Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

If our days were honeycombed with cells,
waxy partitions, then the gold could ooze
and spill its gleam and sweetness
as easily as light traverses space.
Are honeycombs so porous, though? Can light
pass through a solid wall? I tried to clear
a passage so that radiance could seep through
and flood the dark compartments.

But even though it shone
(as Ezra Pound reminds us
in one of his best lines)
more brightly juxtaposed against the gloom,
the gold remained contained.
It gleamed, but it was shy of crossing borders.
And on the other side,
neither could the darkness be denied.

—Rachel Hadas

Photo by Rajat Yadav via Creative Commons. Image cropped.

Dear Reader,

Your charitable support for First Things is urgently needed before July 1.

First Things is a proudly reader-supported enterprise. The gifts of readers like you— often of $50, $100, or $250—make articles like the one you just read possible.

This Spring Campaign—one of our two annual reader giving drives—comes at a pivotal season for America and the church. With your support, many more people will turn to First Things for thoughtful religious perspectives on pressing issues of politics, culture, and public life.

All thanks to you. Will you answer the call?

Make My Gift