Wayward/Frozen Nuns

I’ve always thought of poetry as a kind of foreign language. It has its own logic and is accessible only through repeated exposure. You think you don’t get it, and then, one day, you find yourself thinking thoughts you simply cannot express in your first language.

I stumbled across two poems referencing nuns yesterday. Two nun poems in one day! One is cold and frozen, and I found her in a tweet from ModPo that lead me to this page. The other was Emily Dickinson (722). I found it in Susan Howe’s My Emily Dickinson praising the mountains themselves as the Madonnas, the abbess of all who worship the mountains.

Sweet Mountains — Ye tell Me no lie —
Never deny Me — Never fly —
Those same unvarying Eyes
Turn on Me — when I fail — or feign,
Or take the Royal names in vain —
Their far — slow — Violet Gaze —
My Strong Madonnas — Cherish still —
The Wayward Nun — beneath the Hill —
Whose service — is to You —
Her latest Worship — When the Day
Fades from the Firmament away —
To lift Her Brows on You —

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