Hammer of God

The Execution of Lady Jane Grey, Paul Delaroche, 1834, oil on canvas, Ntl Gallery, London

Why don’t you let the hammer of god rain down on me;
The gibbet tied tightly in your bloodied fists~
Why don’t you take the mallet so, heavy;
Made from the old hickory that stood behind our privy,
And hack and hack till my brains smack.
No more to torment you.
No more to sully the purity of your low hanging vine,
Of your sweet Christ wine-
Of your hymnals sitting as brethren on the pews sublime.
 
To think is absolute freedom-
To question is to shine.
These things professed as unmitigated truth,
Now rot and twist are stamped divine~
 
The call of so many voices pursued me,
Out of the darkness you consumed me.
I ran till my breath nearly broke,
And your god became, what he was, unmasked.
His teeth shown bared emitting bracken flares,
Within the vacuum of his oracular tomb.
His hammer is his tongue, his teeth are the blade,
Serrated edge ripping me to shreds.
 
In the blaspheme, in the sour bilious breeze,
The hammer sounds, the tree is felled -I am free.

Copyright © 2013 Aria Ligi published in New Poetry Issue 2016

7 Replies to “Hammer of God”

  1. Not fighting shy of emotionally charged subjectivity Aria Ligi identifies with the protagonist within us all, allowing us to experience inside the multilayers of psychic trauma enacted in her poems, revivifying elegiac themes thereby offering us an authentic insight to an unvarnished ‘reality’ at the selfsame time conveying a measure of spirituality. This exploration of an individual in pain is displayed without sentimentality; it’s implicit in the choice of staccato rhythms, a measured feeling of looming danger, characteristically perceptive & empathic in the stark physicality of the subliminal choice of imagery. It’s an aesthetic that parallels with our darkest imaginings – from which we emerge unbruised.

    1. I wholeheartedly agree Robert. It is simply sublime poetry that eschews sentimentality and strikes deep into the heart of the matter.

  2. The reach and ambition to touch the ‘very essence of being’ here is at times astonishingly vivid…

    Who amongst us, including any of the great literary luminaries of the past, would have not felt blessed to have written thus:

    “To think is absolute freedom-
    To question is to shine.
    These things professed as unmitigated truth,
    Now rot and twist are stamped divine~”

    Without a doubt, the poetry of Aria Ligi carries conviction, the true stamp of timeless authority…

  3. Aria has a way with words. It’s not just the emotion slithering through every line but the power she has to penetrate your imagination and awaken some sort of magic within. Her verses resonate like an instrument.

  4. SanFran is responsible for waves of real poetry and with Aria Ligi you have to imagine a Christina Rossetti transmogrified into a modernist insisting that language from every century is valid, thus her Post-Raphaelitism in many places and times

  5. Aria Ligi ‘s “The Hammer of God” brings to mind John Donne’s Holy Sonnet 14, “Batter my heart/Three-person’d God”, with its plea for God ravishing to render the speaker chaste, the paradox at the heart of Donne’s erotically fervent faith. Ligi’s speaker, unlike Donne’s, exposes the true brutality of this metaphor. Fusing dramatic monologue with interior monologue, Ligi gives voice to an appeal that would seem masochistically “feminine”, were it not also a heroine’s challenge. The graphic invitation of its first stanza taunts its persecutors who would “hack and hack” ‘til their victim’s “brains smack”, smashing the intellect that allows Ligi’s speaker the “absolute freedom” to think for herself. The resulting poem is a resounding protest against the god Donne begged to “ravish him”. Ligi’s speaker “unmasks” the insatiable, lethal maw of a being antithetical to any notion of Divinity. Capitulation is this speaker’s triumph in “The Hammer of God”. It is also epiphany gleaned through pain that brings its own clarity

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