After The Flood


A cleansed and renewed earth, just as there was after the flood of Noah. There has been the passing through not only of external catastrophe but also of inner ordeal ‘our desolation’.

Reading Hints

A supple, graceful and natural verse reflecting calm speech rhythms takes the place of the rhyming and regular beats of the preceding sections. To convey the magic of verse we need to remember the pause at the end of each line. When we do this and just read it with a little more emphasis on the stressed syllables than usual it will have beautiful subtle rhythms.


After the calm opening it comes as a shock when the survivor suddenly uses words like ‘stink’ and ‘turd’. This is not to be a wishy-washy dream vision; we all participate in the delusions of the gross society indifferent to the suffering of Being in the form of the God-Man. This blindness keeps God tormented like Prometheus, chained to a rock and tortured by the eagle’s iron beak. Indignation almost breaks through to the vehemence of the previous poems but is restrained by the beauty of the divine which has now washed away ‘our speech-ooze’. God’s time is one of deliverance whilst ours was just repletion of moments. Great concrete images convey this

The days were hummings by a boy with a stick
Along a sultry summer corrugated
Iron fence…

Rhyme pops back in the verse with the indignation, but this is self-indignation, the maturity here of not just blaming society. The wind of God restores us to nature and to ourselves.


[Author: Geoff Gunther]