[Often when he was advancing]

By Charles Juliet Charles Juliet

Translated By Louis Simpson

when he was advancing
feeling his way in the night
he was doubtful      rebelled
wanted to climb back up
to the old light

but a force held him
enjoined him
to pursue
to venture
once more
once again
into the thickest darkness
of his shadow

one day
at the height of his distress
emptied of all force
driven to see that
the inaccessible would not yield
he admitted that he must
renounce it

to his great surprise
without his having
to take a single step
he crossed the threshold
came into the light

Source: Poetry (October 2000).


This poem originally appeared in the October 2000 issue of Poetry magazine

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Faith & Doubt, Religion

Poetic Terms Free Verse

Report a problem with this poem

Your results will be limited to content that appeared in Poetry magazine.

Search Every Issue of Poetry

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.