Monday, October 15, 2007


I have suffered many blows,
I have felt sorrow, yes, and fear,
I have been crushed by mortal pain
And somehow smiled through my tears;

And then you came, immortal soul,
Bright-winged, and gloriously wise;
I see you force your smile for me
Beneath your tor.tured, smouldering eyes;

And I know pain, as never before,
I cannot laugh, or smile, or sing;
I can but weep my bootless tears
To see my angel suffering.

* * *

I wrote this for a friend and mentor of mine several years ago, thinking about how sympathy can sometimes be a harder load than personal suffering. (My friend would probably be startled at being referred to as an "angel." I guess that's just how I think of my friends -- of course, I don't mean anyone's literally an angel or even perfect, just that I consider them to be messengers of God to me.)

Now those who have been asking for my poetry must be content, because this little piece is scraping the barrel on poetry written in the last several years that I can bear to post at all.


Anonymous said...

Wonderful, Sheila - and powerful.

Actually I thought it perhaps addressed to the poet's REAL guardian angel as he (the poet) contemplates his own suffering, but also his own sins - not that the heavenly spirits "suffer", of course... it is a kind of anthropomorphism I guess. But isn't there some old song about making the angels cry? And even our Lord seems to suggest something comparable when He talks about the angel guardians of children who "constantly behold My Father's face..." Hmm.

Also, I have many times seen it pointed out that "angel" is a function, and not a particular form of being - you are already familiar with its Greek origin! And from long ago I was told that we humans are to take the place of the fallen "angels" (the evil spirits)... so I presume to the extent we proclaim God's messages we are "angels" in function (though not of course in being).

It is very touching and inspiring - I guess that means this poet is indeed angelic.

--Dr. Thursday

Sheila said...

Wow, I like the application you've given it! People complain about reading too far into a poem, but in cases like this, it's just a matter of a similarity between real things that leads to an unintended connection in art -- like when we apply love poetry to God, or chivalrous poetry to Mary. I'm all for other people seeing more Truth in my writing than I did. It makes me feel like I get the credit for it somehow ... ;)

I'm glad you liked it.

Sheila said...
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