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Shackled Jesters: Prayer as Poetry | Poetry as Prayer — Commentary by Curtis Yarvin





A poem and a judgment: Passage Prize winners, 2022:- by Curtis Yarvin Second place

A Summer’s Confession
[by “Elliott”]

The stairs down out into the street become
a silent warzone between
Tremors in my mind of different futures.
None are beautiful and all degrees of slavery.

I am weak and cannot write beauty today, Lord.

The clinician patronizes my anger
as misplaced fear and denial of my subliminal
concession to our emerging biosecurity state.

He is right that I am afraid, Lord.

Fearful of an alienation so sophisticated
and omnipresent that all the Being ruminating
under your design is raped into checkpoints
and access.

So many shackled jesters outline the perimeter.
Sycophantic and immiserated in their obedience,
with words of cruelty as their final great anesthetization against Christ’s love.

They perish in hatred of their own kin and I am at loss to understand, Lord.

I pray for Mercy, Lord, because I am still hurtling through
your world with nearly nothing to say.

All lyrical progeny,
All acceptance of suffering as love,
becomes the gurgling moans of a maimed horse,
running over plains of rock in an endless
want of death or respite from this torture.
**** |<>| ****

This is a religious poem. In fact… I believe it’s actually a Christian poem. Dear reader, you may not be religious, but you have to deal with that. (Lots of great people are atheists, including me, but you really can’t trust anyone who is actually anti-religious.)

This voice does not actually remind me of any poet in particular. But this is a poem of prayer—an extremely rare and difficult form. One of course must think vaguely of Christopher Smart—or even the KJV itself. These are not contemporary examples and this poem could not be mistaken for either. But as a poem of prayer it has this tone.

Now, whether or not you have ever prayed (I really haven’t, I’m afraid), there are two essential qualities a prayer has to have. It needs to be humble and it needs to be sincere.

A poem too must be sincere. Or it usually should be. But actually there is nothing less humble than a poem. This conflict is why the forms diverge too easily, and why it is hard to write a great poem that is also an address to the divine. It needs to have a kind of—glorious humility. (Note again that it earns its ending—no poem is above this.)

Maybe you don’t find that in this poem. I do and that’s why I gave it second place. Fuck you, all you New York art-hoes. Maybe you need to find Jesus. No—seriously.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • John Venlet March 21, 2022, 5:21 AM

    While this poem can indeed be considered a prayer, in the sense of the groanings within us which the Spirit carries to God the Father, I think the poem also could well be considered a lamentation, modern though it is, such as Jeremiah articulated in Lamentations. Consider the first couple of stanzas from Lamentations 1:1 – 2:

    How deserted lie the city,
    once so full of people!
    How like a widow is she,
    who once was great among the nations!
    She who was queen among the provinces
    has now become a slave.

    Bitterly she weeps at night,
    tears are upon her cheeks.
    Among all her lovers
    there is none to comfort
    All her friends have betrayed her;
    they have become her enemies.

  • jd March 21, 2022, 6:29 AM

    Loved this post, Gerard. I would like nothing better than
    to write Christian poetry. Thank you for the introduction
    to another very interesting blog.

  • James ONeil March 21, 2022, 10:16 AM

    Grendel gongan, Godes yrre bær.

    I was a sophomore in a Catholic high school when I first read Beowulf. I felt bad for poor Grendel, trudging along bearing the full weight of God’s ire, and if Hrothgar had just kept the noise down in the mead hall all would’a been fine.

    Yep, I followed the link to Imperial Melodies & read the other four, which cast my thoughts way back to Grendel’s momma’s killer, Beowulf

  • Dirk March 21, 2022, 10:21 AM

    And I got kicked out of Catholic school, the nun cracked me with a ruler, I cracked her back. Game Over.

  • james wilson March 21, 2022, 1:15 PM

    I read his blog back in the day. He thinks himself an atheist but I recall clearly that his philosophy of living life in this or any era rather stunningly like that of Jesus. Tucker was recently thrilled with Yarvin over an hour long interview and Yarvin repeated the give to Ceasar what is Ceasars and stay the hell out of the way philosophy.

  • Wilson K. March 22, 2022, 11:23 AM

    I have a very large problem with the statement >Lots of great people are atheists, including me<
    No man should ever refer to himself as great, that's for others to decide and is based on a mans merit.
    And any man who defies God's existence is evil, or at the very least ignorant.