Tuesday, April 21, 2015

For Sleep, Or Death - Ruth Pitter

Cure me with quietness,
Bless me with peace;
Comfort my heaviness,
Stay me with ease.
Stillness in solitude
Send down like dew;
Mine armour of fortitude
Piece and make new:
That when I rise again
I may shine bright
As the sky after rain,
Day after night.

Ruth Pitter was a 20th century British poet, and contrary to the modernist movement in poetry at the time, her poems were largely traditional and comprehensible.  Fitting for the weeks after Easter, this poem is as much about sleeping and waking as it is about death and resurrection.  The sleep (death) must come so "that when I rise again, I may shine bright."  This poem could be like a nightly prayer, said daily, or a deathbed sigh.  It works in both ways, and it does so without being at all obtuse or opaque.  

1 comment:

  1. It could also be a good poem to send someone who is on a sickbed. In fact, I'm about to do that - without the title.