I love this poem because it reflects so much of how I feel:
I sought God in dim churches, could not find him
In soaring hymn, nor solitude of prayer;
Through empty words I strove in vain to bind him
Deep in my thirsting roots. Then in despair,
I turned away, and spent my soul pursuing
Perfection in fine thought and haunting phrase,
And human love: by crowding life with doing,
Disguised the formless drifting of my days…
But songs stand mocked by mind’s first wild conception;
The virgin soul love’s unity betrays.
There came a time when nights were red with madness,
When jagged horror rent the shrinking air
And quivering nerve; each hour of barren darkness
Ticked endless centuries of naked fear.
No soul’s proof had I, no brave affirmation
Of Life invincible o’er broken clay
To flaunt at death: in wilder desolation
Than sense envisaged, dry lips fought to pray
For truth; brain on the razor edge of reason
Hung shuddering, frenzy’s chasm gaping lay.
Beating the air in anguished supplication,
My soul was not alone, for tranquil-eyed
At hatred’s height, the living revelation
Grew in the gloom; taut terror slowly died
From flesh which shrank no more to share his Passion,
Whose tender strength I knew at last, which calms
Earth’s darkest hour, outshines brute fury’s fashion:
“In death’s midst I am Life: no mortal harms
Touch you who yield yourself into my keeping
Safe-folded in the everlasting arms”
By Margaret Willy, c. 1946.