“As Barth”: Entry #15

The fifteenth entry in the “As Barth” contest comes from Illinoisan poet, David Wright. David teaches literature and writing at Wheaton College, and is an advocate for arts in the Mennonite church. He has two volumes of published poetry: A Liturgy for Stones (2003) and Lines from the Provinces (2000). He also has three poems in the most recent issue of the Princeton Theological Review.

Bonhoeffer Argues with Barth Over Heaven and its Songs

Not the angels who skim across pins,
en familie to Mozart and his lighted love of the air

Not the robed wonders who trade their antiphonal orders,
the patterns of Palestrina from, first, the East, then West, the home of human sins

Nor the simplest common chorales, broken off
as the Psalters of Geneva, of Plymouth, of Jerusalem and its steps

We believe in the prison and its concrete, impermanent walls,
in the sermon for all those held captive

We revel in the God become flesh and the old world
of tangential dust gathered to touch, though not touch, the new

Bach rewrote the world from the ground, bowed down
where the back can receive a blessing or thrashing, God knows

When our mist burns away in the sun we will know
Deus non est in genere,

Praise will be made from the fugue of the earth,
all its broken voices silent at first

Then circling to intone Vor deinen Thron tret ich hiermit,
Amen, amen, erhore mich


Ben Myers said…
Magnificent! It's too bad for the rest of us that a real poet has entered the contest!