Wednesday, February 10, 2010

"For all those who suffer, not in the flesh"

This being a time confused and with few clear stars,
Either private ones or public,
Out of its darkness I make a litany
For the lost, for the half-lost, for the desperate,
For all those who suffer, not in the flesh,
I will say their name, but not yet.

From "Minor Litany" by Stephen Vincent Benét. Complete poem is here.

Patience, Sebald Beham (1500-50)


chayaruchama said...

I'm stunned.
Now, what ?

BitterGrace said...

I came across that image and loved it, then hit that poem just by accident. It felt like a conspiracy...

chayaruchama said...

Oh, so intense.
I felt absolutely shaken...

The power of the written word, of the image.

Alyssa said...

Fantastic. Right up there with my other favorite poem on melancholy by Rumi.

Love, love, love the Kay Ryan quote above, too. Looking forward to perusing the rest of the interview. Lucky you to have that kind of conversation in your life!

BitterGrace said...

It's funny, Chaya, but I find the poem grows more powerful with repeated readings--not often true with poems of this sort.

I do feel lucky to have encountered Ryan, Alyssa. She has the same sort of clarity of purpose in her conversation that you find in her poems.