Sunday, February 22, 2009

The poem

Sacrament Prayer
by Darlene Young

Selfish, I've been this week,
peevish and small.
Fearful, I've been, and cold,
doubting and weak.
Now, though, I come to thee with my head down
ready to try again, humble and meek.

Thirsty, I come to thy
table today.
Dusty, my mouth,
barren, my soul.
I long for thy voice and its gentle reproach:
water of life that washes me whole.

Dear Lord, I thank thee
for thy sacrifice,
that to my parched soul
can come cleansing rain.
This sacrament quenches the thirst in my heart.
With courage, I'll face the dry world again.

. . .

And here is a link to the evening I wrote about, which shows the true reason for the event, I suppose.


Melissa said...

I just finished reading How Green Was My Valley, and the structure of your poem has a similar feel to some of the prose in that book.

I've been thinking about your post on art in the Church. And I'm still thinking. There are no easy answers.

Th. said...


I think I see why you don't like this poem, but it has moments of transcendence that are moving. Don't be too quick to dismiss it.

Laura said...

I'm interested in hearing your thoughts about the luncheon and reading. What did you think of the other winners? What did you think of the Cultural Arts committee? If you don't want to post it here, you can email me.

I think your poem is nice and very middle reader. It probably strikes a good balance for people who aren't accustomed to reading poetry. Good job!

Tyler said...

I agree with Th. on both parts:

1) The final two stanzas are the most moving, I think, because they contain the most resonant imagery in the poem: a thirsty, dusty, barren soul begging to be quenched. Strong imagery notwithstanding, however, I find the syntax a bit truncated and the language prescriptive. I hear you telling me that you're thirsty, barren, parched, but I don't feel or see it (if that makes sense).

You might consider (and take this for what it's worth: not much, really!) nixing the first stanza and developing stanzas two and three a bit more, fleshing them out as something akin to the opening verses of Psalm 69:1.

And 2) as Th. says: I wouldn't dismiss this out of hand. I sense a lyric rhythm flowing beneath it. It might just take more digging to find the right balance for this particular poem.