Friday, April 18, 2014

Good Friday with John Donne and Gabriel Garcia Marquez

I'll be back tomorrow with some stories, including my protesting in front of our Legislature, but given the day, I'd like to continue with my tradition (well it's a tradition now) of sharing one of my favourite poems, Good Friday, 1613, Riding Westward, by John Donne.

John Donne: Poems

John Donne doesn't get a lot of face time in the blogger world, but he'll always have a corner in mine.

Good Friday, 1613. Riding Westward

Let mans Soule be a Spheare, and then, in this,
The intelligence that moves, devotion is,
And as the other Spheares, by being growne
Subject to forraigne motion, lose their owne,
And being by others hurried every day,
Scarce in a yeare their naturall forme obey:
Pleasure or businesse, so, our Soules admit
For their first mover, and are whirld by it.
Hence is't, that I am carryed towards the West
This day, when my Soules forme bends toward the East.
There I should see a Sunne, by rising set,
And by that setting endlesse day beget;
But that Christ on this Crosse, did rise and fall,
Sinne had eternally benighted all.
Yet dare I'almost be glad, I do not see
That spectacle of too much weight for mee.
Who sees Gods face, that is selfe life, must dye;
What a death were it then to see God dye?
It made his owne Lieutenant Nature shrinke,
It made his footstoole crack, and the Sunne winke.
Could I behold those hands which span the Poles,
And tune all spheares at once peirc'd with those holes?
Could I behold that endlesse height which is
Zenith to us, and our Antipodes,
Humbled below us? or that blood which is
The seat of all our Soules, if not of his,
Made durt of dust, or that flesh which was worne
By God, for his apparell, rag'd, and torne?
If on these things I durst not looke, durst I
Upon his miserable mother cast mine eye,
Who was Gods partner here, and furnish'd thus
Halfe of that Sacrifice, which ransom'd us?
Though these things, as I ride, be from mine eye,
They'are present yet unto my memory,
For that looks towards them; and thou look'st towards mee,
O Saviour, as thou hang'st upon the tree;
I turne my backe to thee, but to receive
Corrections, till thy mercies bid thee leave.
O thinke mee worth thine anger, punish mee,
Burne off my rusts, and my deformity,
Restore thine Image, so much, by thy grace,
That thou may'st know mee, and I'll turne my face.

And one of my favourite authors, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, has passed away at 87.  The book One Hundred Years of Solitude would have to be in my list of the top 5 books I ever read.

image - Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1982.

He is famously quoted as saying: Be calm. God awaits you at the door.
I am sure God, and a whole lot of other people, were indeed waiting...  RIP Mr. Marquez - and thank you!

Have a blessed Friday and stay safe out there!

xoxo wendy


  1. I don't think I've ever read that poem, so beautiful thanks Wendy. I hope you have an excellent day. I'm happy for the quiet and to have all of the rascals around... though we are going to a dog event this morning, I'm going to try to get some good pictures of Scout, maybe she'll get tired enough that she'll sit still!

  2. I have known for a while that I have to give Hundred Years of Solitude another look. I had to force myself to finish it though it is lauded everywhere. I must have missed something.

    1. Bebe - I'm not sure - there are some books friends raved about that I never really loved, so you never know....

  3. Thanks for that beautiful poem on this day of reflection. I was saddened too by the death of Garcia Marquez. I'm with you, his One Hundred Years Of Solitude and Love in the Time of Cholera are in my top list of books. Very curious on what issue brought you to the Legislature.

    1. Oh I was protesting the fact that there is no access to safe, secure abortions in New Brunswick. We are the most backwards place in North America on this issue and it is a scary thing!

  4. What a powerful pairing of Locke and Marquez; their bells tolled for thee.

  5. Both very pivotal in my life, a big part of my adolescence - along with sticky floored clubs and live rock bands.

    1. Oh we always loved Donne - one of my best friend's did her undergraduate thesis on him! Stick floored clubs - sounds like my kitchen this morning!

  6. Thank you for the poem, W.

    For me, 100 years is one of the books I remember reading in a certain place. I still have not read "love in the time...".

    Someone asked me why it's "Good" Friday; I did not know. Apparently, good is an ancient word for holy.

    1. Lane - I didn't know that about good meaning holy.

  7. Wonderful man who left an indelible mark on many people's hearts. Happy. Friday Wendy. xoJennifer

  8. This is a very powerful posting, Wendy, many thanks for it.


Kindness is a virtue...