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'I walked beneath the Titans'

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By Fr. Andy Davy, MIC (Nov 24, 2021)

Father Andy Davy, MIC, pastor of St. Mary Parish in Plano, Illinois, also writes poetry. Here, we share some of his work and his commentaries on that work in the 11th installment of a weekly series.

"I walked beneath the Titans"

I walked beneath the Titans
Once on a fall October day.
Arrayed as though for battle,
Chiseled oaks rushing into the fray.

The beeches stirred,
With floras of pomp;
Golden standards for the King.

But the willow man came
In drooping bow, and
With sad tidings he brings:

"My ancient lords, I give ill news,
Our foe upon us rushes.
Some will fall,
Some will break, and
Some be made to ashes!"

A tremble was felt
A rumble of roots
As the trees swayed with fear.

But just then
A stately elm beckoned,
Calming from panic's bier:

"We have known this foe
From acorn and nut,
We faced him ev'ry year.

And though he comes
With thrashing and fire,
The forest shall not be cleared."

No sooner had he said those words
(Which brought such sigh of relief),
That from out of the North,
A fell voice it spoke—
Chilling every leaf:

"My breath is death,
I come for you all,
The lance of Zeus shall sting.

Your trunks shall rend,
Your leaves will fail,
As your giants — falling,
Loudly ring!"

The deed was promised,
The doom was set,
As flickering lights grew near,

When the Specter spread
His thunderous tail, and
Heralded with drops of fear.

The fires of heaven fell.
Cutting deep within
The branch and trunk.

The waters of sky opened.
Weak'ning anchor of strength
That roots had sunk.

And the torrent of laughter,
The capture of leaves;
Twirling high upwards—
Then crashed upon the trees!

Such force was too great,
The bend was too strong, and
The breaking of wood began.
For trees to come against
Such sap-chilling hate,
No Titan could ever stand.

But as the foe hovered
With Loki-like lust,
And gloated upon his prey,

That stately elm,
Though shattered asunder,
With his mortal life passing
Did say:

"Why dance so victorious,
O fiend of the age?
Your triumph shall blow away!

For seed and spore
Shall sprout from carnage:
These murdered trees' children
Will stay.

Shattering has only fertilized,
Rain has only watered,
Fire has cleared
For another day."

As Tolkien and Lewis treasured the great myths of antiquity, and saw them as pointing to the "True Myth" of Christianity that actually happened, this "ballad" styled poem is a dual retelling of the Greek myth of the Titans and the Norse myth of Ragnarok, as told in the common natural occurrence of a forest thunderstorm. One can see in this retelling the gleam of the Gospel, as it alludes to the defeat of Death by the death of Jesus. "Where O death is your victory?" (1 Cor 15:55).


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Cindy Croal - Nov 27, 2021

How beautiful. Thank you for sharing and allowing me to see that poetry Is Not Dead! Your inspirations is inspiring and filled me with hope! God bless you.