Easter was the old North
Goddess of the dawn.
She rises daily in the East
And yearly in spring for the great
Paschal candle of the sun.
Her name lingers like a spot
Of gravy in the figured vestment
Of the language of the Britains.
Her totem the randy bunny.
Our very Thursdays and Wednesdays
Are stained by syllables of thunder
And Woden's frenzy.
O my fellow-patriots loyal to this
Our modern world of high heels,
Vaccination, brain surgery—
May they pass over us, the old
Jovial raptors, Apollonian flayers,
Crucifixion. Supper of encrypted
Dishes: bitter, unrisen, a platter
Compass of martyrdom,
Ground-up apples and walnuts
In sweet wine to embody mortar
Of affliction, babies for bricks.
Legible traces of the species
That devises the angel of death
Sailing over our doorpost
Smeared with sacrifice.
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Comments about this poem (Paschal by Robert Pinsky )
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