[Song into holiness]

Song into holiness,
the sister has written her book—
nothing there of falsehood,
nothing invented by the poet.
Pain rides itself through the book,
though the one from Carthage
knows a blessèd life in God.
Should the author now look
carefully in a dark glass,
and the book close on a moment of joy?


Copyright © 2024 by Jay Wright. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on January 31, 2024, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“[Song into holiness]” is from Párados, a completed but still unpublished manuscript of more than sixty poems. Párados (πάροδος) is a byway, a side entrance—notable as the place where the chorus first enters and sings its first song. The eisodos (εἴσοδοι, plural) is another and privileged entrance. You might see these entrances by looking in Margarete Bieber’s The History of the Greek and Roman Theater, though I don’t remember that any of the diagrams she displays show the εἴσοδοι, and I think she will lead you into confusion over exodus and eisodos. Apart from her, all sources I know treat the entrances in the way I give here.”
Jay Wright