My ethics professor read this poem to our class last semester, and it has become one of my favorites. I have been reading Bonhoeffer’s Ethics this morning, and I have just gotten to a section on Shame. He speaks of our fundamental sense of nakedness and estrangement. I have to believe that grace is like this poem, that he loves us like this. And of course he does. Only read Ezekiel 16 and the book of Hosea.

Two Lyrics From Kilroy’s Carnival: A Masque

(by Delmore Schwartz– there’s a second part but I didn’t include it)

I Aria
“–Kiss me there where pride is glittering
Kiss me where I am ripened and round fruit
Kiss me wherever, however, I am supple, bare and flare
(Let the bell be rung as long as I am young:
let ring and fly like a great bronze wing!)”
“I’ll kiss you wherever you think you are poor,
Wherever you shudder, feeling striped or barred,
Because you think you are bloodless, skinny or marred:
Until, until
your gaze has been stilled–
Until you are shamed again no more!
I’ll kiss you until your body and soul
the mind in the body being fulfilled–
Suspend their dread and civil war!”