The Dream of Pilate's Wife" by Gustave Doré‘Pilate’s Wife’ by Cynthia Erlandson The Society April 2, 2021 Beauty, Culture, Poetry 17 Comments . I’ve had a nightmare! Let that just man go! You’re right that he’s done nothing wrong. They’re wrong To want him dead. No, nothing you could write Above his head could possibly undo Your guilt. He’s innocent, however long You try to wash your hands of him. That rite Is cowardly, since you know what is true. You’ve said yourself, the power is yours. So do What’s right. If you do not release him, know That all the horror I beheld last night Will fall on you. © 2020 Cynthia Erlandson . . Cynthia Erlandson is a poet and fitness professional living in Royal Oak, Michigan. She has had poems published in First Things, Modern Age, Measure Journal, Anglican Theological Review, The North American Anglican, Forward in Christ, and the Anthologies The Slumbering Host (ed. Clinton Collister), and A Widening Light, (ed. Luci Shaw) NOTE TO READERS: If you enjoyed this poem or other content, please consider making a donation to the Society of Classical Poets. NOTE TO POETS: The Society considers this page, where your poetry resides, to be your residence as well, where you may invite family, friends, and others to visit. Feel free to treat this page as your home and remove anyone here who disrespects you. Simply send an email to email@example.com. Put “Remove Comment” in the subject line and list which comments you would like removed. The Society does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments and reserves the right to remove any comments to maintain the decorum of this website and the integrity of the Society. Please see our Comments Policy here. CODEC News:Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 17 Responses C.B. Anderson April 2, 2021 Egads! This day will just not end, and yet it is finished. A man should listen to his wife, his better half. Pontius was clearly unconscious of what he was doing, yet everyone involved had a part to play, for otherwise there would have been no story to tell, no good news at all. Reply Cynthia Erlandson April 3, 2021 Yes, Pilate was essential to The Story — and I certainly would not have wanted to be in his place! (or his wife’s) Reply Joseph S. Salemi April 3, 2021 Pilate was caught between a rock and a hard place. The mobs in Jerusalem were screaming for the blood of Jesus, while the imperial authorities in Rome were watching with a stern eye to see if order could be maintained in the troublesome province of Judaea. Did the Procurator do the right thing? In hindsight, he seems like a moral coward. In that time and place, however, his decision must have looked like a Machiavellian correct move. The scriptural accounts give evidence that he tried to be fair, to judge impartially, and to assuage the anger of the mob. But the plain fact was that he had no interest whatsoever in the religious wranglings of the Jews, except insofar as they might constitute a threat to public order. And it should be noted that Pontius Pilate is honored as a saint in some of the Eastern churches. Reply Joe Tessitore April 3, 2021 Interesting thoughts about Pilate, Joe, and very interesting to read that some Eastern Churches venerate him as a saint, but Cynthia’s poem has the last word on him. Reply Joseph S. Salemi April 3, 2021 Every poem always has the last word… until the next poem comes along. Cynthia Erlandson April 3, 2021 I have always felt sorry for Pilate. It does seem clear that he wanted to do the “right” thing. It’s easy to say, from our vantage point, that he didn’t have the courage. But of course, from God’s point of view, he needed to do exactly what he did. Years ago, I heard a sermon in which the priest made the very clever (and insightful) comment that Pilate’s wife “was trying to keep his name out of the Nicene Creed”! Reply Margaret Coats April 3, 2021 Such a masterful poem, Cynthia. All these spousal comments in eleven sentences that wouldn’t seem to have rhyme and meter in them, yet you’ve poured them into ten lines of good rhymed iambic pentameter, and pointedly finished them off with that single, ominous cut line. A triumph! Reply Cynthia Erlandson April 3, 2021 Thank you so much, Margaret! Coming from you, this means a lot to me! Reply Wm Conelly April 3, 2021 Excellent Reply Cynthia Erlandson April 3, 2021 Thank you! Reply Joe Tessitore April 3, 2021 A brilliant poem, Cynthia, and to have written it from such an oblique angle imbues it with the ring of truth. Well done, indeed! Reply Julian D. Woodruff April 3, 2021 Ms. Erlandson, So many eyes should see your poem. Yet, plainspoken though it is, you’d have to provide a lengthy gloss to make it meaningful to a frightfully large number of people, even native English speakers. The enjambment underlines the message’s urgency impressively and the truncated final line causes a lump in the throat. Reply Cynthia Erlandson April 3, 2021 Thank you very much, Julian. Yes, I do lament the general loss of biblical literacy in the last couple (?) of generations. I wish many more people knew what amazingly exciting and poignant stories are in the Bible. I am grateful to have been brought up on them. Reply BRIAN YAPKO April 3, 2021 Great poem, Cynthia. I love the characterization of the wife and I especially love the abrupt “I-have-the-last-word” ending. Well done! And Happy Easter! Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant April 3, 2021 Cynthia, I have often contemplated the mindset of Pilate’s wife after her prophetic dream. Your easily accessible, conversational poem gives great insight into the mind of a woman who knows the truth in the face of all those denying it, and it is heart-rending. I would like to echo Julian in my admiration for your adept use of enjambment, which adds to the natural flow of the piece. I know just how hard it is to afford a pure and tangible feel to a poem that holds a weighty message. Hats off to you! Very well done, indeed! Reply James Sale April 4, 2021 Thanks Cynthia – excellent poetry – I love those poems which focus on just those moments when the world turns, and forever. If only … But then where would the salvation of the world be if people did the right thing? Thanks again for reminding us. Reply Yael April 6, 2021 Great poem, I love it. I’m just now able to catch up on all the lovely Easter poems which were posted on this website over the Easter weekend. I won’t get around to commenting on every one of them but I want all the poets who posted them to know that I really appreciate every one of your Easter poems. I never tire to read about my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and about the other Bible characters and stories. I choose to read in my Bible every day and it is a treat for me to read some in poetic format. I appreciate all of your contributions very much. Happy Easter to all. Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.