Thursday, April 12, 2007


Seven Stanzas at Easter
John Updike (1932)
(cadged in its entirety from Maggi Dawn's weblog - thanks Maggi!)

Make no mistake: if He rose at all
it was as His body;
if the cells’ dissolution did not reverse,
the moleccules reknit, the amino acids
rekindle, the Church will fall.

It was not as the flowers,
each soft Spring recurrent; it was not
as His Spirit in the mouths and fuddled
eyes of the eleven apostles;
it was as His flesh: ours.

The same hinged thumbs and toes,
the same valved heart
that pierced-died, withered, paused, and then
regathered out of enduring Might
new strength to enclose.

Let us not mock God with metaphor,
analogy, sidestepping, transcendence;
making of the event a parable, a sign painted in the
faded credulity of earlier ages:
Let us walk through the door.

The stone is rolled back, not papier-mâché,
not a stone in a story,
but he vast rock of materiality that in the slow
grinding of time will eclipse for each of us
the wide light of day.

And if we will have an angel at the tomb,
make it a real angel,
weighty with Max Planck's quanta, vivid with hair,
opaque in the dawn light, robed in real linen
spun on a definite loom.

Let us not seek to make it less monstrous,
for our own convenience, our own sense of beauty,
lest, awakened in one unthinkable hour,
we are embarrassed by the miracle,
and crushed by remonstrance.

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Blogger maggi said...

Hi Jason! great poem isn't it?

happy easter, happy new term...

Thursday, April 12, 2007 8:08:00 PM  
Blogger PdB said...


Friday, April 13, 2007 6:38:00 AM  

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