Day 16 of NaPoWriMo and we were challenged to write a Curtal Sonnet: Gerard Manley Hopkin’s 11 line variation on the conventional 14 line form. Wow! Much though I love good old GMH’s poetry, I really struggled with trying to find rhymes to fit the set form and structure, let alone my topic, ‘Liminality,’ inspired by my photo of the doorway into the gardens of the Bishop’s Palace at Wells Cathedral. The topic, that time of waiting on the threshold between Good Friday and Easter; between Death and Resurrection, (‘Tomb Day’ in Ignatian Exercises parlance) is challenging enough without tying yourself into metaphorical and poetical knots. How I wish I’d not chosen ‘go’ and ’cope,’ as b and c; it was feeling so laboured rhyme-wise by the end of the sonnet!
Still, we got there in the end. Whether or not we ’got there’ in the Easter journey this time round is still open to debate for me personally, as I guess it might be for many after the events of the past few years. I’m getting the impression that there are not a few folk just now for whom Holy Saturday has taken on a new significance.
This Easter, I’ve found these reflections by Diana Butler Bass speak into where I am, as well as some older but no less helpful thoughts by Prof Maggi Dawn on how our feelings and the place where we find ourselves won’t always be obligingly in sync with the liturgical year. God’s gifts will arrive when they arrive.
So here we are. One as yet untitled Curtal sonnet, dedicated to everyone out there who isn’t ’feeling it’ this Easter.
I stoop to peer beyond this gap in space Doorless, and yet I sense I cannot go Towards that light which buoys me up to cope. For I am held, caught in that lifeless place Suspended; tomb-like sludge forms round me, shadow Greying, chilling , grief aborted hopes. Yet dawn will break though maybe not in time Predicted or by other’s scope Of thin- place resurrection; love will flow To each their own peculiar Eastertime Dawning of hope.