Catholic Poetry

SAINT THERESE OF LISIEUX
By Alfred Barrett, S.J.
Not as a prima donna in a pose
Before the swaying curtain when the plays
Is clamorously ended, her bouquet
Loosed on the throng,— not even as a rose
Can I conceive of you. Let others, those
Whose lyric season is incessant May,
Cull similes to strew your “little way,”
With hothouse verse and honeysuckle prose.

You are too real, too actual, Therese,
To live in metaphor. The girl behind
The legend, could the legend fade, would be
The girl you were, sobbing upon your knees
In lowliness and love and anguish, blind
With the beauty of a stark Gethsemane.

(The above photo from LIFE magazine shows Father Barrett teaching poetry to Fordham undergraduates during the 1950’s.)
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