Friday, July 23, 2010


Hello! I've been away for a few weeks teaching summer school with a sprained ankle and trying to enjoy the gorgeous Spokane summer as much as I can.

This week's prompt at Big Tent Poetry asked us to incorporate something from our favorite poet into our own poetry. Thinking about this caused me to return to and revise a poem I have worked on for a few years. The poem is about giving birth, the most overwhelmingly holy experience I have ever had. At the end of the poem, I use the "Ah! Bright Wings!" phrase from Gerard Manley Hopkins' "God's Grandeur." I have always thought the sound of the language and the image in the last two lines of that poem are among the most beautiful in English.

This prompt has also inspired me to think of the many, many lines from Emily Dickinson that I love, particulalry, "Rowing in Eden--/Ah, the sea!". I'm working on something inspired by that, but am not there yet. In the mean time...

In pain shall you bring forth children, but
Rejoice, O highly favored daughter!
That you should bear such a curse!
And I cry out—
Laying waste to mountains and hills
As a mighty wind sweeps over the waters
For these moments I contain the Genesis of all things—
My own urgent offering—
This is my body, given up for you
I cannot let this cup pass—
The source contracts and pushes
For in the midst of blood and water poured out,
Body broken, torn in two,
Creation continues, Salvation is,
I roll the stone away from the tomb!
I would not wish for numbness now,
For how else could I hear
The flapping of Ah! Bright Wings!
And a chorus of Aves in my ear.


  1. Body broken, torn in two,
    Creation continues...
    Really Nice!!!
    With All Best Wishes..

  2. Lovely, Erin. I do "heart" Hopkins! I would not wish for numbness either. You make great use of his words within your own. (In fact, I found his whole poem to be particularly apt for current times. Well chosen!)

  3. Epic, Erin! Beautiful imagery and words and a worthy use of Hopkins' phrase.

  4. well done and nicely done Erin....thanks for sharing,,,been gorgeous up here too.....Go Gonzaga!!!

  5. beautifully descriiptive, intense with reality and honesty. wonderful poem,


  6. "i would not wish for numbness now" -- that's very moving.

  7. I haven't "been there" but you've "done that" and described it in ways that made me know your done that so that it seems I've been there.

  8. I happened to see this in the sidebar when I visited your list poem and had to check it out. I recently posted a poem entitled "Sacrament." This is absolutely exquisite, Erin. I'm so glad I happened upon your blog and hope to see more of you at BTP.