Redemption is a powerful theme that has been explored in literature for centuries. It is the process of making amends for past wrongs and finding inner peace. The following collection of poems delves into the different facets of redemption, from the struggles of forgiveness to the beauty of second chances. These works offer a glimpse into the human experience and remind us of the power of redemption to heal and transform. Allow these poems to inspire you on your own journey toward inner peace and redemption.
At length I heard a ragged noise and mirth
Of thieves and murderers; there I him espied,
Who straight, Your suit is granted, said, and died.
Redemption tells the story of a tenant who seeks a new lease from a rich lord. The tenant goes to the lord’s manor in heaven, but is told that the lord has recently gone to take possession of some land he bought on earth. The tenant then searches for the lord in various places, such as cities, theaters, gardens, parks, and courts. Eventually, the tenant finds the lord among thieves and murderers, and the lord grants the tenant’s request before dying.
Redemption by George Herbert is a spiritual metaphor in which the tenant represents the speaker or the reader who is seeking redemption from the rich lord, who represents God. The poem suggests that God can be found in unlikely places, such as among the sinners and outcasts of society. The fact that the lord grants the tenant’s request before dying also suggests that redemption and forgiveness can be found through faith in God, even at the point of death. The poem also has a moral lesson that one should not give up on seeking redemption, even if it seems difficult.
With bleeding hands I clung about the cross,
And cried aloud, ‘Man needs a suffering God! ‘
This is a poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox that describes the change in perspective of the speaker. The speaker initially relied on reason and dismissed the story of Christ, but after experiencing pain and loss in their life, they turn to the cross and cry out that humanity needs a suffering God. Pain can change our perspective and bring us closer to faith.
Conversion also addresses the speaker’s previous reliance on reason alone was not enough to bring them comfort and solace during difficult times. It signifies the idea that faith can provide a deeper sense of understanding and meaning in times of suffering. The imagery of “burning wastes” and “bleeding hands” suggest that the speaker has undergone a significant and difficult journey, and it is only through this suffering that they have come to see the value of faith. Suffering can lead to a deeper understanding, which can only be attained by faith.
Come, Blessed Jesus, Heavenly Dove,
Accept Repentance here;
Salvation give, with tender Love;
Let us with Angels share. Finis.
Jupiter Hammon uses phrases such as “Salvation comes by Christ alone” and “Redemption now to every one” to emphasize the belief that salvation and redemption can only be achieved through faith in Jesus Christ. He also uses phrases like “Dear Jesus, we would fly to Thee” and “Thy tender Mercy well agree; Salvation from our King” to express a deep personal connection to Jesus and the desire for salvation.
An Evening Thought: Salvation by Christ, with Penitential Cries is about the concept of redemption through faith in Jesus Christ. The speaker acknowledges that salvation comes only through Christ and calls on Jesus to give his grace and spirit to all nations. Throughout the poem, the speaker emphasizes the importance of turning to Jesus and relying on his love and grace in order to achieve redemption and eternal salvation.
it hits us what is now absent
from every bouquet
cut like flowers before their time
The poem Continuum by Anne Waldman is a tribute to the poet C. D. Wright, and it seems to focus on the idea of redemption through the use of powerful imagery and language. The first line, “beautiful things fill every vacancy,” sets the tone for the poem, which is one of hope and renewal. The poem goes on to describe the “filaments of her gift” which are the mysteries and consciousness that Wright’s poetry evokes, and the “ablutions in time” are the cleansing and renewing aspects of her work.
Continuum is a reminder that even in the face of loss, beautiful things can still fill the void and bring redemption. The poem is a powerful tribute to the legacy of C.D. Wright, and it evokes a sense of loss and longing but also hope and beauty through the language used.
Hold out the feather you found last night
in the bracken. All it can offer is already
there in your hand.
Bracken speaks to the idea that redemption and beauty can be found in unexpected places, rather than through a specific search or quest. The use of imagery such as the worm living in darkness and the stream carving out a valley highlights the idea that even in difficult or unexpected circumstances, there is still beauty and meaning to be found. The final line, “Hold out the feather you found last night in the bracken. All it can offer is already there in your hand,” emphasizes the idea that redemption and beauty are often closer than we think.
Kai Carlson-Wee urges the reader not to look for the perfect word or the purified water of gods, but rather to be open to the language and beauty that will come to them naturally. We don’t have to actively seek out redemption or the perfect word, but let them come naturally. Letting go of our preconceived notions of what we should be searching for and embracing the beauty of the world will lead us to the true beauty and meaning of life.
I brought premonitions
and resistance to closure and left
at the end of each day
looking for more
Gifts suggests that the act of giving gifts may not always bring redemption or satisfaction. The speaker brings back gifts from the world, but they die in their hands, and the speaker is unable to pay the price of their redemption. This implies that the speaker is searching for something that will bring redemption and satisfaction, but it is not found in the gifts. “The price of their redemption” is used to suggest that the speaker believes the gifts have the potential to bring redemption, but they are unable to make it happen.
Kirk Wilson also uses imagery to create a sense of confinement and entrapment. The speaker keeps their life in a small room with pale blue walls, and as the room fills with gifts, it becomes less and less spacious, making it difficult to breathe. This imagery creates a sense of confinement and entrapment, which reflects the speaker’s feelings of being stuck and unable to find redemption.
Burne off my rusts, and my deformity,
Restore thine Image, so much, by thy grace,
That thou may’st know mee, and I’ll turne my face.
Good Friday, 1613. Riding Westward reflects on the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and the idea of redemption. The speaker in the poem is a sinner who is aware of their own imperfections and is asking for God’s forgiveness. The metaphor of the soul is like a sphere that can be moved by different forces, such as pleasure or business. The speaker is riding westward on Good Friday and is reflecting on the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and the idea of redemption. The poem concludes with the speaker asking for God’s forgiveness and for God to restore his image.
John Donne explores the idea of the sacrifice that Christ made and the idea that seeing God die would be too much for the speaker to handle. The poem is a reflection on the power of redemption and the sacrifice that was made for the salvation of humanity. It also touches on the idea of one’s own imperfections and the need for forgiveness and guidance from a higher power.
and all the saints already in heaven
dwelling in glory, when almighty God,
their Ruler, returned to his rightful home.
Dream of the Rood is a religious poem that is believed to have been written during the 8th century. The poem is a dream vision in which the speaker sees a tree, the Rood, which is adorned with gold and precious gems. It ultimately portrays the crucifixion of Jesus as a noble and heroic act, and presents the cross as a symbol of salvation and redemption. The poem is heavy with Christian symbolism and is a powerful meditation on the nature of sacrifice and the meaning of the crucifixion of Jesus.
In conclusion, redemption is a powerful theme that runs through many forms of literature, including poetry. The seven poems discussed above offer a range of perspectives on the subject, from the deeply personal to the universal. They remind us that even in the darkest of times, there is always hope for redemption and the possibility of finding inner peace. Through the beauty of words, these poets have captured the essence of this powerful human emotion and have provided us with a source of inspiration and comfort. Remember, it is never too late to seek redemption and start anew.
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Thomas Dao is the guy who created Poem Home, a website where people can read about all things poetry related. When he’s not busy working on his next project, you can find him reading a good book or spending time with family and friends.