Monday, April 16, 2007

...and Belched Back Like A Word To Grace Us All

In my beginning was the memory, somehow
contradicting Jonah, that essential babe
of unbaptised digestion, being a nugget
to call pity on Jerusalem and on Nature, too

We have his travels in the snare so widely
ruminated,---of how he stuck there, was reformed,
forgiven, also--
and belched back like a word to grace us all.

There is no settling tank in God. It must be borne
that even His bowels are too delicate to board
a sniping thief that has a pious beard.
We must hail back the lamb that went unsheared.

O sweet deep whale as ever reamed the sky
with high white gulfs of vapor, castigate
our sins, but be hospitable as Hell.
And keep me to the death like ambergris,
sealed up, and unforgiven in my cell.

Hart Crane

Crane catches the image -- the "going down" like unto baptism. The image of death by drowning is clear in the baptismal liturgy. The collect at the end of the prayer for the candidates,
"Grant, O Lord, that all who are baptized into the death of Jesus Christ your Son may live in the power of his resurrection and look for him to come again in glory; who lives and reigns now and for ever." Amen. -- Book of Common Prayer pg. 306 JWS

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