SupaDudz Memorial Profile Pic Pick o' the Week: No. Oh. No. 23

Author: oromagi ,

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  • oromagi
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    Jasper Johns + Last Stanza of the Battle Hymn of the Republics + poetic commentary from the brilliant Sharon Olds

    In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
    With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me.
    As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
    While God is marching on.

    Glory, glory, hallelujah!
    Glory, glory, hallelujah!
    Glory, glory, hallelujah!
    Our God is marching on.

    I didn't know what it meant that he was born
    in the beauty of the lilies, maybe bulbs that had been
    planted around the timbers of the stable,
    or the myrrh king came after the birth, and he was
    born in the beauty.  Maybe on the longest
    night of the winter he was somehow born
    on Easter--born risen.  I loved that he was
    born across the sea, as if born into the whole
    width of the air, between here
    and that holy place, the barn under
    the meteor.  They didn't talk about the hay,
    or the water-trough, or the blood, or the milk,
    or the manure, with its straw-seeds inside it, but sometimes
    they showed him in her arms, almost nursing,
    the light around his head like a third
    breast in the scene, and they said he was born
    with a glory in his bosom--he had his own
    bosom, as if he was his own mother
    as well as his own father.  And she wore
    blue, always unmarked, she never wore
    fleur-de-lys, and yet he was born
    in the beauty of the lilies.  This morning,  when I looked
    At a lily, just beginning to open,
    its long, slender pouch tipped
    with soft, curling-back lips, and I could peek just
    slightly in, and see the clasping
    interior, the cache of pollen,
    and smell the extreme sweetness, I thought they were
    shyly saying Mary's body,
    he came from the blossom of a woman, he was born
    in the beauty of her lily.

    -Sharon Olds