Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, SISTER MARIA CELESTE, GALILEO'S DAUGHTER, WRITES TO FRIEND, by MADELINE DEFREES



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SISTER MARIA CELESTE, GALILEO'S DAUGHTER, WRITES TO FRIEND, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Again I am at sea. If this be faith , it is not
Last Line: The battered hulk to the ocean floor.
Alternate Author Name(s): Mary Gilbert, Sister; De Frees, Madeline
Variant Title(s): Sister Maria Celeste, Galileo's Daughter, Writes To A Friend
Subject(s): Discontent; Faith; Dissatisfaction; Belief; Creed


Again I am at sea. If this be faith, it is not
the faith I bargained for
when I gave that troubled half-life over; the slow
sidereal day in trade for a guarantee
the drift persuades me to consider.

This morning
lifting the shipboard cup from my lips into the hands
of my judges, the cheap wine cloying my tongue,
I see the rift clearly. Nothing — not words, the unlikely
notice of scholars, not the face
set toward a cruciform sun; least of all, the ritual
meant to distract us — eases this passage.

I have
bargained everything away for the slow word, hard
as science, for an uncertain page
in the text of the future. Have taken in vain
the name of God's mother, coupled it with foreshortened
heaven. This is my home
voyage, too fast to be wasted in anger.

Call me a vessel
come in from the peaks and valleys written in water.
Blot out my name. Moored to my own
tilted deck, I ride, I am riding
the battered hulk to the ocean floor.





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