Manna

Who on the bread of life will feed,
will live forever—so we read
in that same book which oft is read
as if it were itself that bread.
But in that book is also told
how manna stinks when it is old,
in but a day breeds worms and reeks—
Then what if it were kept for weeks?
Or months? Or many a yawning year?
How would the manna then appear?
When centuries had past it paced,
how would the bread of life then taste?
And were it served at such a date,
what would become of them that ate?

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3 Comments

Filed under Poetry

3 responses to “Manna

  1. This is truly a wonderful sonnet. Its use of biblical metaphor as a means of casting a skeptical glance at the source of the metaphor itself feels quite Yeatsian to me. It also has the circular quality of great poetry, the quality which sends the reader’s mind back to the beginning of the poem once it is finished.

  2. Thanks! I guess it does qualify as a rather unconventional sonnet, though I hadn’t thought of it that way until you pointed it out. When you say it feels Yeatsian, do you have any particular Yeats poems in mind?

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