yours.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Clouds are not Spheres

or, Shade over Phoenix
Mark Miner

Low line of flat gray,
ruler-sharp below,
on top so torn and ragged you could weep;
mountains of water
hang in the air
over mountains of stone
and drift
rudderless and driven,
kneaded, rolled and roiled
on God's breath,
until they fall,
dropwise, draining,
leaking out on the valley of dry bones.

Son of Man, can these bones live?
O Lord, You know.