‘A Church in Bavaria’

‘A Church in Bavaria’

See the movement in the poem – and make the connections for yourself!


Everything flows

   upward and over

       chalk-white walls

         with the ordered freedom

             of a trellised creeper

         wreathed and scrolled

     in a densely choral

       anthem of ornament.

          Nimble angels

                                                                                poise above

    in attitudes,

                 huge-limbed prophets


 giant apostles,

    mitred titans



    a seated Virgin,

             her covered head

   at a fond angle

             in accord with

                                                                 all this swaying

             court of images,

    looking down

        benign and gentle

               at the incredible

 fact, her Child

What does all this

                                                                                 joyful brilliance

          have to do with

cults obsessed with

    guilt and sin,

       a punishing angry

            vindictive God?

        Where’s that hard

right-angled object

        the cross, with Victim

   blanched by torture,

            dead, with blood?

Everything bends

        to re-enact

             the poem lived,

      lived, not written,

the poem spoken

              by Christ, who never

         wrote a word,


   of received ideas

who rebuilt Rome

        with the words he

     never wrote;

whether sacred,

          whether human,

                   himself a sunrise

         of love enlarged,

              of love, enlarged

–          by William Plomer

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