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Old 04-18-2013, 12:18 AM
Thomas Ramey Watson Thomas Ramey Watson is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: R
Posts: 157
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What you're talking about seems pretty universal, as you note.

Here's a poem of mine for you about the necessity of symbols that help us understand what really is beyond human comprehension:


The Necessity of Symbols

“But now, to the best of our ability we use symbols
appropriate to things Divine, and from these
again we elevate ourselves, according to our degree,
to the simple and unified truth of the spiritual vision.”
Pseudo-Dionysius, On Divine Names

All morning the rain fell, sounding
on the roof like round, grey pebbles.
At noon the sky cleared to a translucent lapis.
On the chaise lounge over red bricks
I lay sunbathing, the air steamy,
the sun a bright, gold alpha.

I thought of my students' exercises in poetry.
One told of his grandmother's taking him,
a chubby-handed toddler, to Washington Park.
There she showed him ducks, told him
he walked as well as they, taught him to count—
one duck, two ducks, three—
white, and brown, and mottled.

In Washington Park one green day in April
I watched the meridian sun fall
and take residence in your hair;
my vision followed the curve of descent
as you bent to feed the ducks
crusts from your sandwich.

We felt like children ourselves.
Together we relearned our numbers,
how Dionysius stooped on Aegean sands
to demonstrate that one becomes two—then three—enlarging
until by love all returns to one again.

My front side as cerise as the nearby peonies,
I turned and lay on my stomach.
A bead of sweat gathered on my temple, broke,
and ran into my eye.
Stinging light—refracting—the bead multiplied.
Three drops fell in opaque pools that dried
quickly on the heme-baked bricks below.

©Thomas Ramey Watson, Christianity and Literature, 38, No. 4 (1989), 94.
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