Unholy Sonnet 4

By Mark Jarman b. 1952 Mark Jarman
Amazing to believe that nothingness   
Surrounds us with delight and lets us be,   
And that the meekness of nonentity,   
Despite the friction of the world of sense,   
Despite the leveling of violence,
Is all that matters. All the energy
We force into the matchhead and the city   
Explodes inside a loving emptiness.

Not Dante’s rings, not the Zen zero’s mouth,   
Out of which comes and into which light goes,   
This God recedes from every metaphor,   
Turns the hardest data into untruth,
And fills all blanks with blankness. This love shows   
Itself in absence, which the stars adore.

Mark Jarman, “Unholy Sonnet 4” from Questions for Ecclesiastes. Copyright © 1997 by Mark Jarman. Reprinted with the permission of the author and Story Line Press, www.storylinepress.com.

Source: Questions for Ecclesiastes (Story Line Press, 1997)

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Poet Mark Jarman b. 1952

Subjects Religion, Faith & Doubt, Arts & Sciences, Philosophy

Poetic Terms Sonnet

 Mark  Jarman


Considered a key figure in both New Narrative and New Formalism, Mark Jarman has exerted a significant influence on contemporary American poetry. In the 1980s, with Robert McDowell, Jarman founded and edited the Reaper, a magazine devoted to reclaiming and promoting poetry that emphasized story and image. Controversially warning "Navel gazers and mannerists” that “their time is running out,” the magazine sought to reestablish . . .

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SUBJECT Religion, Faith & Doubt, Arts & Sciences, Philosophy

Poetic Terms Sonnet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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