"Lady, Lady"Lady, Lady, I saw your face,
Dark as night withholding a star . . .
The chisel fell, or it might have been
You had borne so long the yoke of men.
Lady, Lady, I saw your hands,
Twisted, awry, like crumpled roots,
Bleached poor white in a sudsy tub,
Wrinkled and drawn from your rub-a-dub.
Lady, Lady, I saw your heart,
And altered there in its darksome place
Were the tongues of flames the ancients knew,
Where the good God sits to spangle through.
-Anne Spencer (1882-1975)
I found the allusion to "tongues of flames" in line eleven to refer to the coming of the Holy Spirit in the book of Acts, chapter 2 from the Bible. I saw the star in her dark face from line two to foreshadow this indwelling spirit. I enjoyed how the poem builds a scaffold of imagery from the work worn, struggling outer darkness to the spark of eternal fire on the alter within to be inspiring and hopeful. Some of my classmates thought it was a depressing picture of a woman responding to injustice with hate. What do you see in this poem?
The Friday Poetry Round up is hosted by Diane at Random Noodling. Enjoy your weekend!