Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.”  I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.”

This poem tries to capture a truly magical moment and reveal it as a useful image of a spiritual truth.  The relationships between appearance and reality, and between faith and sight, deserve more thought than they sometimes receive.


North Campus, The University of Georgia, Spring, 1980:

The Ninth Sphere Reflected in the First


“This mist just barely lets the moonlight through.

We’ll see no stars tonight.”  “But where the moon

Is shining, you can bet the stars are too.

No matter we can’t see them in this noon

Of silver foglight, for tonight the trees

Are all intent on standing in for them:

New dogwood blossoms, ranked in galaxies

And constellations, glow on every limb.

Somehow they gather in the diffuse light

And give it back in concentrated flares

Of brilliance, making dark the softer white.”

“What strange astronomy is this, that dares

Set stars ablaze so far from their own sphere?”

“Well, one that knows how much we need their light

And feels their unseen influence down here

And, having seen them once in their full height,

Thereafter walks by faith and not by sight.”

winter lamp post narnia

Remember: for more poetry like this, go to and order Stars Through the Clouds! Also look for Inklings of Reality and Reflections from Plato’s Cave, Williams’ newest books from Lantern Hollow Press: Evangelical essays in pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.


Donald T. Williams, PhD


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