Benjamin (loadedwordbr) wrote,

A Poem to Gregory

I am reading John McGuckin's St. Gregory of Nazianzus: An Intellectual Biography, tracing the life of Gregory's thought, from childhood to old age.  The author, who teaches at Union Theological Seminary in New York, and happens to be an Orthodox priest of the Romanian Archdiocese, composed an interesting poem at the beginning of his work, elaborating on his personal affection for this very human saint.   (For those that are unfamiliar with St. Gregory, his work in the 4th century is a standard of orthodox Trinitarian and Christological theology). I found the poem interesting and thought I'd share:

St Gregory Nazianzen

Of all the ancients,
You I think I could live with
(some of the time)
comfortable in you
like an old coat
sagged and fraying at the back,
(its pockets drooping with important nothings
like string, and manuscripts of poems)
perfect for watching you off your guard,
rambling round your country garden,
planting roses, not turnips,
contrary to the manual
for a sensible monk;
master of the maybe;
anxious they might take you up all wrong;
shaking your fist at an Emperor,
(once he had turned the corner
out of sight);
every foray into speech
a costed regret.
Your heart was like a spider's silk
swinging wildly at the slightest breeze,
too tender for this tumbling world
of mountebanks, and quacks and gobs,
but tuned to hear the distant voices
of the singing stars
and marvel at the mercy of it all. 

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