Hymn To God The Man Introduction
What can we say here except that the poet forgets himself and sings a kirtan to his Lord, enabling us reciting it to do the same.
No rules for reading, we just read from the heart as each paragraph of verse swells up in praise. Most modern devotional verse can be sentimental and sooky. Not this. He succeeds in conveying a great truth Meher Baba announced, the participation in the great evolutionary process, past, present and future by the glorious incarnate God.
At the heart of this great poem is the wonder of the irreducible mystery, God as man, man as God, explicit in the God-Man and implicit in us all. Francis knew that his Master had restored this as the central universal symbol for all mankind. Truth is found in this – not in our ideas and explanations. Truth through good living but also, as here, and as in Hafiz, in praise and adoration of the Beloved.
Arresting images and a surge of energy in each paragraph carry us effortlessly along. This is the word at world’s end which springs out, not at some apocalyptic world event but here and now as our hearts, purified by the struggle dramatised in the first four poems, respond to a truth which seems always to have been part of our hidden knowledge.