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Poems

J1651

A Word made Flesh is seldom
And tremblingly partook
Nor then perhaps reported
But have I not mistook
Each one of us has tasted
With ecstasies of stealth
The very food debated
To our specific strength -
A Word that breathes distinctly
Has not the power to die
Cohesive as the Spirit
It may expire if He -
"Made Flesh and dwelt among us"
Could condescension be
Like this consent of Language
This loved Philology.

?                    1955

 

An extremely complex poem that might be thought of as the culmination of her lifelong reflection on the religious implications of poetic language. Poetry, the "Word made Flesh", is represented here as a form of Holy Communion. And thus philology, the marvellous "consent of Language", is understood to be another kind of transcendence of the self, or resurrection.