Poetry corner: GK Chesterton ~ The Donkey

Seeing as today is Palm Sunday, here is one of Chesterton‘s short but artfully worded masterpieces, from 1900, before his conversion, as it happens**

When fishes flew and forests walked
And figs grew upon thorn,
Some moment when the moon was blood
Then surely I was born.

With monstrous head and sickening cry
And ears like errant wings,
The devil’s walking parody
On all four-footed things.

The tattered outlaw of the earth,
Of ancient crooked will;
Starve, scourge, deride me: I am dumb,
I keep my secret still.

Fools! For I also had my hour;
One far fierce hour and sweet:
There was a shout about my ears,
And palms before my feet.

Christ's Entry Into Jerusalem, from a Russian manuscript
Christ’s Entry Into Jerusalem, from a Russian manuscript

** it’s worth reading Christopher Hitchens on Chesterton. He clearly admires him, but can’t get over the bits he disagrees with. It’s a sort of devil’s advocate piece by a fellow English man of letters

 

 

 

 

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