"May Morning on Magdalen Tower" by William Holman Hunt‘Tongues as of Fire’ and Other Poetry by Phillip Whidden The Society June 22, 2022 Beauty, Culture, Love Poems, Poetry 4 Comments . Tongues as of Fire If men desire to find belief, to sing It out through throats works best to make the soul Embrace it. This will make the sought faith zing Behind their hearts and manliness’s whole. The faith will throb straight through the tenor throats, The baritones and basses’ tongues, and play Up in the tear ducts through the holy notes, The notes made sacred by the ricochet Of music through the body and the brain. The holiness will well up from the lungs And wash, as in a holy rite, each stain Of unbelief away with concord’s tongues. _The counter tenors chime in, too, above __Conviction like a Pentecostal dove. . . …Mais If love were sovereign, we would navigate The dark canals of instinct in a bright Blue gondola, our songs reverberate A sea-shell colored, phosphorescent light. Before our bow the universe would raise A row of archways of Murano glass Reflecting us above the water’s glaze, But melting like mirages as we pass The walls of envy rising from the shore Of cynicism, walls (grown dark with frost- Like fungus) sinking into sandbars more Akin to deserts built to house the lost. _A sovereign love would launch sky-colored boats __To where an unclaimed moon forever floats . . . . . Phillip Whidden is an American living in England who has been published in America, England, Scotland (and elsewhere) in book form, online, and in journals. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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) 4 Responses Michael Pietrack June 22, 2022 “Melting like mirages” “Sky-colored boats” Good stuff! Thank you, Phillip. Reply Kanta June 22, 2022 In first poem, ricochet is without rhyming , no rhyming with play .though this poem is nice to feel and read the charms of words setting.. Reply Joseph S. Salemi June 22, 2022 “Ricochet” is a French word. It is pronounced RICK – OH – SHAY. It rhymes perfectly with “play.” Reply Jack DesBois June 22, 2022 Phillip, your first poem, “Tongues of Fire,” is marvelous, and dangerous. Yes, music – and singing in particular – is a highly effective tool for fanning the embers of belief in one’s soul. Your musical poem exemplifies that. “The holiness will well up from the lungs / and wash…” But it can be dangerous to use song for this purpose. You have to be oh, so careful that the sentiments you are branding onto your soul in the lyrics of the song and character of the music are, in fact, true and holy sentiments. And if you’re struggling with unbelief in the first place, then are you the best judge of truth and holiness? Song has long been used as a propaganda and brainwashing tool, and it is especially effective when presented as religious music. The devil cloaks his lies in half-truths and apparent beauty. Many churches (in my experience, UCC churches in New England have perfected this practice) have misused ecclesiastical music to instill unholy beliefs in their congregations. A relatively safe approach, I think, is to sing a diet of Christian songs from other eras: Bach, Handel, Watts, Mason, Newton come to mind. Which isn’t to say there aren’t any divinely inspired Christian songwriters today. It just takes a discerning heart to distinguish them from those perverting the Word of God for a worldly agenda. Thank you for a well-crafted and thought-provoking poem, Phillip. 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. Δ This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.