Daniel Brick

Gold Star - 73,718 Points (June 10,1947 / St. Paul MN)

Roses And Flames An Angel Speaks - Poem by Daniel Brick

An angel speaks:

Poor demon,
poorer than the poorest beast,
I see you writhe in pain
spinning in mid space
out of control
I hover just outside
the shimmer
that marks the gates of heaven.
For a million years
I have never left heaven.
For a million years
you have never entered heaven.

Poor demon,
outside heaven
I smell the stench of ordinary air
like you, like you, like you.
Here are the roses of heaven.
Their scent is the breath of God's love.
God told me to give them
to you.
I thought they were a gift
from God.
when the roses touched your hide
they flared into fire,
flames that scorched
already scorched by hell's fire.

Poor demon,
poor beast,
I am poorer
for having seen you suffer.
Please, God, let me return.
Blind me in heaven's shimmer
to the poor demon
poor like me, like me, like me.

Topic(s) of this poem: narrative

Poet's Notes about The Poem

This is a sentimental poem I wrote in 1991. When I recently re-read it, it reminded of a poem I wrote last winter, the Sufi-inflected THREE ANGELS ON EARTH, which I am confident no one would call sentimental. I avoid sentimentality like a literary plague! Essentially, it means that the writer is creating feelings in the reader in an unfair way, taking short cuts, using hyperbole, writing carelessly. It shows a cavalier attitude toward integrity.
B-U-T when I re-read it, I saw the angel who speaks as a child of eternity, and the language seemed consistent with that identity. It's obvious I'm conflicted about posting this poem, so I'll leave my 'apologia' at that.

The roses which become flames is taken from the closing passage of Goethe's FAUST, PART TWO. When the devils try to stop the ascent of Faust's soul into heaven, angels drop heavenly roses on the accompanying angels and redeemed souls. OK, fine. But when the roses fall on the pursuing devils, they burst into flames, scorching them and scattering them. It's a clever incident. The message seems to be: for the just, everything is blessed and safe; for the unjust, just the opposite.

Comments about Roses And Flames An Angel Speaks by Daniel Brick

  • Maria Sharon Moemise (7/11/2016 2:29:00 AM)

    the raw emotion is so evident in this poem, I can actually picture this demon cringing in a corner from the pure hate and scorn it deserves. It also takes on another journey of conscience. Human behavior, whether intentional or deliberate......I see life happening and how we as the human race seem almost helpless to stop it from taking its own course. This poem is not just a read-only. It forces you to think. Your work is deserving of an award that has yet to be named in your honor. I love your poems. (Report) Reply

    Daniel Brick (7/11/2016 2:26:00 PM)

    Thanks so much for your deep reading of my poem. You really lived this poem and didn't just read it. It is so rewarding to have a sensitive reader treat a poem as a living thing, to think through its meaning and share that enthusiasm. I'm so glad we crossed paths, because as you know I engaged deeply with your poems. The Poetry Authorities are going to have to make t-w-o medals of achievement! !

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  • Diane Hine (5/8/2014 6:49:00 AM)

    It works perfectly because they are not your own sentiments but those of the angel. In a situation such as the one described, only a callous angel would be unaffected. (Report) Reply

  • Noreen Carden (5/8/2014 5:12:00 AM)

    Hello Daniel the language of this poem is quite beautiful it gives pleasure to read it in the same way food satisfies hunger. I wonder if the angels look down on the world today and are they saddened by what they see I refer especially to the men who recently kidnapped two hundred girls and are boasting that they will sell them into forced marriages.Of course their real mission is to exclude them from education which is a basic right. Sorry Daniel I did not intend to rant just got side tracked. I love your poem. It is beautifully written and lovely to read (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, May 8, 2014

Poem Edited: Saturday, September 20, 2014

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