Unholy Sonnet 1

By Mark Jarman b. 1952 Mark Jarman
Dear God, Our Heavenly Father, Gracious Lord,   
Mother Love and Maker, Light Divine,
Atomic Fingertip, Cosmic Design,
First Letter of the Alphabet, Last Word,
Mutual Satisfaction, Cash Award,
Auditor Who Approves Our Bottom Line,   
Examiner Who Says That We Are Fine,
Oasis That All Sands Are Running Toward.

I can say almost anything about you,
O Big Idea, and with each epithet,
Create new reasons to believe or doubt you,   
Black Hole, White Hole, Presidential Jet.
But what’s the anything I must leave out? You   
Solve nothing but the problems that I set.

Mark Jarman, Sonnet 1 from Unholy Sonnets. Copyright © 2000 by Mark Jarman. Reprinted with the permission of Story Line Press.

Source: Unholy Sonnets (Story Line Press, 2003)

Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet Mark Jarman b. 1952

Subjects Religion, God & the Divine

Poetic Terms Sonnet

 Mark  Jarman

Biography

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 . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Religion, God & the Divine

Poetic Terms Sonnet

Report a problem with this poem

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.