Wednesday, January 15, 2014

I've posted this before***

Religious Consolation

One size fits all. The shape or coloration
of the god or high heaven matters less
than that there is one, somehow, somewhere, hearing
the hasty prayer and chalking up the mite
the widow brings to the temple,  A child
alone with horrid verities cries out
for there to be a limit, a warm wall
whose stones give back an answer, however faint.

Strange, the extravagance of it—who needs
those eighteen-armed black Kalis, those musty saints
whose bones and bleeding wounds appall good taste,
those joss sticks, houris, gilded Buddhas, books
Moroni etched in tedious detail?
We do; we need more worlds. This one will fail.

John Updike

***a sort of companion piece to my post Sunday Morning the other day where I muse on faith, gods and humans.


  1. The best. The best poem. Or one of them, at least. I always forget that Updike wrote poetry. Thanks for reminding me.

  2. Gaw, we do need that warm wall, don't we? What a great poem. Explains my yearning exactly. Thank you.



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