Monday, February 8, 2010

1 Rather Than 2

They cut desire into short lengths

And fed it to the hungry fires of courage.

Long after—when the flames had died—

Molten Gold gleamed in the ashes.

They gathered it into bruised palms

And handed it to their children

And their children's children. Forever.

-Vilate Raile*

This poem has been a favorite of mine for a while now. I love the imagery and that it is so poignant with limited wordiness. In fact, this quote comes to mind...

“The most valuable of talents is never using two words when one will do.”

-Thomas Jefferson

A couple of weeks ago, sitting in church, Las pointed out to me that the text of the hymn Upon the Cross of Calvary is written by Vilate Raile. I’m quite fond of that hymn. Knowing a part of her from the above poem now sheds a little light on the hymn from a different angle. Whereas previously the hymn was more personal, between my thoughts/feelings and the Lord, I must say that I now feel a bit of the warmth from her first poem added into those pondering thoughts/feelings. To hear her hymn and see the text, click HERE (notice how this message too is expressed with such brief wording and yet invites the reader to such depth).

*Vilate Raile, in Asahel D. Woodruff, Parent and Youth (Salt Lake City: Deseret Sunday School Union Board, 1952), 124; also in Selected Writings of Gerald N. Lund, Gospel Scholars Series (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1999), 402-3.

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