Three Songs of Gold

Song…Much of It Borrowed

How beautifully it sings.

How beautifully Sitwell sang it.

How beautifully Donne began it:

‘that God is an angel in an angel

and a stone in a stone

and a straw in a straw’.


I knew it all before

but The Canticle of the Rose

a long time on my shelf

and hidden by some flaw —

a kind of shelf in myself —

was suddenly visible


And that golden rain of poems

that glorious storm of poems

sang until they were heard:

that God is a poet in a poet

a poem in a poem

and a word in a word.


~ P. K. Page (1916-2010)



How Many Heavens…

The emeralds are singing on the grasses,

and in the trees the bells of the long cold are ringing —

My blood seems changed to emeralds like the spears

Of grass beneath the earth pulsing and singing.


The flame of the first blade

Is an angel piercing through the earth to sing

‘God is everything!’

The grass within the grass, the angel in the angel, flame

Within the flame. And He is the green shade that came

To be the heart of shade.’


The gray-beard angel of the stone,

Who has grown wise with age, cried ‘Not alone

Am I within my silence—God is the stone in

the still stone, the silence laid

In the heart of silence’  .   .  .  then, above the glade


The yellow straws of light

Whereof the sun has built his nest, cry ‘Bright

Is the world, the yellow straw

My brother—God is the straw within the straw:—All things

are Light.’


He is the sea of ripeness and the sweet apple’s emerald lore.

So you, my flame of grass, my root of the world from which all

Spring shall grow,

O you, my hawthorn bough of the stars, now leaning low

Through the day, for your flowers to kiss my lips, shall know

He is the core of the heart of love, and He, beyond laboring

seas, our ultimate shore.


~ Edith Sitwell (1887-1964)


“God is so omnipresent, as that the Ubiquitary will needs have the body of God everywhere, so omnipresent, as that the Stancarest will needs have God not only to be in everything, but to be everything—that God is an angel in an angel and a stone in a stone, and a straw in a straw.”

~ John Donne (1573-1631), Sermon VII


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