Tuesday, February 7, 2017
Rethinking The Elect
Take that long-suffering slave: if she instead
Were master, could descent dissent and shed
Vile arrogance slaves shirk and in its stead
Renounce the life that life inherited?
Take that starved, broken pauper: if instead
Of life so harsh he often would be dead
He had a fuller purse, was fuller fed
Would he have known to offer paupers bread?
Take that queer soul who's “different”: if instead
He'd turned out “normal” would he think a dead
Queer's better than a live one, too, and spread
Intolerance majorities have bred?
Is this not Grace? Spared from such tests as these,
Has God not favored his minorities?
In a time of Trump when I fear many devalue diversity and many more do not see the frequent grace in minority, struggle, and lack of material wealth, I highlight this poem from Charms and Knots. I also highlight the poem for a time when many no longer appreciate the endless powers of formalist verse. Apart from the inherent power of sonnet form, twelve same-rhymed lines followed by two fresh rhymes actually participate in the grace and rarity of difference (indexical expression of the point to use Peirce's terminology).