Eschatology

By Sandra McPherson b. 1943 Sandra McPherson
I accompany this life’s events like a personal journalist:   
“Little did she know when she got in the car that afternoon ...”;
or “Despite inauspicious beginnings,
this was to be their happiest year.”

Little did I expect that our horoscopes would prove true.   
And how could we foresee an answer to
that frankly secular prayer, we with so little faith   
as to be false prophets to our most fortunate gifts.

I am glad when doom fails. Inept apocalypse
is a specialty of the times: the suffering of the rich
at the hand of riches; the second and third comings of wars.

Shouldn’t we refuse prediction
that the untried today is guilty, that immeasurable   
as this child’s hope is, it will break tomorrow?

Sandra McPherson, “Eschatology” from Radiation (New York: The Ecco Press, 1973). Copyright © 1973 by Sandra McPherson. Reprinted with the permission of the author.

Source: Poetry (April 1970).

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This poem originally appeared in the April 1970 issue of Poetry magazine

April 1970
 Sandra  McPherson

Biography

Sandra McPherson weaves vivid images culled from nature into what Contemporary Women Poets contributor David Young characterizes as "rich, complex, and deeply satisfying poems." In collections that include the National Book Award-nominated The Year of Our Birth, 1988's At the Grave of Hazel Hall, and 1996's Edge Effect: Trails and Portrayals, McPherson has increasingly honed her unsentimental, insightful verse, imbuing it with . . .

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SUBJECT Religion, Other Religions

Poetic Terms Sonnet

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