A Poem for Easter

With Easter coming up I thought I’d share this poem by Vassar Miller, a poet who lived with cerebral palsy. Some observations/my favorite aspects of the poem-you can really hear that “lift” in line 2 when you read it aloud, you kind of have to yank it up with your voice to make the rhyme work. And the rhyme scheme (ABBA ABBA) really enhances the theme, recalling Christ’s cry on the cross (Abba, Abba/Eloi, Eloi). Also, if there are any Sufjan Stevens fans out there, I suspect this poem might’ve inspired some lines in John My Beloved, but I’m not sure there’s any evidence for that. Hope you guys enjoy and Happy Holidays

The New Icarus

Slip off the husk of gravity to lie
Bedded with wind; float on a whimsy, lift
Upon a wish: your bow’s own arrow, rift
Newton’s decorum—only then you fly.
But naked. No false-feathered fool, you try
Dalliance with the heights, nor, plumed with metal, shift
And shear the clouds, imperilling lark and swift
And all bridal-bowered in the sky.

Your wreck of bone, barred their delight’s dominions,
Lacking their formula for flight, holds imaged
Those alps of air no eagle’s wing can quell.
With arms flung crosswise, pinioned to wooden pinions,
You, in one motion plucked and crimson-plumaged,
Outsoar all Heaven, plummeting all Hell.

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