Let me tell you about my marvelous god

By Susan Stewart b. 1952 Susan Stewart
Let me tell you about my marvelous god, how he hides in the hexagons   
of the bees, how the drought that wrings its leather hands
above the world is of his making, as well as the rain in the quiet minutes   
that leave only thoughts of rain.
An atom is working and working, an atom is working in deepest   
night, then bursting like the farthest star; it is far
smaller than a pinprick, far smaller than a zero and it has no   
will, no will toward us.
This is why the heart has paced and paced,
will pace and pace across the field where yarrow
was and now is dust. A leaf catches
in a bone. The burrow’s shut by a tumbled clod
and the roots, upturned, are hot to the touch.
How my god is a feathered and whirling thing; you will singe your arm   
when you pluck him from the air,
when you pluck him from that sky
where grieving swirls, and you will burn again
throwing him back.

Susan Stewart, “Let me tell you about my marvelous god” from Columbarium (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2003). Copyright © 2003 by the University of Chicago. Reprinted with the permission of the author.

Source: Columbarium (The University of Chicago Press, 2003)

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

Poet Susan Stewart b. 1952

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Subjects Nature, Religion, God & the Divine

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Susan  Stewart

Biography

In an interview at the University of Pennsylvania, Susan Stewart said that her primary goal as a poet is “to get people to read more slowly, and to reread, and to read a whole book and go back to the beginning of the book and see connections.” Her writing can be startlingly clear, while at the same time—in the words of the MacArthur Foundation, on the occasion of presenting her with a “Genius Award”—it makes “strange and . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Religion, God & the Divine

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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.