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The Half-Believers

By: Ardis E. Parshall - February 05, 2013

The Half-Believers

Berta H. Christensen

We were the half-believers of his word,
Who felt his power and yet denied the truth.
We were the quibblers, pitting line and phrase
Against the written law. We asked for proof.

We were the faithless seekers for a sign
To evidence his claim, yet were not fed
Enough by testament of Cana’s feast,
The leper healed, the miracle of bread.

We neither smote nor came to his defense,
But watched him pass; his weighted footsteps made
Slow imprint on Golgotha’s path, while we
Stood silently aloof and half-afraid.

Some vowed that he had risen, had been seen.
Still by relentless pride we were deceived;
But when we looked into the empty tomb …
We envied those who had believed.

(1949)



7 Comments »

  1. That’s a fantastic piece, Ardis. Truly insightful. Thanks!

    Comment by Alison — February 5, 2013 @ 4:36 pm

  2. This is one I thought was terrific, too, and I’m glad you shared that response, Alison.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — February 5, 2013 @ 4:58 pm

  3. Wow, pretty powerful! Interesting on the plural self-reflection. Reminds me of Anonymous D likening Nephite Disease unto us.

    Comment by Grant — February 5, 2013 @ 8:03 pm

  4. Love this.

    Comment by David Y. — February 5, 2013 @ 11:45 pm

  5. I mostly abandoned reading much poetry after college, but these days, I find I am more interested in reading good stuff again. The best poetry paints a picture, then challenges us to stand in that picture, and see ourselves in it. I like this one.

    Comment by kevinf — February 6, 2013 @ 2:11 pm

  6. What a treasure.

    Comment by Amy — February 7, 2013 @ 2:11 pm

  7. I wish some of these poets, who may not have had much response when they published, could be aware of the reaction here.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — February 7, 2013 @ 2:19 pm

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