Sunday, February 15, 2009

why god disappears


There is a God when joy begins,
but when it ends He disappears;
it isn’t that He hates our sins,
but that He cannot stand our fears.

Our fears cause him to turn away
just like a pretty, coy young wench
when she regards you with dismay
because she thinks you’re speaking French.

Our skepticism makes Him grouch;
made anxious by its elegance,
He does not store it in a pouch
to ruminate, like pelicans.

From paradox to paradigm,
God moves above the primal waters,
but sadly has not learned to rhyme
with sons of man and their fair daughters.

This poem is inspired by four aphorisms by E. M. Cioran mentioned in an article on the notorious anti-Semite by Adam Gopnik in The New Yorker, June 19, 2000 (“The Get-Ready Man: The civilizing power of thinking in French”). They are: “There is a God at the outset, if not the end, of every joy,” “It is just possible to imagine God speaking French, but never Christ. His words do not function in a language so ill at ease in the naïve or the sublime,” “Skepticism is the elegance of anxiety” and “A civilization evolves from agriculture to paradox”.

© 2009 Gershon Hepner 2/11/09

1 comment:

  1. Really love the pelican reference: He does not store it in a pouch to ruminate..
    And the in the last verses, God moving above the primal waters is a fantastic image, and the end
    about rhyming with sons of man and their daughters is perfect.