Easter Sunday: Day 5 of Poetry Month

This one will take a little explaining because I chose it for Easter.

Behind a Wall – Amy Lowell

I own a solace shut within my heart,
A garden full of many a quaint delight
And warm with drowsy, poppied sunshine; bright,
Flaming with lilies out of whose cups dart
Shining things
With powdered wings.

Here terrace sinks to terrace, arbors close
The ends of dreaming paths; a wanton wind
Jostles the half-ripe pears, and then, unkind,
Tumbles a-slumber in a pillar rose,
With content
Grown indolent.

By night my garden is o’erhung with gems
Fixed in an onyx setting. Fireflies
Flicker their lanterns in my dazzled eyes.
In serried rows I guess the straight, stiff stems
Of hollyhocks
Against the rocks.

So far and still it is that, listening,
I hear the flowers talking in the dawn;
And where a sunken basin cuts the lawn,
Cinctured with iris, pale and glistening,
The sudden swish
Of a waking fish.

The explanation is not all that complicated, Jesus was confused for a gardener. The women discovering the empty tomb saw a gardener in the grounds. It was in this dawn garden that the man rose from the dead and came to life. The symbol used for this man? The fish.

It isn’t the most triumphal poem, but I love the essence of encounter that ties together the concrete of pears with the inner self – shut within the heart. This is a place of comfort, a place for the presence of wonder. Within the heart or within the memory of a place:

“The sudden swish
of a waking fish.”

These words tell of the resurrection of Christ. The waking of the fish, the first born of creation. He is risen!


About Sean Smith

Husband, Father, Pastor, Swimmer, Writer, Reader, and attempted Adventurer!
This entry was posted in Church, Fiction in Review, Practices of Faith, Theology and Philosophy and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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