bobby1933 (bobby1933) wrote,

Symeon the New Theologian - How is it I can love You

How is it I can love You
     within me,
     yet see You from afar?

How is it I embrace You
     within myself,
     yet see You spread across the heavens?

You know. You alone.
     You, who made this mystery,
     You who shine
like the sun in my breast,
     You who shine
     in my material heart,

-- from The Longing in Between: Sacred Poetry from Around the World (A Poetry Chaikhana Anthology), Edited by Ivan M. Granger
Poetry Chaikhana | Symeon the New Theologian - How is it I can love You

A lovely poem that feeds my soul! One thing i notice from the few poems by Symeon that i am familiar with (maybe a dozen).
About half of his poems make use of expressly religious symbols representing the author's Christian faith (e.g. Christ, salvation) the other half, like this one, do not. Of course Symepn "means" by "You" the god of Abraham. Isaac, and Jacob who is the Father of Jesus, but no one has to read the poem with that meaning in mind. This gives the poem potentially universal appeal with "You" meaning Allah, or Brahman. or the Tao, or the Buddha within you, or anything you want the word to mean. When i pray publicly with other people, I always have to stop my prayer before the final words which usually express devotion to the particular deities of our particular cults. Poems like this one could be anybody's prayers,
Tags: symeon
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