A Book of Mormon Poem
by James Goldberg
I love the Bible, which speaks to all the seasons of life and which has lent richness to poetry for two thousand years. But we are told the Book of Mormon was written for our day. The Book of Mormon–with its stark, sobering images of total self-destruction, with its desperate hope in Christ against the days when human beings make the earth herself suffer under the weight of their pride. The Book of Mormon–with its whispers from the dust, with its thousand and one laments for our forgetfulness.
The Book of Mormon. With its promises. With its forsaken prophets’ inextinguishable hopes.
What poems might we write out of such a Book?
Song for the House of Jared
You cleared and you ploughed and you planted these lands
(and their name will be Desolation)
You built up great cities with bare, calloused hands
(and their fame will be left Desolation)
You bartered and borrowed, you purchased and sold
(and these riches will buy Desolation)
Your kings and their sons fought like heroes of old
(and their bones will adorn Desolation)
Hear this: someday a nation will rise like your own
(when old trees overgrow Desolation)
And they, too, will choose by what name to be known
(but must it be yours, Desolation?)