Man and His Nature

This poem was presented at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary during a student night. As it relates to our upcoming discussions concerning the Imago Dei (image of God) and the fall of man (Genesis 3), I have decided to post it here.

The poem is arranged in thirteen stanzas and follows the progress of a year starting in summer. The thirteenth stanza was added as a hopeful yearning for the next year. By adding the last stanza, the poem is not considered cyclical but progressing. This progression marks the change in season as a means of discussing the change from man’s perfection in the garden, to his fallen state in expulsion, and finally looking forward to a state of grace.

The poem follows Genesis 2:15-4:26. In order to understand the poem well, I suggest first reading or refreshing your understanding of Genesis  2-4.

Man and His Nature

Man deep in summer’s trance
Sleeping in God’s shadow.
Nature in an encore dance.
New life in beauty’s meadow.

The Potter turns a new form,
Yet not from dust of clay.
Her beauty he adorned
In flesh and bone the same.

God gives away Eden’s pride.
Her cynosure unmatched.
Within the bosom of his bride
Child doubt and death are latched.

Clothed in scales of gloom,
Split tongue dripping lye,
Eden in her ever-bloom
Shutters at the Serpent’s eye.

The tree appeals to the tongue.
Its wisdom calls for taste
Lost in the viper’s song
Dust’s kingdom she embrace.

The fallen emerald hands
of the Fig tree’s autumn hue
could not hide the reprimand
nor keep man from God’s view. 

Winter casts her soul’s shroud,
Over life’s green ribbon.
Her frost bitten thumb proud
And her chilled kiss smitten.

Man strides the millennia
with sweat upon his brow,
Alone in life’s aria
With thorns upon his crown.

Eden silences her song
At the bleeding of the lamb.
The first innocent wronged
Atones the sins of man.

Summon’d by each newborn’s cry
The Pale Rider and his hearse.
Be fruitful and multiply,
God’s blessing now earth’s curse.

The celestial wheels turn.
The solstices come and go.
Two infants in the world born.
Death waits for them to grow.

Where once man was able,
Embrace his hand the cane.  

His proud feet enfeebled.
His wrath the mark of shame.

Behold now man’s nature.
Sin’s way marks tragedy.
In God’s heart our suture;
In Adam total depravity.

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