poet Les Murray

Les Murray

#117 on top 500 poets

Poetry And Religion

Religions are poems. They concert
our daylight and dreaming mind, our
emotions, instinct, breath and native gesture

into the only whole thinking: poetry.
Nothing's said till it's dreamed out in words
and nothing's true that figures in words only.

A poem, compared with an arrayed religion,
may be like a soldier's one short marriage night
to die and live by. But that is a small religion.

Full religion is the large poem in loving repetition;
like any poem, it must be inexhaustible and complete
with turns where we ask Now why did the poet do that?

You can't pray a lie, said Huckleberry Finn;
you can't poe one either. It is the same mirror:
mobile, glancing, we call it poetry,

fixed centrally, we call it a religion,
and God is the poetry caught in any religion,
caught, not imprisoned. Caught as in a mirror

that he attracted, being in the world as poetry
is in the poem, a law against its closure.
There'll always be religion around while there is poetry

or a lack of it. Both are given, and intermittent,
as the action of those birds - crested pigeon, rosella parrot -
who fly with wings shut, then beating, and again shut.

Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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Comments about Poetry And Religion by Les Murray

  • Mahtab BangaleeMahtab Bangalee (11/20/2019 3:13:00 AM)

    Full religion is the large poem in loving repetition/// wow fantastic line

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  • Michael WalkerMichael Walker (7/31/2019 7:19:00 PM)

    While poetry may go with religion, it is not necessarily so. I can think of many poets who were unbelievers-Ginsberg, Kerouac, Ferlinghetti and new Zealand's C.K.Stead.

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  • John PendreyJohn Pendrey (3/11/2018 2:49:00 PM)

    Very original and I believe it.

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3,2 out of 5
20 total ratings
rate this poem



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Read poems about / on: poetry, poem, mirror, marriage, soldier, god, world, night, dream