Thursday, July 24, 2014

John Updike, “Seven Stanzas at Easter"

      Make no mistake: if He rose at all

       it was as His body;

       if the cells’ dissolution did not reverse, the molecules

       reknit, the amino acids rekindle,

       the Church will fall....

       Let us not mock God with metaphor,

       analogy, sidestepping transcendence;

       making of the event a parable, a sign painted in the

       faded credulity of earlier ages:

       let us walk through the door.

       The stone is rolled back, not papier-mâché,

       not a stone in a story,

       but the vast rock of materiality that in the slow

       grinding of time will eclipse for each of us

       the wide light of day.

       And if we will have an angel at the tomb,

       make it a real angel,

       weighty with Max Planck’s quanta, vivid with hair,

       opaque in the dawn light, robed in real linen

       spun on a definite loom.

       Let us not seek to make it less monstrous,

       for our own convenience, our own sense of beauty,

       lest, awakened in one unthinkable hour, we are

       embarrassed by the miracle,

       and crushed by remonstrance.

John Updike, “Seven Stanzas at Easter"