7/11/2008

:: a poem ~ normal ::



Last night my husband and I watched the first half of The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. We'll finish the movie tonight, but so far we are very impressed with the cinematography; and Casey Affleck's, Brad Pitt's, and Paul Schneider's acting. In fact, I really think Pitt should've received an Oscar nomination along with Affleck.

This morning I remembered the movie is based on a novel of the same name by Ron Hansen. I read Hansen's Mariette in Ecstasy a few years ago and liked it for the most part (4/5 stars). I also recalled that a back issue of IMAGE - #57 - contained an interview with Ron Hansen. I skimmed the Q & A, and now I want to read The Assassination of Jesse James, Atticus, Exiles, Hitler's Niece, and A Stay Against Confusion: Essays on Faith and Fiction.... I just have a feeling that Ron Hansen will be one of my favorite writers. My literary hunches are usually correct.

As I flipped through IMAGE #57, I discovered the following poem. It is worth sharing:

Normal
by Richard Jones

Tent Revival, 1957

When things get back to normal
God will put on black robes
and ascend to the mercy seat
to judge the world, the ruined
cities, the devastated hills,
the living and the risen dead.
When things get back to normal,
He'll open the Book of Life
and read what each man has done,
said, and written, reciting our words
and deeds to the angels to see
if there is any forgiveness
like honey on our tongues.
When things get back to normal
all will stand before God
and be burned like dead branches
or blessed with the incomprehensible fire
of mercy. When things get back to normal,
we will be standing on the threshold of heaven,
a kingdom of singing where at last we will learn
the meaning and purpose
of poetry
.

3 comments:

alissa wilkinson said...

Ron Hansen had a book come out in . . . May, I think? It's called "Exiles" and it's about Gerard Manley Hopkins, the poet. I wrote about it for RELEVANT a while back. It was quite good.

jenni said...

Yes, that book of his sounds especially good!

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