Sowing (After George MacDonald’s “Better Things”)

Like many Victorian poets, George MacDonald often wrote poems which were far longer than they needed to be and far more flowery than readers today are comfortable with. But when he succeeded with a poem, he really succeeded, at his best when his form allowed for a simplicity and crispness of language and imagery that could be particularly powerful. An example of this is the delightful poem, “Better Things”, a series of poetic proverbs which emphasises simplicity, faith and humility above all else. I’ve used this as the basis for my own exploration of two verses from the book of Proverbs. I hope you enjoy both my poem and MacDonald’s.

 
Sowing (After “Better Things”)
 
Better is open rebuke
than hidden love.
Faithful are the wounds of a friend;
profuse are the kisses of an enemy.
(Proverbs 27:5-6)
 
Guard your hearts for kisses spoil;
Hidden love won’t die.
Keep your dreams safe from the storm
And save yourself in pride.
 
Shield yourself from honest friends
And know the lies of foes;
Second-guess your blessings and
Multiply your woes.
 
Trust the lips of enemies
But fear the truth that sees;
Hide yourself and be unknown
And stifle all your pleas.
 
Or love and hazard everything;
Know, be fully known.
Give all in this harvest hope
And reap as you have sown.

4 thoughts on “Sowing (After George MacDonald’s “Better Things”)

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