Monday, November 18, 2013

I and my rose - a poem

These are some roses my Aunt had placed in a jar for me when I arrived at my new home. They actually match in so nicely, and look so cheery, that I now feel like I need an endless supply.

I used to disdain roses; as too showy, too exotic (in that they are not native to Australia, and people would do better not to fill their gardens with them and be then compelled to spray pesticide everywhere to keep this country's bugs off), too unoriginal. But these days, when I happen upon roses I just embrace them and enjoy. It’s not their fault.

So, I thought I’d share another poem by GA Studdert Kennedy. I am not altogether sure about the last two lines, and have puzzled whether he is switching between talking about the literal rose flower and a metaphorical rose that is Christ himself. The more I read it, the more I find, which is one characteristic of good poem.


There is a world of wonder in this rose;
God made it, and His whole creation grows
To a point of perfect beauty
In this garden plot. He knows
The poet's thrill
On this June morning, as He sees
His Will
To beauty taking form, His word
Made flesh, and dwelling among men.
All mysteries
In this one flower meet
And intertwine,
The universal is concrete
The human and divine,
In one unique and perfect thing, are fused
Into a unity of Love,
This rose as I behold it;
For all things gave it me,
The stars have helped to mould it,
The air, soft moonshine, and the rain,
The meekness of old mother earth,
The many-billowed sea.
The evolution of ten million years,
And all the pain
Of ages, brought it to its birth
And gave it me.
The tears
Of Christ are in it,
And His Blood
Has dyed it red,
I could not see it but for Him
Because He led
Me to the Love of God,
From which all Beauty springs.
I and my rose
Are one.

The Unutterable Beauty
G.A. Studdert-Kennedy, 1883-1929

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