Two Poems

by James Como (December 2019)

Landscape with Birds, Lucien Freud, 1950


A Place for Love


Now I have a safe place for love.

I thought I had but she took it all

and went away and I was bereft.

Here, with me, a white bird is left

behind as company, to call

a friend. Fine solace is my dove.



Crystalline Heaven, Gustave Dore, 19th cent


Gaudeamus Igitur


How is it to be whole? Either oh-so-high,

Above the fray, poised and self-possessed,

Or in the cellar of unacknowledged despair,

a precinct below, too hollow to scare,

Where petty appetite and sorrow score their

Mark, feigning grandeur, while trivial

Souls roil pitifully with quotidian sighs.

How be whole? Why, learn that to die

Is part of our poem, sung unto the

Crystalline sphere with its kaleidoscope

Of Seraphim and rippling cascades of hope:

Our storied empryean blazoned gold.

Trust the holy Singer, then, preparing our place,

His tale of longing, His advent of grace.




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James Como is the author, most recently, of The Tongue is Also a Fire: Essays on Conversation, Rhetoric and the Transmission of Culture . . . and on C. S. Lewis (New English Review Press, 2015). His forthcoming book, from the Oxford University Press, is C.S. Lewis: A Very Short Introduction.

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