This is the literary weblog of Jeffrey W. Hull, M.D., a pediatrician. It is intended mainly as a place to maintain a collection of poetry created for the enjoyment of a few friends and as an archive for my family. All material is protected by US copyright.

Jeffrey Hull

Friday, February 17, 2006

Back Pew

I watch the slanting Sunday light suffuse
The uninspired air about the pews
Where duty with appearances conspires
To smother any incidental fires
Of passion here and there among flock,
And trades some current fancy for the Rock.
The queen posts and the hammer beams that soar
In grandiosity above the floor
Can scarcely hold the weight of Heaven up
As dwindling columns routemarch toward the Cup;
The roof above of slate from ridge to eaves,
The church below in thrall to mitered thieves.
The shrinking ranks that slouch toward the rail
With hopeful resignation of the frail,
Or those who follow sheeplike and confused,
Or those who from the argument recused:
Pretensions long since gone of search for truth–
They swill their gin of life without vermouth.

© 2006 Jeffrey Hull


One of your better works, Pops. Song and verse sound better in the cathedral's echo, and the architecture draws everything upward, like celestial capillary action.

I like it.
I agree with Blue Rajah. There's nothing like the cool dark slantingly lit space of an echoing church to amplify heroic couplets (or blank verse for that matter). I think the metaphor of the last line is brilliant; I'm just concerned that it doesn't fit well with the preceding 17.

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