Magazine February 22, 2010, Issue

Poetry

(Jason Cohn/Reuters)

AT THE RECEPTION

Up there, the braids were dark and round.
The skirt was slanting from the ground.
So suavely rocked she, swift but still,
Bride like a bell tower, like God’s will.

How strangely grew, to me at four,
Her feet like flowers from the floor.
She was a steep but decorous hill,
Garlanded wilderness, God’s will.

But this above all heights is strange:
No more the sky than she can change.
The sun may flower, clouds may chime.
She looms in laughter all this time;

As I within my own self loom:
An angel in a rented room,
Love’s likeness in a heart this poor,
And Christ asleep in my desk drawer.

Marvelous, beyond speaking

Sarah Ruden’s most recent books are the extensively revised second edition of her Aeneid translation and her new translation of the Gospels.

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