The poetry of Bruce Dawe #3
Poem: And a Good Friday was had by all by Australian poet Bruce Dawe
One of the problems with writing poems about well known Christian themes is just that; they are very well known. It is therefore a challenge to write something fresh and original about a very well known topic. This is what immediately impressed me about this poem. It certainly looks at the crucifixion from a totally different point of view â€“ that of the centurion.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â There is an immediate impact upon the reader, especially one with a deep Christian understanding of what it all means. Here is the centurion dealing with the event as just another day at work. â€˜Orders is orders, I said after it was over/ nothing personal you understand.â€™ It is his casual approach to just another day on the job that bites so hard into those to whom the cross is so significant.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Dawe has the uncanny ability to describe events in startling imagery. Consider, for example, these lines: â€˜he rose in the hot air/ like a diver just leaving the springboard, arms spread/ so it seemed/ over the whole damned creation.â€™ It is an image that is not easily dismissed â€“ or forgotten. And I love the irony â€“ and spiritual significance â€“ of the phrase â€˜the whole damned creation.â€™ Without the sacrifice of Christ, the whole of creation was indeed damned.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â The final line has a chilling poignancy: â€˜and a blind man in tears.â€™ We are all, in a sense, blind to the truth of what happened at