Tuesday, September 07, 2004


I Came across Maggi Dawn's superb weblog recently. And I noticed, inter alia, this moving poem by Rosie Mills. Some of you will recognise 'Texts of Terror' as the title of a marvellous book by biblical scholar Phylis Trible - published in the US by Fortress Press in the Overtures to Biblical Theology series, at the end of the 1980s IIRC...

For all the Godawful Bits of the Bible

(For Sara Maitland)

For the texts of terror:
For the rape and the pillage and the shame
Of these sanctified words;
For the whatthefuckdowedowiththis verses
That make no sense at all
To us, now;
For their endurance in our lives;
For the utter brokenness
Of God's human words;
For knowing how these words have
Prevented love,
Stifled life,
Stunted growth;
For still somehow reading on.

And yet,
In spite, or even because of all this,
There are theologies
Or irreverence and mischief
Winking their way into our lives;
Playful theologies of craft
Weaving the weft against the warp,
Shuttling untold designs
Into new patterns;
Theologies of art and lies
Telling us stories we never knew.

These painful words will endure,
Or maybe be forgotten.
How we inhabit their shadowIs no longer a question
For those who think they know,
But for the loving potters,
the waiting poets,
the holy clowns.

(c) Rosie Miles

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