Saturday, September 27, 2008

I sought for joy

It seems to be a week for poems, so since I've just shared my final post in the series enjoying God, here's a little poem about the search for joy.

This is one of the mercifully few (3!) poetic attempts I've made as an adult. I wrote it in my 20's, reflecting on how, as teenagers, my friend and I pursued "experiences" of God, and how I'd come to see things differently, especially after reading John Owen's Communion with God. You might notice a reference to this verse:

The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17)

I think this poem is in iambic pentameter, iambic being the opposite of trochaic, with every 2nd line having a feminine ending (according to wikipedia, which is the full extent of my poetic education). There's something odd going on near the end of the last line, no doubt to "create a more interesting overall rhythm and to highlight important thematic elements" (wikipedia again); this seems unlikely, since I knew nothing about any kind of meter when I wrote this poem. Ali will have to fill me in on the rest, since she knows far more about poetic meter than I'm ever likely to. Pure doggerel, no doubt! Anyhow, here it is, all 2 verses of it:

I sought for joy

I sought for joy, for ecstasy, and found
Swift fire: but it burning swiftly faded,
And, glowing embers falling all around,
Left bitter ash, dull smoke, all darkly shaded.

I sought for God, through lonely night and long,
In darkness dank my flick'ring flame fast dwindled:
But soft I felt his touch, and heard his song,
As, singing with delight, his love flame kindled.

image is from stock.xchng


Honoria said...

That's beautiful, Jean.

Ali said...

Hey, no I like that! And I really don't know so much at all about poetic meter except what I have read since Mark Tredinnick inspired me at FW - which is my first ever foray into it (would love to do a poetry course). And people can generally hear the meter without being able to name it - as you evidently did. I think writing anything with a rhyme and a rhythm is a feat!