Sunday, April 19, 2009

Poetry 19: John Donne

It's weird to look back on the time when I first read this poem. I was a young college student, on a perpetual high: ah, the BYU campus, those mountains, the joy of learning. I really did love every class (at least for the first half of the semester). It seemed like I had no problems, had never really had any problems. And I had such a yearning for God. I remember telling Him, out of my naivete, to go ahead and "bring it on," whatever trials it would take for Him to make me fit for the kingdom. Now, on the recovery side of my hardest trial yet, I'm scared spitless at what might be brought on to make me fit for the kingdom, and I laugh at the cocky young kid who used to think she could handle anything . . .

But this poem still moves me. I know this yearning. And I daily live on the faith that somehow God will find a way to make my trials work to my benefit. Somehow. Even if I don't feel it, and can't see how I'm any better of a person having gone through them. So, today, I give you:

Batter My Heart
by John Donne

Batter my heart, three-person'd God, for you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise and stand, o'erthrow me, and bend
Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp'd town to'another due,
Labor to'admit you, but oh, to no end;
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captiv'd, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly'I love you, and would be lov'd fain,
But am betroth'd unto your enemy;
Divorce me,'untie or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you'enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.


1 comment:

Th. said...


One of my favorites.