I was clicking around this morning, looking for an old poem I vaguely remember from my undergrad days. Something about the Last Judgment and the fall of human civilization. . .ya know, something cheery for a Sunday homily. I ran across the poem posted below.
I'm sharing it b/c it perfectly captures the nihilism of our age. Maybe the poet believes that by denying the reality of a last judgment she is freeing humanity from the evils of transcendent ideals. In fact, she is describing exactly what Nietzsche argued the "death of God" portends: without God, everything is permitted. Without God, there is only Nothing.
Update on the Last Judgment, Ellen Hinsey
There will be no deafening noise. No hornblow of thunder.
The small plants of the earth will not tremble on the hillside as grace is prepared.
The sky will neither drown us in its plenty, nor the ground crack and consume feet in
No, bodies will not, in their last rags of flesh, creep from under the earth, and
with breath once torn from them, choke and expel the old mud of the world.
Adam and Eve, incredulous, will not embrace again in their poverty, not knowing
whether to shield themselves, or to emerge shameless from the past's shadow,
astonished to again greet Terra Firma.
The book of the world, encrusted with deep-sea pearls and the blood of the lamb,
will not open up its pages in which all deeds have been inscribed.
And the totality of history will not roll back together, all events fusing, once and for all,
into the great blazing sphere of time.
None will sit on the right hand. There will be no right hand.
And the figure of sorrow and grace, with his staff upright, its purple pennant
caught in that final wind, will not be there to greet us, with the mercy of justice
in his eyes.
No, never judgment. Just the abyss into which all acts are thrown down, and the
terrible white silence in which judgment either endures or burns.
Source: Poetry, Sept 2002.
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