Poem of the day

by Richard on September 23, 2012

My friend Pam has sent this poem by Australian A D Hope (1907-2000)

The Mayan Books

Diego de Landa, archbishop of Yucatan
- The curse of God upon his pious soul -
Placed all their Devil’s picture-books under ban
And, piling them in one sin-heap, burned the whole;

But took the trouble to keep the calendar
By which the Devil had taught them to count time.
The impious creatures had tallied back as far
As ninety million years before Eve’s crime.

That was enough: they burned the Mayan books,
Saved souls and kept their own in proper trim.
Diego de Landa in heaven always looks
Towards God: God never looks at him.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }


Pam 09.23.12 at 10:24 am

Thanks for posting Richard.

Alec Derwent Hope was the son of a Presbyterian minister - and still became a great poet (talk about rising above your circumstances)! He disliked free verse and his “Advice to Young Ladies” is one of the outstanding Australian feminist poems (not just my opinion). Professor Hope was also regarded as a “wild man” and an outsider.


Kim 09.24.12 at 10:50 pm

Wonderful, Pam. Thanks. Send Richard some more of Hope’s stuff!


Richard 09.25.12 at 7:35 am

…and join Kim’s 15 year long project to educate me! ;)

But he’s right: more Hope, please.


Pam 09.28.12 at 2:38 am

Hope’s “Three Ecclesiastical Limericks” are very funny. And I’ll leave it up to everyone to track them down!

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