Roses and Flames An Angel speaks
An angel speaks:
poorer than the poorest beast,
I see you writhe in pain
spinning in mid space
out of control
I hover just outside
that marks the gates of heaven.
For a million years
I have never left heaven.
For a million years
you have never entered heaven.
I smell the stench of ordinary air
like you, like you, like you.
Here are the roses of heaven.
Their scent is the breath of God's love.
God told me to give them
I thought they were a gift
when the roses touched your hide
they flared into fire,
flames that scorched
already scorched by hell's fire.
I am poorer
for having seen you suffer.
Please, God, let me return.
Blind me in heaven's shimmer
to the poor demon
poor like me, like me, like me.
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Poet's Notes about The Poem
B-U-T when I re-read it, I saw the angel who speaks as a child of eternity, and the language seemed consistent with that identity. It's obvious I'm conflicted about posting this poem, so I'll leave my 'apologia' at that.
The roses which become flames is taken from the closing passage of Goethe's FAUST, PART TWO. When the devils try to stop the ascent of Faust's soul into heaven, angels drop heavenly roses on the accompanying angels and redeemed souls. OK, fine. But when the roses fall on the pursuing devils, they burst into flames, scorching them and scattering them. It's a clever incident. The message seems to be: for the just, everything is blessed and safe; for the unjust, just the opposite.
Comments about this poem (Roses and Flames An Angel speaks by Daniel Brick )
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William Butler Yeats
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Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
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