O splendour of what is, by which I saw
the high delight, the true communion:
please show me how to say all I could see.

Up there there is a light. The light is God.
Creation contemplates its own creator,
and only in that seeing is there peace.

It stretches in a circle shape
so great, that its circumference
can so much more than wrap around the sun.

From top to bottom, that enormous light
collected, complex, is each single one
of all the gathered petals of a rose;

and all of it, each quality, the size, the height,
so big, so intricate, and yet one flower,
I saw: the whole, at once. The joy.


from Dante, Paradiso, canto xxx, transl. Tom Davis

One thought on “Light

  1. Thanks James. I am leading a 48 hour Creative Writing Retreat from Ascension Day afternoon and picking up the theme of ‘Glory’ in various ways. That poem will fit very well.

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