God’s Silence


This a poem from Franz Wright’s new collection, God’s Silence, which I am very slowly reading. Recently, Wright told Mark Temelko of the Anchorage Daily News, who asked about the religious writers who have been important to his thinking “as a Catholic, as an intellectual, as a poet”:

I love the 17th-century English poets in general: John Donne, George Herbert, Vaughan. Herbert is particularly interesting to me because of his sort of painful faith, his painful form of Christianity, extremely dark and skeptical, sort of a struggling, groping form of faith. That’s very moving to me because it seems to reflect the condition of anybody who’s involved in any kind of spiritual pursuit. You’re constantly coming up against your own insufficiency, your own weaknesses as a human being, your own hypocrisy and your own failings.

An earlier interview with the New Yorker is here.

Did This Ever Happen to You

A marble-colored cloud
engulfed the sun and stalled,

a skinny squirrel limped toward me
as I crossed the empty park

and froze, the last
or next to last

fall leaf fell but before it touched
the earth, with shocking clarity

I heard my mother’s voice
pronounce my name. And in an instant I passed

beyond sorrow and terror, and was carried up
into the imageless

bright darkness
I came from

and am. Nobody’s
stronger than forgiveness.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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