Adam's Prayer

By Amanda Jernigan Amanda Jernigan
In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread:
you put this rather beautifully,
and gave me leave to sing my work
until my work became the song.

In sorrow shalt thou eat of it:
a line on which a man might ring
the changes as he tills the ground
from which he was taken. Thistle, thorn

(in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed),
these too shall it bring forth to thee,
all the days of thy life till the end,
the synagogue of the ear of corn.

Poem and plowman cleave the dark.
One can't eat art. But dust is art,
and unto dust shall I return.
O let my song become my work.

Source: Poetry (November 2007).


This poem originally appeared in the November 2007 issue of Poetry magazine

November 2007
 Amanda  Jernigan


Amanda Jernigan is a poet, playwright, essayist and editor. Her first collection is Groundwork: poems (Biblioasis, 2011); her poems also appear in Undercurrents: New Voices in Canadian Poetry, edited by Robyn Sarah (Cormorant Books, 2011). She lives and works in Canada with her partner, the artist John Haney.

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Poems by Amanda Jernigan

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SUBJECT Activities, Jobs & Working, Religion, Christianity


Poetic Terms Allusion

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