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.”
“Negative Capability” is a phrase Keats used for the ability of a poet to get himself out of the way and be absorbed completely in the natural scene he is experiencing, and which he will eventually try to describe in his poem. If you let yourself be absorbed in Scripture in the same way at the same time, the results could be life-changing.
Go to the ancient forest,
And there you will find your heart
Enthroned in a shrine of darkness
From which it can’t depart.
Go to the barren desert
Beneath the blazing sky;
You’ll find your heart is burning
With a flame that will not die.
Go to the trackless ocean,
And there beneath the waves
You’ll find your heart is drowning
In hollow emerald caves.
But go to Mount Golgotha,
Beneath the looming Cross,
And there your heart will fail you,
Born down by grief and loss.
And if Another’s pain there
Seems strangely like your own
And your heart cries, “Here I should
Have died, and I alone!”
Then go to the lonely Garden
Beside the graven Tomb,
And wait there in the silence
To abide your doom.
It will come as sharp and sudden
As the whistling of a knife:
To know the Tomb is empty
And your heart is full of life.
Remember: for more poetry like this, go to https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/ 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. And look for Williams’ very latest book, Deeper Magic: The Theology behind the Writings of C. S. Lewis, due out Sept. 1, 2016, from Square Halo Books!
Donald T. Williams, PhD