Monday, March 30, 2015

Poetry Analysis: A Very Minor Poet Speaks by Isabel Valle

by M. J. Joachim


A glowworm in a garden prayed:
I cannot glow! God, thou hast made
Me with an ache to glow; Thy stamp
Is on my kin; each has a lamp,
Which, as Thou breathest through the night,
Goes down and up; I have no light.
Unless thyself within him burn,
How should Thy crawling creature learn
To trace his circle in the sand
Cast rayless from thy ray-filled hand-
A thing not worth the Maker’s mark?
Who builds a temple leaves it dark-
Forgets the candle in the shrine?
God! Set me glowing! Let me shine!

Analysis

~the silly version first~

I saw the word, “glowworm” and thought this would be a playful poem to analyze - not too deep, not too thoughtful, more fun and carefree, which is what I was in the mood for today. Further down I giggled when I saw the words, “Maker’s mark.” I thought to myself, “ I drink that whiskey and it’s pretty darn good!”

Obviously this poem is not about a silly glowworm that drinks Maker’s Mark whiskey.

It is actually much more profound. My thoughts wandered to those with disabilities and those who have lost use of their limbs and/or senses.

“Do they shine any less than anyone else?” I thought. “Do our flaws, disabilities, ailments etc. prevent us from shining any brighter than others?”

I smiled as I thought about how brightly this little glowworm without light shines because of its faith and loyalty to its Maker. This little glowworm doesn’t take shining for granted, and if it ever does get its lamp lit, it will likely appreciate it with so much gratitude and praise for the one who created it.

There is no sense of bitterness or resentment by this little glowworm, for not having a light to shine. On the contrary, there is merely a prayer of earnest request, with a query in an effort to understand why it is different. There is simply an acknowledgment of one’s higher power and a prayer to shine in the darkness, which I believe it does whether its lamp is lit or not.

Thanks so much for visiting me and considering this poem today. I appreciate it more than you know.

M. J.

©2015 All Rights Reserved Photo credit: Timo Newton-Syms, glowworm, CCA-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License