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

Author: 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.

(Chorus)
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