Poetry

By Ann N. Madsen


Have Ye Received His Image? (Alma 5:14)

This poem is the first place faculty poetry winner in a 1983 ASBYU/Ensign essay and poetry contest addressing “The Role of Learning and Becoming a Saint.”
Here, unfinished I stand,
Marbled piece of living stuff,
Hammer in my hand,
Chisel poised to crack the crass away.
Before the thudding, tender stroke
I wait.
What seemed so sure a blow
falters Feeling skin,
Then,
One self bids its counterpart,
“Begin.”
Gently,
Chipping slower
Than the tempered chisel
Was designed to chop,
I start.
A surer stroke
Probes within,
As deeper, deepest blow
Shapes rude stone’s life
To Godly likeness,
Proportioning each part,
Til the finished figure gleams.
Still one last Master-stroke
Will give me life:
Hammer, swing with perfect art!
Find deeper still
Fashion a broken heart.

[photo] Photography by Eldon K. Linschoten