"The First Funeral" by Louis Ernest Barrias‘The First Funeral’ and Other Poetry by James Sale The Society December 26, 2017 Beauty, Culture, Poetry 6 Comments The First Funeral It is with wonder when I think Of Adam, Eve, no childhood grown, Standing before the living God, Alive with language, all words known. It is with wonder, then, to think They could – not taught by human tongue – Speak out and all the world command; And world want more of what they sung. It is with wonder, so I think That that perfection came undone: Was worse to disobey – more worse Still consequences killed their son? It is with wonder now I think How Adam strove manfully to hold His Eve – mother! – breaking down As touching Abel all his cold. It is with wonder shall I think Of earth and that first funeral? One day ahead, no longer myth, And God raises One, quite literal. Seeing His Glory “Who could ever tire of seeing his glory?” Sirach, 42.25 Seeing His Glory, who could tire? Not me! I nearly died (and some) But now I live. He touched me then – To unsay that I’d be a liar. His Glory? At distance – like a fire, But not some match: instead a star, Consuming, moving, eternal, fixed, Whose light’s remote and full, entire. And seeing such provokes desire: As far as polar stars may be, Yet their distance entrances, draws, Exciting more the more retires. Something paradoxical, dire Even, the strangeness of His ways I cannot understand, but see – His Glory, I must see, requires. Not So Far Away “Not from that place where highest thunder roars down to the very bottom of the sea, is any mortal’s sight so far away as my eyes were from Beatrice there …” Paradiso XXXI. 73-76 Not so far away, so very far away From that place, for which I’ve scanned ceaselessly, And hoped always today would be the day, That I would change, be changed, and not be me. So far away, so very far, it is Which is not, because yet hasn’t come to be; Only, it seems so, since I still miss That state of blessing that’s my full destiny. Far away, very far, who sees what end? No thing tells me love’s the word, and so she’s The vision to which my sight and longings tend; If she – sweet she – turned, reached, touched – I might see. Away, far, beyond all I could deserve; Stuck here, bound in flesh and fate and not free; Subject to each whim, nothing in reserve, But through that distance, she to hear my plea. James Sale is a leading expert on motivation, and the creator and licensor of Motivational Maps worldwide. James has been writing poetry for over 50 years and has eight collections of poems published, including most recently, The Lyre Speaks True, his metaphor for the paradoxes of being a poet. He can be found at www.jamessale.co.uk and contacted at james@motivational maps.com. He is the winner of First Prize in the Society’s 2017 Competition and regularly writes reviews for the Society. Related Post A Translation of André Chénier’s ‘Elegy XX’... Born at Constantinople in 1762 of a French father and Greek mother, André Chénier grew up in pre-revolutionary France and studied at Paris. Well-read,... Tell the world:FacebookTwitterTumblrPinterestRedditLinkedInEmail 6 Responses Satyananda Sarangi December 26, 2017 Greetings James Sir! Enjoyed all the three – beautiful and thoughtful in their own ways. However, I felt more connected to ‘ Seeing His Glory’ that leads me to write something instantaneously : The glories of giant statues and fame, They wither by and by from Time’s record; The glories by birth and those by the name, Wither faster, obscured until explored. Some may linger to find a worthy heir, Some depart in a way none can behold; And few still retain the flickering flare, But one glory lives that cannot be told. One glory that from heaven’s walls descends, At whose behest, fortune lays his great hand Upon man and Time from his treasure lends A golden touch and rest glories expand. © Satyananda Sarangi, 2017. Regards and New Year wishes. Reply James Sale December 27, 2017 Thank you Satyananda – and I am pleased that the poem inspired you to write more too.That is the spirit! Happy New Year to you too – 2018 will be fabulous. Reply Amy Foreman December 27, 2017 Beautiful, as always, James! You write poetry that cuts through this third dimension we live in, poetry about what really matters. It’s been a joy to see several of the offerings that have come in to SCP in the past weeks . . . great metaphysical poetry that points us to transcendent Truth. Thank you for these, James! Reply James Sale December 27, 2017 Thank you Amy. As you know, like attracts like, and I am a big admirer of your work, which to me is about real things. Paradoxically, of course, the things that are real are not things, for they are the spiritual realities that underpin our lives. As the Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead says: “All the world which lies below has been set in order and filled in contents by the things which are placed above; for the things below have not the power to set in order the world above”. No, but the things above do have the power – invisible as they be – to set in order us below! Have a great new year and keep on writing; I look forward to reading more of your work. Reply David Hollywood January 5, 2018 What marvelous poetry with which to commence the New Year, full of beautiful philosophical senses and meanings. Terrific. Reply James Sale January 9, 2018 Thank you David – that is really kind of you to say so, and I appreciate it. Happy new year – let’s carry on the writing mission! 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