Friday, September 03, 2010

The Play




I've heard it said that "All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players."
Now I believe it in a certain sense,
But we have often played our parts all wrong,
Conspiring to erase the Author's lines
And even daring to deny his role
Or worse--to say he isn't there at all...
We say the play is writing by itself,
And then pretend that we control the whole.
What's more, we've got the audience all wrong.
We play to other players shamelessly,
Not knowing that the audience is One
Who'll judge us when the final curtain falls.
We eat the fruit of all our brazen lies
And aim at vanity. Just vanity.
The Author still reminds us of our lines
And calls us to our finest roles once more.
Though most refuse, emoting to themselves,
A few will follow his amazing lines
And end their parts with glory in their eyes.


Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher,
vanity of vanities! All is vanity.

--Ecclesiastes 1:2 ESV

...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus...
--Romans 3:23-24 ESV

My thanks to Magpie Tales for the photo that prompted this poem. Also to William Shakespeare, of course, for the quotation.

16 comments:

Nes said...

This is brilliant! I am not a religious person at all, but this is still a beautifully written poem in my opinion. Great work!

Lane Savant said...

We have been given this life, this Eden of a planet to live on.
We have been given vanity.
There is no other choice but to appreciate and use these gifts wisely.

Brian Miller said...

excellent pie...loved the lines about the author and our attempts to opperate outside his lines...and those that do find glory in their eyes...nice mag!

Jim Swindle said...

Thanks, Nes, for the encouragement. I really appreciate it. I'd pray that you'll find the life that's in Jesus.

Lane, glad you stopped by. We do need to tend this planet wisely, but I believe the whole thing will eventually be burned, then renewed. (See 2 Peter 3:10-13.)

Brian, since you're magnificently gifted as a writer, I really value your comment.

Jinksy said...

Clever poem with an apt choice of subject in view of the photo prompt's biblical overtones...

Jim Swindle said...

Thanks, Jinksy, for the affirming comment.

willow said...

Yes, interesting play, this stage of life. Nice piece, Jim.

kathew said...

Very thoughtful and beautiful poem. I am not religious per se, but believe we all can be kinder to each other, our planet and the animals that live on it with us.
I don't believe in manifest destiny, but living in harmony.

Jingle said...

smart...
stunning metaphors..

My Magpie

Jim Swindle said...

Thank you, Willow, for encouragement and for providing excellent photos.

Kathew, I try to distinguish between being religious (us reaching for God) and being a follower of Jesus (God reaching for us). Thanks for the kind words.

Jingle, I don't recall ever in my life having anything I've done called "stunning." Thanks.

steviewren said...

Great Magpie! These are my favorite lines, "What's more, we've got the audience all wrong. We play to other players shamelessly, Not knowing that the audience is One Who'll judge us when the final curtain falls." True words!

steviewren said...

Great Magpie! These are my favorite lines, "What's more, we've got the audience all wrong. We play to other players shamelessly, Not knowing that the audience is One Who'll judge us when the final curtain falls." True words!

Jim Swindle said...

Stevie, thanks. Anything good in me or my poems? God deserves the credit.

Lena said...

I totally agree with steviewren. I often thought about my final curtain call.

Jim Swindle said...

Lena, thanks for commenting, and for encouragement.

Doc FTSE said...

At last! A true poet who ain't afraid of the iambic pentameter! If it was good enough for Shakespeare . . .
Very well wrought Magpie/