“him to whom she was / Eternal nature”

Edgar Bowers: The Virgin Mary

The hovering and huge, dark, formless sway
That nature moves by laws we contemplate
We name for lack of name as order, fate
God, principle, or primum mobile.
But in that graven image, word made wood
By skillful faith of him to whom she was
Eternal nature, first and final cause,
The form of knowledge knowledge understood
Bound human thought against the dark we find.
And body took the image of the mind
To shape in chaos a congruent form
Of will and matter, equal, side by side,
Upon the act of faith, within the norm
Of carnal being, blind and glorified.

Edgar Bowers’ Collected Poems (Knopf, 1997) is one of the best volumes of poetry I own.


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