Friday, April 29, 2011

Poetry Friday, Beatification Edition, Part 2: Another Poem by John Paul II

As I wrote earlier today, I wanted to share a poem or two of Karol Wojtyla, who was fairly prolific in his poetry.

This is from Roman Triptypch, a section entitled, "Meditations on the Book of Genesis at the Threshold of the Sistine Chapel."

I like to think of it as "the theology of the body in poem form," but it is called:


Who is He? The Ineffable.  Self-existen Being.
One.  Creator of all things.
And yet, a Communion of Persons.
In this Communion, a mutual self-giving of the fullness
of truth, goodness and beauty.
But above all--ineffable.
Yet, He spoke to us of himself.
He spoke, by creating man in his image and likeness.
In the Sistine painting the Creator has human features.
The Almighty, the Ancient--a Man, like Adam whom He creates.
And they?
"Male and female He created them."
God bestowed on them a gift and a task.
They accepted--in a human way--the mutual self-giving which is in Him.
Both naked...
they felt no shame, as long as the gift lasted--
Shame will come with sin,
yet the thrill remains.  They live conscious of the gift,
without being able to call it by name.
But they live it, they are pure--
Casta placent superis; pura cum veste venite,
et manibus puris surmite fontis aquam (see note below)
For eight years I read these words every day
as I entered the gate of the gymnasium in Wadowice.

Pre-sacrament--existence itself as the outward sign of eternal Love.

And when they became "one flesh"
--that wondrous union--
on the horizon there appears the mystery of fatherhood and motherhood.
--They returned to the source of life within them.
--They returned to the Beginning.
--Adam knew his wife
and she conceived and gave birth.
They know that they have crossed the threshold of the greatest responsibility!


note: translates as "Heaven is pleased with what is pure; come with pure robes, and with unsullied hands drink water from the source."

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